Published Thursday
January 27, 2005

Nebraska Wind Symphony sets sights on youths




Unlike rap and indie-rock music, classical music doesn't have the reputation as a youth-dominated genre.

The Nebraska Wind Symphony is hoping to change that with a Sunday concert showcasing music by four young composers.

Two of the composers, Carl Schroeder and Cory McBride, are still in college; the others, Nolan Schmit and Keith Davis, are in their 30s.

Nebraska Wind Symphony director Erica Neidlinger, who joined the group last year, says the concert is part of a larger effort to reach a broader audience.

"We're really trying to draw an audience of varying ages and interests," Neidlinger said.

Even though Sunday's composers are all young, their music ranges in flavor.

Davis' "Native Hunters" has an American Indian theme; Schmit's "Encomium for the Courageous" honors the victims of the Columbia space shuttle disaster with its patriotic stylings; Schroeder's "Minnesota Portraits" musically depicts three sections of the Twin Cities; and McBride's "Perilous Voyage" offers a fast and furious pace.

Neidlinger would like to raise the profile of her group, which claims about 80 members and has three formal concerts a year. The musicians often perform a Fourth of July concert at Chalco Hills and at University of Nebraska Medical Center graduations. In April, the symphony is making a special trip to Quincy, Ill., to perform a concert at the national convention of the Association of Concert Bands.

"We may end up reaching folks that never would have thought to step into a concert hall," Neidlinger said.

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