news-category: Performing Arts

Gardner-Webb University Department of Music Plans Three Concerts in Dover Theatre

symphonic band

Symphonic Band featured on April 22; Orchestra Brass, Percussion and Woodwinds on April 23; and Orchestra Strings on April 26

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—The Gardner-Webb University Department of Music has three concerts scheduled over the next week. The GWU Symphonic Band, the Orchestra Brass, Percussion and Woodwind Sections, and the Orchestra Strings Section will present programs in the Dover Theatre.

The Symphonic Band, conducted by Dr. Mark Cole, associate professor of music and department chair, will be in concert on Thursday, April 22, at 8 p.m. The concert, entitled “One World,” is a special event that features special guest, principal trumpet from the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, Dr. Chase Hawkins. He will be performing with GWU trumpet instructor, Tim Hudson, in the “Double Concerto for Two Trumpets and Wind Ensemble” by composer Brenden Collins. Originally premiered in Melbourne, Australia, this presentation is the first time this piece has been played in its original form (wind ensemble) in the United States. Also, members of the GWU Concert Choir and Chorale will be joining the band for a production of a selection from the Broadway hit “Les Misérables.”

A collage featuring the soloists and guest, from left, Chase Hawkins, Chase Thornhill and Matthew Pennell
Left to right, Chase Hawkins, Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, and GWU music majors, Chase Thornhill and Matthew Pennell

The Orchestra Brass, Percussion and Woodwind Sections, conducted by Dr. Patricia Sparti, professor of music, will take the stage on Friday, April 23, at 8 p.m. Featured soloists are Chase Thornhill, trombone, ’21, and Matthew Pennell, euphonium, ’22. The musicians will play music by Gershwin, Shostakovich, Rimsky-Korsakov, Puccini, Borodin, and more.   

Pennell is a senior music major with a concentration in euphonium, studying with GWU Professor Dave Wulfec. Pennell teaches at surrounding schools and gives private lessons. He is also a member of the University’s brass quintet and brass choirs, as well as orchestra, symphonic band, and jazz band. In 2016, he was a member and toured the country with the world class drum and bugle corps Spirit of Atlanta based in Atlanta, Ga. After graduation, he plans to teach band at the middle or high school level.

Thornhill, a music education major, expects to graduate in fall 2021. He has studied trombone with Wulfec for the past four years, exploring baroque, classical, romantic, and modern trombone literature. He has played in the GWU Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Jazz band, as well as chamber ensembles offered at the University. He also played lead in brass band ensembles offered by The Salvation Army and was a soloist and played in praise bands. Thornhill is a member of the GWU Track and Field team. After graduating, he plans to continue his education and study music performance with a concentration in trombone.

On Monday, April 26, at 8 p.m., the GWU Strings Section, along with seven players from Crest High School Chamber Orchestra, will present its concert. Four of GWU Professor Calin Lupanu’s violin students will be the featured soloists: Hannah Thurman, ’23, Kate Strickland, ’25, and Andrew Haines and Julia Haines, both from the GWU Community School of Music. The program features “The Four Seasons” by Antonio Vivaldi. The group will perform “Spring and Summer, concertos 1 and 2” in their entirety, along with an overture by Grieg.

Programs are subject to change; call (704) 406-4448 for more information. Attendance is limited due to COVID-19 restrictions. Masks and social distancing are required.

Auxiliary aids will be made available to persons with disabilities upon request 10 days prior to the event. Please call (704) 406-2155 or email [email protected]

Located in the North Carolina foothills, Gardner-Webb University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university. Gardner-Webb emphasizes a strong student-centered experience and rigorous academics to prepare students to become effective leaders within the global community. Ignite your future at 

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