The Whitworth Wind Symphony Wind Currents concert 2024 

By Jenna Bunescu | Staff Writer

Dr. Richard C. Strauch conducts the Whitworth Wind Symphony at the Wind Currents concert in the Fox Theater, Spokane, Wash. Mon. Mar 18, 2024 | Ben Gallaway/ The Whitworthian

The Whitworth Wind Symphony hosted Wind Currents 2024 at Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox in downtown Spokane on March 18 at 7:30 p.m. They were accompanied by the special guests Ridgeline High School and Cheney High School wind ensembles. The performance was free.  

The program was opened by Ridgeline High School Wind Ensemble under conductor Eric Parker. Three pieces were performed, and the second one, Frank Ticheli’s “An American Elegy,” was especially important to Parker. “[This piece] helps remind me why I stuck out to be a teacher,” said Parker in his pre-performance speech. The piece was dedicated to both the lives lost and the survivors of the Columbine High School shooting on April 20, 1999. The piece “reflects on what is good about people and how to take care of one another,” said Parker.

They were followed by Cheney High School Wind Ensemble under conductor Josh Wisswell. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cheney High School Wind Ensemble “not only survived, but thrived,” said Dr. Richard Strauch, Whitworth’s Wind Symphony conductor. Wisswell’s speech was relatively short. “I hate talking,” he said, making the audience giggle. The Cheney High School Wind Ensemble played three pieces, and then the concert went into intermission.  

Under the direction of Strauch, the Whitworth Wind Symphony previewed the program they would take on tour to Thailand. This part of the performance involved the world premieres of Ryan Jones’ “Sleepy Hollow” and Whitworth alumnus Benjamin R. Barker’s “A Hokusai Triptych.” The latter was accompanied by a series of Japanese paintings that could be accessed by phone with a QR code provided in the brochure.  

The Whitworth Wind Symphony helped commission the second piece they performed, “Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly,” by Peter Van Zandt Lane, which communicated that “failure is a very important part of success,” said Strauch. 

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