Kent State University Wind Ensemble Presents the Music of Protest

Cartwright Hall

The Kent State University Wind Ensemble concludes their 2016-2017 season with a free partnership concert on Thursday, May 4, at 7:30 p.m. The ensemble will be joined by the Revere High School Wind Ensemble. Under the direction of Darren LeBeau, Revere High School is consistently recognized as one of the finest band programs in Northeast Ohio. The performance will be in Cartwright Hall located at 650 Hilltop Drive on the Kent Campus. Parking is free.

The Kent Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Jesse Lyeva, will present two impactful social justice works for wind band. First on the program is “The Purple Roofed Ethical Suicide Parlor” by Donald Erb. The title of the work is derived from one of the short stories in Kurt Vonnegut’s collection Welcome to the Monkey House. This short story takes place in a world where euthanasia is common, and suicide parlors are placed next door to a familiar restaurant with an orange roof. If a person agrees to be put to sleep at the suicide parlor, they are entitled to a free meal at the restaurant. Despite these surprising and garish elements, there is a genuine concern for the human spirit. 

The second featured work on the program is “Music for Prague - 1968” by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Karel Husa. A masterwork of the wind band genre, the piece has also been transcribed for orchestra. Over the course of approximately 20 minutes, Husa musically depicts the invasion of his country by the Soviet Union and his deeply personal feelings about the event.  

The concert is free and open to the public. For those who are unable to attend, the performances will be live streamed here.