The University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Wind Ensemble is presenting a homecoming concert. It will be on Wednesday, Oct. 18, 7:30 p.m. in Angelle Auditorium. It is free for students, alumni and the community.
Dr. William Hochkeppel, director of bands and conductor of the Wind Ensemble, has brought back the homecoming concert. Hochkeppel started the idea in the 1990s and explained that it has faded away, but they are bringing it back this year. The concert has always been the wind ensemble, but the marching band, the choir and alumni have joined in previous years.
The concert will be commemorating the Lafayette Parish Bicentennial and UL Lafayette’s 125th Birthday. Hochkeppel has selected pieces of music from the founding years.
“It was quite obvious we wanted to celebrate not only homecoming, but the parish bicentennial, so we looked for music from 1823 and also UL’s 125th so we looked for music from 1898,” Hochkeppel said.
Music from 1823 will be “March No. 1 in F”, “Una Voce Poco Fa” and “Home! Sweet Home!” Music from 1898 will be “The Charlatan” and “Ballade, Op.33.” The concert will feature modern pieces in addition to the historical pieces. Those pieces will be “Celebration!,” “Magnolia Star” and “Rivers of Air.”
Hochkeppel explained why he selected the pieces.
“Well, ‘Celebration!’ was because I was looking for a piece that would fit that part of the theme, that we’re celebrating homecoming, our anniversary, and the parish,” Hochkeppel said. “‘Magnolia Star’ actually has a Louisiana connection because that was a train line that ran from Chicago to New Orleans, so I thought it fit the program and we just wanted some things that were exciting to balance out these things that are also historical. ‘Rivers of Air’ really doesn’t fit the theme at all. It’s just a gorgeous piece that we want to play,” Hochkeppel explained.
Dr. Paul Morton, professor of trumpet, is the featured trumpet soloist on “Une Voce Poco Fa.” Dr. Shaun Popp, associate director of bands and director of The Pride of Acadiana, will conduct “The Charlatan.”
Many students in the wind ensemble are excited for the homecoming concert and the opportunity to play the pieces that have been selected to celebrate the important milestones Lafayette is experiencing.
Ricky Abshire, a junior majoring in instrumental music education who plays saxophone, shared their excitement for the concert to bring in some spirit.
“I’m very happy to be a part of the revival of this tradition. I feel this will help to bring more spirit to our homecoming week, especially with the importance of this upcoming anniversary. I highly encourage all to attend the concert and celebrate the 125 years of UL Lafayette and the Bicentennial of the Parish,” Abshire said.
Abigail Valentin, a sophomore accounting major who plays bassoon, encouraged people to attend the homecoming concert.
“The Wind Ensemble is one of many organizations on campus that showcases the Ragin Cajun spirit that makes this university so special.”
“Let’s celebrate! Reconnect with campus by coming out to the concert,” Valentin said.
Alex Pipkins, a second year graduate student in music theory and composition who plays the saxophone, shared his excitement regarding the concert and the music selections.
“I’m incredibly excited for the upcoming concert. The repertoire is fantastic, and has been coming along nicely in rehearsals. The selections have a wide variety that any audience member can grab onto something and leave satisfied with any particular piece. The group is on track for a wonderful performance and I hope that we can fill our audience!”