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Rockefeller Arts Center, Fredonia, NY 14063

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The Fredonia Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Paula Holcomb, commissioned a work by Augusta Read Thomas, featuring bassoonist Nadina Mackie Jackson, the Canadian Best Classical Album winner in 2020. The ensemble will give the world premiere of the piece with Jackson, and Thomas will be attending in person, giving master classes and attending rehearsals during the week leading up to thei performance.

Ms. Thomas’ work will also be recorded by the Fredonia Wind Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Holcomb, who is Fredonia’s Director of Bands. The project is a collaboration between the students of the wind ensemble and the school’s Sound Recording Technology area under the direction of Prof. Bernd Gottinger, a GRAMMY-award nominated recording engineer.

The project, which began in 2016, has a primary goal of raising awareness about and filling the need for quality women composers and artists in the wind ensemble genre, as well as showcasing the Fredonia Wind Ensemble and Sound Recording Technology area.

In honoring the vision of the late Claudette Sorel, a piano faculty member in the Fredonia School of Music who was appointed a SUNY Distinguished Professor, the Fredonia Wind Ensemble Recording Project features internationally renowned female composers and artists who provide a diversified voice for the wind ensemble genre. The Sorel Organization’s mission is, “to expand opportunities and stretch the boundaries for women musicians in the fields of conducting, composition, film scoring, performance, arts leadership, education, and scholarship.”

“The genre of wind ensemble music needs a more diversified voice with respect to both composers and performers of quality repertoire,” added Dr. Holcomb. “The need for the female voice is particularly glaring.”

“It is truly an honor to work with the [Fredonia] Wind Ensemble and Sound Recording Technology department as they rise to meet the challenges of performing and recording with these world-renowned musicians,” commented Dr. Holcomb. “They are relentless in their zeal for excellence and passion for music.  With the deepest of gratitude, we thank the [Elizabeth and Michel] Sorel Charitable Organization, Sigma Alpha Iota and Carnahan Jackson organization, who are opening doors for many young musicians at Fredonia while also supporting the development of quality, diverse wind ensemble repertoire."

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