Local Student Musicians Perform in Wind Ensembles
LOWELL — More than 75 young people from across the Merrimack Valley, central Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire enhanced their skills as musicians this spring as participants of the New England Youth Wind Ensembles program at UMass Lowell.
The program, held from January to May, offers students an opportunity to rehearse and perform challenging wind band literature in an honors band setting. Students return to their own school music programs with new techniques, developed skills and a greater level of musicianship and confidence in their playing.
The Junior Wind Ensemble is composed of students in sixth through ninth grades who have played their instrument for at least one year. Musicians in the Senior Wind Ensemble are high-schoolers. The groups are directed by Debra-Nicole Huber, associate director of university bands and director of instrumental music outreach, and a 1989 UMass Lowell graduate. The university’s music majors and alumni serve as section coaches and mentors for participants.
The program culminated with a free concert earlier this month featuring the Junior and Senior Wind Ensembles at UMass Lowell’s Durgin Hall.
Performers in the junior ensemble are Chelmsford’s Spencer Evans-Cole and Manu Hegde; Tyngsboro’s James Porter; Dracut’s Olivia Richardson Brown; Billerica’s Kevin Holzer, Andrew Tice, Kimberly Tice, Ana Torres-Martinez, Pedro Torres-Martinez and Sofia Torres-Martinez; and Lowell’s Alexandra Brockman, Branddon Fusco, Nichollas Fusco and Abigail Noel.
Musicians playing in the senior ensemble include Tyngsboro’s Garrett Maille, George Powell and Kenneth Russell; Dracut’s Alanna Breen, Jamie Park and Trevor Zuk; Lowell’s Josiah Belfiore, David Savoie and Kevin Snow; and Ashley Somers of Hudson, N.H.
The Senior Wind Ensemble program was established in 2000 by Huber. The Junior Wind Ensemble made its debut in 2007. For more information, visit www.uml.edu/neywe .