Symphony from Ivy Green

Eric Whitacre

Eric Whitacre received his M.M. in composition from the Julliard School of Music, where he studied composition with John Corigliano. An accomplished composer, conductor and clinician, Mr. Whitacre is one of the bright stars in contemporary concert music. Regularly commissioned and published, Whitacre has received composition awards from ASCAP, the Barlow International Composition Competition, the American Choral Directors Association, the American Composers Forum, and in the spring of 2002 was honored with his first Grammy nomination (contemporary classical crossover). He became the youngest recipient ever awarded the coveted Raymond C. Brock commission by ACDA in 2002. Commercially, he has worked with such luminaries as Barbara Streisand and Marvin Hamlisch.

Born in 1970, Whitacre has already achieved substantial critical and popular acclaim. The American Record Guide named his first recording, The Music of Eric Whitacre, one of the Top 10 classical albums in 1997, and the Los Angeles Times praised his music as “electric, chilling harmonies; works of unearthly beauty and imagination.” Godzilla Eats Las Vegas, a wild theatrical piece for wind symphony, has taken the classical world by storm and was most recently performed by the United States Marine Band (The President's Own) on the steps of the Capital. Ghost Train, his first instrumental work written at the age of 23, is a genuine phenomenon; it has received thousands of performances in over 50 countries and has been featured on 16 different recordings.


At the Midwest Clinic in 1996, Gary Green approached me about a possible commission for the wind ensemble at the University of Miami. I accepted, and the commission formally began on July 1, 1997. Two years later, I still could not show him a single note. That is not to say I had not written anything. On the contrary, I had written about 100 pages of material for three different pieces, but I wanted to give Gary something special and just could not find the perfect spark.

Around that same time, my great friend and fellow Julliard composer, Steve Bryant, was visiting me in Los Angeles, and because I had just bought a new computer, I was throwing out old sequenced files—most of them sketches and improvisational ideas. As I played one section, Steve dashed into the room and said, “Mark my words, if you don't use that, I'm stealing it.”

That was the spark. It took me a full eight months to work it out. There are a lot of notes, and I put every one on paper before sequencing it. I wanted to write a moto perpetuo, a piece that starts running and never stops (equus is Latin for horse), and would also be a virtuosic show piece for winds. The final result is something I call Dynamic Minimalism, which means I love to employ repetitive patterns, as long as they do not become boring. We premiered the work in March of 2000, nearly three years after the original commission date, and the University of Miami Wind Ensemble performed tremendously. Equus is dedicated to my friend Gary Green, the most passionate and patient conductor I know.

—Eric Whitacre

Equus is available through Hal Leonard Publications.

Ney Rosauro

Ney Gabriel Rosauro was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on October 24, 1952. As a composer, Dr. Rosauro has written several methods and works for percussion instruments, many of them published in Germany, the United States, and Brazil. His compositions have received worldwide recognition, and are played and recorded by acclaimed artists, such as Evelyn Glennie, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Percussion Art Quartet, and the Houston Ballet. As a soloist and pedagogue, Dr. Rosauro has led several courses and solo concerts throughout the world, and has presented performances and clinics at more than 50 different universities. Dr. Rosauro is a Yamaha, Sabian, and Mallet Works Music artist, and plays exclusively with NR mallets by Innovative Percussion.

Concerto for Marimba and Wind Ensemble

Concerto for Marimba and Orchestra was composed during the winter of 1986 in Brazil and was dedicated to my son, Marcelo. The music was originally written for marimba and string orchestra; soon following, a piano reduction was made, as well as another version for marimba and percussion ensemble. Dr. Thomas McCutchen completed the wind ensemble arrangement several years later.

I first named the work Serenata for Marimba and Strings, and with this in mind used a descriptive name for each movement. Later, I changed the name to Concerto for Marimba and Orchestra. The four-movement work follows a Fast-Slow-Fast form, having a third movement before the vigorous finale. The music was composed with the intention of having the marimba leading the thematic material most of the time, and so being, the solo part of each movement works as a solo marimba piece as well.

—Ney Rosauro

Concerto for Marimba and Wind Ensemble is available through Mallet Works Music.

Mark Camphouse

A product of the rich cultural life of Chicago, composer-conductor Mark Camphouse was born in Oak Park, Illinois, in 1954 and received his formal musical training at Northwestern University. He began composing at an early age, with the Colorado Philharmonic premiering his First Symphony at age 17. His works for wind band have received widespread critical acclaim and are performed frequently throughout the United States and abroad. Engagements as a guest conductor, lecturer and clinician have taken him to 36 states, Canada and Europe. Mr. Camphouse is an elected member of the American Bandmasters Association and serves as conductor of the National Band Association's Young mentor project. Mr. Camphouse is Professor of Music and Director of Bands at Radford University in Virginia.

Symphony from Ivy Green

Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1954, Ivy Green (the birthplace of Helen Keller) is located on a lovely 642-acre tract in historic Tuscumbia, Alabama.

Like millions worldwide, I always held tremendous admiration for Helen Keller, and had at least a general understanding of her life and the inspirational courage and dignity she unfailingly displayed in overcoming such seemingly insurmountable obstacles. In thinking about her life as such a noble example for people everywhere, I became increasingly surprised that, to the best of my knowledge, no composer had ever set her memorable and very moving words to music.

Truly America's first lady of courage, Helen Keller's powerful and wonderfully lyrical writings (ideally suited to musical dramatization) are just as compelling now as they were when they first appeared over half a century ago.

Symphony from Ivy Green was commissioned by Marietta M. Paynter and was premiered on Northwestern University's Evanston campus in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall on May 21, 1998. Performers were soprano soloist Elizabeth Curtis (My wife, and to whom the work is dedicated) and the Northwestern University Symphonic Wind Ensemble with Mallory Thompson conducting.

The following statement from the writings of Helen Keller may serve to introduce the composition:

According to all art, all nature, all coherent human thought; we knew that order, proportion, and form are essential elements of beauty. Now order, proportion, and form are palpable to the touch. But beauty and rhythm are deeper than sense. They are like love and faith. They spring out of the spiritual process only slightly dependent upon sensations. Order, proportion, form cannot breathe life into elements. Many persons, having perfect eyes are blind in their perceptions. Many persons, having perfect ears are emotionally deaf. Yet these are the ones who dare set limits to the visions of those who, lacking a sense or two, have will, soul, passion, imagination. Faith is a mockery if it teaches us not that we may construct a world unspeakably more complete and beautiful than the material world. And I, too, may construct my better world, for I am a child of God, an inheritor of a fragment of the Mind that created all worlds.

—Mark Camphouse

Symphony from Ivy Green is available through Southern Music Co.

Elizabeth Curtis

Since 1985, soprano Elizabeth Curtis has been a member of the music faculty at Radford University in Virginia where she teaches voice and assists with the University Opera Ensemble. Specializing in contemporary American repertory, Ms. Curtis has performed works (including several premieres) at such venues as College Music Society, Southeast Composers League, New Mexico Music Festival in Taos, Festival Miami, and Interlochen Center for the Arts.

The University of Miami Wind Ensemble

The Wind Ensemble consists of the finest wind and percussion students at the University of Miami, and performs for numerous concerts, conferences, and festivals throughout the season. Active commissioning new music for the repertoire, the ensemble has offered world premieres for such composers as Charles Campbell, Clarke McCallister, Michael Colgrass, and James Wiley.

Gary D. Green

Gary Green is Professor of Music, Conductor of the University Wind Ensemble, Chairman of Instrumental Performance and Director of Bands at the University of Miami. Appointed conductor of the University of Miami Wind Ensemble in 1993, Mr. Green also teaches graduate courses in conducting and wind band repertoire.

Performances by the University of Miami Wind Ensemble have been heard nationally, indeed internationally, via Albany Records.

Prior to his appointment at the University of Miami, Mr. Green was Director of Bands at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Connecticut for 10 years. Prior to that appointment he taught in the public schools of the Pacific Northwest including 10 years at University High School in Spokane, Washington.

While in Connecticut his ensembles received numberous invitations for appearances nationally and internationally.

Performances under the direction of Mr. Green have won the praise of such notable composers as Michael Colgrass, David Maslanka, David Gillingham, William Penn as well as others. Mr. Green is an active guest conductor and clinician and has conducted honor bands and all-state bands in most of the 50 states and has appeared overseas as well.

Professor Green is active n the commissioning of new music for winds and percussion. Recent commissions include works by Carolyn Bremmer, Cindy McTee, David Maslanka, David Gillingham, Michael Colgrass, Eric Whitacre, James Syler, Mark Camphouse and Ken Fuchs, among others. Recent recordings include Uconn Premiers on the Novice label and Urban Requiem, Christina's World, Blue and Ivy Green on Albany Records.

Mr. Green is a member of the American Bandmasters Association, the College Band Directors Association, the Music Educators National Conference, and the Florida Bandmasters Association.

University of Miami Wind Ensemble


Yoo-Jin Hong

Rachel Kaplan

Kanae Komugi

Erica Peel

Julia Tichi

Isaac Yang


Cheryl Bobiy

Youk Yualg Koh

Jessica Lemes

Nancy Marencin

Jeff Smith


Margarita Gomez

Louis Nanson

Matt Corey


Eric Bean

Steve Castro

Tim Cribbs

Suzi Crookshank

Christopher Graham

Lesley Hastings

Susie Lalama

Kristin Pisano

Michael Walsh

Alison Wernick


Keith Cooper

Alan Durst

Jason Murray

David Pope


Brian Balmages

Ben Fairfield

Matt Granatella

Ramces Marsilli

Chris O'Farrill


Jeff Cook

Bruce Fatz

Michelle Langrock

David Peel

Lyric Tinsley


Wade Eisinger

Brian Ferrell

Craig Gosnell

Karen Jantsch

Kevin Rigotti


Manuel Camacho

Emily Campbell

Chris Shull


Dino Antonuccio

Sean Melia

Saffraz Ramroop


Steve Aho

Samika Anderton

Nathan Bisco

Jason Brewer

Austin McMahon

Jennifer Miller

Michael Wexler


Joseph Talleda