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Ouachita Stories


Ouachita’s Wind Ensemble releases “Simple Gifts” CD

January 03, 2017 - Katie Smith

CDOuachita Baptist University’s Wind Ensemble recently released a CD titled “Simple Gifts.” The CDs costs $15 and features the 2012 and 2016 Wind Ensembles.

The 2016 Wind Ensemble performs the CD’s title section “Simple Gifts: Four Shaker Songs” by Frank Ticheli, including “In Yonder Valley,” “Dance,” “Here Take This Lovely Flower” and “Simple Gifts.” Other selections performed by this ensemble are the “Mayflower Overture” by Ron Nelson and “A Sacred Suite” by Brant Karrick, which includes “Spirit of the Ages Fanfare,” “Consolation” and “True Happiness/How Firm a Foundation.”

The 2012 Wind Ensemble performs three selections. “Give Us This Day” is a two-movement symphony for wind ensemble by David Manslaka. This ensemble also performs David Gillingham’s “A Light Unto the Darkness” and Percy Grainger’s “Spoon River.”

The music for the CD was selected because “it is quality band literature that includes a hymn tune or has a sacred connection,” explained the ensemble’s director, Dr. Craig Hamilton, Lena Goodwin Trimble Professor of Music and Director of Bands at Ouachita.

“My favorite selection was probably ‘A Sacred Suite,’” said Blake Turner, a junior music major from Fort Worth, Texas, and first chair trumpet in the 2016 Wind Ensemble. “The first movement opens with a fanfare and has a majestic sound to it. It's fast-paced, makes it really fun to play. The second movement is calm and soothing and the third ends the piece strong with a bouncing melody that you get caught up in.”

“I hope listeners will enjoy the music and appreciate the quality of the performance,” Hamilton said. “I hope those who played in the ensemble and recorded the music will listen with great memories of playing in the Ouachita Wind Ensemble”

The CDs are $15 each and are available through Dr. Hamilton’s office. To purchase one, contact him at hamiltonc@obu.edu or (870) 245-5137 or mail in your order to 410 Ouachita Street, OBU Box 3649, Arkadelphia, AR 71998. Make checks payable to OBU Band. All proceeds will go toward the Wind Ensemble Recording Project.


By Katie Smith
January 3, 2017