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Wind Ensemble Honoring Military during Homecoming Concert

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In conjunction with Homecoming 2005, “There's No Place Like Home,” the University Wind Ensemble will pay tribute to the men and women of the armed forces through their Homecoming Concert Oct. 29 at 7:30 p.m. in Angelle Auditorium .

“We always try to link our musical program with the homecoming theme, and in this case NO PLACE LIKE HOME seemed ripe for the inclusion of patriotic music,” Dr. William Hochkeppel, director of bands, said. “What's more, we wanted to pay tribute to our service men and women who have been so vital for Louisiana and the nation this year, both at home and abroad.”

The concert will have selections from Brahms, Jager and Holst, but will open with “American Salute” by Morton Gould, based on “When Johnny Comes Marching Home,” “Tribute,” by Mark Camphouse and a medley of “Armed Forces Songs.” A special invitation is extended to all who can attend as well as to families of service men and women.

The ensemble is comprised of 50 students who study under the many disciplines offered at UL Lafayette.

“These are 50 of the hardest-working students on campus. Most play in the Marching Band as well as in the Wind Ensemble,” Hochkeppel said. “Of course they also have to find time to practice, attend classes, work, and do performances every week.”

The members of the ensemble are chosen by invitation, following auditions and resulting in an elite ensemble of the school's finest wind and percussion players.

“We have to work fast with this band because we only meet twice a week for 75 minutes, with bi-weekly sectionals on Wednesday nights,” Hochkeppel said. “This means the players have to do much of the work on their own and in practice rooms. It puts professional-level responsibilities on the students, but building this work ethic is one of the goals of our top ensembles in the School of Music. The challenges yield great rewards since we can tackle difficult music, and work it up in a short time.”

The Wind Ensemble had twice been featured at invitational festivals across central France and the Riviera. Last fall, the group toured Central Mexico for nine days.