Northwinds Symphonic Band
Tickets: $18 Adult; $15 Senior/Student; $200 Table (for 8 people)
The Arts Council Presents The Northwinds Symphonic Band in a Patriotic Pops Concert
& Tribute to Ron Evans
THE NORTHWINDS SYMPHONIC BAND will perform outdoors at The Arts Council Smithgall Arts Center on July 3rd at 8pm. Our gates will open at 6pm for picnickers.
The Northwinds Symphonic Band was organized in 1984 as a performance outlet for adult musicians, primarily music educators, in the North Georgia area. It occurred to Ron Evans, founder of the ensemble that many band directors and music teachers in the area were performing musicians on the instrument they studied.
The ensemble has performed for the Georgia Music Educators on five different occasions, and it continues to perform a series of concerts throughout the year. This year has been a sad one for the band with the loss of their leader, mentor and friend Ron Evans, pictured on right. Also, a member of The Board of Directors of The Arts Council, this concert is a tribute to the legacy Ron Evans has left behind and the numerous people he has touched, encouraged and gifted the love of music!
The Northwinds Symphonic Band is now led by Mercer Crook and the roster includes band directors, both active and retired, music teachers, college students, professional musicians and several players who pursue an occupation outside the field of music.
Patriotic selections will honor our country and the people dedicated to preserving our freedom! You will be exposed to the winds and strings in fascinating interplay beautifully performed with technical brilliance and abundant flair. Musical selections will encompass a grasp of every artistic and patriotic nuance within an overall aesthetic devoid of fussiness.
Guest soloists include Jonathan Jackson, one of Gainesville’s local favorites, and the amazingly talented Michelle Martin.
In the finale, Crook will lead the orchestra through dynamic valleys and scales, to new peaks with masterful control in a spirit of freedom, vigor and all things red, white and blue! You will leave us with a true sense of patriotic pride and loyalty… heroic images of troops fighting for freedom, Martin Luther King Jr. speaking for civil rights, and George Washington crossing the Delaware.
Bring the entire family and kick-start your fourth of July holiday with us!
Grab your lawn chairs and cozy blankets, beverages of choice and candles or reserve tables right up front. Bring your own picnic dinner or purchase one from our local downtown restaurants. Call us for more information about purchasing picnic dinners at 770-534-2787.
Tickets: $18 Adult; $15 Senior/Student; Tables of 8 (up front) $200. 7% sales tax will be charged on all ticket sales.
About Northwinds Symphonic Band
The Northwinds Symphonic Band was organized in 1984 as a performance outlet for adult musicians, primarily music educators, in the north Georgia area. With the encouragement of many band directors, Ron Evans organized the ensemble and became the conductor. Originally known as the North Georgia Wind Symphony, the group played several concerts for the community and was soon invited to perform for the Georgia Music Educators Association at the 1986 convention on Jekyll Island. The convention concert was a huge success, eliciting an enthusiastic response from the many music educators present. In 1988, the band was invited a second time by the Georgia Music Educators to perform “A Tribute to John Philip Sousa”, a concert production in conjunction with the national effort to have Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever proclaimed as the official march of the United States of America. The Northwinds Symphonic Band has performed for the State Association of Music Educators on five occasions. The band has commissioned two major works for the symphonic band repertoire.
In 1997 the name of the organization was changed to the Northwinds Symphonic Band and it continues to perform a series of concerts throughout the year. Notable guest conductors of Northwinds have included Dr. Dwight Satterwhite, U. of Georgia, Dr. John Culvahouse, Kennesaw State University, Dr. John Paynter, Northwestern University, Col. Arnald D. Gabriel, Conductor Emeritus, U. S. Air Force Band, and Col. John R. Bourgeois, Conductor, U. S. Marine Band, Retired, Robert Sheldon, Composer, and Charles Booker, Jr. Composer. Renowned soloists performing with the band include Edwin Riley, clarinet, Adam Frey, euphonium, Dr. D. Ray McClellan, clarinet, University of Georgia, Sam Skelton, saxophone, Kennesaw State University, Brandon Craswell, trumpet, U. of Georgia and Scotty Shelsta, U. S. Army Band, trombone.
The Northwinds Symphonic Band is now led by Mercer Crook and the roster includes band directors, music teachers, college students, professional musicians and several players who pursue an occupation outside the field of music.
About Mercer Crook, conductor
Mercer Crook, conductor of Northwinds Symphonic Band, is a native of Northeast Georgia. He was born and raised in Winder, Georgia, graduated from Winder-Barrow High School, received his Bachelor of Music and Master of Fine Arts Degrees in Woodwind Performance from the University of Georgia, and taught at Toccoa High School for one year, before beginning a distinguished 31 year tenure at East Hall High School.
Under Mr. Crook's leadership, the East Hall High School Bands performed in the Tournament of Roses Parade, two Cotton Bowl Parades, two Orange Bowl Parades, two Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parades, four National Cherry Blossom Festival Parades, four Macy's Atlanta Christmas Parades, two Gatlinburg Christmas Parades, and the Outback Bowl Parade.
Mr. Crook’s Symphonic Bands were selected to perform for both the Georgia Music Educators Association In service Conference and the University of Georgia January Music Festival. His bands received superior ratings over 90% of Mr. Crook's 31 years at the school.
Mr. Crook served as principal oboist with the Gainesville Symphony Orchestra, and as principal oboist and associate conductor of the Northwinds Symphonic Band. He performs with several ensembles and chamber groups throughout northeast Georgia and the Atlanta area. He also serves as an adjunct member of the faculty at Gainesville College, where he conducts the Symphonic Band and directs the woodwind studio, and continues to serve as adjudicator and clinician throughout Georgia.
Mr. Crook is a member of Music Educators National Conference, Georgia Music Educators Association, Phi Beta Mu, and has been inducted into the John Philip Sousa Legion of Honor. Mr. Crook was selected teacher of the year at East Hall High School three times, and was names Star Teacher in 1996.
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