This archived article was written by: Dr. William S. Carson
The Eastern Utah Wind Symphony, a college-community concert band at Utah State University-College of Eastern Utah, will present a fall concert on Saturday, Nov. 5 at 7:30 p.m. in the Price Civic Auditorium. Special guest conductor and clarinet soloist will be William S. Carson, director of bands and professor of music at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
The concert opens with Carson conducting The Iowa Band Law. This march by Karl King celebrates a 1921 Iowa law that authorized communities to levy a property tax for the support of a local band. Next on the program is Song for Lyndsay, a dramatic work by Iowa native Andrew Boysen, director of bands at the University of New Hampshire. The centerpiece of the concert will be a performance of Carson’s recently-published edition of Percy Grainger’s Spoon River. This fall Carson has participated in rehearsals and performances of Spoon River in New Mexico, Texas, Ohio, and Utah, and the work will be featured at the prestigious Midwest Clinic, an international band and orchestra conference, in Chicago in December. Carson’s new Spoon River edition has also been recorded by the President’s United States Marine Band.
The Wind Symphony’s regular conductor, Gregory Benson, will lead the group in Michael Daugherty’s Alligator Alley, a contemporary work inspired by a stretch of Interstate 75 that crosses through the Florida Everglades National Park. Daugherty is a University of Michigan professor and an Iowa native. Carson will return to the stage to perform as clarinet soloist in Benny Goodman: The King of Swing. This medley by United States Army Band arranger Paul Murtha includes four Goodman standards: “Let’s Dance,” “Stompin’ At The Savoy,” “Moonglow,” and “Sing, Sing, Sing.” The concert finale, American Heroes, will be a salute to the United States Armed Forces, including “The Caisson Song,” “The Marines’ Hymn,” “Anchors Aweigh,” “The U.S. Air Force,” and “America the Beautiful.”
In addition to his faculty position at Coe College, Carson is associate music director and administrator of the Iowa Ambassadors, a high school group that performs in Europe in alternate summers. He earned degrees at Macalester College, Southern Illinois University, and Arizona State University, and has taught in Illinois, Indiana, New Hampshire, Arizona, and Iowa. Carson’s travels as a conductor, clinician, performer, and researcher have taken him to 34 states and 23 countries. His book, On the Path to Excellence: The Northshore Concert Band, is available from Hal Leonard and at Amazon.com.
Benson has been at USU Eastern since 1999. He earned degrees from Central Michigan University, Bowling Green State University, and Michigan State University, and has held teaching and administrative posts in Michigan, Ohio, Arkansas, and Utah. Benson has appeared as a clinician, conductor, evaluator, and trombonist in hundreds of diverse locales in the middle, southern, and western regions of the United States and has served in professional leadership positions at state, regional, and national levels.
The November 5 Wind Symphony concert is co-sponsored by USU Eastern and Price City Culture Connection. Admission is free.