Barry McNamara  |  Published February 22, 2023

Inspired by Bach

Monmouth College Wind Ensemble, under director of Justin Swearinger, to perform concert Feb. 26 in Dahl Chapel and Auditorium.

MONMOUTH, Ill. – German composer Johann Sebastian Bach will feature prominently in a Feb. 26 concert at Monmouth College.

JUSTIN SWEARINGER: First-year Wind Ensemble director is pictured conducting the group at its Oct.... JUSTIN SWEARINGER: First-year Wind Ensemble director is pictured conducting the group at its Oct. 30 concert.Under the direction of Justin Swearinger, the College’s Wind Ensemble will perform at 3 p.m. in the Kasch Performance Hall of Dahl Chapel and Auditorium. The concert is free and open to the public.

“Much of the music we are performing is directly or indirectly inspired by Bach and will feature collaboration with many Monmouth students inside and outside of the music department, as well as poetry by (English professor) David Wright,” said Swearinger. “In addition to pleasant and consonant sounds, much of this music features less common tonalities and different conceptions of time and space.”

In addition to an original Bach organ work for wind ensemble and a Bach-inspired Irish jig, other selections will include “Spirited Away,” which Swearinger called “a beautiful arrangement of the music from the highly acclaimed Japanese animated film Spirited Away.”

Also included will be a piece using “found” percussion, and “Le Voleur,” which was inspired by Arsène Lupin.

“This is a consortium premiere and likely the first performance of the work,” said Swearinger, who also commented on the concert’s other selection, “Give Us This Day.”

“The title comes from the Lord’s Prayer, but the piece is much more centered around Buddhism and an appreciation of the Earth,” he said.

Swearinger joined Monmouth’s music faculty at the start of this academic year. He earned a bachelor’s degree in percussion performance from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, a master’s degree of music in wind conducting from Florida International University, and a doctor of musical arts degree in wind conducting from the University of Southern Mississippi.

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