Barry McNamara  |  Published October 12, 2023

‘On White & Crimson’

Wind Ensemble’s Oct. 21 fall concert will shine spotlight on alumni, as well as conductor Justin Swearinger’s musical journey.

MONMOUTH, Ill. – With its title piece composed by an alumnus, the Monmouth College Wind Ensemble will present its fall concert at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 21 in the Kasch Performance Hall of Dahl Chapel and Auditorium, under the direction of Justin Swearinger.

SEAN KLINK: The 2018 music major wrote the concert's title piece based on his Monmouth Colleg... SEAN KLINK: The 2018 music major wrote the concert's title piece based on his Monmouth College experience.Free and open to the public, the concert draws its “On White & Crimson” title from a work by 2018 graduate Sean Klink, who became very familiar with the College’s alma mater, “A Flame of White and Crimson,” during his four years as a music major.

“While there are no references to the hymn, the piece is my attempt at writing on my college experience, now five years post-graduation,” said Klink, who is pursuing a doctoral degree in music at the University of Maryland while teaching composition at Monmouth. “It was at Monmouth where I first began to compose and where I learned to listen in an entirely new way.”

Hear Justin Swearinger preview the concert and discuss the College’s music programs on WRAM-AM/FM.

Another alum, Jaron Park ’19, will also have a role in the concert, as he’ll play the bagpipes during “On White & Crimson.” A member of the Midlothian Scottish Pipe Band since 2012, Park was the Monmouth College Pipe Band’s pipe major for two years.

A third guest at the concert will be Travis Higa, a faculty member at the University of Southern Mississippi, where he is director of The Pride of Mississippi Marching Band. Higa will conduct the concert’s opening selection, “Until the Scars,” by John Mackey, an adaptation of the first movement of “Wine-Dark Sea: Symphony for Band,” a work based on Homer’s The Odyssey.

JUSTIN SWEARINGER: Monmouth's director of instrumental activities is pictured conducting last... JUSTIN SWEARINGER: Monmouth's director of instrumental activities is pictured conducting last fall's Wind Ensemble concert.Southern Mississippi is where Swearinger earned his doctoral degree, and his dissertation was on composer David Maslanka. Swearinger will pay tribute to Maslanka with the concert’s third selection, “The Water Is Wide,” by Kevin Krumenauer. The composer used the tools and techniques he learned from Maslanka to write the piece.

The next selection, Eric Whiteacre’s “October,” might transport the listener to the crisp air of the season, and, wrote Whiteacre, to autumn’s “natural and pastoral soul.”

Flutist Larissa Pothoven ’24 of Rock Island, Illinois, will have a solo during the next piece, “Concertino,” by Cécile Chaminade.

After a brief intermission, the concert will conclude with “On White and Crimson” and Johan de Meij’s “Gandalf – The Wizard,” from Symphony No. 1 of The Lord of the Rings.

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