Department of Music

Department News

John LaCognata conducting Wind Symphony

magic flute

UNCW Chamber Winds, Faculty Woodwind Quintet, UNCW Wind Symphony to perform at North Carolina Music Teachers Association, Nov. 201

Conducted by Dr. John P. LaCognata, UNCW Chamber Winds (featuring the Faculty Woodwind Quintet) and UNCW Wind Symphony have been invited to perform at the 2015 North Carolina Music Educators Association Annual In-Service Conference in Winston-Salem, NC on Monday, Nov. 9. No more than six of North Carolina's most outstanding bands (middle school, high school, collegiate and community, service bands) are invited to perform at the annual conference; the event is a coveted opportunity to showcase student bands. The department submitted an application including recordings of three works and letters of recommendation from the department chair and four North Carolina high school band directors. In a blind hearing, a committee of six band directors, representing each of the North Carolina Band Association districts, selected the UNCW ensembles.
Wind Symphony is UNCW's premier symphonic band, with student members come from across the university. Wind Symphony performs the finest literature available for winds including traditional wind band repertoire, marches, transcriptions, and the newest 21st century works. Chamber Winds is comprised of the top musicians from each section of Wind Symphony; repertoire includes works written for concert band and wind ensemble, as well as standard wind literature.

UNCW Opera Outreach Project (WOOP!)

John W. Lambert, reviewer for Classical Voice of North Carolina, North Carolina's statewide arts journal, applauded the spring 2015 production of Mozart's Magic Flute, a collaborative effort by the Department of Music, Department of Theatre and Wilmington Symphony Orchestra. High- lights of Lambert's review ("Wilmington SO Packs 'em in at Kenan for Magic Flute") include:

"...there was plenty to celebrate on this occasion. The program offered what was called a fully-staged performance of the opera, featuring members of UNCW's Opera Outreach Program (UNC-WOOP!), a mostly college-level program that must be one of SE NC's greater hidden secrets."

"The fact that the singers were largely young and unknown worked to the opera's advantage, as delivered, for this was a true ensemble presentation, the sort of evening at the opera one rarely encounters in big houses loaded up with stars. Here, the music was the star, and the result was almost from start to finish a positive thing, wonderful to see and hear. There was never - no, not once - too much orchestra. Even in the ensemble numbers, up to and including the finales of both acts, one could pick out and follow individual vocal lines. How often does that happen in NY or London or...?"

"There were some highlights. The Queen, who was a guest artist, set off sparks with her stratospheric coloratura. The Tamino, who is a freshman, for heaven's sake, was consistently impressive. His love interest Pamina was charming to see and hear. Papageno seemed a bit wooly at first (feathery, maybe) but came into his own and was first rate in his exchanges with the vivacious Papagena. Sarastro rumbled in oft' sepulchral fashion and was equally impressive in his spoken passages. Monostatos brought moments of levity to the proceedings. The little ensembles - the ladies, the spirits, the priests - did fine in their several appearances."

"This was something to remember. Lucky Wilmington." For the full article, please visit: