UNCW’s Wind Symphony and Chamber Winds Invited to Perform Nov. 9 at 2015 NC Music Educators Association Annual Conference

Friday, October 30, 2015

UNCW’s Wind Symphony and Chamber Winds, featuring the Faculty Woodwind Quartet, will perform at the 2015 North Carolina Music Educators Association annual conference Nov. 9 in Winston-Salem. Following a rigorous application process and a blind hearing, only six of the state’s most outstanding bands were invited to perform at the annual conference.

In celebration of this prestigious honor, these musical ensembles have planned a free concert for the campus and community at 4 p.m., Nov. 8, in Kenan Auditorium.

UNCW Director of Bands John LaCognata will direct both performances. The program for both shows includes:

  • John Mackey: Undertow
  • Michael Oare: Crossroads
  • Daniel Montoya Jr.: X
  • Percy Grainger: Lincolnshire Posy
  • David Gillingham: Concerto for Woodwind Quintet and Wind Ensemble
  • Alfred Reed: The Hounds of Spring

The Wind Symphony is an outstanding ensemble consisting of highly talented woodwind, brass and percussion players including both music majors and non-music majors. The Wind Symphony is open to all UNCW students with previous instrumental experience and the necessary skills to perform on a wind or percussion instrument. The Chamber Winds is UNCW’s premiere wind band comprised of the finest woodwind, brass and percussion players at the university. Membership is by audition and is open to all university students regardless of major.  

LaCognata has had a remarkable career as both a musician and a conductor. His music education career spans 28 years at the secondary and collegiate levels. In 2010, he was appointed UNCW Director of Bands, where he conducts the Wind Symphony, the Chamber Winds and the Pep Band. He also teaches courses in trumpet, conducting and instrumental techniques, and directs the UNCW Honor Band Festival and Summer Band. He conducts the Wilmington Symphonic Winds, a regional professional-level ensemble, and the Wilmington New Horizons Concert Band in association with UNCW’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI).  

LaCognata has conducted performances at many leading events, such as: the Bands of America National Concert Band Festival, the Florida Music Educators Association Conference and the 60th Anniversary of the Midwest Clinic in Chicago. Marching bands under his leadership have won several awards, including the Grand Champion at the Autozone Liberty Bowl and the Sylvania Alamo Bowl. He holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Illinois, a Master of Music in trumpet performance from Auburn University and a Ph.D. in music education from the University of Florida.

-- Jeremy Sweeney