Crane Wind Ensemble Offers 'Musical Landscapes,' Music of our Time


The musical terrain composers create in their works is as varied as the scenic vistas on our planet—possibly more so, given the disparate reactions people may have when listening to the same music. In their final concert of the semester, the Crane Wind Ensemble will traverse distinctive musical landscapes penned by composers Augusta Read Thomas, David Maslanka, Michel Daugherty and Percy Aldridge Grainger, all drawing upon their own musical influences. 

The Crane Wind Ensemble will present its “Musical Landscapes” concert on Monday, Nov. 19 at 7:30 p.m. in the Helen M. Hosmer Concert Hall at SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music.

In her rhapsodic yet playful work, “magneticfireflies,” Augusta Read Thomas juxtaposes two “borrowed” musical landscapes—the compositional characteristics of Mahler and Debussy—to craft a balanced synthesis of the two.

David Maslanka’s “Desert Roads: Four Songs for Clarinet and Wind Ensemble” also connects in a way with composers of the past. His songs for clarinet hearken back to the intimate “songs without words” from such composers as Schumann, Schubert and Brahms.  As in many of his works, Maslanka’s music is greatly influenced by his meditations and dreams, but these songs for clarinet have no distinct program or conscious attempt at illustration. Associate Professor Julianne Kirk Doyle joins the Crane Wind Ensemble as clarinet soloist in this performance. 

Michael Daugherty is a master of musical iconography. One only need read the titles to his works to understand the musical topography: “Desi,” “Niagara Falls,” “Brooklyn Bridge,” “Bells for Stokowski,” and so on. In his latest work for winds, “Lost Vegas,” the composer states both his musical intent and its genesis through pun.

“Torn down long ago, the original neon signs, casinos and hotels of the Vegas Strip have been replaced by impersonal, corporate glass towers. The cozy nightclubs—where the Rat Pack once performed edgy material—have been replaced by large arenas, where commercialized family entertainment is now presented. My composition for symphony band is a trip down memory lane to an adventurous and vibrant Vegas that once was, and returns, if only for a moment, in Lost Vegas,” Daugherty said.

Closing the program, Percy Aldridge Grainger’s “Lincolnshire Posy” is a masterwork in the wind band repertoire. This collection of six “musical wildflowers” pays homage to the people of Lincolnshire, from whom Grainger personally collected the original folk tunes on his Edison wax cylinder recorder in the early 1900s.

Please join the Crane Wind Ensemble and soloist Dr. Julianne Kirk Doyle, as they sojourn through evocative musical landscapes in this last performance of the semester on Nov. 19 in Hosmer Hall. 

The concert is free and open to the public.

For more information about the many concerts offered throughout the year at SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music, visit

Founded in 1886, SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music has a long legacy of excellence in music education and performance. Life at Crane includes an incredible array of more than 300 recitals, lectures and concerts presented by faculty, students and guests each year. The Crane School of Music is the State University of New York’s only All-Steinway institution.