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J.D. Warnock
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Wind Ensemble's journey to Carnegie Hall continues with release of fifth CD

Thu, 11/21/2013

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas Wind Ensemble, conducted by Paul Popiel, KU director of bands, released its fifth CD in the Wind Band Classics series, “In the Shadow of No Towers." The release of the CD on the Naxos label continues the KU Wind Ensemble’s extraordinary journey to Carnegie Hall.

The CD features the premiere recording of Mohammed Fairouz’s In the Shadow of No Towers: Symphony No. 4.  The album also includes the Philip Glass composition Concerto Fantasy for Two Timpanists and Orchestra featuring Ji Hye Jung, KU assistant professor of percussion, and Gwendolyn Burgett, Michigan State University associate professor of percussion.

The album was recorded in closed sessions at the Lied Center of Kansas just before the ensemble departed for its historic trip to New York City to perform March 26 in front of a crowd at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage.

In the Shadow of No Towers: Symphony No. 4 was inspired by discussions between critically acclaimed composer Mohammed Fairouz and Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novelist Art Spiegelman about the terrorist attacks on the iconic World Trade Center in the city that both artists call home. It begins with that disaster of Sept. 11, 2001 — an event whose effect on New York and the United States is still being measured — and explores the development of a post-9/11 reality, a broader vision for society that is enriched by the creative arts. Each movement takes as its point of departure a graphic detail from Spiegelman’s book.

To help bring Fairouz’s vision to life, the work was commissioned by the nonprofit foundation Reach Out Kansas Inc., which was founded by Overland Park attorney and KU alumnus Jim Zakoura. It was written specifically for the KU Wind Ensemble and Popiel.

"This latest CD from the KU Wind Ensemble represents the culmination of two years of collaboration with composer Mohammed Fairouz, as well as many months of rehearsal and hard work from our music students,” said Popiel. “The level of playing on this CD is quite exceptional. We are extraordinarily proud of these students. I believe this is certainly the finest disc we have ever put together, and we are thrilled to share it on the Naxos label with this international release."

The release of the CD “In the Shadow of No Towers” continues the special connection between KU and the Naxos record label. Wind Band Classics' founder, Randall Foster, KU alumnus and son of Robert E. Foster, former KU director of bands (1971-2002) and current KU professor of music education and music therapy, launched the Wind Band Classics series in 2006 with the release of the Wind Ensemble’s first CD, “Redline Tango.” Since the inception of the series, the only one of its kind with a major classical music label, Naxos has released a total of 45 CDs.

The CD is available at KU Bookstore, Love Garden Sounds and online at Amazon and iTunes.

More information is available here about the KU Wind Ensemble’s Journey To Carnegie Hall. 

For additional information, contact the KU School of Music at 785-864-3436 or visit www.music.ku.edu.



Wanna Skype? Chancellor gets creative to surprise Truman winner. See it here: http://bit.ly/1awodaa
Rock Chalk! Junior Ashlie Koehn named KU's 18th Truman Scholar
Ashlie Koehn, a University of Kansas junior from Burns studying in Kyrgyzstan, interrupted helping her host family prepare dinner to make a Skype call on Monday evening.

.@KU bschool 's KIP team includes @KU _SADP students in all-ages housing project. http://t.co/c6Ss0FsWLL #KUworks http://t.co/FW0eI69uRi
Wanna Skype? Chancellor gets creative to surprise Truman winner From KU News Service: http://bit.ly/1awodaa Ashlie Koehn, a University of Kansas junior from Burns studying in Kyrgyzstan, interrupted helping her host family prepare dinner to make a Skype call on Monday evening. To her surprise, Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little was on the other end of the call letting Koehn know she had been named a 2015 Harry S. Truman Scholar. Koehn is the 18th KU student to be named a Truman Scholar and the only 2015 recipient from the state of Kansas. Earlier this month, she was also named a 2015 Udall Scholar. And in spite of a distance of more than 10,800 kilometers and 11 time zones, Koehn’s thrill from hearing the news from the chancellor came through loud and clear. “Ashlie’s experience at KU epitomizes a quality undergraduate experience. She challenged herself in her coursework, exposed herself to different research opportunities, studied abroad in Germany, Switzerland and Kyrgyzstan, and participated in both student government and community service projects,” Gray-Little said. “This is quite a year for Ashlie. Her hard work is a wonderful reflection on her and also a great reflection on the university, and we all congratulate her.” Each new Truman Scholar receives up to $30,000 for graduate study. Scholars also receive priority admission and supplemental financial aid at some premier graduate institutions, leadership training, career and graduate school counseling, and special internship opportunities within the federal government. Koehn, a member of KU’s nationally recognized University Honors Program, is majoring in environmental studies, economics and international studies. Her goal after earning her KU degree is to pursue a master’s degree in economics at either the London School of Economics or the University of Reading, with a focus on the economics of climate change. In 2014, she received KU’s Newman Civic Engagement Award for her work establishing the Coalition against Slavery and Trafficking. Her involvement with the issue was sparked by Hannah Britton, associate professor of political science and women, gender, and sexuality studies, who hosted national conference on contemporary slavery at KU three years ago. “Ashlie and I met several times to think about what KU students could contribute to the issue of slavery and human trafficking, and the result was her founding of KU CAST,” Britton said. “After a year as president, Ashlie successfully handed the organization over to the next student leader. She demonstrated her strong leadership qualities by setting a unique goal and then pursuing it with her sense of passion, engagement and dedication. No matter the country or context, her leadership strength is evident in her coursework, her public service and her work experiences.” The University Honors Program works with a campus committee to select KU’s nominees for the Truman Scholarship and supports them during the application process. Anne Wallen, assistant director of national fellowships and scholarships, noted it was an amazing ruse to pull off the surprise. Originally, the call was set up to be between Wallen and Koehn. “I was totally not prepared to be greeted by Chancellor Gray-Little, but it was an amazing surprise for sure,” Koehn said. “As a first-generation student, it took time to learn the collegiate system, but my parents taught me to be resourceful and independent from a young age and KU and the Kansas Air National Guard have provided me with the opportunities to drive me into the future, both at graduate school and in my career. I plan to use the Truman Scholarship to pursue a career as an environmental economist helping to shape future trade agreements and leverage action on important international environmental issues, particularly concerning climate change.” Koehn also had a surprise of her own for the chancellor — the meal she was helping to prepare was not exactly typical Kansas dinner fare. On the menu with her host family in Kyrgyzstan on Monday was a traditional Kyrgyz meal called Beshbarmak, or “five fingers,” because you eat it with your hands. The dish is made of horse and sheep and was being prepared as a birthday celebration for Koehn’s host mom. Chancellor Gray-Little, as she signed off from Skype, made sure to encourage Koehn to enjoy her Beshbarmak. Koehn is the daughter of Rodney and Carolyn Koehn of Burns. She graduated from Fredric Remington High School in Moundridge. She is an active member of the Kansas Air National Guard and currently on leave while studying abroad in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. She is a member of the KU Global Scholars Program and a past member of the Student Senate. In addition to being named a 2015 Truman and Udall scholar, she was named a 2014 Boren Scholar and Gilman Scholar and in 2013 was named the Kansas Air National Guard Airman of the Year.


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