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Purple Media Network

Purple Media Network

NSU’s Wind Symphony will perform tonight with guest composer Paula Crider and The Boston Brass

Nina Ovalle
Northwestern State University of Louisiana’s Wind Symphony rehearses for performance featuring The Boston Brass, conducted by Anthony Pursell, with guest conductor Paula Crider.

Northwestern State University of Louisiana’s Wind Symphony starts the Fall 2023 concert season tonight by featuring world famous guest conductor Paula Crider, and guest artists The Boston Brass.

Members of the community interested in watching the performance can do so by attending the concert tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Magale Recital Hall. Admission is free for everyone.

The concert titled “Collaborations” will feature Paula Crider as guest conductor for a four movement piece titled “English Dances” composed by Malcolm Arnold and James Sudduth.

Anthony Pursell, NSU director of bands, shared the significance of the opportunity to work with Crider.

“I’ve been doing this now for 28 years and I feel like I’ve got a good grasp, but every time I’m in the presence of someone like her, just watching her work, just listening to her talk back and forth with the ensemble, it’s just inspiring,” Pursell said.

Crider has retired from a distinguished 33 year teaching career and since has served as a guest conductor, clinician and lecturer in 13 countries and 47 states. She has conducted for over 40 all-state bands and has been awarded greatly for her talents.

Crider was the first female to serve as president of both the National Band Association, and the American Bandmasters Association and the first female band director of Texas in both high school and college level music. She is a professor emerita at The University of Texas, where she was the first female university band director in Texas.

“You name it she’s probably been there and done that, when I say world class it’s not just polite, first off she is, but then, number two, she’s just performed everywhere,” Pursell said. “She inspires all of our students, but particularly our females and other minority educators, it’s really great to bring someone like her here.”

Pursell explained that the process of arranging “Collaborations” started in June of 2023 and he is grateful for the opportunity. He shares his hope that student musicians of the NSU Wind Symphony will learn and take inspiration from their experience with Crider.

“I think every aspect that she touches, in Paula’s case especially, we feel like we should walk away having more than we came in with and we just feel like we need to sit up a little bit straighter,” Pursell said.

Crider has been rehearsing with the NSU Wind Symphony in the coming week of “Collaborations,” and Pursell has seen how this has truly impacted his students.
“Sometimes even when you change even just one small element, it takes a while for that adjustment but she understands how to adapt, she knows how to manipulate that situation to make a very positive experience for students but also for herself,” Pursell said.

Pursell distinguishes his time with Crider for her talent and ability as something not many musicians would be able to achieve.

“She’s someone who just inspires you just by being around them,” Pursell said. “I know our students are really enjoying her, the way they all want to engage with her because she understands how to connect with them, that’s a talent that even some of the best musicians don’t have themselves.”

Hallie Ward, music performance master student, enjoyed learning about and from all Crider’s achievements.

“It’s been great to learn about all she’s done and then working with her in rehearsals has been very exciting, she’s very encouraging and supportive but still pushes everyone to do their best,” Ward said.

Allison Flores, music education master student, explained her personal experience working with Crider.

“She inspires all of us, she was so into it and it seems she has such great passion for what she does and what she has been doing all these years,” Flores said. “It was amazing, I just feel like I’ve learned so much in a short amount of time and I love it.”

“Collaborations” will also feature guest artist The Boston Brass in a piece titled “The Sounds of Cinema” composed by Rick Dejonge.

The Boston Brass is a quintet including trumpet players José Sibaja and Jeff Conner, horn player Chris Castellanos, trombone player Domingo Pagliuca and tuba player William Russell.

The quintet has played in 30 countries and all 50 states, commonly in collaboration with orchestras, concert and marching bands, organists, and jazz bands, as well as composers to create new brass works. The Boston Brass describes their identity with a core of music education and has conducted masterclasses and residencies at prestigious institutions such as the Eastman School of Music, The Juilliard School, the Royal Academy of Music in London and Yong Siew Toh Conservatory in Singapore.

Ward was amazed at not only the opportunity to play with The Boston Brass, but even to just listen to them play.

“It’s really exciting just to hear just amazing musicians play and even cooler to hear them from backstage,” Ward said. “It’s been a completely different experience because you just get to hear so much more and it’s really exciting to get to accompany them as a musician.”

Flores is thankful for The Boston Brass and commends their humility in teaching the music students of the NSU Wind Symphony.

“Being around such amazing teachers, professors, musicians, as they are, they bring all this experience of performing in front of so many people and yet they keep so humble and are so nice with all of us, it’s just been incredible,” Flores said.

Flores describes interacting with Crider and the Boston Brass as something she’ll never forget.

“I never imagined that an event like this would happen and I’m gonna remember this forever,” Flores said. “Being in contact with them and getting to perform with them has just been a great experience.”

Pursell agreed that “Collaborations” will be an unforgettable experience for not just students, but for anyone associated with the Dear School of Creative and Performing Arts.

“I think that CAPA, the band program and music in general is looked at and we post it to social media and we’ll see the comments afterwards are like ‘Boston Brass and Paula Crider, how good can it get,’ it really shows our program here to be strong,” Pursell said.

Pursell hopes “Collaborations” will prove the capability of NSU’s CAPA department and bring many more opportunities.

“We’re bringing more awareness to the fact that people who went to say University of Texas, you would expect to get these types of opportunities, but here you almost don’t expect to get these opportunities, and to that I just say why,” Pursell said. “This really shows that NSU is doing good things within our wall.”

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Nina Ovalle
Nina Ovalle, Current Sauce - News Editor
Nina Ovalle is a junior hospitality management and tourism major. This is her third year in The Current Sauce, and second year as News editor. She hopes to bring important campus information to light and make students aware of everything that goes on around them.

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