The University of Central Florida’s top two auditioned ensembles, the UCF Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band, present an evening of music by some of today’s most impactful composers, with special guest artists and conductors.

The program will feature works that shine light on important historical and cultural themes and social justice and representation. Also included will be a performance by the winner of the 2022-23 UCF Concert Competition, Joanna Lung. Nora Lee Garcia, UCF Flute Professor, will join the Symphonic Band for a flute concerto.

UCF Wind Ensemble & Symphonic Band Concert


Symphonic Band


Big City Lights (2021), by Marie Douglas (b. 1987)
Marie Douglas, Guest Conductor

Concerto for Flute and Wind Ensemble (2022), by Marie Douglas (b. 1987)
Noralee Garcia, Flute Soloist

Amazing Grace (1998), by Frank Ticheli (b. 1958)
Kelly Miller, Guest Conductor

Vesuvius (1999), by Frank Ticheli (b. 1958)


Wind Ensemble


Deciduous (2023), by Viet Cuong (b. 1990)

Concerto in E-flat Major, Op. 109 (1934), by Alexander Glazunov (1865-1936)
Joanna Lung, Saxophone Soloist

Chávez, 1927, by Giovanni Santos (b. 1980)
-consortium premiere-

Heaven at Night (2019), by Katahj Copley (b. 1998)

Glass Ceiling (2014), by Leanna Primiani (b. 1978)


Big City Lights (2021), Marie Douglas (b. 1987)

Marie Douglas, guest conductor

Marie Douglas has been noted for the arrangement and orchestration choices within her works for various ensembles. Her arrangements focus on affording quality voice leading, memorable rhythms and unique and interesting textures for musicians at all levels of music performances. Marie is inspired by the music of modern African American and minority music composers such as R. Nathaniel Dett, Quincy Jones, Duke Ellington, Florence Prince, Margaret Bonds, Lili and Nadia Boulanger and many others. Marie enjoys mixing and layering genres and textures to inject excitement into pieces intended for concert performance. As an active conductor, composer, and arranger, she is a composition and music theory doctoral student at the University of Memphis. Big City Lights is a piece for wind band, inspired by the Hip-Hop sub-genre “Trap Music” which finds its roots in the composer’s hometown, Atlanta, Georgia. The atonal piece comprises of musical elements that are meant to imitate techniques which are commonly utilized during the production of music within the genre. For example, in general the timpani performs what are intended to be “808’s”, while the tuba is often performing lines that would be reserved for synthesized bass; the combination creates an often utilized distortion technique. Throughout the piece, you will hear sounds that resemble the hustle and bustle of Atlanta, from the high pace environment to the slower paced flow of the city with its night life.

Concerto for Flute and Wind Ensemble (2022), Marie Douglas (b. 1987)

Dr. Noralee Garcia, Flute

Commissioned by the University of North Florida Wind Symphony under the direction of Erin Bodnar, the piece navigates through several genres and regions of the African diaspora, specifically drawing inspiration from genres resembling the Black folk traditions of blues and hip-hop originating in the American south. The first section portrays a soulful, sorrowful, yet undefeated essence in the way that a Spiritual might. In the same section, occurring at many of the peaks in the instrumentation and emotion, are blatant nods towards the “bounce” and menacing harmonies of the trap genre referencing artists such as Lil Yachty and 21 Savage. The second section goes on to display aural aspects of hip hop culture from the perspective of the South Florida region. The listener will hear sounds popularized by Uncle Luke in the 1980’s, which was inspired by the high energy sounds of the Bahamas via Junkanoo bands. The third and final section of this work recapitulates the stylistic and tonal and textural approaches from the first section. The goal of the composer was to paint a picture of what a woman can be. Conveying that women are multifaceted, and capable beings. Performing with the Symphonic Band is Dr. Noralee Garcia, Professor of Music and Flute at UCF.

Amazing Grace (1998), Frank Ticheli (b. 1958)

Dr. Kelly Miller, guest conductor

Amazing Grace was written by John Newton (1725-1807), a slaveish captain who after years of transporting slaves across the Atlantic Ocean to the New World suddenly saw through divine grace the evilness of his acts. The arranger, Frank Ticheli writes:

I wanted my setting to reflect the powerful simplicity of the words and melody-to be sincere, to be direct, to be honest—and not through using harmonies and clever tricks, but by traveling traditional paths in search of truth and authenticity. Ticheli also says, I believe that music has the power to take us to a place that words alone cannot. And so my own feelings about “Amazing Grace” reside in this setting itself. The harmony, texture, orchestration, and form are inseparable, intertwined to be perceived as a single expressive entity.

Frank Ticheli is a prominent contemporary composer of orchestral, choral, chamber and concert band works. His commissioned works have earned notable awards and have been recorded by notable labels. He is currently Professor of Composition in the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music. Guest conducting this evening is Dr. Kelly Miller, Associate Director of Choral Activities, Music Education Coordinator, and Associate Professor of Music at UCF.

Vesuvius (1999), Frank Ticheli (b. 1958)

The composer writes: Mt. Vesuvius, the volcano that destroyed Pompeii in A.D. 79, is an icon of power and energy in this work. Originally, I had in mind a wild and passionate dance such as might have been performed at an ancient Roman bacchanalia. During the compositional process, I began to envision something more explosive and fiery. With its driving rhythms, exotic modes, and quotations from the Dies Irae from the medieval Requiem Mass, it became evident that the bacchanalia I was writing could represent a dance from the final days of the doomed city of Pompeii.

Deciduous (2023), by Viet Cuong (b. 1990)

Composer, Viet Cuong, relates of the inspiration and conception of Deciduous, “For a long time after my father passed away, I felt like I had ‘lost my leaves.’ In the way that leaves harness light to create energy for trees and plants, I felt like I had so little left to harness creatively. Many days I feared those leaves would never grow back. After struggling for months to write, I finally found some healing while creating Deciduous. This involved revisiting chord progressions that brought me solace as a child and activating them in textures that I have enjoyed exploring as an adult. The piece cycles through these chord progressions, building to a moment where it’s stripped of everything and must find a way to renew itself. While I continue to struggle with this loss, I have come to understand that healing is not as much of a linear process as it is a cyclical journey, where, without fail, every leafless winter is following by a spring. This is only the second performance ever of Deciduous, which was commissioned by the Florida Bandmasters Association and premiered during the 2023 Florida Music Educators Association Conference in Tampa.

Concerto in E-flat Major, Op. 109 (1934), by Alexander Glazunov (1865-1936)

Joanna Lung, 2022 UCF Concerto-Aria Competition Winner

Alexander Konstantinovich Glazunov was a Russian composer, music teacher, and conductor of the late Russian Romantic Period. The best-known student under his instruction during the early Soviet years was Dmitri Shostakovich. Glazunov successfully reconciled nationalism and cosmopolitanism in Russian music, integrating orchestral virtuosity and lyricism, and skilled counterpoint into his writing. The saxophone was still fairly new and unfamiliar in Glazunov's day, considered "middle class," however Glazunov was enthralled by its sound: a new timbre in the musical world. His Concerto in E-flat Major was premiered in Sweden in November, 1934 by the renowned German saxophonist, Sigurd Rascher, who was also credited for encouraging Glazunov to compose the work. Glazunov completed the work in June, 1934, but surely never heard it performed, as its first performance in Paris, where the composer lived, did not occur until after his death. The concerto has since become perhaps the most recognized and iconic work in the solo classical saxophone repertoire.

Joanna Lung is winner of the 2022-2023 UCF Department of Music Concerto-Aria Competition. Joanna is a junior bachelor of music major (saxophone performance) from Winter Park, Florida. She graduated from Lake Howell High School in Seminole County where she was involved in every area of their instrumental music program and earned numerous recognitions for her musical talent and leadership. At UCF, Joanna is Principal Saxophone with the Wind Ensemble and performs with the Le Fleur undergraduate saxophone quartet that is competing in the 2022-2023 Music Teachers National Association Chamber Music Competition. She is a recipient of the John R. Quello Music Scholarship, awarded to an outstanding music major and is interested in exploring a performance career after graduation. Joanna was recognized as winner of this year’s Concerto-Aria Competition via a competitive adjudicated process whereby finalists selected through a preliminary performance round were evaluated by outside judges on their memorized complete performance of their approved solo work. In addition to a scholarship award, the winner of the Concert-Aria Competition is showcased in performance of their work, accompanied by either the UCF Wind Ensemble or Symphony Orchestra. Joanna will be performing Alexander Glazunov’s Concerto in E-flat for Saxophone, Op. 109 with the UCF Wind Ensemble. The Glazunov Concerto, composed in 1934. It was premiered in Sweden, performed by one of the most revered classical saxophonists of all time, Sigurd Rascher, and has since settled securely into the list of most important solo works for the instrument, allowing the soloist to showcase the best of their technical and expressive abilities.
Chávez, 1927  (2022), by Giovanni Santos (b. 1980)

Consortium Premiere

Cesar Chávez (1927-1993) was a Mexican-American civil rights activist and leader. Chávez co-founded the National Farm Workers Association, alongside Dolores Huerta. His enduring fight for equal rights and humane working conditions led the way for a nation-wide revolution. Amongst his many recognitions was the 1994 Presidential Medal of Freedom. This work explores various enduring quotes attributed to Chávez that give a powerful perspective into the mind of a father, husband, leader, activist, revolutionary, and American. Each section of the work is represented by one of the following quotes:

There’s no turning back… we will win. We are winning because ours is a revolution of the mind and heart

We draw our strength from the despair in which we have been forced to live. We shall endure.

The fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people.

Preservation of one’s culture does not require contempt or disrespect for other cultures.

We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community.

History will judge societies and governments, not by how big they are or how well they serve the rich and powerful, but by how effectively they respond to the needs of the poor and the helpless.

¡Si se puede! (Yes, we can!) ~D. Huerta

True wealth is not measured in money or status or power. It is measured in the legacy we leave behind for those we love and those we inspire.


Heaven at Night (2019), by Katahj Copley (b. 1998)

Composer, Katahj Copley relates that, “When I read the poem, The Old Astronomer to His Pupil, two lines stuck out the most:”

Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light;

I have loved the stars too truly to be fearful of the night.

Those two lines are the basis of this tone poem for wind ensemble. Heaven at Night is a piece centered on the idea of acceptance toward the unknown – the ability to not be afraid of what comes next. “Past the darkness of death there is Heaven and at night it is at its most beautiful.”

Copley dedicated Heaven at Night to Ann Wilson, “a friend, a brother, and a soul that has helped me out of most of my fears.”


Glass Ceiling (2014), by Leanna Primiani (b. 1978)

Glass Ceiling is written with the importance of gender equality in mind. “The last time the notion of gender equlity was on the minds of the American public,” the composer writes, “was in the early 1990s. Since then, many people believed that the problem had been solved. This simply is not the case.” She goes on to describe that the “glass ceiling,” as it has been aptly named, is not simply a barrier for an individual based on the person’s inability to handle a higher-level job, but rather, it applies to women as a group who are kept from advancing simply because of gender. “In this piece,” Primiani continues, “I attempt to portray a day in the life of a working woman. Glass Ceiling is a through-composed composition that contains an introduction and numerous distinct sections integrated by various thematic and orchestrational devices. The main theme is first stated in full by the brass and is developed throughout the work. Five triangles, antique cymbals, and glockenspiel represent the glass ceiling. Finally, sustained chords that begin piano then crescendo to fortissimo represent the woman’s ambition, struggle, and subsequent success.”





Raelyn Tobillo*
Ashlyn Shephard
Hailey Gauger
Amy VanValkenburgh
Armaan Gandhi (piccolo)


Joshua Nunes*
Jael Azemard
Isabel Rivera


Dean Milione*
Andrew Nguyen
Teagan Ferrin


Jose Ojeda*
Peter Bulatko
Allison Rookey
Erin Galassi
Ryan Jayne
Mackenzie Fey

Bass Clarinet

Laura Diaz

Alto Saxophone

Gray Castro*
Sarah Porter

Tenor Saxophone

Katelynn Cordero

Baritone Saxophone

Rachel Dieckmann


Dylan O’Shea*
Leslie Flasterstein
Ayden Perez-Prada
Frankie Ruiz
Patrik Regan


Sean Callahan*
Austin Jones
Johnny Nguyen
Kayla Herrmann
Owen Burrow
Cristian Caiola


Tate Hostetler*
Jack Stadler

Bass Trombone

Martin Miranda


John La Cognata*
Riley Harden


Lauren Banta*
Blake Roberson

String Bass

Andy Hernandez


Evan Carville*
Nathaniel Woodall
Nick Byrnes
Tara McGurk
Samantha Matter
Levi Berry
Benjamin Penta
Zane Adams




Amanda Wiebelt*
Maria del Rocío Rosa Rosario
Logan Grzybowski
Jacob High
Ainsley Elgin (piccolo)


Jordan Garbaciak*
Vincent Artusa
Evan Psarakis


Joshua Butenschoen*
Carmen Flint
Sachin Sivakumar


Bailey Ouelette*
Katherine Nilaj
Andrew Martin
Victoria Rivera
Jaden Crawford
Rim Benhadda
Kevin Jimenez

Bass Clarinet

Channing Cook

Alto Saxophone

Joanna Lung*
Kaia Leavitt
Colin Urbina

Tenor Saxophone

Samuel Soliz

Baritone Saxophone

Tanner Hollway


Zachery Sellers*
Jacob Johnson
Adam Zapf
John Penrod
Phebe Rich
Jose Matamoros


Daniel Berman*
Paige Rogalski
Olivia Boston
Cassidy Phillips
Blake Gassman


Jeremy Fielder*
Ricardo Hernandez
Jack Stadler

Bass Trombone

Harrison Cloninger


Kaitlin Oresky*
Jethro Tajan


Justin McKinney*
Andre Tran

String Bass

Jackie Krist


Christian Snedeker*
Zane Adams
Joseph Cassidy
Zach Hoening
Jaysen Rosario
Michael Mortilla
Jessica Cowan


Matthew Nepywoda