Wednesday, May 01, 2013
sponsored by

Prairie Wind Ensemble concert May 10

Send a link to a friend

[May 01, 2013]  EAST PEORIA -- The Prairie Wind Ensemble, in residence at Illinois Central College, will present a concert on May 10. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center at ICC.

The ensemble is under the direction of Dr. Joseph Manfredo, associate professor of music for the Illinois State University School of Music. The concert will feature the winner of the Earl Barnes Students Soloist Competition, Colby Spengler, a clarinetist. Dr. David Brian Williams, professor emeritus of music and arts technology at Illinois State University, will be a guest conductor on the program.

Music for this the final concert of the season will include "Themes from Silverado," by Bruce Broughton; "Light Cavalry Overture," by F. von Suppe; "Strike up the Band," by George Gershwin; John Philip Sousa's "The Fairest of the Fair"; "Sangamon River Waltzes," by Henry W. Cary, edited by David Brian Williams; "Elsa's Procession to the Cathedral," by Richard Wagner; "Where Never Lark or Eagle Flew," by James Curnow; "Trail Magic," by Craig Andrew Fitzpatrick; and "Solo de Concours," by Messager, featuring Spengler, the student soloist.


Manfredo is the coordinator of music education at ISU and teaches undergraduate courses in instrumental music education. In addition, he is coordinator of the student teaching program.

Manfredo is in constant demand as a guest conductor, clinician and adjudicator. He has conducted various all-state bands and honor bands throughout the Midwest and Southeast. In addition, he has presented lectures and clinics at the Mid-West International Band and Orchestra Clinic, Music Educators National Conference national conference, College Band Directors National Association national conference, National Band Association national conference, Instrumental Music Teacher Educators Biennual Colloquium, and the Conn-Selmer Institute. He has made presentations at state music conferences in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Ohio and Texas, and internationally in Shanghai, China; Mainz, Germany; Echternach, Luxembourg; Graz, Austria; Coimbra, Portugal; and in various cities throughout Brazil.

He serves on the board of directors for the Illinois Music Educators Association, where he is head of the Music Teacher Education Division, and was recently appointed chair of the IMEA committee for teacher evaluation. In addition, he serves as the Illinois representative for the North Central Division of the Society for Music Teacher Education.

Williams founded the arts technology curriculum at ISU in the early 1980s and has been a pioneer educator in music and arts technology. His distinguished career has included teaching and administrative appointments at ISU, SWRL Educational Research Laboratory, the University of Washington and the University of Guam. In 2001, he received the Illinois Music Educators Association Distinguished Service Award for his work in music technology. He is the immediate past president of the ISU College Music Society. He holds a Ph.D. in systematic musicology from the University of Washington.

Williams has written extensively in the areas of music education, music psychology, and music and arts technology. He and Peter Webster are co-authors of the textbook "Experiencing Music Technology," published by Cengage Learning and in its third edition.

His composition teachers included Abram Plum, John Verrall, William Bergsma and Robert Suderburg. Williams received a commission in 1969 from the National Endowment for the Arts for the opera "Likeweake," based on Guamanian/Chamorro folklore, and he has composed works for small ensemble, voice, choir, and concert band. His "Fanciful Fractured Fugue for Diverse Winds" was selected for the Huntsville New Music Festival last year. His "Grassroots" multimedia performance piece with audience participation for the U.S. presidential elections in 2008 and 2012 was performed in Atlanta, Ga.; Richmond, Va.; Birmingham and Huntsville, Ala.; and in Bloomington-Normal. His anthem "The Lord's Prayer," for choir and organ, is to be performed this month in Chapel Hill, N.C.

[to top of second column]

He and his wife, Kay, are both woodwind players and perform with the Bloomington-Normal concert band, the Heritage Band of the Midwest, and on various other occasions in central Illinois.

Student soloist

Colby Spengler is a senior at Morton High School. He is the son of Phil and Jennifer Spengler. Colby studies privately with instructor Sherill Diepenbrock and is involved in many band activities directed by Jeff Neavor at Morton High School. He participates in symphonic band, marching band, jazz band and the musical pit orchestra. He has also participated in the Honor All-State Band and Orchestra, Solo and Ensemble, Bands of America Honor Band, and Twin City Honor Band. Colby was the John Kamarer Youth Soloist Competition Winner with the Peoria Municipal Band in 2011. He has accompanied the Boston String Quartet and the U.S. Navy Band.

In addition to music, Colby is involved in Boy Scouts, where he received the rank of Eagle Scout and is currently an assistant scoutmaster. He plans to major in music education at a yet-to-be-determined university.


The Prairie Wind Ensemble has a rich history owed to its founder, Conductor Emeritus Donald Lewellen, who created the ensemble in 1977. Dr. Lewellen led the ensemble until his retirement in 2003. Robert Sheldon served as conductor of the ensemble until his departure in 2010 due to job responsibilities as conductor, composer, clinician and concert band editor for the Alfred Publishing Co. Manfredo took over the ensemble beginning in January 2012.

The ensemble membership represents many professional backgrounds. Approximately 70 percent of members are current or retired professional music educators. The remaining 30 percent represent a diverse set of occupations including recording technician, nurse, educator, anesthesiologist, information technologist, electronics technician, engineer, attorney, homemaker, electrician, retail manager and project manager. Members are from Knoxville, Canton, Macomb, Bloomington, Normal, Peoria Heights, Washington, North Pekin, Marquette Heights, Avon, Morton, Cuba, Galesburg, Chillicothe, Dunlap, Glasford, Mapleton, Bartonville, Metamora, Germantown Hills, Marseilles, Farmington, Elmwood, Peoria, East Peoria and Morton.

For further information, pictures, contacts and updates for the ensemble, visit

Tickets can be purchased by calling 309-694-5136 or in person at the box office at the ICC Performing Arts Center on the main campus. The cost is $8 for the general public, $6 for students and senior citizens. Tickets are also available for purchase online at

[Text from file received]

< Top Stories index

Back to top


News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching and Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries

Community | Perspectives | Law and Courts | Leisure Time | Spiritual Life | Health and Fitness | Teen Scene
Calendar | Letters to the Editor