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Student soloists highlight Millikin University bands performance May 2

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[April 26, 2014]  DECATUR — Millikin University's Symphonic Wind Ensemble and University Concert Band will present a concert of traditional and contemporary music on May 2 at 7:30 p.m. in Kirkland Fine Arts Center. The concert will feature performances from two Millikin student soloists: Christopher Raymond, a junior music performance major from Bourbonnais, and Hikari Yoshida, a first-year student from Nara Prefecture, Japan. The concert is free and open to the public.

The University Concert Band will begin the evening with a performance of Bernstein's "Overture to Candide," followed by a performance of Chaminade's "Concertino for Flute Solo and Band," featuring Yoshida on flute. The University Concert Band will also perform Mackey's "Xerxes March," featuring student conductor Brock Feece, a senior music education major from Elburn, followed by a performance of Markowski's "Shadow Rituals."

Following a brief intermission, the Symphonic Wind Ensemble will perform Ticheli's "Wild Nights!" as well as Hidas' "Concerto for Bassoon and Wind Ensemble," featuring Raymond on bassoon. The ensemble will conclude the concert with performances of Schuman's "George Washington Bridge" and Mackey's "Asphalt Cocktail."

Hikari Yoshida, featured on flute, has previously studied English literature and music at Doshisha Women's College of Liberal Arts in Kyotanabe, Kyoto, Japan. Five years ago, she studied at Northumberland Regional High School in Nova Scotia, Canada, where she won a music competition. She began playing the flute in elementary school and won a junior high school wind competition award. She is currently a member of Millikin University's Concert Band and Symphonic Wind Ensemble. At Millikin, she studies flute with Dr. Laurie Glencross, Millikin associate professor of music. Yoshida has loved the "Concertino for Flute" by Cécile Chaminade since she started playing the flute and made it a goal to perform the piece someday in concert.

Christopher Raymond, featured on bassoon, is a graduate of Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School in Bourbonnais and has been playing bassoon since 2006. Throughout his high school years, he performed with the Illinois Music Educators Association's All-State Honors Orchestra and was also featured as a soloist with the Kankakee Valley Symphony Orchestra. A recipient of Millikin's Young Artists Talent Award, he plays with the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra, the Eidolon Woodwind Quintet and is principal bassoon in both the Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble. In 2013, he was featured as a soloist with the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra and was a finalist for the Hollis Prize.

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He has also performed with the Urbana Pops Orchestra and the South Shore Orchestra on their recent tour in China. He is a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Alpha Lambda Delta and Phi Kappa Phi academic honors fraternities. He also received recognition from the Pi Kappa Lambda music honor society for outstanding achievement.

The Millikin Symphonic Wind Ensemble is the university's premiere large instrumental ensemble and includes students who major in music as well as those in many other academic disciplines at Millikin University. The Symphonic Wind Ensemble is conducted by Dr. Gary Shaw, Millikin professor of music and director of bands.

The University Concert Band is one of the premiere bands at Millikin, performing in Kirkland Fine Arts Center and other campus locations throughout the year. Students from all majors are invited to participate in the concert band. The University Concert Band prepares and performs top-quality band literature with an emphasis on achieving the most professional sound possible. The University Concert Band is conducted by Dr. Neal Smith, Millikin associate professor of music.

Millikin's School of Music is committed to developing complete musicians artistically, technically and intellectually by emphasizing the integration of theory and practice with other disciplines across the university. For more information on Millikin's School of Music, visit

For more information on Kirkland Fine Arts Center, visit Events at the Kirkland Fine Arts Center are partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, and the Midwest Arts Council.

[Text from file received from Millikin University]

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