School of Music

"Fables and Story Telling" - USM Wind Ensemble, More Than a Musical Experience

USM Wind Ensemble

The USM Wind Ensemble will explore music from the last one hundred years showcasing the abilities of our top performers in the School of Music through chamber music repertoire. The concert focuses on music of "Fables and StoryTelling," including Robert Kurka’s Good Soldier Schweik Suite, based on Czech author Jaroslav Hasek's great novel. The ensemble will premier a new piece by USM’s very own Jordan Dube, senior clarinet performance major; give the second performance of David Biedenbender’s Refraction, as well as revive a little performed piece by Václav Nelhýbel. Finally, to showcase the involvement of percussion, they will perform Carlos Surinach’s Ritmo Jondo for solo clarinet, solo trumpet, two percussion and hand clappers, as well the theatrical Musique de table, by Thierry de Mey. Lights, Theatre, Music, Action.

The concert will be held in Corthell Concert Hall on the USM Gorham campus on Sunday, March 19 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for students, seniors, USM employees and alumni. Purchase tickets online at, or by calling 207-780-5555.

More than a musical performance, Dr. Blanco presents "Fables and Story Telling" as an overall experience. "The Surinach piece is based off a ballet, a story. The Kurka Good Soldier Schtick draws inspiration from a novel. All of the repertoire tells a story before a note comes out, I think that makes for a really interesting evening. Our onstage narrator will weave together the full story."

Dr. Blanco enjoys presenting musical experiences that begin at the start of the concert and run through the length. In addition to music, the audience can expect an experience different than anything with which they are familiar. Prepared for a full theatrical experience, they can also expect excellent musicianship and playing. 

The Wind Ensemble, conducted by Trae Blanco, offers a unique musical experience to its members. The versatility of the Wind Ensemble, based upon the solo performer premise, has established a tradition of performing chamber and large instrumentations, traditional or experimental combinations, and early through contemporary literature. The membership of the Wind Ensemble is selected from Concert Band personnel.

Dr. Trae Blanco serves as director of bands at USM. After completing his Bachelor of Music Education degree at New Mexico State University (NMSU), he completed four years as director of bands at Las Cruces High School. Dr. Blanco holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in wind conducting from the Herberger Institute at Arizona State University where his principal teachers include Professor Gary W. Hill and Dr. Wayne Bailey. Prior to attending ASU, Blanco completed a Master of Music degree in wind conducting with Professor Stephen W. Pratt at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. 

Those needing special accommodations to participate fully in this program, contact Lori Arsenault, (207) 780-5142, Hearing impaired: call USM's telex / TDD number (207) 780-5646.