Cascade Winds Winter Concert 2018 Press Release

Please join conductor Michael Gesme and the Cascade Winds Symphonic Band on the Summit High School stage, Sunday March 11th, 2018 at 2:00 PM to hear a variety of great music.

Local vocalist extraordinaire Trish Sewell, will join the Winds to sing several jazz standards, including Moon River, and Over the RainbowSomeone to Watch Over Me, and Star Dust

Three marches pepper the program, including the first performance of Perseverance, A Modern Medieval March by Bend composer Chris Redgrave.

The program closes with Symphony No. 3 by Kozhevnikov, a work re-discovered after the lifting of the iron curtain, featuring Russian folk tunes from the city of Novgorod.

Free admission.

Cascade Winds 2017-18 Concert Press Release

Our conductor, Michael Gesme, has programmed a wide range of repertoire for wind ensemble. The fall concert, which falls on Veteran’s Day weekend, has a decidedly Americana theme. Numerous marches and patriotic tunes will pepper the concert, including the “Armed Forces Salute,” during which we will recognize the men and women who have served in the military. Also on this concert are works by several standout contemporary composers, including Brian Balmages, Frank Ticheli and David Maslanka.

Highlights of the winter concert include a major work by Boris Kozhevnikov, a Soviet Era composer whose works came to be known in the west only after the fall of the Berlin Wall and soprano, Trish Sewell, singing jazz standards such as “Moon River”, “Someone to Watch Over Me” and “Star Dust.”

For the season finale, the percussion section will take center stage with a piece all of their own titled “Scuttlebutt” by Jim Casella. Our principal euphonium player, Nathan Bastuscheck will dazzle your ears with the impossibly fast “Melody Shop March” by Karl King, and we’ll conclude with Steven Reineke’s monumental “Symphony No. 1, New Day Rising,” which evokes the spirit of San Francisco before, during and after the great earthquake of 1906.


Cascade Winds Winter Concert 2017 Press Release

The Cascade Winds Symphonic Band will present the second concert of the 2016-2017 season on February 26th, 2017 at 2:00 pm in the Summit High School Auditorium. Michael Gesme will lead the ensemble in a wide range of musical fare. The concert will commence with an overture that is based on themes from Offenbach’s opera “Orpheus in the Underworld.” Though the opera may not be familiar, there is little doubt that the music of one of the most famous tunes, in English known as the ‘Can-Can’, will be instantly recognizable. The guest artist for the concert, oboist Mitch Iimori, will perform two works: Marcello’s “Oboe Concerto in C Minor” and a Latin Samba titled “Na Lapa,” arranged by Japanese composer Watanabe. Iimori is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music who makes his home in Portland, OR where he teaches and performs a wide variety of instruments including bassoon, banjo, and erhu. According to conductor Gesme, “Mitch is one of the most talented oboe players I have ever worked with. His sound is simply divine.” The up-tempo “Footlifter March” by Fillmore and the delicate “Intermezzo Sinfonico” from Mascagni’s opera “Cavalleria Rusticana” round out the first half.

The second half will feature a single work: Robert W. Smith’s “Symphony No. 2, The Odyssey.” Based on Homer’s literary epic, the four movements of this work are designed to give the listener a sense of the adventures experienced by Odysseus, the King of Ithaca. We will hear the battle cries of the Trojan War, the songs of the Sirens who lured sailors to their deaths on the rocks, a huge storm and devastating shipwreck caused by an infuriated Poseidon, the calm of the island paradise belonging to Calypso, and Odysseus’ ultimate return to Ithaca and his beloved Penelope. Filled with a huge assortment of unusual percussion instruments, glorious brass fanfares and delightful woodwind filigree, the work is certain to inspire visions of what is often referred to as “the best story ever written.”

The concert is free of charge and tickets are not required. For additional information please contact Michael Gesme at 541-383-7516 or


Cascade Winds Fall 2016 Press Release

The Cascade Winds Symphonic Band will present its first concert of the 2016-2017 season on November 13th, 2016 at 2:00 pm in the Summit High School Auditorium. COCC music professor, Michael Gesme, will lead the ensemble in a concert that features a diverse array of wind ensemble classics, marches, and recent compositions. The four compositions on the first half will commence with a work by one of the band world’s foremost living composers, Belgian born, Jan Van der Roost. His Olympica: Festival Overture for Band is a showpiece for the entire band, which, from beginning to end, is a burst of joyous musical color. Drawing on the vivid musical heritage of his Jewish roots, composer Adam Gorb has created a serious tongue-in-cheek composition, Eine Kleine Yiddishe Ragmusik – a curious synthesis of Scott Joplin ragtime and Jewish folk song, subtly conveying the atmosphere of the 1930s Berlin cabaret scene. John Philip Sousa’s tribute to the Royal British Navy in with his Jack Tar March will follow. This rollicking nautical march has a quaint musical surprise in the trio section where the British sea shanty “The Sailor’s Hornpipe” makes a cameo appearance along with ship’s bells and whistles. Rounding out the first half is a work featuring the energetic music of Jerry Bock arranged by Ira Hearshen, the Symphonic Dances from “Fiddler on the Roof.” Highlighted dances include “Tradition,” “The Bottle Dance,” and “To Life.”

After intermission the Cascade Winds will perform Alfred Reed’s A Little Concert Suite for Winds, a brief work with four delightfully contrasting movements: a regal court procession, a hushed and melancholy Siciliana, a bubbling Scherzo and a rollicking and festive Gigue. A trip through Yosemite National Park inspired the next work, Yosemite Autumn by Mark Camphouse. The composition begins and ends with the peace and tranquility that marks sunrise and sunset each day in the park, while the middle is filled with the excitement and variety that is symbolic of the daytime action. The concert concludes with a classic band composition: the American Civil War Fantasy for Band by Jerry H. Bilik. The work is a collection of American folk songs, such as “Dixie,” “Camptown Races,” “The Yellow Rose of Texas” and “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” cleverly woven together to tell the story of the buildup to the Civil War, the war itself and its aftermath. The work is at times, tender, haunting, jaunty, horrific and, ultimately, hopeful.

The concert is free of charge and tickets are not required. For additional information please contact Michael Gesme at 541-383-7516 or

Spring Concert 2016 Press Release

The Cascade Winds Symphonic Band, under the direction Michael Gesme, will present their annual spring concert on Sunday, May 22, 2016, at 2:00pm in the Summit High School Auditorium. The concert is free, but donations are gratefully accepted.

The season finale will open with driving rhythmic intensity as the sounds of Ron Nelson’s Homage to Perotin fill the hall. Though inspired by the music of a twelfth-century composer, Nelson’s use of the colors made possible by the concert band instrumentation are decidedly from the twentieth century. A much more subdued work follows: A Northern Legend by Alfred Reed. Though not overtly stated, this composition is perhaps best described as musical tone poem evoking the boundlessness of nature utilizing hints of Native American music. Two additional works will appear on the first half: John Philip Sousa’s Corcoran Cadets March, a work that Frederick Fennell described as one of Sousa’s most “rhythmically neat, texturally clean, harmonically and melodically satisfying marches,” and Puszta, by Jan Van der Roost. Typical of gypsy music, the dances in this last work feature the abrupt alternation of mood and constantly fluctuating tempos.

The second half opens with Samuel Hazo’s hauntingly beautiful Fantasy on a Japanese Folk Song. The composition tells the story of a Japanese girl who is given a music box by her mother and father when she is a child. As her life evolves, including a marriage to an American who takes her away from Japan, she is filled with inner conflict about her place in the world, and she returns again and again to the music box to feel close to her culture. The final work of the 2015-2016 Cascade Winds season will be Igor Stravinsky’s Suite from The Firebird. From its first performance in 1910, The Firebird made ballet history and placed Stravinsky at the forefront of contemporary composers. The suite is a compressed version of the ballet’s story, and the music is exceptionally precise in describing the action: from a wavering melodic line that is suggestive of the dark and mysterious forest, to the cries of the Firebird and the dips and curves of the enchanted creature in flight, to the horrendous evil gyrations of the monster Kashchei and his demons, to the lullaby which the Firebird sings to lull the monsters to sleep. The composition ends in a burst of brilliance as the demons disappear and there is unrestrained rejoicing.