Tag: Lawrence University Wind Ensemble

Laura Van Asten 1996-2017: Talented musician, animal lover

The Lawrence community is mourning the loss of student Laura Van Asten, who sustained fatal injuries June 30 while riding a horse. She was 20 years old.

Laura Van Asten
Laura Van Asten

A flutist from fourth grade until the middle of her junior year in high school, Laura decided to try out the trombone and trombone performance became her major at Lawrence. She was an engaged musician who enjoyed sharing her talents with others at school, church and throughout the community.

She was a member of the Lawrence University Wind Ensemble, which traveled to Minnesota this spring for a series of community outreach activities and concerts at several homeless shelters and food pantries in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.

Laura also performed with the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra and the Lawrence University Jazz Ensemble. One of her favorite gigs was subbing with the Big Band Reunion, a 17-piece jazz band that performs regularly at Frank’s Pizza Palace in downtown Appleton. She also recently performed with Wisconsin Symphonic Winds, an adult, professional quality wind ensemble based in Oshkosh, and took great delight in playing with brass groups for Easter Sunday services at a local church.

As much as music was a part of Laura’s life, animals of all kinds were her true joy and horses were her greatest love. She began learning about horsemanship as an eight-year old and soon after began riding. As a young teenager, she saved enough money so she could lease a horse one summer that she could call her own. Laura was a volunteer at BEAMING Inc., a local therapeutic horse-riding organization focused on enhancing the quality of life for people with special needs, where she started out as a as a sidewalker and more recently served as a horse handler.

Laura’s passion for horses extended to Mulberry Lane Farm, where she held a variety of responsibilities, including tour guide of the petting farm. Her favorite duty was exercising the ponies. Laura Van Asten with horse

Brian Pertl, dean of the Lawrence Conservatory of Music, described Laura as “deeply musical, passionate, intellectually curious, courageous and very funny.”

“Laura impacted the lives of everyone who knew her in such positive and long-lasting ways. We will miss her effervescent energy every day. When we return in the fall, we will celebrate Laura’s beautiful life. We extend our heartfelt condolences to her family, friends and loved ones.”

Born in Madison, Laura grew up in the Fox Valley, attending Holy Angels/Holy Spirit School in Darboy from preschool through eighth grade. She was a 2014 graduate of Appleton’s Xavier High School, where she performed in band, marching band and pit orchestra. A person proud of, and devoted to, her Catholic faith and dedicated to serving others, Laura was active in the Rock for Life Club and was able to travel throughout the country through the March for Life and Catholic Heart Work Camp. She also was very involved with the Chazoo Warriors, her parish peer ministry group.

Laura is survived by her parents, K. Michael and Betty Van Asten, Appleton, her brother Luke, Mishicot, her sister Michelle at home and her boyfriend Isaac Mayhew, a 2017 Lawrence graduate currently living in St. Paul, Minn.

She is further survived by her grandparents, Richard and Mary Sorensen, Madison, and Alois Van Asten, Wisconsin Rapids, numerous uncles and aunts and 23 cousins.

A visitation will be held Friday, July 7 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, 600 E. Kimberly Ave., Kimberly, with a prayer service at 7 p.m. A funeral liturgy will be held Saturday, July 8 at 11 a.m. Visitation will be held from 9 a.m. until the time of the Mass. Interment will follow at Holy Angels Cemetery, W2796 County Road KK, Appleton.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.”  Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

The Gift of Music: Lawrence Conservatory Offerings for Holiday Shoppers

Still looking for a holiday stocking stuffer? A pair of recently released CDs by the Lawrence University Wind Ensemble and Lawrence faculty jazz percussionist Dane Richeson will fit neatly into just about any size stocking.

Performed under the direction of conductor Andrew Mast, the 16-track Wind Ensemble disc features seven pieces performed between 2005 and 2010. It includes six world premieres from Lawrence commissions as well as the first-ever digital recording of Vincent Persichetti’s “Turn Not Thy Face.”LU-Wind-Ensemble-CD-Facebook

“This disc represents a culmination of several passions of mine – the creation and performance of new music written by amazing friends and colleagues who have all given wonderful gifts of repertoire to the wind ensemble world,” said Mast. “This disc enables me to share and celebrate these treasures.  Additionally, the inclusion of Persichetti’s  “Turn Not Thy Face,” represents the first digital recording of this work by one of my favorite composers. I truly believe there is something for everybody on these two discs and I am incredibly honored that so many people were involved with them, including students from several years of the Wind Ensemble.”

Richeson’s “Maxim Confit” features many of his friends both inside and out of the Lawrence Conservatory of Music. The nine-track jazz disc blends Richeson’s infectious drum work with the musical chops of pianist Bill Carrothers and saxophonist Jose Encarnacion, both colleagues at Lawrence, along with an array of all-star artists outside the campus, including saxophonist David Liebman, guitarist Vic Juris, and fellow percussionists Jamey Haddad (drums), Joe Locke (vibraphone/marimba), and Michael Spiro (bata/congas).

Maxim-Confit-web“It was great fun collaborating with so many great friends and colleagues in the music business on this project, some of whom I’ve worked with for years and some of whom I worked with for the first time,” said Richeson. “I’m really proud of this work. It’s raw jazz seasoned with a dash of world percussion from cultures I have been fortunate to live in. The tracks are quite different from each other, which keeps the listener wondering what to expect next.”

Both CDs — as well as several other Lawrence-affiliated recordings — are available at Lawrence Apparel and Gifts in the Warch Campus Center . They can be ordered online as well as purchased in person.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2014 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

 

 

Lawrence University Kaleidoscope Concert: A Musical Cornucopia

From Bizet to Broadway, Lawrence University’s biennial Kaleidoscope concert promises to strike at least one chord with every music lover. Showcasing the musical talents of nearly 350 Lawrence students, the third edition of the concert will be performed Saturday, Oct. 9 at 8 p.m. at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, 400 W. College Ave., Appleton.

Tickets, at $15 for adults, $10 for senior citizens and $7 for students, are available at both the Lawrence University Box Office, 920-832-6749, and the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center Box Office, 920-730-3760.

First performed in 2006, the 75-minute, non-stop musical whirlwind will feature a dozen student groups performing from all corners of the theatre, including the side balconies, main floor and upper balcony.

“Kaleidoscope is really the cornucopia of concerts. It is designed to cover a broad spectrum of musical offerings and give the audience a sampling of everything from intimate chamber music and funky jazz to musical theatre and Brazilian percussion,” said Andrew Mast, director of bands at Lawrence and the coordinator of this year’s concert.

“It will be the most ambitious thing Lawrence does musically this year and requires a lot of work on the part of our students to pull it off given in the short time they’ve been back in school,” Mast added. “But it’s a special opportunity to perform in a beautiful hall like the Performing Arts Center. I know everyone is excited about putting on a great show.”

Highlighting the concert’s repertoire will be three works with Lawrence connections, including two compositions that will have their world premiere. The Lawrence Wind Ensemble will debut “Arclight Alley,” written by 2006 Lawrence graduate David Werfelmann, while “Layaanjali,” a composition by Assistant Professor of Music Asha Srinivasan, will have its world premiere performed by the Lawrence Saxophone Ensemble. Director of Jazz Studies Fred Sturm will direct the Lawrence University Jazz Ensemble in a performance of his recent composition “Signal Fires.”

The program also includes performances by Lawrence’s new gamelan ensemble, the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra, the Lawrence Concert Choir, Cantala women’s choir, the Sambistas percussion ensemble, a string quartet, opera and musical theatre excerpts and a six-hand piano performance.

The concert’s grand finale will feature a performance of the “Jupiter Hymn” from Gustav Holst’s seminal work “The Planets” by the entire Kaleidoscope cast under the baton of Lawrence President Jill Beck.

“The fast-paced nature of the concert, with no breaks between the relatively short, but audience-accessible works along with the constantly changing staging truly makes for a unique concert experience,” said Mast. “We hope the audience enjoys listening to it as much as we enjoy performing it.”

Lawrence University gratefully acknowledges Appleton Group Wealth Management, LLC for its sponsorship of the Kaleidoscope concert and extends its deep appreciation for its generous support of this special community arts showcase.

Two Lawrence University Ensembles Selected as Featured Performers for State Music Conference

Lawrence University musicians will be exceptionally well represented as performers and composers when the 2005 Wisconsin Music Educators Association holds its annual state conference Oct. 26-29 in Madison.

The award-winning Lawrence University Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Fred Sturm, will pay tribute to some of Wisconsin’s most notable contributors to jazz with a pair of conference performances entitled “Homage to Wisconsin Jazz Composers” Oct. 26-27 at the Monona Terrace Convention Center. The Lawrence University Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Andrew Mast, will perform Friday, Oct. 28.

The 19-member Lawrence University Jazz Ensemble will be the conference’s opening day featured performer with a Wednesday evening concert and return to the stage first thing again the next morning for a second show. The two performances will feature 10 pieces each, collectively representing the work of 20 different composers and arrangers from across several important Wisconsin jazz constituencies.

Among the featured works will be four by retired state jazz education pioneers, including “Lady in Satin” by Oshkosh native and 1957 Lawrence graduate John Harmon, who founded the college’s award-winning jazz studies program in 1971; five by current Wisconsin university jazz educators, including “Nzemo Na Mvula Zamba” by Sturm and “Minor Surgery” arranged by Neenah native Marty Robinson, a 1989 Lawrence graduate now teaching at UW-Oshkosh; three Wisconsin school directors; two state natives who graduated from Wisconsin universities; three writers associated with Wisconsin jazz publishers; and three of Wisconsin’s greatest jazz stars, Woody Herman, the legendary big-band leader from Milwaukee, Lyle Mays of Wausaukee, the renowned keyboardist/composer with the Pat Metheny Group and noted contemporary jazz pianist Geoff Keezer from Eau Claire.

“This is both a great honor and a great opportunity for our students to play at the state conference,” said Sturm, whose collegiate ensembles have been cited by Downbeat magazine as America’s best eight times. “There are some terrific jazz programs in Wisconsin and we all vie for a spot on the annual conference program. We submitted some recordings last May and when I found out they offered us two programs, I could not have been more thrilled. This conference is really a wonderful way to showcase our talented student musicians to jazz educators from around the state.”

Collectively the recipient of two outstanding performance awards by Downbeat magazine as well as numerous other individual awards, the Lawrence University Jazz Ensemble has long been recognized as one of the country’s premier undergraduate jazz bands. It performs and records frequently, presenting cutting edge large ensemble literature, historically significant works, Lawrence student and faculty compositions and arrangements and accompanies visiting jazz solo artists.

Mast, in his second year as director of bands at Lawrence, will lead the Lawrence University Wind Ensemble in a four-piece concert at 11 a.m. on Friday Oct 28 at the Monona Terrace. Two of his program’s works will have strong Lawrence ties.
One piece, “My Robin is to the Greenwood Gone,” was composed by Percy Grainger and arranged by Sturm in honor of long-time Lawrence music professor Fred Schroeder, who was the director of bands at Lawrence from 1951-78.

Another piece, “Villanelle,” will feature James DeCorsey, Lawrence associate professor of music, on French horn. DeCorsey also wrote the arrangement for the Paul Dukas composition.

“‘Villanelle’ is a terrific piece originally composed as a contest piece for the Paris Conservatory, so it has moments of both beauty and fire,” said Mast, who was director of Bands at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa, before joining the Lawrence faculty in 2004. “And the 1998 arrangement of ‘My Robin,’ is a gorgeous and loving setting of this piece that happens to have two great Lawrence connections.”

The 55-member Lawrence University Wind Ensemble is selected from the top wind and percussion students in the Lawrence Conservatory of Music and regularly performs five to seven concerts throughout the academic year, frequently with guest soloists, conductors and composers. Their latest recording, “Air Mosaic” was released in the spring of 2005.