Indiana State University Newsroom

ISU Ensemble Releases CDs for Klavier Wind Project

April 25, 2006

Philharmonia A Vent, an Indiana State University ensemble, has released two recordings in less than one year for internationally-known Klavier Music Productions.

The ensemble, co-founded by conductor John Boyd and internationally-acclaimed conductor Frederick Fennell, combines the British band tradition with the American town band and the distinct 20th Century American orchestral wind/percussion sound.

"Ghosts," recorded in ISU's Tilson Auditorium in August 2004, features Richard Rodney Bennett's "Morning Music," "Ghosts" by Stephen McNeff, Gustav Holst's "Capriccio," and "L'Homme Arme Variations" by Christhoper Marshall.

"Laude," featuring the music of influential educator, conductor and composer Howard Hanson, was recorded June 2005. In addition to its title track, listeners can enjoy "Chorale and Alleluia," "Dies Natalis," "Centennial March" and "Merry Mount Suite," a tribute to Fennell, who passed away in December 2004.

"Merry Mount," Hanson's only opera, was rearranged by Boyd in 1998 in honor of Fennell's 85th birthday. Boyd's version of the opera had its world premiere by the ISU Symphonic Wind Ensemble under the direction of Fennell.

The ensemble's recording sessions provide area students with a unique learning opportunity. Students from area high schools and Vincennes University have observed the recording process from the control room in the Tirey Hall basement.

"Many students don't avail themselves to this opportunity, but a select few do," Boyd said.

One ISU student gained experience not by observing, but by participating. Keith Sorrels garnered valuable professional experience, by playing on both recordings. Although he had performed in many concerts and recitals, this was a totally different setting.

"Participating in the recordings was very different from a normal concert performance. It was at times intimidating because I was trying to play perfectly for each take," he said.

Sorrels, a senior music major invited to participate by Boyd, enjoyed working with the group of seasoned professionals and educators.

"It's always exciting to perform with really great musicians," he added.

When it was all over, Sorrels said he learned the importance of being able to play with confidence, precision, and musicality at all times, as well as the ability to do so repeatedly.

Philharmonia A Vent is a professional ensemble in residence at ISU. It consists of woodwind, brass and percussion players from surrounding universities, University of Missouri, the Terre Haute Symphony and central Indiana.

ISU music department faculty members Paul Bro, Joyce Wilson, Randy Mitchell, William Denton, Chad Roseland, Sarah Burk, Brian Kilp, Jimmy Finnie, Daniel Kelley and Alex Lapins serve as the ensemble's nucleus.

"Some of them have played with us from the ensemble's very beginnings," Boyd said. Other players have traveled from as far away as Missouri, Florida, and North Dakota.

"They come because they enjoy playing with a group of this caliber," he added. Boyd says the rave reviews received by the two releases are a reflection of not only the musicians but ISU as well.

"It's just one example of the high level of work the faculty is doing. By garnering national and international attention, Indiana State University is now being considered a place where serious music is done," he said.

The two current releases were made possible through grants and funding by ISU.

Both works, "Ghosts" and "Laude" are available from Klavier Music Productions (


Contact: John Boyd, director of Bands, (812) 237-2752 or

Writer: Paula Meyer, Communications & Marketing, (812) 237-3783,