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World Premiere of Kamran Ince's A Grand American Celebration

Sep. 01, 2019

World Premiere of Kamran Ince's <em>A Grand American Celebration</em>

On September 28, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Peck School of the Arts will mark the grand opening of the Jan Serr Studio with the world premiere performane of Kamran Ince's A Grand American Celebration by the UW-Milwaukee Peck School of the Arts Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. John Climer. The work was written in 2019 and commissioned by the University to celebrate the opening of the new Jan Serr Studio, and to celebrate Jan Serr and John Shannon, passionate artists and unrelenting patrons of the arts and education. The composer notes:

"In addition to the full compliment of a wind ensemble, alto saxophone and Bb trumpet are given solo roles in the work. However, members of the wind ensemble are equally soloistic at times. 

The wind ensemble is a quintessential American “orchestra”, if one is permitted to say that. It is a very important part of the musical education at American middle schools, high schools and universities. It is much more common than a regular orchestra. It has all the instruments, if not more, of what the regular orchestra has except for the strings. But by using multiple wind instruments on some parts, the wind ensemble is able to achieve string-like sounds as well. It is a great sonic force made up of winds, brasses and percussion. With an inherent “positive, extrovert” sound, qualities that are identified around the world as the overwhelming characteristic of a good part of various American art, the wind ensemble is perhaps as American as doughnuts and hamburgers.

I was thinking all the above as I was writing this work. I really wanted to celebrate Jan and John in it. The work at times is very ceremonial. In contrast to many of my works, I did not want the energy to subside quickly, but to continue often with one peak after another. Part of this is not easily letting go of the pulse, whether it is in the rhythm or the beat. Of course, I cannot completely abandon what I am pulled to and what I yearn for in my DNA. So, there are some placid times, and some introspective moments. As a part of my vocabulary, the material is often presented with a duality present in it. I feel this adds debt to the material, helps frame it and distinguish it. 

Ultimately this is a celebration and a fast, fervent ride. It has a really big sound, so brace yourself!"

Listen to Kamran Ince's Flight Box (2001) for chamber ensemble:
(Flight Box/Kamran Ince/Present Music Ensemble/Kevin Stalheim, conductor)

To learn more about Kamran Ince, visit:

Kamran Ince
A Grand American Celebration (2019)
for wind ensemble, alto saxophone, and trumpet in