Wind Ensemble Concert to Feature Hassan ’20 as Soloist

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— Illinois Wesleyan University’s Wind Ensemble will present its final concert of the year featuring soloist Shireen Hassan ‘20 (of Savoy, Illinois), on Friday, April 6 at 7:30 p.m. The concert will take place in Second Presbyterian Church (404 N. Prairie St., Bloomington) and is free and open to the public.

The winner of the 2018 Wind Ensemble Concerto Competition, an annual competition for current members of the IWU Wind Ensemble, Hassan will perform Paul Creston's Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Band at Friday’s concert.

“Aside from the fact that the piece is beautiful and fun to listen to and play, it displays the wide range of virtuosic and technical abilities the soloist must have,” said Hassan, a double major in business administration and instrumental performance. “The piece is quite a workout, but I can say that learning the piece has been one of the most rewarding experiences for me as a performer.”

A member of multiple music ensembles and organizations on campus, including the IWU Jazz Ensemble, Orchestra, Titan Band, and Sigma Alpha Iota, the International Music Fraternity, Hassan said this will be her first time performing as a soloist with an ensemble.

“I am most excited to share the piece that I have been working on all school year with my friends, family and other audience members,” she said.

The Wind Ensemble will also perform pieces by a variety of composers, including Walter Piston, Frank Ticheli and Leonard Bernstein, in addition to accompanying Hassan’s solo.

Conducted by Visiting Assistant Professor in the School of Music Music Lev Ivanov, the Wind Ensemble is comprised of the top wind and percussion students at Illinois Wesleyan. The group performs the finest wind band literature and is the winner of The American Prize in Band Performance 2016-17. The group also tours regularly and has appeared at performances for the College Band Directors National Association Conference and the Illinois Music Educators Association Conference.

By Vi Kakares ‘20