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Charles River

Wind Ensemble

2022 – 2023 Season


• December 11, 2022 — Breaking Tradition!

• March 19, 2023 — Mystic Wonder

• June 4, 2023 — Winds of the East

All concerts are Sundays at 3 PM

at 300 Hammond Pond Parkway


Musicians! We are seeking candidates who play  oboe/English horn or percussion. For more information, learn how to join us.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Newton Cultural Council for our program of June 4, 2023.

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Newton Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.


Our second concert of the 2022 - 2023 season features works that investigate fantasy, wonder, and imagination.

The program opens with Incantation and Dance (1963) by John Barnes Chance. While clearly representing an older style of wind band instrumentation, the work is ahead of its time, using elements of bitonality to create “a sound world mystically removed from itself.” The ethereal sound of flutes in the lowest register yields to a sustained bitonal chord as fast-tempo percussion ushers in brass calls and rhythmic thematic material, culminating in an exciting dance.

Dream Machine by Katherine Bergman (2016) completely changes the mood. Soft repetitions and alternations create hypnotic, mystical sensations, just as artist Brion Gysin's “Dreammachine” phonograph-driven stroboscope, “the first art object to be seen with the eyes closed,” is intended to affect the viewer's brain alpha wave activity. Is the dream machine the physical object, or is it within our brains?

Another complete contrast follows as composer Rolf Rudin re-creates Nemeton, the place of the cultic rituals of the Druids, and their spiritual world. After a bold introduction with long-held chords, sizzling trills, and percussion emphasis, we enter a mysterious forest clearing where we hear bird calls and the hymns of pre-Christian rituals as the Druids mediate between the old gods and the human world. Composed in 1993.

Christopher Theofanidis, well known for many orchestral compositions, approached a commission to write for winds in 2005 as an opportunity to create a novel idea of sustained sound, as if music were played in a large space, building the reverberation into the scoring. He writes that the title for this work [I wander the world in a dream of my own making] is a reference to the compositional process. Writing a piece of music is like creating a dream that you want to have. The feeling that pervades the work is one of a sense of mystery, and this sentiment is primarily conveyed through the harmonies and orchestration.

Our program closes with the 2012 rich symphonic setting of the history and myths of the Zenú indigenous people of northern South America. Composer Victoriano Valencia R. writes The Zenúes stood out for the construction of a complex system of irrigation canals for their crops that worked for nearly two thousand years, until the arrival of the Spanish in 1500. The Suite is built in four movements that recount the processes of meeting races and cultures that occurred throughout the American continent. The work seeks to represent landscapes of the Sinú River region and painful scenes of the Spanish conquest process that overwhelmed the native culture. This masterful sound-painting firmly emphasizes the composer's standing in a great tradition of Latin- and South American composers of music that represents rich cultural history.


Ingolf Dahl: Sinfonietta (1961)

Julian Work: Autumn Walk (1958)

David Maslanka: A Child’s Garden of Dreams (1981)

The Charles River Wind Ensemble begins the season with a concert of works well ahead of the traditions of “band music.” In 1960 few works were explicitly designed for the wind ensemble – notable exceptions include H. Owen Reed’s La Fiesta Mexicana (1950), Paul Hindemith’s Symphony in B-flat (1951), and Vincent Persichetti’s Symphony No. 6 (1956), all of which have been featured on earlier CRWE programs.

Ingolf Dahl’s Sinfonietta of about 20 minutes’ duration has a traditional three-movement layout (1. Introduction and Rondo; 2. Pastoral Nocturne; 3. Dance Variations). Although the composer uses modern harmonies and techniques, the constant strong melodic content and references to “traditional” band-like music (such as marches and waltzes) make the work easy for audiences to enjoy. Ranging from chamber-like scoring with just a few instruments to the full ensemble, the work shows humor and lightness throughout, including a jazzy obligato for the entire clarinet section!

Julian Work was one of the first African-American composers to write music for radio and television. Calm, beautiful Autumn Walk (about 8 minutes) is unusual for early band works because of its slow tempo, quiet dynamic levels, and impressionistic transparency. At times the full ensemble expresses lush chords with close harmonies, while at other times only a few voices are heard. The entire cinematic-sounding work never rises above a mezzo-forte.

David Maslanka can truly be called a giant of wind composition. His works range from sonatas to full-length symphonies, the latter being unusual for wind bands as noted above. A Child’s Garden of Dreams (about 35 minutes) draws on five excerpts from Carl Jung’s Man and His Symbols. Maslanka has written:

All composition begins below the unconscious level, and then flows up to the conscious. That is why dreams are so vitally important to pay attention to — they are an outward manifestation of messages from the inner self and provide the composer with a unique source for musical creativity.

As with so much of Maslanka’s music, the five movements present enormous contrasts, cover a complete dynamic range, and make extensive use of every sonic resource of the modern wind ensemble.


Boston’s Premier Community Wind Ensemble

The Charles River Wind Ensemble (CRWE) is the premiere community wind ensemble of the Greater Boston metropolitan area dedicated to the performance of classical and contemporary repertoire originally conceived for winds and percussion.  Our members are chosen through selective audition and represent a wide-variety of professions, backgrounds and ages.

Support CRWE


Donations from our patrons are vital for CRWE to continue.  CRWE is a 501(c)(3) organization (tax ID 04-3490372). Your tax-deductible donation can help us continue to bring music to the community.
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