MURRAY - Two instrumental ensembles from the Murray State University Department of Music were selected to perform at the 2021 virtual conference of the Kentucky Music Educators Association to be held Feb. 14-20. The Wind Ensemble, conducted by Dr. Trae Blanco and the Saxophone Choir, conducted by Prof. Scott Erickson, submitted recordings from past live performances in the late spring and were selected by a committee from the organization through a blind selection process, competing against other collegiate ensembles from around the state.
Due to the pandemic, the conference is being presented virtually, so instead of performing live at the conference held in Louisville, the ensembles will pre-record their performances for a later broadcast.
The Wind Ensemble is composed of 56 players of woodwind, brass, percussion, string bass and piano. Their performance will take place Tuesday, Feb. 16, with conductor Dr. Trae Blaco, who serves as director of bands where he teaches courses in conducting, in addition to conducting the university orchestra and wind ensemble. Dr. Blanco is in his third year at Murray State. The Wind Ensemble also features guest artist, Dr. Amy McCann, Asst. Prof. of clarinet. Dr. McCann is a sought after soloist and orchestral player, having played with ensembles including U.S. Air Force Heritage of America Band, LaCrosse Symphony Orchestra, Wheeling Symphony, Johnstown Symphony and the West Virginia Symphony. Dr. McCann is a sponsored artist and reed making specialist with Precision Reed Products, the maker of the Reedual single reed machine.
The Saxophone Choir is composed of 10 players, all of them at junior standing in music or younger. Their performance will take place Wednesday Feb. 17. Their conductor, Prof. Scott Erickson, teaches oboe, bassoon and saxophone, woodwind methods and woodwind chamber ensembles. He is in his 36th year at Murray State, and will retire at the end of the semester.