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Marquee Mojo

"Thomas Leslie makes consistently good recordings with his University

 of Nevada, Las Vegas Wind Orchestra—this is at least the seventh such

  to pass my way, and his band sounds terrific.  The program is some-

   thing of a hodgepodge, but the film and theater music seem to the

     main theme.


        The Suite from Bernstein’s On The Waterfront (arranged by Guy

         Duker) is the big piece, and Frederic Stone’s excellent horn solo

          sets the tone for a reading marked by dramatic moments, secure

           solos, fine intonation, and ensemble precision.  Jerry Goldsmith’s music from the historical drama               Wind and The Lion (arranged by Michael Davis, 1975) has power and sweep, intimate moments,                   and virtuoso lines that are handled very impressively by clarinets, trumpets and saxophones.


                The very familiar music from Arthur Sullivan’s Mikado—four movements arranged for band by                   David Irish—is given a wonderful, technically precise reading.  Bruce Broughton’s Overture                        from Silverado, arranged by J. Morsch, sounds suitably spectacular.  And while it’s not from a                      film, the Overture to Mozart’s Magic Flute (arranged for band by Teresa Stewart) sounds                             great, with beautifully blended chords and lively playing.


                        In a different vein is Anthony LaBounty’s setting of the hymn How Deep The Father’s                                   Love For Us.  LaBounty, UNLV’s Assistant Director of Bands, composed the work in                                    memory of his colleague Leslie’s father.  The program opens with a Ron Nelson                                             barnburner, Fanfare for the Hour of the Sunrise, and ends with Karl King’s wild Barnum                              and Bailey’s Favorite March.


                               Recent recordings make the case that the quality of many American university wind                                     ensembles is improving by leaps and bounds.  I am hearing, in recordings like this                                        one, sounds and skills that were once the sole province of only the best                                                           conservatories."  - American Record Guide, September/October, 2011

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