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The faculty woodwind quintet: Alan Taplin, Kaycee Ware-Thomas, Andrew Sprung, Jaimie Wagner, and Cindy Duda. Stacey Jones-Gar­rison | Courtesy

The Hillsdale College Faculty Woodwind Quintet will perform Nov. 12 at 7:00 p.m. in Conrad Recital Hall.

The quintet will feature five adjunct instructors of music: Jaimie Wagner (flute), Kaycee Ware-Thomas (oboe), Andrew Sprung (clarinet), Cynthia Duda-Pant (bassoon), and Al Taplin (horn).

James Holleman, pro­fessor and music department chairman, said this quintet is unique because they are a pro­fes­sional group that rehearses on a weekly basis and per­forms every semester.

“The idea of that is to serve as an example to the stu­dents they teach and to also get them even more con­nected to the department,” Holleman said, “so instead of just showing up and teaching, they also have a pro­fes­sional, aes­thetic, artistic outlook here, which is pretty unique of schools.”

Holleman said there has not been any per­sonnel change within the quintet over the past five years. This will be their fifth year per­forming together, and Holleman said that con­sis­tency has been nice.

“One the things that’s really beau­tiful about that is a lot of small schools have a real rotation in their adjunct faculty,” Holleman said. “We’ve had very con­sistent adjunct faculty because they are such a core part of our department, and they’re so con­nected in our department.”

Ware-Thomas said she is glad the ensemble has been able to rehearse with one another over the past five years.

“It’s been good for all of us to build that friendship because we all work together at the college,” Ware-Thomas said, “and working together that long, we play much better together, and we know each other’s ten­dencies.”

Sprung said it is often dif­ficult for ensembles to learn each player’s style in a short period of time, saying the con­sis­tency of players has allowed the quintet to develop cohe­siveness, which has proved to be helpful for per­for­mances.

“We’ve explored most of the standard reper­toire together,” Sprung said.

Sprung said this program will feature works by Malcolm Arnold, Darius Milhaud, Walter Piston, and Paul Taffanel. He said most woodwind quintet pieces have been written from 1900 onwards, but the per­for­mance will feature a wide variety of music in terms of style.

“We have one piece from 1876, that sounds very much dif­ferent from the most recent piece that was written in 1956,” Sprung said. “They are very obvious styl­istic dif­fer­ences.”

He also said the pieces will differ in length.

“We have large pieces that are more absolute music in nature, meaning music for its own sake,” Sprung said, “and then we have shorter pieces depicting spe­cific char­acters, scenes as well. It’s a fair amount of variety, more so than you might expect just looking at the surface.”

Ware-Thomas said she looks forward to the per­for­mance and hopes many people will come to hear the standard reper­toire of a woodwind quintet ensemble.

“Most of the reper­toire are pieces the stu­dents could play,” Ware-Thomas said. “It’s good for them to hear it so they can play it.”

  • Alexan­derYp­si­lantis

    It must be a chal­lenge to find musical pieces for a French horn, oboe, clarinet, flute and bassoon. I’d like to hear some of their orches­tra­tions, do they post any­thing to YouTube?