Southeastern Wind Symphony starts the fall semester with a theme of firsts

Interim Director of Bands Derek Stoughton is the instructor for The Southeastern Wind Symphony, which is preparing for their upcoming concert. File Photo/The Lion’s Roar

Under the direction of Derek Stoughton, the associate director of bands and the director of athletic bands, the Southeastern Wind Symphony prepares for their first performance of the Fall 2017 semester.

“Wind symphony is a collection of the finest woodwind, brass and percussion players here at Southeastern Louisiana University,” said Stoughton. “We all come together and perform in a concert setting and perform repertoire spanning about 450 years’ worth of time period. Basically, it’s just a collection of the finest woodwind, percussion, brass players all assembled together in one room in one ensemble.”

The concert will take place Thursday, Sept. 28 at 7:30 p.m. in the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts. Tickets will be $10 for adults and $5 for university faculty and staff, senior citizens and non-university students. University students get in free with a student ID.




The first concert titled “There’s a First Time for Everything,” features three pieces of music spanning the last 115 years. Stoughton shares his expectations for the  program.

“The theme here is first: first suite, first essay, first symphony,” said Stoughton. “It’s gonna be a terrific program, and we’re very, very excited to perform it.”

Stoughton enjoys being able to work with the Southeastern Wind Symphony. He shares what advantages he discovered in working with student musicians. 

“Getting to make music with my colleagues and my friends,” said Stoughton. “These students give me all that they have every single day, and to get to make music of this high caliber with such wonderful musicians, is such a joy. It’s my hope that when we all leave from rehearsal every day, we all have grown as people, as musicians and that we just feel better about the world in general, about the gift that music brings to the world every day.”

“There’s a First Time for Everything” features music from Gustav Holst, Samuel Barber and Andrew Boss. Stoughton hopes that the audience will enjoy the variety of music that will be presented to them.

“I think they can look forward to the wide variety of repertoire that will be covered,” said Stoughton. “There’s really something for everybody in this. The whole suite has a beautiful melody in the beginning, but the third movement ends in a lively march, which is fun for everybody involved. The Boss symphony has moments of absolute elation in some of the chords, and it ends with a powerful organ chord that we’re simulating with our synthesizer. So, there’s gonna be a big powerful organ chord that leads to a loud ending. You need to be emotionally invested to get through this, but you’re gonna leave feeling pretty great about the power of music and what it can do.”

For anybody unable to attend the concert, the Southeastern Wind Symphony will be live streaming it on their Facebook page: Southeastern Wind Symphony. Stoughton encourages the community to watch the concert to provide a relief from daily responsibilities. 

“It’s great art that’s being produced, and there’s just something about witnessing great art and great music that just makes us more human,” said Stoughton. “So, I think if you want to just get away from the daily grind of studying for a night, just come on up. The concert’s only gonna last for an hour, so you don’t have to come out all night or something like that.”