John Peel, Irene Gerlinger Swindells professor of musicJohn Peel, Irene Gerlinger Swindells professor of music

Grant Linsell, director and conductor of the Wind Ensemble at Willamette UniversityGrant Linsell, director and conductor of the Wind Ensemble at Willamette University

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"Winds of Change" concert showcases wide spectrum of 20th century music

When many of his contemporaries were aligned with expressionism, composer Igor Stravinski charted a different course. To him, good music wasn’t a window into the soul. It was just good music.

“It’s the beginning of a period for Stravinski we call neo-classical,” says Grant Linsell, who conducts and directs the Wind Ensemble at Willamette University. “On their first hearing, listeners can get something interesting out of it. It’s very straight forward, with clear melodies and clear organization.”

A sampling of this music will be played during Willamette’s “Winds of Change” concert Friday in Rogers Music Center’s Hudson Concert Hall. The event, beginning at 7:30 p.m., will feature a broad spectrum of music from the early and late 20th century, including neo-classic Stravinski with the Octet from 1923, the neo-romantic Variazioni concertanti from 1987 by composer-in-residence John Peel and the post-modern, minimalist Chamber Symphony by John Adams from 1993.

“New music seems scary to a lot of people because we associate the term ‘new’ with ‘randomness,’” Linsell says. “But here, we have a concert of three very different pieces of music all written in the last 100 years. They are compelling. They are beautiful. And they are intellectually interesting.”

The sounds of the piano, violin and cello will be highlighted during the performances, and Adams’ work, inspired by Road Runner cartoons and the Schoenberg First Chamber Symphony, promises to be both energetic and humorous.

The orchestra is comprised of faculty artists and some of the region’s finest symphonic and chamber musicians. Linsell is the guest conductor.

Suggested donations of $8 for adults and $5 for students will be collected at the door. Willamette faculty, staff and students with I.D. get in free.

For more information, contact the Willamette University Music Department at 503-370-6255, e-mail Diane Trevett at or check out the concert's Facebook page.