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Madera Wind Quintet releases new album
Friends, students and colleagues are all sitting around a plasma screen, watching the Super Bowl, but just a few hours ago they were playing original melodies with each other.
The Madera Wind Quintet is a music chamber group at UNT, comprised mostly of master’s and doctorate students, professors and faculty members. There are five members, and since the founding of the group, has had many artists come and go. They recently released a CD, “Five At Play.”
Making the album has been a year-long project, beginning with a collection of pieces the quintet acquired from people on the Internet who responded to a call for scores. Members asked others to submit their compositions and works. More than 130 musicians and composers applied and five of those submissions were selected for the compilation.
“All of them were electronic submissions so it was very eco-friendly,” four-year member clarinetist Rachel Yoder said. “There are some jazz, rock and pop influences on the CD. It’s not some dead white guy classical pieces.”
This tightly knit group of individuals is not run by the university and manages their own budget, time and repertoire. All of them have previously been in other ensembles and have been playing since they were kids.
“It’s great to play chamber music because we can pick our own,” bassoonist Jorge Cruz said. “It’s nice to be in a professional group instead of a school group because we get paid sometimes. Chamber music is more intimate.”
Everyone plays a solo, whereas in an ensemble, members are one of many. Chamber groups allow for an intimate feel and the chance to play original pieces.
Unlike other chamber groups whose members pick from a list of famous classical compositions, the Madera Wind Quintet selects more modern music. They also have an interest in playing covers or for popular artists if they have the opportunity.
“The music is very colorful,” Yoder said. “In the wind quintet each instrument has a very different sound, opposed to a string quartet where each instrument blends in a similar way. We like to emphasize that with the pieces that we choose.”
Angela Winter, a doctorate horn player and original Madera member, has been playing since she was a child. She also earned her master’s degree at UNT.
Her instrument, formerly called a French horn, is the only instrument that is allowed in both woodwind and brass quintets, she said.
“We don’t really play kiddy music,” Winter said. “We introduce people to real chamber music. Chamber music is a large part of what I do.”
Listen to previous performances on their YouTube channel.