Pentagon Winds perform at the University of Portland

By Luke Riela
The Beacon, newspaper of The University of Portland

News story photo
Photo credit: The U.S. Army Field Band
As part of the Field Band’s continuing educational outreach program, the Pentagon Winds presents chamber music clinics at professional venues across the nation.
The United States Army Field Band’s Pentagon Winds hosted a recital at the University of Portland, Jan. 27, in the Buckley Center Auditorium.

"Since they're an Army ensemble, people think they're going to be playing marches," Michael Connolly, a professor of performing and fine arts, said.

However, this isn't the case. According to Master Sgt. Alan White, horn player and head of the quintet, the classical music will not be what most students are used to.

"I try to find pieces that aren't necessarily the most well known, but really well written," White said.

Connolly thinks a small ensemble like The Pentagon Winds will have a much different feel than that of a larger performance.

"It's somewhat of a discussion among the five players," he said. "You can watch every player and see how they play."

According to Connolly, with such a small performance, each member contributes a necessary component.

"When you have five players, they all have to be really good and have to be independent," Connolly said.

The quintet represents The Army Field Band Educational Outreach Program.

"As part of this outreach program, one of our aims is to let students know of the many opportunities in the United States Army," White said.

The Pentagon Winds woodwind quintet was originally formed in 1989 as part of the Field Band's College Clinic Team. This ensemble, reestablished as the Pentagon Winds in 1999, performs in colleges and universities throughout the nation. In addition to recital performances, its members present master classes on their individual instruments and offer coaching in ensemble playing techniques.

* This article originally appeared in The Beacon, the student newspaper of The University of Portland in Portland, OR.

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