Indiana Wind Symphony concert to feature piano soloist


The Indiana Wind Symphony will feature a mix of old and new numbers in its 2023-24 season opener.

“Great Classics and Exciting New Sounds” is set for 6:30 p.m. Oct.1 at the Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel. Sarah Loisch is the featured guest as piano soloist.

“Sarah is a wonderful concert pianist from Chicago,” IWS Music Director Charles Conrad said.

Loisch will play Camille Saint-Saëns “Piano Concerto No. 2 in G-Major, Op. 22” in the final performance of the first half of the show.

“This will be the first time to our knowledge that it’s ever been performed by a concert band with a piano soloist for this piece,” Conrad said. “It’s normally done with a symphony orchestra. The arrangement for a concert band was done by one of our members, Larry Purdue, our principal horn.”

This is Loisch’s first appearance with the IWS, but Conrad has heard her perform in other concerts.

The IWS will perform “Flying Jewels” by composer James David for the first time as the concert’s finale.

“It’s just a magnificent, exhilarating work,” Conrad said.

“Flying Jewels” was the 2022 Revelli Award winner as the outstanding new concert band composition of the year. Revelli awards are given by the National Band Association.

“There are no hummingbirds in Europe and the Europeans were just amazed by seeing these tiny birds, which flew around so fast because none had ever seen them before,” Conrad said. “So, the term flying jewel was their term for the hummingbirds.”

Conrad said the concert features songs from years ending in 23.

The concert will open with a 2023 piece with “Fanfare for Earthrealm,” inspired by the video game series “Mortal Kombat.”

That is followed by John Philip Sousa’s march from 1923.

“Then we have a slow, tender piece by African American composer Florence Price,” Conrad said of “The Old Boatman.” “A lot of her music was discovered years after her death (in 1953), and this is one of those. She really has (had) a renaissance of late. We’re rediscovering the quality of her music.”

There are three more pieces from 1923, and two are marches by Indiana composers, Fred Jewell and Ralph B. Eisenberg, and a song, “Sea Songs,” by Ralph Vaughan Williams.

IWS will perform “The Bicycle Shoppe” by Lisa DeSpain. It’s about the Wright brothers’ shop while building their first airplane.

Bill Schmidt, an IWS tuba member, will guest conduct two pieces.

For more, visit