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Barry Kilpatrick
American Record Guide, January 2013

Donald Grantham’s Starry Crown is 11 minutes of variety, including much youthful exuberance. Steven Bryant’s Ecstatic Waters is a five-movement, 21-minute work that includes electronic sounds and many fascinating moments. Carter Pann’s ‘Hold This Boy and Listen’ is a lyrical, harmonious piece that asks everyone to make warm sounds. Fine performances.

The warm and lively readings are marked by fine solos and rich ensemble sonorities. © 2013 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide online

David Denton
David's Review Corner, September 2012

Three works written by American composers in 2008 surrounding two of the favourite works for wind ensemble by the British composer, Gordon Jacobs. His old wine comes from well-known and traditional melodies from the British side of the Atlantic dressed up in new clothes, and scored for thirteen instruments. Probably needing a more ‘tongue-in-cheek’ approach that British musicians would have introduced, the Dana Chamber Winds offer sober and beautifully played performances. But the swinging rhythms of the gospel songs from the Deep South used by Donald Grantham in Starry Crown belong to American musicians, the playing of the student ensemble, conducted by Stephen Gage, is as good as any professional group. Ecstatic Waters from Steven Bryant is in one continuous movement divided into five distinct mood changes. It is a work that relies on sonorities, and you are aware of the challenges it placed on the young musicians. At times barely audible, the score also erupts in volatile passages. Not a work that asks you to love it, but one to titillate the ear. The quiet and songful character of Cater Pann’s Hold This Boy and Listen has the feel of having come from a hymn tune and is readily accessible. The ensembles come from Youngstown State University in Ohio, the smaller Dana Chamber Winds—who play the two Jacob works—apparently drawn from the larger Wind Ensemble. As the eleven tracks have been made at differing times over the past ten years, it appears to have been an ‘in house’ series of Youngstown recordings brought together for commercial release. The sound quality…gel together remarkably well. © 2012 David’s Review Corner

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