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Barry Kilpatrick
American Record Guide, January 2016

Paul Dooley’s 8-minute Point Blank is the terrific, high-energy opener. …Steve Danyew’s 2-movement, 15-minute Lauda (2009) has a beautiful I (‘Montis Dei’) that starts with deep and sonorous chords under little utterances by piano, harp, and wind chimes. …Scott McAllister’s 7-minute ‘Gone’ (2012), an extract from his Epic Concerto for clarinet, is also deeply sonorous and expresses his feelings when an auto accident ended his playing career. And then there is Jennifer Higdon’s kaleidoscopic, 23-minute Percussion Concerto (2009), in one continuous movement, full of the aforementioned sonority and given an outstanding performance by soloist Ben Stiers… © 2016 American Record Guide




Dan Morgan
MusicWeb International, August 2015

Higdon’s single-movement concerto brims with good, ear-pricking ideas, and Ben Stiers is wonderfully adept throughout.

Terrific pieces, supremely well played; the recording is first class, too. © 2015 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Stuart Sillitoe
MusicWeb International, June 2015

…the Illinois State University Wind Symphony under the direction of Daniel A. Belongia, are excellent. The recorded sound is excellent. The helpful acoustic capturing every nuance. © 2015 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Lynn René Bayley
Fanfare, May 2015

…the Illinois State Wind Symphony…were asked to play an extremely wide variety of music utilizing a wide and at times baffling array of instrumental and compositional techniques, and they came through in each and every piece with flying colors. They got into the spirit of each and every work, making this one of the most interesting “wind band” CDs I’ve ever heard. It is my great pleasure to bestow on them a 10-star rating for their musicianship and feeling. They are something special as, overall, is this disc. © 2015 Fanfare Read complete review



Adrian Edwards
Gramophone, April 2015

America’s proud performance tradition of music played by wind band is enhanced on [this album], featuring the large Illinois State University Wind Symphony. © 2015 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



David Denton
David's Review Corner, February 2015

Three American composers born in the second half of the Twentieth Century, and working in a modern version of tonality so as to create instantly pleasing scores. On the international scene the name of Jennifer Higdon will be the only one instantly known, her Percussion Concerto written to a commission from Philadelphia, Dallas and Indianapolis orchestras, is here performed in a 2009 arrangement for soloist and wind band. It is a highly active score in three linked movements, the central slow movement having a quite rapid undercurrent. Certainly more modern in concept than the other works on this disc, there are inclinations towards atonality, the outer movements being high on impact. Steve Danyew’s two movement work, Lauda, opens in the world of Mahler, then moves into Wagner, into which he has mixed a little French Impressionism. We visit Holst at the opening of the second movement and end with the hymn tune Praise my Soul the King of Heaven. All very pleasing, and much contrasting with Roy David Magnuson’s Innsmouth, Massachusetts—1927 a horror story piece only completed in time for this recording made in 2013. Typical Hollywood scary material very effectively scored.  Then in another change of mood we have Scott McAllister’s meditative Gone, the idea reflecting the accident that brought his career as a clarinettist to a close. The playing of the Illinois State University Wind Symphony is assured, highly coloured and replete in youthful vigour. © 2015 David’s Review Corner





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