Orchestra to honor Pres. Welty at Los Angeles festival June 18

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Orchestra to honor Pres. Welty at Los Angeles festival June 18

The Fresno State Wind Orchestra will dedicate its performance at the 7th Annual Los Angeles International Music Festival on Tuesday, June 18, to outgoing Fresno State President Dr. John D. Welty in honor of “his unyielding support.”

The 65-member ensemble will perform at 7 p.m. in the Walt Disney Concert Hall at 111 South Grand Ave. in downtown Los Angeles. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster and at the Walt Disney Concert Hall box office.

Gary Gilroy, Fresno State’s director of bands, said an example of President Welty’s support for student musicians was the creation of the Marching Band Steering Committee in 1992, when Fresno State was not able to field a marching band upon entering the Western Athletic Conference.

Gilroy noted that the president would annually host the entire band at his residence (the University House), attend band banquets and often visit the band in the stands to thank them for their efforts.

“He was truly a hands-on president, one who the students knew and recognized,” Gilroy said.  “He interacted with the students on their level — extremely rare for a man in his position.”

Ex-band member Kristen Palas, a 2010 music major alumna originally from Fresno who is now director of bands at Ceres High School, agreed.

“We are lucky to have had a president who has always shown support for the Music department and our marching band,” said Palas, who played the flute in the orchestra.

Dr. John Welty

During Dr. Welty’s 22-year tenure that ends with his retirement July 31, the Department of Music band program has performed concerts in Carnegie Hall in New York City and Chicago’s Orchestra Hall as well as venues throughout England and China.

The Los Angeles International Music Festival features a wide range of music ensembles from California, Hawaii, Singapore and Thailand for a week of performances and workshops culminating with Tuesday’s finale performances at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

The Fresno State Wind Orchestra will perform in the evening “Showcase” concert, which also features Siam Sinfonietta from Thailand.

Ensemble soloists who will be featured at the Showcase include Sharon Rogers, a senior soprano from Corpus Christi, Texas; Kyle Baldwin, a sophomore alto saxophone music major from Clovis; Emily Wallace, a freshman pianist music major from Merced; and Cactus Samuel Harris, a senior organist from Paso Robles.

Dr. Teresa Beaman, professor of flute, will be featured as a soloist with the group performing Cecil Chaminade’s “Concertino for Flute and Band.”

For more information, contact Gilroy at garygi@csufresno.edu or 559.278.2489.

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University Communications student news assistant Juana Mosqueda contributed to this report.