By Dawn M Chiossi
With a credo of bringing music to the people and people to music, the Hanover Wind Symphony Orchestra is celebrating its 35th anniversary.
Unique in their construction, wind symphonies are made up exclusively of woodwind, brass and percussion instruments. The Hanover Wind Symphony also holds another honor; they are one of the few outstanding community-based adult wind bands in New Jersey.
Founded in 1985, the Hanover Wind Symphony was literally born out of the spirit of the community. Starting out as a university band at the Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Florham/Madison campus, the Hanover Wind Symphony transformed itself into a community band when the university’s music department closed.
With talent and a belief that music fills the soul, heart and brain, the Hanover Wind Symphony had a deep desire to share it with others.
According to William Trusheim, Chairman of the Board, and proud trumpet player in the ensemble, the members of the Hanover Wind Symphony are more than just a band or even a gaggle of friends; they are a family under the fabric of notes and harmonies.
He explains that the prime reason for this is the dedication and commitment that everyone puts into the band. Filled with approximately 65 to 70 diverse members, they share a love of music and a desire to excel. “We are different than other community bands. With us, you don’t see members treating it as just an outlet or an afterthought. Our musicians give their best.” Trusheim points to their recent February concert as a perfect example. “Every five years, Hanover Wind Symphony celebrates an anniversary, but this year it was extra special. Nine of our charter members attended this anniversary. That’s unheard of in a community band,” he enthuses.
He relates that a spot on the Hanover Wind Symphony is so coveted, that there is a waiting list for aspiring musicians to join.
The 35th Anniversary Concert was an emotional one. “The opening and closing of the show were definite highlights,” Trusheim praises. “We opened the show with the Athletic Festival March by Prokofiev–the same exact number that we debuted in our first concert in 1985. Closing the show, we debuted a new piece from a local composer, Peter Sciaino, entitled ‘Sound Paints the Sky.’ Peter created it specifically for this concert. “
He shares that Sciaino was inspired by the Native American legend of “The Indian Paintbrush”. In this story, a young artist desires to paint an awe inspiring sunset that regularly fills his sky but he does not have the colors to do so. One day he sees a vision of his tribal predecessors telling him to use his talents to serve his people and he will accomplish great things. “Peter was so inspired by its themes of creativity and sharing that he translated the legend into music and compared it to the Hanover Wind Symphony itself. Playing it was so moving.” Trusheim relates.
Sharing their gift of music throughout the years, the Hanover Wind Symphony has become a wonderful community source for live music. Developing an attitude of gratitude, this nonprofit seeks to give back to others and pay it forward. From children’s concerts to high schools, free concerts as a gift back to the town twice a year, and their annual church fundraiser at Christmas, the Hanover Wind Symphony has not only entertained but also inspires young people to continue playing long after their formal schooling has ended.
Playing in and around greater Morris County for more than a quarter of a century, the Hanover Wind Symphony is extremely excited about their concerts coming up including their outreach concert with Parsippany Hills High School, the popular summer gazebo series at Memorial Junior School in Whippany, and the gazebo concert at Ginty Field.
For Trusheim, his musical journey has been all about the symbiotic relationship that the Hanover Wind Symphony family has with the audience; and he is having the time of his life. “Ever since I’ve retired, I’ve wanted to go back to my roots playing music, and we have a unified desire to play music at its highest level. It’s really important to have bands play really good music and at the same time play an accessible program to engage the audience. The idea that we are giving a live performance can be rare today. The audience enjoys seeing what it’s all about.”
To learn more about the Hanover Wind Symphony or to see their schedule of upcoming performances, visit www.hanoverwinds.org.