This December, the Colorado Mesa University Wind Symphony presents the world premiere of a newly commissioned work by guest composer Paul Dooley.

This special event is coming to the Robinson Theatre at the Moss Performing Arts Center on Friday, December 6, at 7:30 p.m. According to a press release from CMU's Department of Music:

The new piece, titled The Spellbook, is a sonic tale inspired by Dooley's larger orchestral work, The Conductor’s Spellbook, which is a narrated symphonic story that is a cross between Peter and the Wolf and Harry Potter. The Spellbook opens with the haunting sounds of the lowest clarinet instruments and contra bassoon, and winds its way through an exciting story told through contemporary harmonies and intense chromaticism.

The world premiere is part of CMU's Best of the West Music Festival. The event is possible due to the generous support of Karen Combs, and brings in three guest conductors, a guest artist and a composer-in-residence each year.

According to the CMU press release, the guest artist for Best of the West 2019 is Joe Burgstaller, trumpet professor at Arizona State University and former member of the Canadian Brass. Burgstaller will perform a recital Thursday, December 5 in the Moss Center's Love Recital Hall at 7:30 p.m.

How does the Best of the West festival involve students? Over 260 high school students will be in attendance at the three day festival and will be placed in three bands conducted by guest conductors Emily Moss of California State University – Los Angeles, Katie Zdanowski of Montezuma-Cortez High School, and Mike Perez of Kinard Middle School.

The high school bands will perform a concert at 3pm on Saturday, December 7 in the Robinson Theatre. That concert will be free and open to the public. For more information regarding the Best of the West festival, check out the CMU website.

Over the years, I've attended several performances during the Best of the West festival. They are always fantastic. The world premiere of commissioned works are particularly exciting. Don't miss the opportunity to be on hand when a CMU ensemble debuts a new composition.

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