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Kansas Wesleyan University

Kansas Wesleyan University’s Department of Music will kick off the holiday season with a combined Jazz Ensemble and Wind Ensemble concert on Tuesday, Nov. 30 at 7:30 p.m. The concert will take place in Sams Chapel. The event is free and open to the public.

The night will include performances by the Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Steve Lueth, the Wind Ensemble, conducted by Chair of the Music Department and Director of Bands, Dr. James McAllister, as well as a piece conducted by Associate Director of Bands, Chris Miertschin.

The culmination of this concert will be the world premiere of a piece by KWU Jazz Ensemble director Steve Lueth, entitled “Christmas Divertimenti.” This piece features several holiday selections and is written for the combined forces of both the Jazz and Wind Ensembles.

“I was trying to choose between a few different works to close out our concert, and it occurred to me that we have a world-class arranger on faculty, so I asked Steve if he was willing to put something together for our performance,” Dr. McAllister said. “Fortunately, he agreed, and the end result is a piece that won’t be heard anywhere else this holiday season!”

The creation of “Christmas Divertimenti” provided a learning experience, too.

“Our students have had the experience of seeing how a composer and conductor collaborate together to create a new piece of music,” Dr. McAllister said. “Participation in the natural give and take that happens during rehearsal, and seeing the end result, is an education unto itself.”