The Western Wind Ensemble To Present 50th Anniversary Gala Performance

By Nicole Kuchta

The Western Wind Ensemble will present “O Western Wind…,” its 50th Anniversary Gala Performance, on Mar. 23, 2019 at Merkin Hall. The Gala will honor founding member and countertenor William Zukof’s dedication to the company. Zukof will step down from his singing role later this year.

Current members of the vocal sextet include sopranos Linda Lee Jones and Gayla D. Morgan, Zukof, tenors Todd Frizzell and David Vanderwal, and baritone Elliot Z. Levine. The group will be joined by violinist Patricia Davis.

The program will include highlights ranging across the company’s fifty year history, plus a new work by Levine. According to the press release, the ensemble’s repertoire includes everything from “Renaissance motets to Fifties rock ’n’ roll, from medieval carols to Duke Ellington, from complex works by avant-garde composers to the simplest folk melodies.” The Gala will feature works performed during the group’s earliest concerts, early American music from its 1973 Grammy-nominated album, songs from its Judaica series, arrangements of songs by Duke Ellington and Rogers and Hart, and works written for the ensemble from the 70’s to today. 

A reception will follow.