We were so excited to welcome WindSync back to our stage for the first time since our first-season opening-night! Their program, subtitled Gardens and Galaxies, features the world-premiere commission of a new wind quintet by GRAMMY-nominated flutist/composer Nathalie Joachim. Akshaya Avril Tucker’s “Hold Sacred” was written in the midst of pandemic and features a blend of abstracted raga-inspired fragments that swirl through unusual harmonies and (hopefully) invite a meditation on whatever is most soothing to the listener. WindSync commissioned Mellits in 2019 to write Apollo, a piece commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing. Apollo comprises seven short movements that present a kaleidoscopic view, from the famous phrase “One small step…” to the geography of the moon, the mythology behind cosmic bodies, and scenes from the composer’s own childhood. The musical style of Uruguayan-American composer Miguel del Aguila combines drama, driving rhythms, and nostalgic nods to his South American roots. About his Quinteto Sinfónico (symphonic quintet), the composer writes: “My inspiration was a technique often used by Andean folk ensembles where wind instruments share and continue each other’s melodies, making them sound as if played by only one performer. Cooperation is more important than showcasing the talent of each individual separately. This turns the music into a spontaneous dialogue.” The three movements of the quintet are: Giocoso, a humorous Latin dance, Misterioso, which evokes a warm summer night, and Luminous, a bright fanfare.
WindSync has established itself as a vibrant chamber ensemble performing wind quintet masterworks, adapting beloved music to their instrumentation, and championing new works by today’s composers. The quintet eliminates the "fourth wall" between musicians and audience by often performing from memory, creating an intimate connection. This personal performance style, combined with the ensemble’s three-pronged mission of artistry, education, and community-building, lends WindSync its reputation as ”a group of virtuosos who are also wonderful people, too" (Alison Young, Classical MPR).
WindSync launched an international touring career after winning the 2012 Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition and the 2016 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. In 2015, the quintet was invited by the Library of Congress to perform the world premiere of Paul Lansky’s “The Long and the Short of it,” commissioned by the Carolyn Royall Just Fund and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Other premieres include “The Cosmos,” a concerto for wind quintet and orchestra by Pulitzer finalist Michael Gilbertson, and works by Ivan Trevino, John Steinmetz, Marc Mellits, Erberk Eryilmaz, and Akshaya Avril Tucker. Forthcoming commissions include new works for wind quintet by Mason Bynes, Viet Cuong, and Nathalie Joachim.
WindSync’s thematic programming responds to the people and places where they work. In Houston, they curate a 4-concert season and present the Onstage Offstage Chamber Music Festival each April, spotlighting everyday public spaces as gathering places for culture. In Louisiana’s Opelousas cultural district, WindSync was a pilot ensemble of Sound Places, a year-long project exploring the possibilities of creative placemaking through music led by Chamber Music America with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. The ensemble's educational work includes tour stops at public schools and ongoing collaborations with the Sistema Ravinia and Houston Youth Symphony Coda social music programs.