Bands Reach for the Stars at UCF Celebrates the Arts Festival

Bands Reach for the Stars at UCF Celebrates the Arts Festival

For UCF senior Emily Judd, the upcoming UCF Celebrates the Arts 2015 festival is a perfect opportunity to put the spotlight on her two interests: music and engineering.

Judd, principal horn player for the UCF Wind Ensemble, is working on degrees in both music performance and aerospace engineering – and will be part of the April 10-15 festival with her group at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.

“Both areas are definitely important to humanity,” she said. “The arts for the cultural side of life and the engineering side for day-to-day living and stretching the boundaries as we know them.”

The UCF Wind Ensemble and UCF Symphonic Band will be featured April 12 in the week-long festival of artistic presentations by university students and faculty members. The events will showcase studio art, music, theatre, dance, gaming, animation, photography and film all in one venue for the first time.  

The bands’ 3 p.m. program is called Light & Space, and will include stellar songs in keeping with the theme of the festival’s opening night music and narrative of “Icarus at the Edge of Time.”

“Because Icarus starts with the space idea and Kate Mulgrew, we figured we’d continue the theme through the weekend,” said Wind Ensemble director Scott C. Tobias. Mulgrew portrayed Capt. Katharyn Janeway in the Star Trek: Voyager TV series and will provide live narration for the Icarus fable.

The 50-member Symphonic Band, under the direction of conductor Ryan Kelly, will begin the Light & Space performance with “light” offerings ranging from “Luminescence” by David Biedenbender to “Aurora Awakes” by John Mackey.

The 51-member Wind Ensemble, under the baton of Tobias, will focus on “space” songs, such as the classical “Jupiter” from Gustav Holst’s “The Planets” to a contemporary “Star Wars” trilogy by John Williams and Donald Hunsberger.

Judd, a member of the university’s Students for the Exploration and Development of Space, offered to bring some of the club’s previously launched rockets – some as tall as 10 feet – to add some out-of-this-world atmosphere to the Disney Theater stage at the Dr. Phillips Center.

“We do a lot of rocketry projects, so I have a lot of access to rockets,” she said.  

Tobias, also UCF’s director of bands and an assistant professor of music, wants to draw from all Central Floridians to hear the performance, but especially would like students in high school band programs to attend so they can see what they can achieve at UCF.

“This is a great opportunity for us to reach out to the community,” Judd said, “and to show that besides such a strong engineering and STEM field [Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics] at UCF, we’re very talented in the arts as well.”

All events to UCF Celebrates the Arts 2015 are free, but tickets are required for many of the programs. The April 10-15 festival will feature studio art, music, theatre, dance, gaming, animation, photography and film at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, 445 S. Magnolia Ave., Orlando. Visit http://arts.cah.ucf.edu/ for more information, tickets and updated scheduling.