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Lifestyles

IVCC Wind Ensemble performance set for May 5

Montgomery to retire after 30 years as conductor

IVCC Wind Ensemble conductor and part-time music instructor Gene Montgomery will be retiring shortly after his final performance with the group during their IVCC concert on May 5.
IVCC Wind Ensemble conductor and part-time music instructor Gene Montgomery will be retiring shortly after his final performance with the group during their IVCC concert on May 5.

OGLESBY — Illinois Valley Community College’s Wind Ensemble will be in concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 5, in the Dr. Mary Margaret Weeg Cultural Centre.

The performance will include “Manhattan Beach March” and “The Fairest of the Fair” by John Philip Sousa/Frederick Fennel; “Poet and Peasant Overture” by Franz von Suppe/Kenneth Singleton; “Eternal Father, Strong to Save” by Claude T. Smith; “Incantation and Dance” by John Barnes Chance; “Danse Celestiale” by Robert Sheldon; and “Folk Festival” from the motion picture “The Gadfly,” by Dmitri Shostakovich/Donald Hunsberger.

It will be conducted by Gene Montgomery and the ensemble includes IVCC students, local and regional music educators, and community members dedicated to the promotion of quality wind and percussion music.

The concert is also a farewell to Montgomery, who retires May 18 after more than 30 years with IVCC.

In his retirement letter, he recalled, “It was approximately 29 or 30 years ago that I was sitting in the office of Dr. Sam Rogal, dean of what was then the Humanities/Fine Arts Division. We were lamenting the fact there had been a several year hiatus of having an instrumental performing group at IVCC, and he asked me if I knew of anyone capable of re-instating the ensemble. Although I was still a full-time public school instrumental and choral teacher, I quickly answered that I would be more than happy to accept the challenge,” Montgomery wrote. “Since that time, the IVCC Wind Ensemble has been widely respected among music educators in Illinois.”

Robyn Schiffman, dean of Humanities, Fine Arts and Social Sciences, said: “Gene has grown the Wind Ensemble over the years to represent the best of community and student musicians. He has brought a level of class and sophistication to the musical choices and performances. His dedication will be missed and very hard to replace.”

The concert is free, and the public is invited to attend.

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