July 21, 2015, BY Molly O'Brien-Foelsch

Professor William Kenny, music, conducts the Penn Central Wind Band.
Professor William Kenny, music, conducts the Penn Central Wind Band.

The Penn Central Wind Band will give its last concert of the summer beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 25, in the Weis Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of Bucknell University. Admission is free.

The Band's conductor, Professor William Kenny, music, started the band over twenty years ago.

"I had friends and colleagues, many of whom were professional musicians and music teachers, that had not played in a band for many years. There was a lot of experience and untapped talent that I thought could make a strong foundation for a first-rate, professional-level ensemble," said Kenny.

Since then, the band has grown in numbers of players, its audiences have grown and it has expanded the styles of music it performs.

"Many people associate bands with marches, patriotic music and lighter fare, and we love to play in all those styles. But there are also so many great works by world-class composers, both new and old, that are too rarely heard. It's fun and rewarding to perform those pieces too," said Kenny.

The concert program will include a symphony composed for band by Vincent Persichetti, a set of pieces by Donald Grantham based on southern hymn tunes and a set of four pieces by different American composers that span the past century.

"One of the things I love about these concerts is that when I ask players and audience members what piece 
they liked best, I often get six or seven different answers," said Kenny.

The band has been honored by having received invitation to perform for the Pennsylvania state music teachers conference in Pittsburgh and the national meeting of the Association of Concert bands in Williamsport. It is also a recipient of the Sudler Silver Scroll awarded by the John Philip Sousa society. The award recognizes community bands that demonstrate exceptional musicianship.

"I am proud of the recognition the band has received, but for me the real reward is working with the great musicians in the band, and playing for enthusiastic audiences that still want to hear real musicians playing live 
music," said Kenny.

Bucknell sponsors the band to further enrich the arts environment of the Susquehanna Valley. Kenny is Professor of Music and Chair of the Department of Music at Bucknell.