Concerto for Wind Ensemble was commissioned by the Michigan State University Alumni Band and dedicated to the Michigan State University Bands Director, Stanley De Rusha. The first performance was on December 3, 1982, by the Michigan State University Wind Symphony, guest-conducted by the composer, in the new Wharton Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of Michigan State University.
Divided into three movements, the Concerto for Wind Ensemble is meant to be a display of virtuoso passages given to solo instruments as well as to the groups of the ensemble. In the Fanfare of the first movement, the brass section is “concertizing” in groups of four brass quintets (2 trumpets, horn, trombone and tuba or baritone), spread from left to right in back; the saxophones (S, A, T, B) are placed in front of the brass quintets and the woodwinds occupy the front of the stage, with percussion on the left and right side.
These groups, like the brass quintets, play in the concertante manner, especially in the first and last movements. At the same time, each movement will contain individual solo passages, such as the timpani in the beginning (Drum Ceremony), the long flute solo and later English horn and other low woodwinds in the Elegy, and then numerous instruments in the third movement, the Perpetual Motion. The composition of the Concerto was prompted by the excellence of wind and percussion players today and by the incredible growth of wind ensembles, orchestras, bands in the last twenty-five years. It is intended for their enjoyment.