Wilkes University


Wilkes University Civic Band Concert on April 27 Features Guest Conductor Bruce Yurko and Premiere of Eugene Magalif Composition

The Wilkes University Civic Band will present a concert on Wednesday, April 27, at 7:30 p.m. in the Dorothy Dickson Darte Center for the Performing Arts. The concert, conducted by Phillip G. Simon, will feature guest composer and conductor, Bruce Yurko.

Yurko will conduct his original composition, “Night Dances No. 2,” commissioned by Matthew Wieseman and the West Perry High School Band for the 2014 Anniversary Celebration of the high school.

Other pieces on the concert include “Exultate” by Samuel R. Hazo, “Persuasion” by Sammy Nestico, featuring alto saxophone soloist Tom Fadden,  “Dances of the Royal Court” by Eugene Magalif,  “Four Maryland Songs” by Jack Stamp, featuring soprano soloist, Martina Barna, and “Give Us This Day” by David Maslanka.

Eugene Magalif transcribed his “Dances of the Royal Court” for the Wilkes Civic Band, and they will perform the world premiere of all five movements in the concert. Magalif will attend the performance and also play the piano part to one of the movements of his piece.

Yurko received his bachelor of science in music education from Wilkes College and his master's degree in performance from the Ithaca College School of Music. Yurko was the conductor of the wind ensemble, orchestra and chamber music program at Cherry Hill High School East in Cherry Hill, N.J. The Cherry Hill East Wind Ensemble was invited to tour the Soviet Union performing concerts in Moscow, Leningrad, and Tallinn, Estonia.

The Wind Ensemble and Orchestra have also performed in Carnegie Hall and Verizon Hall, home of the Philadelphia Orchestra. The National Band Association awarded Yurko and the Cherry Hill High School East Wind Ensemble the “Citation of Excellence Award.” Yurko was also presented with the “Distinguished Leadership and Service Award” from the New Jersey Music Educators Association.

Yurko is on the faculty at both Messiah College, teaching composition and music education, and Rowan University, teaching composition and directing the University Wind Ensemble.

The Wilkes University Civic Band, directed by Dr. Philip Simon, is a wind and percussion ensemble comprising Wilkes University student musicians and local adult and student musicians from the community. Membership is by audition. The ensemble performs at least two formal concerts per year and plays at the University’s spring commencement. The Civic Band recently performed a highly successful concert at the spring conference of the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association.  They were selected from among 132 groups who submitted recordings for consideration, and the selection committee chose three college level ensembles from across the state.

About Wilkes University:

Wilkes University is an independent institution of higher education dedicated to academic and intellectual excellence through mentoring in the liberal arts, sciences, and professional programs. Founded in 1933, the university is on a mission to create one of the great small universities, offering all of the programs, activities, and opportunities of a large, research university in the intimate, caring, and mentoring environment of a small, liberal arts college, at a cost that is increasingly competitive with public universities. The Economist named Wilkes 25th in the nation for the value of its education for graduates. In addition to 41 undergraduate majors,Wilkes offers the doctor of nursing practice, doctor of education and doctor of pharmacy degrees and more than a dozen master’s degree programs, including the master of business administration and master of fine arts in creative writing. Learn more at www.wilkes.edu