This is the second in a series of music plugs. I'd originally planned on making Brahms the second post, and I'll still get around to him, but I've recently played a couple of really powerful pieces by two modern wind ensemble composers, David Maslanka and Mark Camphouse, and felt that both of them deserved some more attention.
The biggest problem with good wind ensemble literature is that if you're not in a top amateur group you tend to not be exposed to it. Wind ensembles always play second fiddle to orchestras (if you'll pardon the pun). They don't have the same dynamic and color range. Nobody uses them for movie soundtracks. But they can produce a bolder and in some ways more masculine sound than their stringed cousins - at least that's how Sousa characterized the difference. And the two men I'm going to feature today use that difference to create some really unique sounds.