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Tara Winds Recognition

On June 30, 2023, Tara Winds had the pleasure of performing in France at the the Festival des Anches d'Azur in LaCroix Valmer. Read the full story in the July 2023 edition of the Georgia Music Educators Association's News of Note.

Left: the poster for the Festival des Anches d'Azur. Right: the Tara Winds on stage at the festival's opening night concert.

This summer, Tara Winds represented the United States as the first ensemble invited from Georgia, by performing at the Festival des Anches d'Azur in LaCroix Valmer. France. For 27 years, La Croix Valmer's Festival has become a musical highlight each summer in the Bay of Saint-Tropez on the French Riviera. Since 1996, more than 55 international orchestras and bands have performed in the gardens of the Villa Turquoise. This beautiful setting was reconfigured into an outdoor theater in 2011 and renamed the Forum Constantin. Tara Winds' concert on Friday evening, June 30th, was incredibly received by an audience of nearly 2,000 people. The other ensembles invited this year were from Montreal and Copenhagen and were also wonderfully appreciated by the exuberant crowds. The Festival and Mayor of LaCroix Valmer provide financial support for international ensembles to attend. Travel Gallery, Inc. and Charlie Brodie, Logistics Director for Tara Winds, made all of the arrangements for members to travel to Paris and Nice. The Festival treated the band to a boat cruise and tour of a winery in southern France.

Under the direction of Dr. Andrea Strauss, Tara Winds performed a wide variety of works. including pieces by Bizet, Fauré, Morricone, and Sousa. The band opened the Gala Concert with "Atlantic Fanfare" by Christopher Kyle Green, a talented composer from Georgia who is also a member of the band. Michael Kobito, Georgia's Teacher of the Year and Associate Conductor, conducted "March Lorraine" and "Tico Tico" and Stan Kramer, Director of Bands at Union Grove HS and Associate Conductor. lead Tara Winds on "The Symphonic Gershwin and "Moment for Morricone". Soprano soloist Amber Greer, who has been singing with Tara Winds since she was 11-years-old, sang "Skyfall" and "Georgia on My Mind", which were both crowd favorites, and another Georgia native and retired U.S. Army Band musician Dickson Grimes thrilled the crowd with a rousing presentation of the "Concerto for Clarinet" by Artie Shaw. Our Principal Oboe and a Charter Member, Rusty Wilson, was featured on "Cabriel's Oboe" by Ennio Morricone, and a longtime friend of Tara Winds and renowned composer and arranger. Dr. Sam Baltzer, met the band in France and guest conducted his setting of "New York New York". In addition to the full ensemble performing the Cala Concert, the Tara Winds Clarinet Choir performed on the beach Saturday and in the town on Sunday.

Tara Winds is an all-adult symphonic band with membership ranging from college students and first year teachers to retired music educators. The mission of the organization is to present the world's finest symphonic band music with passionate and engaging concerts at the highest level of professional standards and provide educational programs and opportunities for young aspiring musicians. "Music: Enjoyment for All Ages" is the motto of Tara Winds and to inspire the community with excellence in musical performance is the band's goal. Tara Winds has presented invitational performances for numerous regional and national music conferences. The organization has the distinction of having performed three times for the Midwest International Band & Orchestra Clinic. In 2018, Tara Winds traveled to Germany celebrating the ensemble's 30th Anniversary collaborating with the Mannheimer Blaserphilharmonie.

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