Friday, October 10, 2008


STONY BROOK, NY, – The Stony Brook University Marching Band has been invited to perform at Carnegie Hall on Friday, October 24, 2008 accompanying the internationally renowned Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Leonard Bernstein’s Mass. The band will perform Mass again on Saturday October 25, 2008 at the United Palace Theater in Manhattan. “Performing at Carnegie Hall is a once in a lifetime opportunity and our students are excited and honored by this invitation. It is great for the university, great for the Athletic Bands program and will be a wonderful experience for our students,” said John Leddy, Director of Athletic Bands. “It’s something they will remember for the rest of their lives.” An American icon, Leonard Bernstein wrote his most eclectic work Mass: A Theatre Piece for Singers, Players and Dancers for the 1971 opening of the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington DC. Though 37 years have passed since its debut, many believe that the spiritual and political messages of Bernstein's Mass are as relevant as ever. This monumental work candidly explores what Bernstein called "the crisis of faith" in our time and mixes classical music with a wide range of musical idioms: Broadway, opera, blues, rock, even a marching band; in this performance, the Stony Brook University Marching Band. When writing about the premier of Mass, a reviewer at wrote, “[the audience] is said to have sat silent for three minutes after the composer's voice shuddered across the seats from a quad system [to conclude the performance]: 'The Mass is ended. Go in peace.' They then gave it a 30-minute standing ovation." The performances of Mass are a centerpiece to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s 2008-2009 season and a tribute Bernstein’s enduring legacy. The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is internationally recognized as having achieved a preeminent place among the world's most important orchestras. Acclaimed for its uncompromising pursuit of artistic excellence, the Baltimore Symphony has attracted a devoted national and international following while maintaining deep commitment to innovative education and community outreach initiatives. The symphony is lead by Maestra Marin Alsop, the Orchestra's 12th music director. She is the first woman to head a major American orchestra. “The invitation to perform in Carnegie Hall and alongside the internationally recognized and renowned Baltimore Symphony Orchestra marks yet another milestone in a string of recent accomplishments by the Stony Brook University Office of Athletic Bands and speaks to the wonderful talent, commitment and hard work of our students and staff,” said Jeffrey A. Barnett, Assistant Dean of Students. The Office of Athletic Bands was founded in 2006 and consists of several ensembles including a marching band, pep band, color guard, and drum-line. Just as Stony Brook has come “so far, so fast,” so, too, has the band into a Stony Brook mainstay, growing quickly from a courageous corps of 17 students at the first band camp in 2006 to 70 members in the 2007-2008 season. The band this year boasts a corps of 110 on-field members in just its third year. In just two year’s time, the athletic band has entrenched itself in the hearts of the Stony Brook community and become the spirit of Stony Brook. The program has been recognized as the official band for the New York Arena Football Dragons (which donated $25,000 to start a scholarship program for the band), performed at the Nassau Coliseum and at the NY State Capitol Building; performs at all NCAA Division I Stony Brook Seawolves home football and basketball games, campus and community charity events; featured on the cover of the LI Life section of Newsday;, and, released a studio recorded album titled “Hey.” The program continues to grow by leaps and bounds. “This band first performed together less than two years ago at Homecoming 2006,” said Dr. Jerrold L. Stein, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, “To be invited to perform on one of the greatest musical stages in the world – and to have accomplished all that they have in this short time - is a remarkable achievement.”