Lowcountry Wind Symphony rehearsing

Lowcountry Wind Symphony (LWS) will present the final concert of its 2023-2024 season, entitled ‘The Gift of Love,’ under the direction of Donald F. Jemella. The program features music by Ralph Vaughan Williams, Stephen Melillo, Richard Wagner and others in tribute to those who gave of themselves to benefit humanity.

Eden Engle, violin, is the featured soloist, performing John Williams’ ‘Theme from Schindler’s List.’  Katie McAllister, mezzo soprano, will again join LWS in ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ from Les Miserables’ and ‘Over the Rainbow’ from The Wizard of Oz.


Concert Schedule:

Friday, April 26 at 7 pm

(Open to the Public)

Bluffton High School Auditorium

12 H. E. McCracken Cir.

Bluffton, SC 29910

(Please note the change of venue)


Sunday, April 28 at 4 pm

(Open to the Public)

St. John’s Lutheran Church

157 Lady’s Island Dr.

Beaufort, SC 29907


Lowcountry Wind Symphony is a concert band, made up of some 65 amateur and professional woodwind, brass, and percussion players from the greater Beaufort area. LWS will celebrate its 10th Anniversary in our upcoming 2024-2025 season.

The concerts are FREE, but donations are gratefully received.


Musical Highlights:


‘Folk Song Suite’ by Ralph Vaughan Williams is a standard work for band, and was premiered in 1923. Along with fellow

Englishman Gustav Holst, Vaughan Williams is considered one of the most significant composers of the early 20th century. The suite’s three movements incorporate folk songs from the Norfolk and Somerset regions of England and depict young love in all its phases.

Mezzo Soprano Katie McAllister returns to LWS to offer two of the best loved songs from Broadway musicals. ‘I Dreamed A


Maestro Don Jemella

Dream,’ from Les Miserables is a poignant lament sung by the character, Fantine, who has lost her factory job. Alone and on the streets, wondering how life has gone so wrong, she is thinking back to happier times.

‘Over the Rainbow’ from The Wizard of Oz, composed by Harold Arlen with lyricist Yip Harburg, was written for the film, The Wizard of Oz in 1939. The movie performance catapulted a young Judy Garland to fame and Over the Rainbow became her signature song. In 2001 it was voted the greatest song of the 20th Century. More than 80 years later the film and the song are cultural icons.

Arland D. Williams, Anthem for the Souls You’ve Never Heard is a story of heroism and sacrifice. Composer Stephen Melillo created this musical tribute piece dedicated to an American Hero. Arland Dean Williams. Jr. was a passenger aboard Air Florida Flight 90, which crashed on take-off in Washington, DC on January 13, 1982. Following the plane crash, icy roads slowed emergency vehicles from reaching the scene. Miraculously a helicopter hovered over the scene, dropping a life ring into the hands of one the survivors. One at a time, Williams was able to place the ring in the hands of five people, who were thus rescued. When the chopper returned for the last time, Williams had slipped beneath the cold waters of the Potomac and was lost. Perhaps it was just a simple act of love for his fellow human beings.

‘Theme from Schindler’s List’ is solo piece arranged for band and violin, presented by featured violinist, Eden Engle. This haunting melody is from the film, Schindler’s List, with a musical score written by John Williams, in which violinist Itzhak Perlman performed the main theme. The film tells of the rescue of a thousand Jewish refugees during the Holocaust, selfless acts of love by Oskar Schindler. Directed by Stephen Spielberg, this film has been named among the greatest films ever made, winning seven Academy Awards – one for Best Original Score.      

 ‘Good Friday Music’ from Parsifal. This three-act opera was Richard Wagner’s last composition, loosely based on a 13th– century epic poem recounting the story of Arthur and his quest for the Holy Grail. The opera was first presented at the Bayreuth Festival in Germany in 1882. It was introduced to American audiences at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in 1903. ‘Good Friday Music’ music is full of wonderful melody and profound spiritual beauty. Wagner strikes a message of hope and depicts the glory of ‘The Great Beyond’.

‘The Gift of Love’ by Stephen Melillo is taken from the two-part musical tribute to renowned Hollywood composer Erich Korngold and named simply ‘ERICH’. As a child prodigy, five-year-old Erich could play piano four-hand arrangements alongside his father and was writing original music by seven. He was born into a Jewish family in what was then Austria-Hungary.

In 1934 Korngold’s friend and film director Max Reinhardt brought him to Hollywood. He returned to Austria for a time, but in 1938 was asked by Warner Brothers to return to Hollywood and compose a score for The Adventures of Robin Hood. At that time Austria was annexed by Germany and all Jews in the area were at risk. He remained in the U.S, bringing members of his family here. He noted that composing Robin Hood had saved his life!

Mr. Melillo says, “Eric Korngold is a man I have come to love and admire…because of his music! I hear him take on the mantle of honesty and sincerity and giving. This piece . . . is a small and humble gift back to him . . . ”

Lowcountry Wind Symphony will begin its 2024-2025 Concert Season in November with rehearsals resuming in September.  New members are welcome and auditions are not required. For information about joining us or becoming involved in band support, please contact donjemella@outlook.com.

Lowcountry Wind Symphony, where together we are Exploring What’s Musically Possible.

For more information, visit www.lowcountrywindsymphony.com or email lowcountrywindsymphony@gmail.com