Not all wizards use potions and spells to entrance their audiences. Some use chamber music to make their magic! WIZARDS! offers a tour of chamber music featuring the oboe, bassoon, English horn, oboe d’amore, contra bassoon and piccolo oboe. Mark Weiger, Andrea Gullickson, S. Blake Duncan, and Greg Morton make up this quartet touted as “the World Series of double reed playing” (Iowa Hawk Eye News, Mt. Pleasant, IA).
WIZARDS! captures the imagination of young audiences and puts them “…at ease from the very first notes” (Director of Bands, Doylestown, PA) while offering “…a wise blend of humor and facts” (Director of Bands, Fairfax, VA). Their programs are celebrations of chamber music, richly diverse in repertoire spanning four centuries. WIZARDS! was recently featured as the chamber music group in residence for the educational component of the Great Music West Festival. Reviewers remarked that “The audience was ‘spellbound’ by their uniqueness and quality” (Uinta Herald, Evanston, WY), and that they offer “Marvelous music making …a dazzling performance!” (Star Valley Independent, Afton, WY) and “…an outstanding musical adventure for all” (Gazette, Montpelier, ID). Established in 1993, their tours through 16 states to include the fair cities of Chicago, Philadelphia, Kansas City, and Washington D.C. has led to the commissioning of works by such composers as Scott Miller (MN), Tedrow Perkins (OH), Greg Morton and Marilynn Etzel (IA), Steve Heineman (IL), James Chaudoir (WI), Michael Curtis (OR), Warren Gooch (MO), Terry R. Everson (KY), Phillip Schroeder (TX), and Lars Michnevich (WY), Graham Powning (Australia).
WIZARDS!, a Double Reed Consort, has developed innovative educational programs such as Reed My Mind, a mystery in which young audiences discover the keys to musical mastery and the map to creative freedom. Their Double Talk program is a fun foray into a fabulously flamboyant feast of filigree that invites audiences to explore the double reed instruments, their double reeds, and their music. Wizards! has established two three year educational residency programs
Their first CD (CRS 9460) received critical favor from Ray Still, former principal oboe with the Chicago Symphony “Fascinating, delightful and expertly put together …a great CD” and from Felix Kraus, English hornist with the Cleveland Orchestra, “The level of ensemble and purity of intonation achieved by the WIZARDS! is remarkable.” Matthew Colucci of the Philadelphia Society News writes “…an excellent CD which exhibits the many facets of double reed instruments. As an ensemble they achieved a perfect blend of instruments. They proved that the diversity of three centuries of styles can be performed equally well on double reed instruments. This is a unique recording which should be in everyone’s collection.”
Their second CD, Fantasy for Wizards! (Crystal 872) was released in January 1998 to terrific reviews. Jeff Lyman writes in the Double Reed Journal “The ambitious double reed consort Wizards! has released a collection…[that] is sure to please… It is both exotic and vituosic, and deserves to be widely-known.” The American Record Guide states “…the players produce beautiful, flavorful, colorful sounds. Each [player] is worth the demand made of your listening time… this faultless playing will not disappoint.”
Mark Weiger, Oboe, Oboe d’amore, English horn S. Blake Duncan, English horn Andrea Gullickson, Oboe, Oboe d’amore, English horn Greg Morton, Bassoon
Wizards! - Double Reeds