Most people are well familiar with Claude Debussy’s Clair de Lune, even if they don’t recognize the name at first.

The famous piano piece has been featured in countless movies and other mediums.

However, what’s going to be different about this piece performed at this week’s concert is that it’ll be performed by woodwind instruments.

That’ll be one of the things attendees can expect at the West Texas Wind Quintet’s final concert of the 2021-22 season.

The performance will take place at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Wagner Brown Auditorium at Midland College.

“Normally we hear Clair de Lune as a piano piece,” Wind Quintet member and bassoonist Philip Hill said. “I don’t think I’ve ever heard any other arrangement except for its original transcription for piano. When I first saw that, I was a little skeptical but then when we played it through, I thought ‘this is a really good arrangement’. So we’ve played through it a couple of times now and I think it sounds almost like the piano part and I don’t mean that to sound boastful but I mean that to boast about how good the arrangement is. Just the way that it lays on all five of our instruments and the way the melodies come out. I think the arrangement is good because of the way each of the parts is distributed through the five wind instruments. It makes the different parts of the piece come out or stay within the texture really well.”

Along with Hill, other Wind Quintet members include Caryn Crutchfield on oboe, Chris Chance on clarinet, Lyndsay Eiben at flute and Sonja K. Millichamp at horn.

As the resident woodwind quintet of the Midland-Odessa Symphony and Chorale, the West Texas Winds have been active throughout the year, presenting audiences with performances full of energy and refinement.

The concert will also include pianist Shari Santorelli who will be a guest for the performance this week.

“Normally we play as a quintet, that is our five wind players and we occasionally like to have other musicians play with us so this is not the first time that we’re doing something like this where we have a guest artist play with us,” Hill said. “It’s really great to have Shari with us because she’s been with the community for a long time and a lot of sponsors and patrons and regular audience members know who she is. She’s a really great musician so it’s really exciting to collaborate with her.”

Crutchfield also talked about the excitement of having Santorelli perform along with the quintet.

“I’ve been friends and a colleague of Shari Santorelli forever,” Crutchfield said. “She’s one of the first people I met when I came to Midland and we’ve been in the symphony for a long time so I’m just looking forward to performing with her again.”

In addition to Clair de Lune, the other music that will be performed includes Sextuor by Francis Poulenc and Sextet in C minor, Op. 40 by Louise Farrenc.

“The music is really fun,” Crutchfield said. “The Farrenc is a new piece for me so I’m excited to play a piece that I’m not familiar with. The Poulenc is a great piece too.”

Most people in music have heard of Poulenc but Hill said that Farrenc is one of the lesser-known composers who deserve recognition.

“A lot of people haven’t heard of Farrenc so when I found this piece, I thought it was really great and couldn’t believe that I had never heard of it or even the composer,” Hill said. “So I shared it with the rest of the group and we all had our way of voting for which pieces we liked and disliked and this one was unanimously voted to play with Shari.”

The two pieces contrast each other.

“The Poulenc piece is bubbly and happy,” Hill said. “It’s just a really extraverted, flamboyant piece. And then the Farrenc is more like Beethoven. It’s more gloomy, dark and stormy, kind of like how some of Beethoven’s music might have sounded.”

In addition to performing two full-scale recitals a year, the quintet also performs at educational concerts, informal luncheon recitals at the ClayDesta atrium and other public and private engagements.

They’ve played in different venues this year including the Rea-Greathouse Recital Hall at the Wagner Noël.

“The chamber ensemble has been in different areas which is normal,” Crutchfield said. “The caveat to this performance is that we needed a piano. Midland College, we’ve performed there before and it’s a really nice auditorium.”

If you go

  • What: West Texas Winds recital.
  • When: 7:30 p.m. April 30.
  • Where: Wagner Brown Auditorium, Midland.
  • Where to purchase tickets: