Baylor Wind Ensemble, Clarinetist Julian Bliss Release Album 'Divine Mischief'

February 2, 2024
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The Baylor Wind Ensemble is directed by J. Eric Wilson, D.M.A., director of bands and professor of ensembles and conducting.

Today the Baylor Wind Ensemble and prominent clarinetist Julian Bliss release Divine Mischief on the Signum Classics label, available on all streaming platforms. Conducted by Director of Bands J. Eric Wilson, D.M.A., the album features two new commissions: the title concerto, Divine Mischief, by John Mackey, and Zhou Tian’s Sinfonia. It also includes Morton Gould’s Derivations for Clarinet and Band.

The Baylor Wind Ensemble releases Divine Mischief before embarking on a regional tour that launches Sunday, February 3, at Baylor’s Jones Concert Hall and culminates at the Lila Cockrell Theater in San Antonio, TX, on Thursday, February 8. Visit the Baylor School of Music events calendar and see the bottom of this release for tour dates and information.

“Personally, being a part of this project represents a microcosm of the gratefulness I feel being at Baylor University. Collaborating with our remarkable students and colleagues has been a tremendous blessing for nearly 20 years. Specifically, this recording project was quite a labor of love and a massive undertaking from beginning to end and involved forces both internal and external to Baylor. Nevertheless, the final product is something of which we will forever be proud, and I am deeply appreciative of the opportunity to offer this music to the world.”

The Baylor Wind Ensemble was a commissioning consortium member for Divine Mischief and Sinfonia, and the album represents the “world-premiere” commercial recording of those pieces.

“This recording of Divine Mischief by the Baylor Wind Ensemble represents the first wind ensemble to be released on the Signum label,” Wilson said. “It is truly a historic day for Baylor University and the School of Music!” Signum Records is a leading British independent label, specializing in classical music. Signum boasts a catalogue of over 700 titles and continues to release 40-plus new recordings each year. It was awarded Label of the Year in the Gramophone Awards (2017) and has also reached a milestone 500 million streams for its recordings.

Bliss, Mackey and Tian, have served as visiting artists with the School of Music, and Wilson says they each played a significant role in bringing this project to life.

“This project involved a true ‘family’ of collaborators,” Wilson said. “First and foremost, the students of the Baylor Wind Ensemble were absolute professionals and several faculty and staff contributed in significant ways. On this album, we recorded two works featuring the world-renowned Julian Bliss, and highlighted the music of two of the most relevant living composers, Zhou Tian and John Mackey. Furthermore, we had the pleasure of working with a Grammy Award-winning producer, Elaine Martone, and engineer Ben Maas, who recorded and mastered such brilliant music.”

The Baylor Wind Ensemble is the premier wind band of the Baylor University School of Music and has been praised as “one of the flagship programs in the nation.” Performances at previous state and national conferences in the country were characterized as “nothing short of spectacular” and “representing the best in wind band performance.”

Out of 76 musicians, 57 are undergraduate students—a highly rare percentage for such a highly acclaimed university ensemble. In more than five decades of existence, the Baylor Wind Ensemble is guided by a philosophy that seeks to educate and expose its students and audiences to the highest quality music written or arranged for wind band representing a diversity of musical styles and historical periods.


February 4—Waco, TX 
Jones Concert Hall, 7:30 p.m.

February 5—Georgetown, TX
Rodney A. & Mary Klett Center for the Performing Arts, 7:30 p.m.

February 6—Cedar Park, TX 
South Performing Arts Center, 7 p.m.

February 8—San Antonio, TX
Lila Cockrell Theater, 4 p.m.

Celebrating more than 100 years of musical excellence, the Baylor University School of Music provides transformational experiences that prepare students for careers in music. Students thrive in a Christian environment characterized by a nurturing resident faculty, an unwavering pursuit of musical excellence, a global perspective, dedication to service and devotion to faith. They investigate the rich musical and cultural heritage of the past, develop superior musical skills and knowledge in the present, and explore and create new modes of musical expression for the future. While preparing for future leadership roles, students join with School of Music faculty in enhancing the quality of community life, enriching the larger culture and making Baylor a place in which heart, mind and soul coalesce. Baylor’s School of Music is a member of the National Association of Schools of Music and the Texas Association of Music Schools. Degree programs include bachelor’s and master’s degrees in performance, music education and academic majors, as well as doctoral degrees in church music. Degrees leading to the Bachelor of Music Education conform to certification requirements of the Texas Education Agency. Visit the School of Music website to learn more.