Stephen F. Austin State University

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SFA bands concert features guest composer

October 14, 2008 - Sylvia Bierschenk
Composer John Mackey will spend two days at Stephen F. Austin State University, teaching and working with SFA music students. He will also be present at the SFA Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band's joint concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22, in W.M. Turner Auditorium, which will feature three of his compositions.

NACOGDOCHES, TEXAS - Award-winning composer John Mackey will be present for the SFA Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band's concert featuring his work at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 21 in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.

"An Evening with John Mackey" will include Mackey's "Undertow," performed by the Symphonic Band under the direction of SFA Assistant Director of Bands Brett A. Richardson and "Clocking," presented by the Wind Symphony under the direction of SFA Associate Director of Bands David W. Campo.

Under the direction of SFA Assistant Professor Scott Harris, the SFA Percussion Ensemble and clarinetist Christopher Ayer, SFA associate professor, will perform Mackey's "Damn," the piece used by the U.S. Men's Synchronized Swim Team during its bronze medal-winning performance at the 2004 Olympics.

Mackey will be spending two days on the SFA campus as a composer-in-residence, guest lecturing for the School of Music and visiting with the SFA composition students.

"We are excited about presenting John's music to East Texas and about the opportunities John's visit provides for our students," said Richardson.

Mackey holds a Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music. His works have been performed throughout Italy, Chile, Japan, Colombia, Austria, Brazil, Germany, England, Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

For the past few years, he has focused primarily on writing music for symphonic winds and dance, receiving commissions from the Parsons Dance Company, New York City Ballet's Choreographic Institute, Alvin Ailey Dance Company, American Bandmasters Association and the Dallas Wind Symphony, to name a few.

He has held college residencies at Florida State University, University of Michigan, Ohio State University, University of Southern California and University of Texas. He also served as the music director of the Parsons Dance Company from 1999 to 2003.

In addition to Mackey's music, the Symphonic Band will also perform works by Karl King and Ralph Vaughan Williams. The Wind Symphony will present music by John Barnes Chance and Clifton Williams, and Fred J. Allen, SFA director of bands, will guest conduct Richard Strauss' "Allerseelen."

The concert is a joint presentation of the SFA College of Fine Arts and School of Music. W.M. Turner Auditorium is located in the Griffith Fine Arts Building, 2222 Alumni Dr.

Tickets are $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and $2 for students. For tickets or more information, please visit www.sfasu.edu/finearts or call (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS.