Stephen F. Austin State University

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SFA bands to perform works by Percy Grainger

November 24, 2009 - Sylvia Bierschenk

NACOGDOCHES, TEXAS - The Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band of Stephen F. Austin State University will present a joint concert celebrating the music of Australian-born composer Percy Grainger at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 1, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.

Grainger was a prolific composer, and many of his compositions are considered as standard repertoire for the wind band, explained David W. Campo, SFA associate director of bands and the Wind Symphony's conductor. "Our joint program will include some of his best known and beloved works."

Campo will guest conduct the Symphonic Band in its performance of "I'm Seventeen Come Sunday" and then hand the baton to Brett A. Richardson, SFA assistant director of bands, to conduct "Down Longford Way" and "The Immovable Do."

The latter is a prime example of Grainger's talent as a master orchestrator for winds, said Richardson, the Symphonic Band's conductor. "One interesting fact about the piece is that while all the melodies and motives are being performed, a concert C pitch (or the fixed 'do') is passed around the band from piccolo all the way down to tuba. It truly creates an interesting sound."

For the Wind Symphony's portion of the program, Richardson will guest conduct "Handel in the Strand." Campo will then conduct "Irish Tune from County Derry," which is based on a popular Irish folk song that also serves as the basis for the Irish ballad "Danny Boy."

Campo will also conduct "Lincolnshire Posy," a six-movement piece based on folk songs the composer collected in Lincolnshire, England.

"Considered to be Grainger's masterwork for wind bands, 'Lincolnshire Posy' is a musical tour de force that features all the sections of the band," Campo said.

The concert is a joint presentation of the SFA College of Fine Arts and School of Music. Tickets are $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and $2 for students. For tickets or more information, please visit www.finearts.sfasu.edu or call (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS.