Stephen F. Austin State University

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SFA Wind Ensemble offers 'surround sound' with 'Circus Maximus'

April 17, 2012 - Sylvia Bierschenk
NACOGDOCHES, TEXAS - Fred J. Allen, director of bands at Stephen F. Austin State University, describes the upcoming Wind Ensemble concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 24, as "the largest thing we have ever put together." The highlight of the program will be John Corigliano's "Circus Maximus," during which audience members literally will be surrounded by musicians.

Within the W.M. Turner Auditorium, the majority of the Wind Ensemble will be on stage, conducted by Allen, but a group of saxophone players and other instrumentalists will be in the balcony, conducted by SFA Assistant Director of Bands Tamey Anglley.

A group of 11 trumpeters will encircle the audience, a trio of percussionists will be at the back of the hall, a small group of players will actually march down the aisle, and Allen promised a "special surprise" with the marching band.

Named for the ancient arena where Roman citizens watched chariot races and other forms of amusement, the symphony depicts the "modern" Circus Maximus, which Corigliano believes to be television, with its steady offering of reality shows and manufactured stars, Allen explained.

"This is a wild piece! It is really going to knock people over!" Allen exclaimed.

The Wind Ensemble will also perform "Colors and Contours" by Leslie Bassett, which will be conducted by David W. Campo, SFA associate director of bands. Graduate conducting student Jay Weems of Stephenville will conduct Felix Mendelssohn's "Notturno."

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 Drive.

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