Stephen F. Austin State University

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SFA Music Prep orchestra premieres member's winning composition

May 2, 2012 - Sylvia Bierschenk

NACOGDOCHES, TEXAS - During its May 7 concert, the Stephen F. Austin State University Piney Woods Youth Orchestra will premiere "The Locomotive," an award-winning composition by 15-year-old Timothy Dow of Huntington.

Dow is a member of the orchestra, which is an offering of the Stephen F. Austin State University Music Preparatory Division, and takes private cello lessons from Dr. Evgeni Raychev, the orchestra's director and member of the SFA music faculty.

Dow's piece recently received Honorable Mention in the junior division of the American String Teachers Association Merle J. Isaac Student Composition Contest. Compositions submitted to the junior division must be suitable for a string orchestra at the elementary or junior high school level and must have been written by a student composer 18 years of age or younger.

Dow said "The Locomotive" was inspired by the old fiddle tune, "The Orange Blossom Special."

"It allows the listener to go on a ride on an old American locomotive, hearing the loud steam whistle and the sound of the train's rhythm," Dow continued. "As the train goes on its journey, the noise is slowly overpowered by the peaceful beauty of the countryside. The serenity is interrupted by the train's horns, and the locomotive's song is heard once more as the train comes to its destination with a solid stop."

"Timothy has been one of my most talented young students," said Raychev. "In addition to being a quickly progressing cellist who can also play the violin, bass and piano, Tim is a very gifted composer who has been composing incessantly ever since I have known him."

Dow is the son of Diana and Danny Dow of Huntington.

The Piney Woods Youth Orchestra's end-of-the-semester concert will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, May 7, in Cole Concert Hall, located in the Wright Music Building, 2210 Alumni Drive.

Admission is free and open to the public.