Stephen F. Austin State University

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SFA Wind Ensemble, A Cappella Choir to collaborate in concert

April 7, 2015 - Robbie Goodrich
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Two of the major performing ensembles at Stephen F. Austin State University will combine forces in a special concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 14, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

Select members of the SFA Wind Ensemble and the A Cappella Choir will perform the Mass in E Minor by Anton Bruckner.

"This is one of the few pieces where the orchestra supporting a choral work is made up entirely of brass and woodwinds," said Fred J. Allen, director of bands at SFA. "Most choral pieces accompanied by instruments use strings, but this one does not." Allen will conduct the work.

Dr. Tim King, director of choral activities as SFA and of the A Cappella Choir, described the work as "heartfelt and beautiful."

"Bruckner, a dedicated church musician, knew the tradition of the mass," King said. "The E minor Mass for orchestra winds and chorus had as its predecessor the Harmoniemesse by (Joseph) Haydn. However, Bruckner brought to mass what Haydn could not - the lush harmonic language of late 1800s.

"The E minor Mass stands unparalleled in genre for winds and chorus," he added.

Though Bruckner was born in Austria, his style is often referred to as representing Austro-German Romanticism, according to Allen.

A pair of short pieces by German composers will open the concert. These include March in F by Ludwig von Beethoven followed by Geschwindmarsch by Paul Hindemith. Hong Kong graduate student Jeff Leung will conduct the two pieces.

"The Hindemith march is based on the melody of the Beethoven piece, linking these two works across 130 years," said Allen. "Both marches are written for small groups of wind players."

Tickets for the concert, which is a presentation of the SFA College of Fine Arts and School of Music, are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit www.finearts.sfasu.edu.