Stephen F. Austin State University

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SFA Wind Symphony to perform Boysen's powerful composition

April 22, 2015 - Robbie Goodrich
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Stephen F. Austin State University's Wind Symphony will perform Andrew Boysen's monumental Symphony No. 6 at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 28, in the Grand Ballroom of the Baker Pattillo Student Center.

Commissioned by Andrew Mast, director of bands at Lawrence University, the 2010 composition "is indeed grand in scale and scope," said Dr. David Campo, associate director of bands at SFA and the symphony's conductor.

Boysen and Mast are long-time close acquaintances, and when Mast asked his friend to write a piece for the Lawrence University Wind Ensemble, Boysen said he knew he was trusted to "write whatever I wanted without expectation or pressure."

"The symphony is presented in one continuous structure that includes the traditional four movements of a symphony, connected by three transition sections," Boysen writes. "Each time the tonal center shifts, it is treated as a mode change rather than a key change, allowing each of the sections of the symphony to have their own character.

"The symphony is really about transformation and emergence from darkness into light," he said. "The opening notes of the introduction begin mysteriously at the very bottom of the ensemble in the contrabassoon and ascend in a sort of primal scream, eventually leading into a threatening, angry and aggressive first movement."

He describes the final movement as "triumphant, but not in an overtly happy way; instead, it is a triumph of strength and celebration that brings the symphony to a powerful close."

Boysen is a professor in the music department at the University of New Hampshire where he conducts the wind symphony and teaches conducting and composition. Under his leadership, the UNH wind symphony has released six recordings and has been invited to perform at regional conventions of the College Band Directors National Association and National Association for Music Education. He maintains an active schedule as a composer, receiving commissions from festival, university and high school concert bands across the United States.

The concert is a presentation of the SFA College of Fine Arts and School of Music. Tickets 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.