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Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band to perform British, American classics

November 17, 2015 - Robbie Goodrich
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band at Stephen F. Austin State University will present a concert of British and American band classics at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec.1, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.

"The Ties that Bind" is a program that includes the music of Malcolm Arnold, Clifton Williams, W. Francis McBeth and John Barnes Chance. The program will also feature "Thanksgiving Hymn," arranged for band by SFA Director of Bands Fred J. Allen and conducted by graduate student Dwight Watson of Lavon.

The Symphonic Band, directed by Dr. Tamey Anglley, assistant director of bands at SFA, will open the concert with Arnold's "Peterloo Overture," arranged for concert band by Charles Sayre.

"Originally composed in 1967 for orchestra, Arnold captures the moments in 1819 when a gathering of Manchester political protestors was brutally quashed by the cavalry," Anglley explained.

The Symphonic Band's performance of "Thanksgiving Hymn," which has been sung in American homes and churches for more than 200 years, will highlight the woodwind and brass choirs of the band, Anglley said.

The Symphonic Band will conclude its half of the concert with Arnold's "Prelude, Siciliano and Rondo." Arnold's "Little Suite for Brass, op. 80" was arranged for band by John Paynter in 1979 and given the current title, according to Anglley.

"Paynter's arrangement expands it to include woodwinds and additional percussion but faithfully retains the breezy effervescence of the original composition," she said.

The Wind Symphony, directed by Dr. David Campo, associate director of bands at SFA, will open its half of the concert with Williams' concert march "The Sinfonians," commissioned by Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America. It was the first in a series of instrumental pieces to be commissioned by the Sinfonians and was dedicated to Archie N. Jones, former president of the fraternity and later director of that organization's foundation, according to Campo.

"Williams conducted the first performance of 'The Sinfonians' at the fraternity's national convention in Cincinnati, Ohio, in July 1960," Campo said.

The Wind Symphony's program continues with McBeth's moving tribute to his teacher, Clifton Williams. Howard Dunn and the Richardson High School Band commissioned "Kaddish" in 1977, the year following Williams' untimely death, Campo explained.

"Kaddish is the Jewish prayer for the dead, said by the bereaved each morning and evening for 11 months and then on the anniversary of the death thereafter," he said.

The program concludes with music by Chance, another student of Williams. "Incantation and Dance" was premiered as "Nocturne and Dance" by Herbert Hazleman and the Greensboro High School Band in November 1960. The name was changed to more aptly reflect the mysterious character of the opening of the work, according to Campo.

The concert is a joint presentation of the 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.