Stephen F. Austin State University

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SFA's Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band to perform 'Mystical Travels' program

November 21, 2016 - Robbie Goodrich
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band at Stephen F. Austin State University will present a concert titled "Mystical Travels" when the ensembles perform at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 29, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.

The Symphonic Band will open the first half of the concert with Henry Fillmore's "Americans We," conducted by graduate student Dwight Watson of Wylie. Fillmore composed many American marches, but "Americans We" borrows from the sentimental British tune "Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms," which was originally attributed to Irish and Scottish heritage.

The second selection by Symphonic Band, directed by Dr. Tamey Anglley, assistant director of bands at SFA, will be Eric Whitacre's "Sleep," which began its life as an a cappella choral setting, with an original poem by Charles Anthony Silvestri.

"The chorale-like nature and warm harmonies seemed to call out for the simple and plaintive sound of winds, which makes a gorgeous addition to the wind symphony repertoire," Anglley said.

The final selection by Symphonic Band will be "Diamond Tide" by Viet Cuong. Written in 2015, Cuong uses innovative percussion techniques and instrumental colors throughout the piece to achieve an alluring imagery, Anglley explained.

The second half of the concert will feature the Wind Symphony, directed by Dr. David Campo, associate director of bands, performing works by Gustav Holst, Alfred Reed and Michael Markowski.

Holst wrote his "1st Suite for Military Band" in 1909, although it did not become part of the repertoire of wind bands until many years later, Campo explained. Holst wrote this cornerstone of band literature at the age of 35; five years later he would begin composing his magnum opus, "The Planets."

"The suite shows a mastery of orchestration, color and line as it takes us on a journey through emotional connections ranging from valor to despair," Campo said. Cast in three movements, Holst noted, "As each movement is founded on the same phrase, it is requested that the 'Suite' shall be played right through without a break."

A prolific composer, Reed penned more than 200 published works for concert band, orchestra, chorus and chamber ensembles. The Wind Symphony will perform his "Rosalind in the Forest of Arden."

The concert ends with Markowski's "Instinctive Travels."

"Markowski's musical compositions resonate with today's audiences because of the cross-generational influences that have shaped this young composer's mind," Campo said. "He can combine the wittiness of a Gilbert & Sullivan patter song with the insightful social justice message of hip hop; he can meld a Broadway torch song with the smack of a viral video's irreverent criticism.

"You may hear a hint of John Adams, Frank Ticheli or John Mackey in Markowski's music, but don't discount the likely influences of A Tribe Called Quest, Judy Garland or even Max Weinberg," he added. "While along for the ride, 'Instinctive Travels' might just intersect with any and all of these perennial performers."

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 (888) 240-ARTS or visit www.finearts.sfasu.edu.