Stephen F. Austin State University

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SFA's Symphonic, University bands to present 'Songs of the Earth'

April 13, 2017 - Robbie Goodrich
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Symphonic Band and University Band at Stephen F. Austin State University will perform their final concert of the spring semester at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 25, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

The program, titled "Songs of the Earth," will include selections by composers ranging in style from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ryan George.

The University Band, directed by Dr. David Campo, associate director of bands at SFA, and graduate student and associate conductor Teresa Powell, will begin the concert with a work by Austin composer George entitled "Autobahn," followed by Samuel Hazo's "Our Yesterdays Lengthen Like Shadows" in which the composer's unique approach has the performers beginning with one note and ending with the same note. The listener becomes unaware of the presence of this note. The single note symbolizes the life of the listener - always present but constantly awash in the music of life, Campo explained.

Franco Cesarini's charming "Greek Folk Song Suite" features three ancient Greek songs for wind band. All three movements bring to life the spirit of the Greek people through song and dance.

Lastly, the University Band will perform Karl King's well-known march "Coast Guards." King enjoyed a long career as a circus musician, spending time playing for Robinson's Famous Circus, Yankee Robinson Circus, Sells Floto Circus and the Barnum and Bailey "Greatest Show On Earth." He wrote music while a member of these bands, and in 1913 wrote what would become his masterpiece, "Barnum and Bailey's Favorite." King was one of the most prolific and popular composers in the history of band music, writing at least 291 works. "Coast Guards" is one of his most popular marches.

The SFA Symphonic Band, directed by Dr. Tamey Anglley, assistant director of bands, will open the second half of the concert with Williams' "Sea Songs" conducted by graduate student Brandon Beavers. Williams composed "Sea Songs" the same year as "English Folk Song Suite" (1923).

The second selection by Symphonic Band will be "Cajun Folk Songs" by popular band composer Frank Ticheli.

The Symphonic Band will conclude the concert with Robert Russell Bennett's three-movement work "Symphonic Songs for Band." The piece was commissioned by the national band honorary organizations Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma in 1957. Bennett wrote the following program note: "'Symphonic Songs' are as much a suite of dances or scenes as songs, deriving their name from the tendency of the principal parts to sing out a fairly diatonic tune against whatever rhythm develops in the middle instruments."

Cole Concert Hall is located in the Tom and Peggy Wright Music Building, 2210 Alumni Drive.

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.