NACOGDOCHES, TEXAS – The Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band at Stephen F. Austin State University will present “From Dawn to Dusk,” a program of works that features music by Viet Cuong.
Cuong, a rising composer, will be in-residence with the SFA bands in mid-October, just prior to this concert, which is at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 16, in W.M. Turner Auditorium. The program will also showcase Dr. Deb Scott, professor of trombone at SFA, as soloist.
The concert’s first three works draw a connection between the composers who all studied at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.
The Symphonic Band, under the direction of Assistant Director of Bands Chris Kaatz, will open the concert with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon’s “Rhythm Stand.”
“This work is a tapestry of intriguing rhythmic grooves that incorporate sounds of ‘ordinary objects’ not typically utilized in ensemble performances,” Kaatz explained.
The Symphonic Band will perform Vincent Persichetti’s “Pageant,” which has become a cornerstone in the wind band repertoire. Persichetti made a lasting impression on the wind repertoire through his numerous works for the medium and by encouraging fellow Juilliard faculty members to write for the ensemble through the mid-20th century. “Pageant” opens with a pastoral chorale prelude, which gives way to an exuberant “street parade” featuring bitonality and a host of exciting characters, Kaatz said.
Professional trombonists and a consortium of high schools and middle schools across the United States commissioned Cuong’s “Howls and Hymns,” which features Scott as soloist. She begins with a mysterious c minor “hymn,” which quickly gives way to an aggressive, high-energy section of “howling” between the soloist and ensemble, according to Kaatz.
The Symphonic Band will conclude its performance with a march by Henry Fillmore. Dubbed the “Father of the Trombone Smear,” Fillmore wrote 15 marches highlighting this novel trait of his native instrument.
“‘Lassus Trombone’ is a pseudo encore to our guest soloist and her instrument,” Kaatz said.
The Wind Symphony, under the direction of Associate Director of Bands Dr. Tamey Anglley, will open the second half of the concert with Carolyn Bremer’s “Early Light.” Originally written in 1995 for orchestra, the band version was composed by Bremer in 1999, and it is her best-known composition to date, according to Anglley.
“The material for ‘Early Light’ is largely derived from ‘The Star-Spangled Banner,’ drawing on Bremer’s happy anticipation at hearing the anthem played before baseball games as a child,” Anglley said.
The Wind Symphony will perform Cuong’s new piece “Lasting Light,” a composition commissioned by The Consortium for the Advancement of Wind Band Literature and completed in the summer of 2018.
The ensemble will perform Steven Bryant’s “Dusk,” a piece that “captures the reflective calm of dusk, paradoxically illuminated by the fiery hues of sunset,” the composer writes. “It is intended as a short, passionate evocation of this moment of dramatic stillness.”
The Wind Symphony will conclude the concert with J.C. Heed’s march “In Storm and Sunshine.” Categorized as a “circus march,” the piece alternates between major and minor modes, hence the “storms” and the “sunshine,” Anglley explained.
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 http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu/.