NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Symphonic Band and the University Band at Stephen F. Austin State University will present "Poetic Lines" at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 16, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.
Some selections on the program draw inspiration from artistic text, according to Chris Kaatz, assistant director of bands at SFA and director of the Symphonic Band.
Under the direction of graduate conducting student Gary Jones, the University Band will open the concert with "Arsenal" by Jan Van der Roost. Composed for the 50th anniversary of the 'Harmonie van het Spoorwegarsenaal' (railroad arsenal) based in Mechelen, Belgium, "Arsenal" has been described as a "stately concert march with beautiful themes and a broad melody in the trio."
The second piece by Robert Sheldon is the one-movement work "Choreography," commissioned by the Association of Texas Small School Bands in 2008 for its All-State Band. Written in overture form, the piece draws its inspiration from dance movements found in contemporary stage, ballet and theatrical productions.
Also on the program, Ryan George's "Café 512" is a dance-like, energetic piece built on a motivic phrase based on a 5+1+2 note grouping (512 being the area code for Austin) and is structured in A-B-A form.
University Band will end the first half of the concert with Randall Standridge's energetic "Steel." Third in the composer's "machine" series, "Steel" contains "exciting percussion writing, interesting use of syncopation, motivic development, and multiple time signature changes."
The Symphonic Band's portion of the program "explores works that draw inspiration from various mediums of artistic text," said Kaatz. The second half opens with David Maslanka's "Mother Earth," a "dark and brooding" piece inspired by a poem by St. Francis of Assisi. The composer describes it as "an urgent message from Our Mother (Earth) to treat her more kindly!"
Eric Whitacre's lush and pensive "Lux Aurumque" follows the opening fanfare. The lyrics of the work's original setting for a cappella choir are from a poem by Edward Esch describing heavenly light.
John Zdechlik's "Chorale and Shaker Dance" is the central piece of the concert's second half. Written in 1972, the work uses the Shaker hymn "Simple Gifts" as one of its two primary melodic components, the other being the originally composed chorale, which opens the work.
The concert closes with John Philip Sousa's "El Capitan," a 6/8 march that was extracted from the composer's operetta of the same name. The original work is set in 16th-century Spanish-occupied Peru and tells the story of a viceroy who disguises himself as a rebel leader named "El Capitan" in order to foil a plot against his people. The comical drama of the operetta is represented in Sousa's tuneful melodies, playful use of dynamics and inclusion of a 2/4 trio, Kaatz explained.
The concert is a presentation of the SFA College of Fine Arts and School of Music. Cole Concert Hall is located in the Tom and Peggy Wright Music Building, 2210 Alumni Drive.
Concert 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 finearts.sfasu.edu/.