NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Wind Symphony at Stephen F. Austin State University will present a concert that recognizes dances from around the world when the student ensemble performs at 7:30 p.m. Monday, May 6, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.
"Solitary Dances" will feature works by Warren Benson, John Barnes Chance, Percy Grainger, Alfred Reed, Henry Fillmore and other composers, according to Dr. Tamey Anglley, associate director of bands at SFA and director of the Wind Symphony.
The concert will open with Chance's iconic wind band piece "Incantation and Dance." Originally premiered as "Nocturne and Dance" in 1960, Chance omitted 31 measures and changed the title to depict a ritual of magic or conjuring of spirits, according to Anglley.
The ensemble will perform Part I of Reed's "Armenian Dances." Parts I and II constitute a four-movement suite for band based on authentic Armenian folk songs from the collected works of Gomidas Vartabed, who is considered the founder of Armenian classical music.
Grainger's lesser-known band arrangement of "Rustic Dance" is the second of a five-movement suite for orchestra called "Youthful Suite." The band setting was arranged by Mark Rogers in 2008 for Poteet High School in Texas to perform at the TMEA state convention as honor band, Anglley said.
Also on the program is Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Norman Dello Joio's "Satiric Dances." Written in 1975, the piece was commissioned to commemorate the Bicentennial of April 19, 1775, the day that launched the American War for Independence, or the Revolutionary War. Dello Joio, then dean of Boston University's School for the Arts, agreed to do the commission.
"But he stipulated it would be based on a piece he had used as background music for a comedy by Aristophanes," Anglley explained. "The most famous comic dramatist of ancient Greece, Aristophanes was born an Athenian citizen about 445 B.C. His plays commented on the political and social issues of 5th century Athens and frequently employed satire."
Other works include Warren Benson's "The Solitary Dancer" and Dmitri Shostakovich's famous "Folk Dances," which includes several Russian folk melodies strung together one after the other as it accelerates to a big finish, Anglley said.
The final piece will be Fillmore's "The Footlifter March." During the Depression of 1929, the Fillmore Band was very popular and gave huge boosts of morale to their radio show audience.
"Fillmore wrote this march at the request of one of the sponsors of the radio program to tie into their advertising slogan, and, after hearing the new piece, called it a 'footlifter,'" Anglley said.
The concert is a 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.