NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Wind Ensemble at Stephen F. Austin State University will present "Homecoming Fiesta!" when the student group performs the music of Richard Strauss, Frank Ticheli, Paul Hart, Richard Wagner and Clifton Williams at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 5, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.
Featured guest performers will be the SFA Faculty Brass Quintet, which includes Jake Walburn and Gary Wurtz, trumpets; Charles Gavin, horn; Deb Scott, trombone; and J.D. Salas, tuba.
Directed by Dr. David Campo, director of bands at SFA, the Wind Ensemble will perform "Wiener Philharmoniker Fanfare," which Strauss wrote to celebrate the first annual Vienna Philharmonic Ball held in 1924. The ensemble will also perform Ticheli's "Nitro," which the composer described as "an energy-charged three-minute fanfare for band." The Northshore Concert Band music director, Mallory Thompson, commissioned the piece in celebration of the band's 50th anniversary season.
"Nitrogen is the most abundant component of the Earth's atmosphere and is present in the tissues of every living thing," Ticheli wrote. "It is the fifth most abundant element in the universe, created by the fusion deep within stars; it has recently been detected in interstellar space. The sheer prevalence of nitrogen in all of nature, and the infinite range of compounds it is part of - life-giving, energizing, healing, cleansing, explosive - all appealed to me, and served as the inspiration for my music."
Wagner's opera "Lohengrin" was first performed in 1850 and quickly became a benchmark in German opera. "Elsa's Procession to the Cathedral" is adapted from Act II, Scene 4 of the opera and was set for wind band by arranger Lucien Cailliet.
Regarding his wind band composition "Cartoon," Hart remarked, "It's all here! The big opening credits, the cat and mouse tease and chase, the strutting swagger, and of course the big finale! Best of all, it can all happen in the imagination of the audience, not on the film screen."
"A nod to the classic cartoon soundtracks of the 1950s and '60s, this work is pure fun," Campo said.
The concert closes with Williams' "Symphonic Dance # 3, Fiesta," originally one of his five Symphonic Dances commissioned by the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra to celebrate its 25th anniversary in 1964.
In the original suite, each of the five dances represented the spirit of a different time and place relative to the background of San Antonio. "Fiesta" is an evocation of the excitement and color of the city's numerous Mexican celebrations, Campo explained. The modal characteristics, rhythms and finely woven melodies depict what Williams called "the pageantry of Latin-American celebration - street bands, bull fights, bright costumes, the colorful legacy of a proud people."
Prior to the SFA concert, the Wind Ensemble will tour schools in the Dallas area and perform a free public concert at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 4, in the McKinney ISD Performing Arts Center.
The SFA concert is a joint 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 http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu/.