James Syler

James Syler

NACOGDOCHES, Texas – The Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band at Stephen F. Austin State University will perform the music of James Syler when the student ensembles perform at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.

The program, “Wanderlust,” features music based on locations and cultures throughout the world, taking the audience on an international musical tour.

Syler is composer in residence with the SFA School of Music this fall and has been working with the bands and composition students.

Under the direction of Chris Kaatz, assistant director of bands at SFA, the Symphonic Band opens the concert “in Philadelphia” with John Philip Sousa’s popular march “The Liberty Bell.” The band also performs Syler’s lush and reverent “Cantique,” which references a common genre of French religious music in both title and character. Next, Alex Shapiro’s “Tight Squeeze” packs three continents’ music into a piece lasting just as many minutes.

“Combining Viennese dodecaphony, Latin bebop and Detroit techno, this electroacoustic work is an exhilarating journey unto itself,” according to Kaatz.

The Symphonic Band closes the first half across the pond with Malcolm Arnold’s first set of “English Dances.” Originally written for orchestra, this four-movement work is built on original melodies crafted in the spirit of English folk songs and dance.

“Visiting musical landscapes both pastoral and melancholic, ‘English Dances’ ends the first half with an exhilarating, celebratory romp,” Kaatz said.

Directed by Dr. Tamey Anglley, associate director of bands at SFA, the Wind Symphony will open the second half of the concert with Francisco Alonso’s “La Calesera,” which is a famous Spanish pasodoble taken from the composer’s musical comedy “Zarzuela.”

The Wind Symphony will also perform Syler’s “Suite Louisiane,” which is a five-movement work written in 2018 and commissioned by the Louisiana Chapter of the College Band Directors National Association.

“Each movement focuses on songs that have unique histories and rich musical characteristics based in different areas of Louisiana,” Anglley said. “It is a wonderfully educational and entertaining journey through American folk songs.”

The final piece on the concert is Norman Dello Joio’s Scenes from “The Louvre.” Dello Joio composed the soundtrack for the television documentary “A Golden Prison: The Louvre” in 1964.  He he won an Emmy for the soundtrack and arranged the highlights into a five-movement suite for band.

“Dello Joio chose to use the music from Renaissance-era composers to match the historical depth of the film,” Anglley said.  This piece includes original material from Dello Joio as well as material from Renaissance composers such as Tielman Susato, Jean-Baptiste Lully and Vincenzo Albrici.

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.