NACOGDOCHES, Texas – The Stephen F. Austin State University Wind Ensemble will present its final concert of the spring semester in a performance of David Maslanka’s Symphony No. 4. The concert will be a livestreamed event performed at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 22, and accessible at music.sfasu.edu.
Composed in 1993, Symphony No. 4 was commissioned by a consortium of universities including the University of Texas, Michigan State University and SFA, according to Dr. David Campo, director of bands at SFA and of the Wind Ensemble.
In describing the work, Maslanka said the driving force behind Symphony No. 4 was“ the spontaneous rise of the impulse to shout for the joy of life.”
“I feel it is the powerful voice of the earth that comes to me from my adopted western Montana and the high plains and mountains of central Idaho,” he said. “My personal experience of the voice is one of being helpless and torn open by the power of the thing that wants to be expressed – the welling-up shout that cannot be denied. I am set aquiver and am forced to shout and sing. The response in the voice of the Earth is the answering shout of thanksgiving and the shout of praise.”
The hymn tune “Old Hundred,” several other hymn tunes, including the Bach chorales “Only Trust in God to Guide You” and “Christ Who Makes Us Holy,” and original melodies that are hymn-like in nature, form the backbone of Symphony No. 4.
“I have used Christian symbols because they are my cultural heritage, but I have tried to move through them to a depth of universal humanness, to an awareness that is not defined by religious label,” Maslanka further explained. “My impulse through this music is to speak to the fundamental human issues of transformation and re-birth in this chaotic time.”
Campo said performing Symphony No. 4 is especially relevant today, “as we emerge from a year that will be remembered as one of the darkest in American history, if not the history of the world.”
“To take the opportunity to ‘shout for the joy of life’ and ‘speak to the fundamental human issue of transformation and re-birth in this chaotic time’ seems both timely and appropriate,” he said.
To access the live virtual concert free of charge, visit music.sfasu.edu the night of the performance. For additional information, contact the School of Music at (936) 468-4602.