NACOGDOCHES, Texas – The Wind Symphony at Stephen F. Austin State University will present the program “The Road to Now” when the student ensemble performs at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 25, in the Grand Ballroom of the Baker Pattillo Student Center on the SFA campus.
Directed by Dr. Dan Haddad, associate director of bands, the Wind Symphony will perform “Illumination” by David Maslanka; Variations on “America” by Charles Ives; and “In Living Color” by Katahj Copley, among other wind band standards.
Maslanka is especially interested in composing music for young people that “allows them a vibrant experience of their own creative energy,” he writes. “A powerful experience of this sort stays in the heart and mind as a channel for creative energy, no matter what the life path. Music shared in community brings this vital force to everyone.”
Originally composed for organ, Variations on “America” was written in 1891 when Ives was 17. It is an arrangement of the traditional “My Country, 'Tis of Thee,” and was at the time the de facto anthem of the United States, according to Haddad. The tune is also widely recognized in Thomas Arne's orchestration as the British National Anthem, “God Save the Queen,” and in the former anthems of Russia, Switzerland and Germany, as well as being the current national anthem of Liechtenstein and royal anthem of Norway.
Following the global pandemic, Copley wrote “In Living Color” as an ode to music, especially music performed on the wind band stage. “The piece offers a kaleidoscope of colors and energy from modern jazz artists such as Snarky Puppy and American Boy singer Estelle, and takes inspiration from George Gershwin,” Copley writes.
Admission to the concert is free. For more information, contact the School of Music at (936) 468-4602.