NACOGDOCHES, Texas – The Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band at Stephen F. Austin State University will celebrate the music of Frank Ticheli, Vincent Persichetti and other composers in a concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 18, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.
Director of the Wind Symphony is Dr. Dan Haddad, associate director of bands at SFA, and director of the Symphonic Band is Dr. Chris Kaatz, assistant director of bands.
The Symphonic Band opens the concert with works that evoke celebration, either by honoring a specific person or event, or by portraying a feeling of revelry, according to Kaatz. Santigo Lope, composer, arranger and band leader in early 20th century Spain, was known for his pasodobles, a type of march evoking music played at Spanish bullfights. The band will perform his “Gallito,” written for Fernando Gomez, a famous matador.
The Symphonic Band will perform Morten Lauridsen’s “O Magnum Mysterium,” arranged by H. Robert Reynolds. Lauridsen's choral setting of "O Magnum Mysterium" ("O Great Mystery") has become one of the world's most performed and recorded compositions since its 1994 premiere by the Los Angeles Master Chorale. About his setting, Lauridsen writes, "For centuries, composers have been inspired by the beautiful ‘O Magnum Mysterium’ text with its depiction of the birth of the new-born King amongst the lowly animals and shepherds. This affirmation of God's grace to the meek and the adoration of the Blessed Virgin are celebrated in my setting through a quiet song of profound inner joy."
The Symphonic Band will also perform Chen Yi’s “Spring Festival,” which celebrates the Chinese New Year, and Persichetti’s “Pageant,” which premiered at the American Bandmasters Association’s 1953 conference with the composer conducting. Persichetti used the words "gritty and gracious" to describe the essence of his music. Several themes are playfully tossed between brass and woodwinds as they are cleverly devolved and eventually woven together just before the work's exciting finale.
The Wind Symphony will perform Jack Stamp’s “Gavorkna Fanfare,” which exploits the idea of a fanfare for full wind band, rather than the traditional brass and percussion instrumentation.
Carter Pann’s “Hold This Boy and Listen” is “an unusually soft and subdued song for band,” the composer writes, adding he wrote the piece for a nephew. “The sentiment is at times innocent or wistful and at other times haunted and serene. The players should really be allowed to sing through their instruments in this piece.”
The Wind Symphony concludes the concert with Ticheli’s “San Antonio Dances.” The first movement depicts the serene Alamo Gardens with live oak trees that provide welcome shade from the Texas sun. A tango mood and lazily winding lines give way to a brief but powerful climax depicting the Alamo itself, Ticheli explains. The second movement’s lighthearted and joyous music celebrates San Antonio’s famous Riverwalk. “Picture a group of friends seated at an outdoor patio of one of the Riverwalk’s many Tex-Mex restaurants, enjoying the scenery, the food, the company,” Ticheli writes. “In time, the evening settles in, the air cools, the mood brightens, the crowd picks up, and music is heard from every direction. Before you know it, the whole place is one giant fiesta that could go on forever.”
Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. To purchase tickets, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit finearts.sfasu.edu. For additional information, contact the SFA School of Music at (936) 468-4602.