NACOGDOCHES, Texas –  The Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band at Stephen F. Austin State University will present “Messages of Hope,” a program featuring works that evoke hope, encouragement and healing, when the student ensembles perform at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 8, in the Grand Ballroom in the Baker Pattillo Student Center on the SFA campus.

Directed by Dr. Chris Kaatz, assistant director of bands at SFA, the Symphonic Band’s program explores the idea of “hope amidst tragedy,” Kaatz said.

The concert opens with Steven Bryant’s “Ecstatic Fanfare,” which Kaatz describes as “a bright and joyful work that represents the mountaintop experiences we have in life.” It will be followed by a “representation of life’s tragedies” in Daniel Bukvich’s Symphony No 1, which uses unconventional performance techniques to evoke the 1945 bombing of Dresden in World War II.

The band will also perform Frank Ticheli’s “American Elegy,” which Kaatz said serves as a gentle and optimistic response to the violent display of the previous work. As indicated in the score, Ticheli composed the piece “in memory of those who lost their lives at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999 and to honor the survivors.”

“Ticheli intends the work not as a mourning of this heartbreaking event, but as a message of hope, encouragement and healing,” Kaatz said.

The Wind Symphony is directed by Dr. Dan Haddad, associate director of bands at SFA. The ensemble will perform “Short Ride in a Fast Machine” by John Adams, arranged by Richard L. Saucedo. As a commentary on the title, Adams asks, “You know how it is when someone asks you to ride in a terrific sports car, and then you wish you hadn’t?” The composer is known for the concept of “gating,” or the process of suddenly changing pitches in a harmony, often based on different modes.

The Wind Symphony will also perform “Serenity” by Ola Gjeilo, arranged by J. Eric Wilson and Ola Gjeilo; Third Suite by Robert E. Jager; and “A Childhood Remembered” by Rossano Galante.

Admission to the concert is free. For more information, contact the School of Music  at (936) 468-4602.