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Department of Music presents ASU Wind Ensemble in concert Nov. 13

Oct. 30, 2008 -- The Arkansas State University Wind Ensemble will give its second concert of the 2008-09 season on Thursday, Nov. 13, in Riceland Hall, Fowler Center, 201 Olympic Drive, Jonesboro. The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. and admission is free. The Wind Ensemble is conducted by Dr. Timothy Oliver, director of bands and coordinator of wind and percussion studies within the Department of Music.  Dr. Oliver will lead the musicians of the ASU Wind Ensemble in a theme concert, “Heavy Metal.” 

The concert will begin with “Commando March,” the first wind band piece composed by Samuel Barber.
Barber, one of America’s great composers, is perhaps best known for his orchestral composition “Adagio for Strings.” Written in 1943, “Commando March” is full of heroic-sounding melodies and unpredictable harmonies, which probably inspired the soldiers of the Army Air Corps Band who premiered the work during World War II. William Schuman composed the next piece on the program, “Chester.” Schuman based this work on a 1778 hymn written by William Billings. According to some accounts, this hymn was the unofficial national anthem during the Revolutionary War. Schuman’s version of “Chester” is a theme and variations and will be conducted by Professor Gary Hill, director of bands at Arizona State University.

Professor Gary Hill has been a guest conductor and clinician in more than a dozen countries and throughout most of the United States. His conducting engagements have included performances with a myriad of high school honor bands, and numerous college and university wind bands and orchestras, as well as conducting at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic, and at the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles conferences. In addition to guest conducting the ASU Wind Ensemble, Prof. Hill will be serving as the guest clinician for the 2008 ASU Conducting Colloquium on Friday-Saturday, Nov. 14-15.

The final work on the first half of the program will be “Sketches on a Tudor Psalm” by Fisher Tull. The opening chorale of this work is among the most beautifully scored, lyrical sections in all of the wind band literature, followed by an almost unrelenting series of percussion motifs.  Based on a sixteenth century setting of the “Second Psalm” by Thomas Tallis, this is one of Tull’s most frequently performed pieces for band, and it is considered one of the standards in wind ensemble literature today.

The second half of the concert will begin with Edward Gregson’s “Tuba Concerto.”  Originally composed for brass band, this concerto is now available in both wind band and orchestral versions. The concerto is in the usual quick-slow-quick pattern; the first movement uses two contrasting themes—one rhythmic, the other lyrical;  the second movement is a long flowing melody for the soloist; and the last movement is a contrast of two recurring themes, one broad, the other jazz-like in style. Soloist for the “Tuba Concerto” is Dr. Ed. Owen.

Dr. Owen is associate professor of Tuba and Euphonium at Arkansas State University.  His primary duties include serving as coordinator of Graduate Studies, teaching Applied Tuba and Euphonium, and conducting the ASU Tuba and Euphonium Ensemble. He currently performs as principal tuba of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and Brass Quintet, the Delta Symphony Orchestra, and the ASU Brass Quintet. A native Arkansan, he received the Bachelor of Arts in Music Education degree from Arkansas Tech University (summa cum laude). He received the Master of Music in Tuba Performance and Doctor of Musical Arts in Performance and Literature from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Prior to his appointment at ASU, Dr. Owen served on the faculties of the University of Southern Mississippi, Ouachita Baptist University, and Indiana State University. His students have won solo and quartet competitions at the local, state, and international levels. He has also conducted Tuba and Euphonium Ensemble concerts at the International Tuba and Euphonium Conferences in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, and Greensboro, North Carolina.

Dr. Owen’s orchestral engagements have included the Meridian Symphony, Champaign-Urbana Symphony, Great Music West Festival Orchestra and Brass Quintet, Sinfonia da Camera, Illinois Contemporary Chamber Players, and the Terre Haute Symphony. As a soloist he has appeared with the Delta Symphony Orchestra, the Arkansas State University Wind Ensemble, and the Symphonic Bands of Arkansas Tech University, University of Illinois, and Bryant High School.  An active clinician, Dr. Owen is in demand for master classes and clinics on brass performance and techniques. He has studied tuba with Andy Anders and Mark Moore.

The final work in the concert is “Tempered Steel” by Charles Rochester Young.  According to the composer, people grow stronger and more resilient through hardship, becoming “tempered.” This work is a celebration of individual triumph over unavoidable hardships and obstacles that individuals regularly face. It rejoices in the tenacious and unrelenting resolve that is part of all people. As the title implies, the metallic sonorities of the wind ensemble are continually explored and developed throughout the work bringing this concert to an exciting conclusion.

Wind Ensemble personnel (listed alphabetically within each section) are: Piccolo, Hannah Sneed, Republic, Mo. Flutes: Angela Hamill, West Memphis; Lauren Henderson, Piggott; Caitlin Proctor, Conway; Caitlin Sammons, Bald Knob. Oboes: Sarah Bedingfield, Nashville, Tenn.; Kellie Laughlin, Piggott; Pamela Masterson, Homestead, Fla. Bassoons: Bryan Eckert, Jonesboro; Josh McFalls, Searcy; Amy Penny, Jonesboro. Clarinets: Shayeeda Beard, Cherokee Village; Amy Dunman, Cash; Amelia Middleton, Russellville; Heather Reed, Paragould; Christopher Williams, Jonesboro; Kimberly Winchester, Jonesboro. Bass clarinet: Michelle Davis, Jonesboro. Contrabass clarinet: Scott Dunkin, West Memphis. Alto saxophones: Allen Adcock, Bono; Ben Hobson, Grapevine, Texas; Claire Richardson, Jonesboro. Tenor saxophone: Daniel Medina, Marion. Trumpets: Meagan Conley, Luxora; Kayla Hunter, Bono; Kelsey Lambert, Paragould; Ben Light, West Ridge; Lana Spain, Wynne; Antonio Starks, Jonesboro; Jón Stevenson, North Little Rock; Kyle Stewart, Clarksdale. Horns: Matthew Allen, Magnolia; Timothy Hendrix, Jonesboro; Jeremy Lloyd, Gosnell; Charnit Rerngron-asa, Thailand; Laura Thompson, Jonesboro. Trombones: Brandon Avant, West Memphis; Kasey Chitmon, Paragould; Jonathon McAlister, Marion; Treavor Mitchell, Jonesboro; Adam Peoples-Waddell, Jonesboro. Euphoniums: Jacob Davis, Piggott; Jennifer Hall, Tyronza; Zack Rikard, Hardy; Matthew Watson, Walnut Ridge. Tubas: Jay Shepherd, Paragould; Lonnie Simmons, Jonesboro; Daniel Van Aalsburg, Hardy. Percussion: Trent Duff, Pocahontas; Aaron Fisher, Southaven, Miss.; Seth Gaskill, Paragould; Janet Rooney, Lake City; Cheyenne Sheppard, Jonesboro; Jarrett Tedder, Paragould.

For more information, contact the music department at (870) 972-2094.



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