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ASU Department of Music welcomes Dr. Frank Ticheli as composer in residence

Nov. 5, 2009 -- On Thursday, Nov. 12, Arkansas State University will welcome internationally renowned composer Dr. Frank Ticheli for a coInternationally renowned composer Dr. Frank Ticheli will perform with various musicians at the ASU Fowler Center Nov. 12.ncert featuring several of his musical compositions.  The performance will take place in Riceland Hall of the ASU Fowler Center, 201 Olympic Drive, Jonesboro. It will begin at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free. This concert will feature several groups within the ASU Department of Music, including the concert choir and wind ensemble, as well as a special performance by virtuoso trombone soloist and retired principal trombonist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Ronald Barron. This special musical event is part of the Frank Ticheli composer-in-residency program, co-sponsored by the ASU Lecture-Concert Series, ASU Department of Music, A-State Bands, ASU Chapter of the Society of Composers, and a grant from the Meet the Composer’s MetLife Creative Connections program.
Review the concert program online here, and view the online
ASU Lecture-Concert Series release on Ticheli.

The concert will begin with Ticheli’s saxophone quartet titled ‘Out of the Blue,’ which according the composer is “a celebration of rhythm.”  ASU students Claire Richardson, Clinton Curtis, Allen Adcock, and Josh Carter will perform this piece under the direction of ASU saxophone professor Dr. Ken Carroll.  The next two pieces will be performed by the ASU Concert Choir under the direction of Dr. Dale Miller, Director of Choral Activities, with Dr. Ticheli guest conducting.  These two works, ‘The Song Within’ and ‘Earth Song’ feature original texts written by Ticheli and both have themes which include hope, peace, crisis, and reconciliation.

Ticheli continues to show his skill at vocal writing with the next piece ‘Songs of Tagore.’  The poems for this work were taken from Rabindranath Tagore’s ‘Gitanjali’ (“Song Offerings”), written in India around 1910.  These poems are widely recognized for their simple, captivating descriptions of nature, and their yearning, spiritual tone.  Almost every line is filled with natural images, and a wandering, restless mood is ever present throughout each of the three songs.  This performance will feature ASU faculty members Dr. Marika Kyriakos, soprano, and Dr. Lauren Schack Clark, piano, as well as saxophone student Claire Richardson.  The first half of the concert ends with guest trombone soloist Ronald Barron performing the three movementsConcertino for Trombone, Two Pianos and Percussion.’  The first movement is a dialogue between the soloist and the ensemble.  A cadenza bridges the first movement to the second, which is a brief interlude exploiting the lyrical qualities of the muted trombone.  The ensemble suddenly interrupts the peaceful flow of the interlude, and paves the way for the final dance movement.  Barron will be accompanied on piano by Dr. Lauren Schack Clark, ASU student Nickolas Alsup, and on percussion by Dr. Timothy Oliver.

The second half of the concert will feature the ASU Wind Ensemble performing three of Ticheli’s significant works for wind bands.  The first piece, ‘Postcard,’ was composed to commemorate the death of the composition commissioner’s mother.  However, it was requested that this not be an elegy, but a short energetic piece celebrating her life.  In response Ticheli composed, “this brief ‘postcard’ as a musical reflection of her character -- vibrant, whimsical, succinct.”  The next piece is one of Ticheli’s newest works, ‘Angels in the Architecture.’  This piece is reminiscent of a musical drama pitting the forces of light and darkness against one another.  Twice during the piece, the dark shadows sneak in almost unnoticeably, slowly obscuring, and eventually obliterating the light altogether. The darkness prevails for long stretches of time, but the light always returns, inextinguishable, more powerful than before.  This work also features soprano soloist and ASU student, Renee Smith.  The concert closes with the final movement titled ‘Apollo Unleashed’ from Ticheli’s award winning ‘Symphony No. 2.’ Bright sonorities, fast tempos, and galloping rhythms combine to give a sense of urgency that one often expects from a symphonic finale. On the other hand, its boisterous nature is also tempered and enriched by a Johann Sebastian Bach chorale.  Together these elements make for an exciting conclusion to this very special concert featuring the works of internationally renowned composer, Dr. Frank Ticheli.

For more details, contact Dr. Tim Oliver, director of ASU bands and coordinator of wind and percussion studies at ASU, at 870-972-2094.

--ASU Public Relations student intern Sara Hulett assisted in the preparation, editing, and online design and formatting of this release.

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