"We are very excited about this upcoming performance, not just for the great symphonic band and wind ensemble repertoire we'll present, but also because every piece (plus one more) will be recorded within the next couple of weeks for our eighth compact disc," said Craig Paré, conductor of the University Band.
Guest musicians for Sunday's program include Carla Edwards, professor of music and university organist, who will join the ensemble for "Alleluia! Laudamus Te" by Alfred Reed, and three Cloverdale High School percussionists -- Michael Jackson Tim Everhart, and Leif Parker. The ensemble's program will also include William Schuman's "Chester"; "Preludio" by Jean Sibelius; and "Old Wine in New Bottles" by British composer Gordon Jacob.
In addition, two brand new works for symphonic band are scheduled to be performed: "Aurora Awakes" by John Mackey and "Symphony for Band," which was composed by DePauw School of Music Professor James Beckel.
Mackey's "Aurora Awakes" is a piece about the heralding of the coming of light. Composed in two sections, the work moves, over the course of 11 minutes, from a place of remarkable stillness to an unbridled explosion of energy, from darkness to light, placid gray to startling rainbows of color.
In addition, the piece contains two direct quotations from other musical compositions. The first, which appears in the second section, is an ostinato based on the guitar introduction to the Irish group U2's "Where the Streets Have No Name." The second quotation is a direct reference to Gustav Holst's "First Suite in E-flat." The brilliant E-flat major chord that closes the chaconne is scored nearly identically as the final sonority.
Beckel's "Symphony for Band" has a particularly close connection for the University Band.
"We were one of 14 university and high school bands that commissioned Jim's Symphony," said Dr. Paré. "It is a magnificent piece -- I believe it is his best band work, and one of his finest compositions, in general. The University Band is proud to present the 'Symphony for Band' in concert, as well as provide the premiere recording of the work."