Foundations: A UMHB Instrumental Showcase

Tuesday, October 10 at 7:30pm to 9:00pm

Sue and Frank Mayborn Performing Arts Center, Baugh Performance Hall 810 Main St, Belton, TX 76513

The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor begins its celebration of the grand opening of the Sue & Frank Mayborn Performing Arts Center with Foundations - A UMHB Instrumental Music Showcase.  This performance, featuring the Jazz Ensemble, Sax Cru, Brass Quintets, Woodwind Choir, Brass Choir, Brass Quintet, Percussion Ensemble, and the Wind Ensemble will be the first public event in this wonderful new space.  As part of this celebration, the Music Department is excited to welcome “home” over 30 UMHB Band alumni who will be joining the Wind Ensemble and Jazz Ensemble for part of the performance.

The Jazz Ensemble will open the program with Benny Moten’s Moten Swing.  Following this 1932 jazz standard, the UMHB Department of Music is proud to feature alumnus, Patrick Trahan.  Trahan graduated in 2005 with a Bachelor of Music Education and then received a Master of Music in Saxophone Performance from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.  Recognized as one of the most sought-after jazz performers in the Central Texas area, Trahan is a P. Mauriat saxophone artist who performs with The Drywater Band, a top 100 Billboard smooth jazz artist, and a music educator in Belton ISD.  Trahan will join the Jazz Ensemble for Sammy Nestico’s ballad, Samantha.  The Jazz Ensemble’s program will close with Gordon Goodwin’s East Coast Envy.

The UMHB Sax Cru, a saxophone ensemble directed by Dr. Sunil Gadgil, will continue the program with the overture from David Maslanka’s Mountain Roads.  Composed in 1997, the overture is inspired by the Bach chorale Alle Menschen müssen sterben (BWV 643), which translates to “All men must die.”  Maslanka says this about the chorale:  “The first title suggests the inevitability of death, but is neither morbid nor about mass destruction.  The idea of death is not so much about the final end as about change.  The process of growth is constantly about “dying” to one way of thinking or feeling, and opening to another.”  The Sax Cru presents this performance in memoriam to its composer who passed away on August 6, 2017.

Following the Sax Cru, the Brass Choir, under the direction of Mr. James Whitis, and the Woodwind Choir, under the direction of Ms. Michelle Palmer, will perform two works from American composers Erik Ewazen and Patrick Glenn Harper.  The Brass Choir will present Ewazen’s A Western Fanfare which was commissioned by the Music Academy of the West for their 25th anniversary.  Harper’s contemporary work for woodwinds, Excursions, employs the use of fast, energetic themes and slower, more lyrical sections to take the audience on a musical journey.

The program will continue with a double brass quintet, under the guidance of Dr. Lance Witty, performing Dukas’ Fanfare from “La Peri” and a piece from an unknown composer of the renaissance period, Sonata from “Die Bankelsangerlieder.”  This seventeenth-century German work was discovered at the end of a collection of vocal pieces published in 1684 called Die Bankelsangerlieder. The term “Bankersanger” translates to bench singer, an itinerant musician who often performed in the local taverns while sitting on benches.

The Percussion Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Stephen Crawford, will close the first portion of the program with David Gillingham’s Angels of the Apocalypse.  This work for eight percussionists was inspired by the Biblical book of Revelation.  The piece depicts much of the imagery described in the sacred text and includes moments of darkness, struggle, and redemption.

Following a brief intermission, the Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Mr. Nils Landsberg, will be joined by over thirty alumni to perform Ron Nelson’s Resonances I.  This work for winds and percussion will certainly test the acoustic limits of the Baugh Performance Hall.  The work begins quietly with the majority of the ensemble on the stage and members of the brass section scattered throughout the hall, placing the audience in the middle of the soundscape.  As the piece progresses, voices are added which increases the volume and the sense of chaos created by the framework crafted by Nelson.  At the culmination of the work, over 100 musicians will propel the ensemble to critical mass as the music enters an epic coda to conclude the work.  

David Gillingham’s Foundations was commissioned by the Mu Lambda Chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor along with a consortium of ten college and university ensembles in honor of the opening of the newly built Performing Arts Center.  The work is a fantasy on the hymn The Church’s One Foundation.  The message of the hymn is the concept of Christ as the “church’s foundation” but there seems to be a direct parallel to building any kind of a foundation that must be strong, solid, and support the building above it.  This will be the World Premiere of this great work and the composer, David Gillingham, will be in attendance.

To close this musical celebration, the Wind Ensemble will perform Oscar Navarro’s symphonic poem for wind band, Libertadores.  This large work for wind band is divided into two parts:  the first, inspired by the Amazon River and the second, dedicated to the leaders for independence, or the so-called “liberators” of South America, Simon Bolivar and Jose de San Martin.  

The performance will be held in the Baugh Performance Hall inside the Sue & Frank Mayborn Performing Arts Center on Tuesday, October 10th at 7:30 PM.  The performance qualifies as a FAE event for UMHB students and admission is free and open to the public.  We hope that you can join us to celebrate this wonderful new addition to our campus!

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