Baylor's Symphonic Band Performs Concert on March 1

Feb. 24, 1999

by Richard Veit

Baylor University's Symphonic Band will present a concert at 8 p.m. Monday, March 1, in Jones Concert Hall. The 58-member Symphonic Band performs under the direction of Jeffrey Grogan, assistant professor and associate professor of bands. One piece will be conducted by Courtney Snyder, a graduate student from Mechanicsburg, Penn.

Karel Husa's "Smetana Fanfare" will open the concert. This piece was commissioned by San Diego State University for the 1984 centennial observation of Czech composer Bedrich Smetana's death.

A performance of Smetana's "March of the Revolutionary Guard" from 1848 will follow. This work, originally for piano, will be heard in an arrangement for band by Václav Nelhybel.

A staple of the band repertoire will come next when the Symphonic Band plays Gustav Holst's "First Suite for Military Band." Though written in 1909, this splendid piece did not receive its first public performance until 1920 -- two years after the conclusion of World War I.

Richard Willis served as Composer-in-Residence at Baylor from 1964 to his retirement in 1996. His "Aria and Toccata" for band, one of his most frequently played works, was the winner of the 1969 American Bandmasters Association's Ostwald Composition Award.

The fifth and final piece on the program will be H. Owen Reed's "La Fiesta Mexicana," a colorful depiction of a Mexican festival dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Dating from 1954, it is in three movements -- "Prelude and Aztec Dance," "Mass" and "Carnival."

The concert by the Symphonic Band is free and open to the public. It will be preceded at 7 p.m. by a performance by Baylor's Concert Band. For more information, call the Baylor School of Music at 710-3991.

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