Baylor's Symphonic Band in Concert

October 6, 2021
The Baylor University Symphonic Band, a 66-member ensemble of woodwind, brass, and percussion players under the baton of Associate Director of Bands Isaiah Odajima, will present a concert on Monday, October 11. This event will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Jones Concert Hall, located within the Glennis McCrary Music Building. Appearing at this concert is the distinguished American composer, John Mackey, whose Kingfishers Catch Fire will be heard.
Opening the program will be American composer Frank Ticheli’s Nitro, an energetic fanfare for band. The work was commissioned by the Northshore Concert Band, in celebration of their fiftieth-anniversary season, and it received a premiere performance by them on April 9, 2006.
Next, the Symphonic Band will present Spoon River: An American Folk Dance by the great Australian composer/arranger, Percy Grainger. In 1914, ninety-year-old Captain Charles H. Robinson recalled hearing a tune called “Spoon River” when it was played by a rustic fiddler at a country dance in Bradford, Illinois, way back in 1857. Captain Robinson passed the tune along to poet Edgar Lee Masters, who had just published his similarly titled Spoon River Anthology. Masters, in turn, gave it to Grainger, and the composer was enchanted by its “pioneer blend of lonesome wistfulness and sturdy persistence.” Grainger finished writing the piece in 1929.
Also to be heard is the Fackeltanz No. 1 by the German-born operatic composer, Giacomo Meyerbeer. This is the first of his four such “Torch Dances,” grandiose ceremonial pieces that were composed for weddings of members of the Prussian royal family.
John Mackey’s two-movement Kingfishers Catch Fire dates from 2007. According to the composer, “A kingfisher is a bird with beautiful, brilliantly colored feathers that look in sunlight as if they are on fire. Kingfishers are extremely shy birds and are rarely seen, but when they are seen, they are undeniably beautiful.”
This Symphonic Band concert is free of charge and open to the public. It is also available for livestreaming at
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