Wind Symphony to feature guest composer

Published 8:08 am Thursday, February 21, 2019

Longwood University’s Wind Symphony will be joined by the Fuqua School Senior Band and the Prince Edward County High School Band Wednesday, Feb. 27, in a concert featuring marches, concert works and a guest composer/conductor. The 7:30 p.m. concert in Jarman Auditorium is free and open to the public.

Omar Thomas

Both high school bands will perform pieces they have selected to play at their upcoming district music assessment and other festivals. At the assessment, and on the concert, each group will perform a march and two concert selections. Conducted by Tyler Gage, the Fuqua School Band will perform “Bonds of Unity” by Karl King, “Variations on ‘Scarborough Fair’” by Calvin Custer, and “Into the Storm” by Robert W. Smith.

The Prince Edward Band, conducted by Tiarrah Crouch, will open with their march “Amparito Roca” by Jaime Texidor, and play “Filum Vitae” by Kenley Kristofferson and “Malaqueña,” arranged by Sammy Nestico as their concert selections. Both conductors are Longwood Music alumni.

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The Longwood Wind Symphony, conducted by Dr. Gordon Ring, will feature the guest composer/conductor for the evening, Omar Thomas, currently on the faculty in the Music Theory department at the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

He will conduct his new work, “Of Our New Day Begun,” which was written to honor the nine victims of the 2015 shootings at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. It is a very dramatic piece using the hymn “Lift Every Voice and Sing” and peppered with blues harmonies and melodies while including singing, stomping, clapping, and tambourine in a direct nod to worship services of the black church. Thomas’ visit is funded in part by Dr. Larissa Smith Fergeson, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

The Wind Symphony will open their program with “MetroDance” by conductor Gordon Ring and Ralph Vaughan Williams’ “English Folk Song Suite.” To end the concert the band will lead a performance of the Longwood Fight Song, composed by Rob Blankenship ’00.

For more information contact the Longwood University Department of Music at (434) 395.2504 or (434) 395-2628.