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Music Department to Present ASU Wind Ensemble in Concert with Bands from Salem and Nettleton Schools


JONESBORO -- Students from Salem High School and Nettleton High School Bands will join the Arkansas State University Wind Ensemble for a concert celebrating the music of internationally renowned composer Dr. David Maslanka on Thursday, April 25. 

The concert will be held in Riceland Hall of Fowler Center, 201 Olympic Dr., beginning at 7:30 p.m.  Admission is free.

Conductors Michael Cole of Salem High School, Peggy Jeffries of Nettleton High School and Dr. Timothy Oliver, director of bands and coordinator of wind and percussion studies at Arkansas State, will lead their ensembles as they perform works written by Dr. Maslanka, who will be the ASU composer-in-residence April 21-27. 

This concert is one of five events at Arkansas State where Maslanka’s compositions will be performed.  Additionally, Dr. Oliver is a proponent of ensemble collaborations, especially when it involves music education students from the region.

“Both Mr. Cole and Ms. Jeffries were eager to collaborate with their students on this once-in-a-lifetime musical event,” Oliver said.

The concert will begin with Maslanka’s work “Procession of the Academics” performed by the Salem Senior High School Concert Band under the direction of Michael Cole.  This piece was written for the sesquicentennial celebration at Illinois State University.  As the title suggests, the music captures the spirit of both a fanfare and commencement ceremony.  Despite Dr. Maslanka’s trepidation of being neither a native of Illinois nor a member of the ISU faculty, he wrote a ceremonial piece of music ideally suited to open a concert.

The next piece on the program is “Quiet Song,” from the collection of three “Heart Songs,” performed by the Nettleton High School Concert Band under the direction of Peggy Jeffries. 

This is another piece by Dr. Maslanka that takes its title from the image of the tree of life being "watered" by the blood of the heart. Like most of Dr. Maslanka's music, it is deeply felt, and reflective in nature.

The final piece on the program will be one of Dr. Maslanka’s favorite compositions, “Traveler.”  He composed this piece while contemplating the retirement of a close friend.  According to the concert notes, the music begins with energy and movement, depicting an engaged life in full stride; at the halfway point, a meditative quiet settles in.  Life’s battles are largely done; the soul is preparing for its next big step.  This slower section brings the concert to a reflective and satisfying conclusion.

For more details, one may call the Department of Music at (870) 972-2094.

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