The University of Texas Wind Ensemble will present our first concert of the spring term on Wednesday, February 9 at 7:30 p.m. in Bates Recital Hall in Austin. This will be a preview performance for our concert at the Texas Music Educators Association Annual Convention on Friday, February 11 at 8:30 p.m. in the Lila Cockrell Theater in San Antonio.
The concert will open with John Williams’ setting of The Star Spangled Banner, performed in honor of Mr. Williams 90th birthday on February 8. We will then perform Low Down Brown Get Down by UT Professor of Composition Omar Thomas. Low-Down Brown Get-Down is the soundtrack for a nonexistent blaxploitation film. It pulls from various sounds and styles of African-American folk music, such as funk, R&B, soul, early hip hop, the blues, and even film noir to stitch together its “scenes.” The title pulls from and is inspired by “post-jive” African-American Vernacular English (AAVE). The word “Brown” in the title, in addition to its reference to none other than the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, whose most-famous licks and bass lines pepper the intro and recur throughout the piece, also refers to the melanin of the people who created these sounds.
This piece unapologetically struts, bops, grooves, slides, shimmies, head bangs, and soul claps its way straight through its thrilling “chase scene” finale. It was my intention with the creation of this piece to go full steam ahead on bringing African-American folk music to the concert stage to take its place amongst all other types of folk music that have found a comfortable home in this arena. May this work push back against notions of “sophistication,” “appropriateness,” and “respectability” that have been codified in the concert music setting for a century and more.
Professor of Trumpet and Principal Trumpet of the Metropolitan Opera, Billy Hunter will then perform Alexander Arutiunian’s Concerto for Trumpet. This performance will feature the ensemble setting transcribed by former distinguished professor of trumpet, and teacher of Professor Hunter, Raymond Crisara.
The program will conclude with a performance of Ottorino Respighi’s The Pines of Rome, transcribed by Jacco Nefs. Joining the Wind Ensemble will be Professor Andrew Brownell, organ, and for the final movement, members of The Cavaliers Drum Corps!
Tickets for Wednesday’s concert in Austin are available at the Butler School of Music box office or online at the link below. Students are admitted free by showing your ID. If you are unable to attend in person, please join us via our live webcast. Links to view the webcast, program, and program notes can be found at the link below. The program will begin at 7:30 p.m. and should conclude by 8:30 p.m. Admission to Friday’s concert in San Antonio will be granted to all attendees of the TMEA Convention. The concert will begin at 8:30 p.m. and should conclude by 9:30 p.m.
We would love to have you join us for what will be a very exciting concert!
Conductor, UT Wind Ensemble
AUSTIN EVENT INFO: https://music.utexas.edu/events/1044-wind-ensemble
AUSTIN TICKETS: https://butlerschoolofmusic.thundertix.com/events/188548
AUSTIN STREAM: https://vimeo.com/event/1705749
TMEA CONVENTION INFO: https://www.tmea.org/convention/