Sampling America through music

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BYU’s Symphonic Band will present its newest concert called “Made in America,” a performance revolving around American culture, on Feb. 26.

The event will take place in the de Jong Concert Hall located in the Harris Fine Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. The band features approximately 85 students under the direction of Kirt Saville, a professor of music education.

Flyer for “Made in America,” which will take place on Feb. 26. (Photo courtesy Harris Fine Arts Center)

The Symphonic Band has two concerts each semester, and “Made in America” is the first one this winter semester. The concert is a collection of music by American composers.

“We sometimes don’t give our own musicians and our own composers enough credit,” Saville said. “‘Made in America’ is a concert based on composers that are American; it’s music written by, for and about Americans.”

Bethany Barlow is the president of the band and is majoring in music education with an elementary emphasis. Barlow said the concert is for everyone.

“I feel like anyone who enjoys music should attend the concert,” Barlow said. “There is a lot of variety, so we have something for everyone.”

The programs given out at similar concerts normally include the name and dates of birth and death of each composer. “Made in America” is different because all but one of the composers are alive.

“These are all living composers, and that’s kind of a neat twist,” Saville said, “because it really reflects our contemporary culture.”

The opening piece is by Richard Williams, a media music student. Williams won a student Grammy in 2010 for his music on the BYU Animation film “Mashed.” His piece “Reawakened” was inspired by “The Prince of Persia” soundtrack.

“There are a couple of chords in there that have this kind of epic feel, I wanted to go all out,” Williams said.

The rest of the program includes the following pieces:

  • “Havendance” by David Holsinger
  • “Amazing Grace” by Frank Ticheli. 
  • “Rollo Takes a Walk” by David Maslanka
  • “Sheltering Sky” by David Mackey 
  • “First Suite for Band” by Alfred Reed
  • “Southern Harmony” by Donald Grantham

The performance will conclude with “Stars and Stripes Forever” by John Philip Sousa, the only deceased composer from the entire program.

“Whoever comes to the concert will get a taste of ‘Americana,'” Saville said.

Each ticket is $6 and can be purchased through the Fine Arts Ticket Office (801) 422.4322, or online at arts.byu.edu/tickets.

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