May 3, 2006
Cowley’s instrumental music department to hold spring concert Sunday
Expect the unexpected at the spring concert of the Instrumental Music Department. Premieres of new music, guest ensembles, as well as traditional and avant-garde theater pieces will be featured at 2 p.m. Sunday in the Robert Brown Theatre.
Opening the concert will be selected ensembles from Arkansas City High School, under the direction of Hans Judd. The Cowley sax quartet will perform next with members Bob Warrender, Ramon Ortega, Phillip Vinson and Stephanie Davidson.
The Concert Band will begin their portion of the concert with “Flourish for Wind Band” by Ralph Vaughan Williams and “Symphonic Suite” by Clifton Williams. Three new works by conductor/composer Gary Gackstatter will be premiered: “Black Sea” (for woodwind choir), “The Sky” and “Homesteaders,” conducted by Amanda Lette and featuring Gackstatter on fluglehorn.
The Concert Band will conclude the concert with the theatre piece “Voodoo”. This work by Daniel Bukvich is to be performed in complete darkness and without a conductor. It features the band chanting, singing, and using their instruments in non-traditional manners. The piece features rhythms and melodies of Haitian voodoo rituals, theatrical lighting and percussion.
“I just love this group,” Gackstatter said. “Great musicians, great people, taking on very difficult literature and performing like pros. It’s very important to me as a conductor and as an educator to make sure my groups are doing college level, artistic music, and this group really rises to the occasion. It’s also important to me to present important traditional and non-traditional music and to keep the unexpected/surprise element as a major part of the program.”