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Orchestra performs students’ original work

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The University Band and University Orchestra will be performing a concert Friday, May 29 at 7:30 p.m. in the Ruth Barrus Concert Hall.

The University Band is under the direction of Darrell Brown, while the University Orchestra is under the direction of Ted Ashton. Brown and Ashton are eager to present a concert of exciting works, according to the event page on BYU-Idaho’s website.

Brown said this performance would be one of the last two concerts he and Ashton will perform on campus.

“Brother Ashton is retiring after a very distinguished and lengthy career, and I am finishing my third year as a ‘visiting professor’ and will be leaving after spring semester,” Brown said. “I think this concert and the one following it are pretty good ‘swan songs’ for the two of us.”

Brown said he was a student at Ricks College when Brother Ashton got hired.

As part of the performance, Ashton will lead the orchestra in playing the music of Bach, Berger, Bloch, and Sibelius, Brown said.

The program will feature two student conductors, Celine Knapp and Jennifer Allen, Brown said.

Ashton said he would be joined by violin professor Dallin Hansen in playing the second movement to the “Concerto in D Minor for Two Violins” by J.S. Bach.

“From the early days of my music experience, I have greatly appreciated the music of Bach, especially this particular concerto,” Ashton said. “This slow movement is serenely and beautiful, and it is my honor to play it with my colleague as part of this concert.”

The band portion of the concert will begin with Serenade, Op. 22 by Antonín Dvořák, which will be conducted by music education student Brett Hofmeister, according to the event page on BYU-I’s website.

This will be followed by the U.S. premiere of “Elegie for Cello and Full Concert Band” by Brazilian composer Edson Beltrami, featuring guest cellist Robyn Brown, who is the wife of Darrell Brown, according to the event page on BYU-I’s website.

The band will then play the premiere of “The Sky Herder,” led by student composer Alicia Hansen, according to the event page on BYU-I’s website.

“The Sky Herder ‘world’ was created by BYU-Idaho art major alumnus Anna Earley,” Brown said. “It is her brainchild.”

Brown said Anna Earley and Alicia Hansen serendipitously became roommates, and worked on “The Sky Herder” together.

“Two years and a mission ago, when Anna was doing her senior art show, she and Alicia got to talking about the aspirations for “The Sky Herder” to be made into a film, and Alicia wrote the ‘soundtrack,” Brown said. “Alicia wrote the first draft of the music at that time, and I told her then that I thought it would be a good band piece. Here we are, and it has come to fruition.”

“The Sky Herder,” a mystical, four-movement work, will be a very special experience for those in attendance, according to the event page on BYU-I’s website.

“The music is compelling and mixes Mesoamerican sounds with some rather unexpected sounds to create this dreamy, unfamiliar yet familiar soundscape to the story,” Brown said.

Brown said the University Band and University Orchestra will finish the concert by performing David Maslanka’s single movement World Music. Brown said it was a lovely piece and that it would be a great way to end the concert.

Tickets for the concert cost 3$ for BYU-I students and 6$ for the general public.


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