Tahlequah Daily Press

January 16, 2014

Communiversity Band concert and pieces


TAHLEQUAH — The Northeastern State University Communiversity Band, which includes musicians from the NSU campus and Tahlequah community, holds its rehearsals each Tuesday to prepare for its lone concert.

The concert is April 27 at 7 p.m. in the NSU Center for the Performing Arts. Dr. Norman Wika, director of band programs at NSU, has not chosen the pieces to be performed, but has some in mind.

A few composers Wika is considering:

* Ralph Vaughan Williams [1872-1958], an English composer. He wrote pieces ranging from symphonic arrangements to film scores. Several of his compositions were influenced by English folk music.

* Michael Colgrass [b. April 22, 1932], a U.S.-born composer. He won the 1978 Pulitzer Prize for Music for his symphonic work Deja Vu. He lives in Toronto as is an associate composer of the Canadian Music Centre.

“The work I am considering is written for a young band,” Wika said. “It wouldn’t be our most challenging piece, but it uses a lot of modern techniques and is really good music.”

* W. Francis McBeth [March 9, 1933 - Jan. 6, 2012], a U.S. composer. He was best known for innovative pieces arranged for wind instruments. From 1957-96 he taught at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Ark.

* Percy Grainger [July 8, 1882 - Feb. 20, 1961], an Australian composer. His original compositions often bucked the conventions of early 20th Century music and were known for their brevity - rarely lasting longer than eight minutes.

“We will play a Grainger piece,” Wika said. “It isn’t really a band concert without a Grainger piece.”