SUU Wind Symphony and Cedar City Community Band present ‘One Life Beautiful’

The Southern Utah University Wind Symphony, in conjunction with the Cedar City Community Band, performed the latest concert of their Music Masterworks Series at the Heritage Center Theater on Thursday, Nov. 2.

“Every performance of the Cedar City Community Band will include a standard of band literature, a march, something slow and lyrical and, finally, something fun,” said a representative for the band. “Tonight, we will musically take you on a journey ‘into darkness.’ Then, we will take you out of darkness and into the light.”

The Cedar City Community Band, directed by Steve Shirts, began the concert with “Highlights from Star Trek: Into Darkness” by Michael Giacchino arranged by Michael Brown. The composition includes a motif from the original “Star Trek” series’ adventurous theme but ultimately has a darker and more ominous tone.

Following that piece was “Marche Diabolique” by Brian Balmages, which is notable for its inclusion of a tritone, an interval which sounds dissonant and uncomfortable.

After “Marche Diabolique” came “Past the Equinox” by Jack Stamp and  “O Nata Lux (Light born of Light)” by Guy Forbes.

“Fiat Lux (Let There Be Light)” by Randall Standridge is a jovial fanfare and was a fitting conclusion to the Cedar City Community Band’s portion of the event.

After a brief intermission, the SUU Wind Symphony took to the stage with “March” from “Symphonic Metamorphosis” by Paul Hindenmith.

“We wanted to celebrate the wonderful composer Julie Giroux,” said Adam Lambert, the  director of bands and brass studies at SUU. “Not only did she have an outstanding list of compositions for wind ensemble, but she is also a very accomplished writer for screen music and television, as well.”

The first of three Giroux works performed was “Carnaval!” which, per, is “a vivid depiction of the excitement and energy of a Latin street Carnival.” This piece concluded with Lambert encouraging the audience to clap along to the music.

“Acclamation” by Claude T. Smith was the last non-Giroux piece of the night. Though the symphony had not performed the piece during Lambert’s decade with SUU, he praised it as a “wonderful work.”

The program continued with the concert’s titular Giroux piece, “One Life Beautiful,” an impressionistic freestyle work in which chords are purposely overlapped. The piece was commissioned by the family of the late Heather Cramer Reu, whose father was once the Indiana University Band Department chairman.

The evening’s finale was Giroux’s slavic “Paprikash.”

“Growing up, I played all of the Hungarian Rhapsodies on the piano. I found them energetic,  fascinating and most of all passionate,” said Giroux on her website. “I did not want to put this piece into a specific ethnic category so I went with the title “Paprikash” referring to the chicken dish which uses lots and lots of paprika. It is a dish which is prepared by all of the countries whose musical styles I was going to compose in.”

The livestream and program for the concert, as well as information for upcoming events, can be found on the SUU Department of Music’s website.

Story by: Jacob Horne
Photos courtesy of SUTV-9
Editor: Tessa Cheshire