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November 2002

Release Date: November 7, 2002

Wind Ensemble to Perform Premiere Composition Reflecting Emotion of 9-11

"Cloudless Day . . . Bitter Sky," a musical composition commemorating the tragic events, the heroes and the enduring American spirit after Sept. 11, 2001, will premiere during the fall concert of the Angelo State University Wind Ensemble Tuesday, Nov. 19, on the ASU campus.

The new composition, written by internationally known composer Donald Grantham of Austin, reflects the mood of that terrible day and its aftermath by capturing the spirit of all Americans. The world premiere of "Cloudless Day . . . Bitter Sky" will highlight the night's theme of "American Heroes," saluting Americans and the events which have shaped the nation's heritage and culture.

The world premiere and concert, under the direction of Dr. David Scott in his fifth year as director of ASU bands, will begin at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19, in the University Auditorium, 2601 West Avenue N on the ASU campus.

The new piece by Grantham, a professor of composition at the University of Texas at Austin, was commissioned by the members of the ASU chapters of Kappa Kappa Psi, the national band fraternity and Tau Beta Sigma, the national band sorority. The composition is written in three sections, the outer two being reflective and elegiac in nature, while the middle section is more resolute and bold. The title of the work comes from the third stanza of "Counting the Beats," a poem by Robert Graves.

Other musical pieces on the program will include "American Hero" by Bruce Broughton; "Chester," a Revolutionary War song of defiance, by William Schuman; and the haunting melody of "Shenandoah," the Civil War lament of a soldier who longs for home but knows he may never return, with a setting by Frank Ticheli.

Additional titles will include "Variations on "America," a crowd-pleaser that takes a popular patriotic tune through a series of settings, including ragtime and Latin versions, by Charles Ives; "The Stars and Stripes Forever," the official march of the United States by John Philip Sousa; and "A Movement for Rosa," by Mark Camphouse and honoring civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks, who in refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Ala., bus made a stand for all Americans.

Composer Grantham is the recipient of numerous national and international awards, including the Prix Lili Boulanger, a Guggenheim Fellowship, three grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and First Prize in the National Opera Association's Composition Competition. His music has been praised for its "elegance, sensitivity, lucidity of thought, clarity of expression and fine lyricism" in a Citation awarded by the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.