The NSU Wind Symphony will perform on Thursday, February 24 at 7:30 p.m. at Magale Recital Hall. Admission is free and open to the public. University COVID protocols will be in effect. Those present are asked to wear a mask. A livestream of the concert will be available at capa.nsula.edu/livestream. Dan McDonald will conduct the Wind Symphony.
The Wind Symphony will perform “New Morning for the World: Daybreak of Freedom” by Joseph Schwantner, with Natchitoches Mayor Ronnie Williams Jr. as narrator. They will also perform “Nova” by Katahj Copley and “Come Sunday” by Omar Thomas.
Schwanter, a Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, wrote the piece in 1982 as a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The work has received hundreds of performances by major orchestras across the United States and has been narrated by celebrities such as: Coretta Scott King, Yolanda King, James Earl Jones, Maya Angelou, Danny Glover, Robert Guillaume, Alfre Woodard and Vernon Jordan.
“I was thrilled at the opportunity to engage my work with the profound and deeply felt words of Dr. King, a man of great dignity and courage whom I had long admired,” Schwanter said. “The words I have chosen for narration have been taken from a variety of Dr. King’s writings, addresses and speeches, and drawn from a period spanning more than a decade of his life. These words, eloquently expressed through the thrust of his oratory, testify to the power and nobility of the ideas, principles and beliefs of Martin Luther King Jr. This celebratory work is humbly dedicated to his memory.
“Nova” takes its name from the word nova meaning new and supernova – a powerful luminous stellar explosion. The beginning is like a bright little star with different colors around it, but as the music continues to grow, the star gets bigger. Finally, the star exploded – shooting colors and light as it transformed from an old star into a new star, filled with dreams, colors and joy greater than most.
“Come Sunday” is a two-movement tribute to the central role of the Hammond organ in black cults. The first movement, “Testimony”, follows the Hammond organ as it prepares the hearts, minds and spirits of the congregation to receive the Word via a magical union of Bach, blues, jazz and R&B. The second movement, “Shout!”, is a virtuoso celebration – the frenzied and joyful climactic moments when the Spirit has returned to service. The title is a direct nod to Duke Ellington, who had an inspired love for classical music and allowed it to influence his own work in myriad ways.