February 25, 2022
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator
Dr Skye Holmes
Dr Benjamin Harper
VALDOSTA – The Valdosta State University Band and Wind Ensemble will perform at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 2 at Whitehead Auditorium. Admission is free and open to the public.
The 54-member concert band, led by Dr. Skye Holmes, will perform Percy Grainger’s dynamic and playful Mock Morris, Thomas Doss’ reflective and thoughtful Cantus and Clare Grundman’s timeless and classic Little English Suite.
After a brief intermission, the 44-member Wind Ensemble, conducted by Dr. Benjamin Harper, will perform David Maslanka’s Give Us This Day, a short symphony consisting of two movements – the first deeply intriguing and the second highly energetic.
“The words ‘give us this day’ are, of course, from the Lord’s Prayer, but the inspiration for this music is Buddhist,” the composer shared. “I recently read a book by Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hahn called ‘Making a Future Possible’. Its premise is that a future for the planet is only possible if individuals become deeply self-aware, deeply connected to who they truly are. Although this is not a new idea, and something that is an ongoing struggle for everyone, in my opinion, it is the issue of world peace. For me, writing music and working with people to play music are two of those points of mindfulness.
“Music connects with reality, and by reality I mean real awakening and awareness. Give Us This Day gives us that very moment of awakening and awareness so that we can build a future in the face of a most dangerous and challenging time.
Holmes is Deputy Group Director and Director of Sports Groups at VSU. She leads the Blazin’ Brigade Marching Band and Concert Band and teaches arranging and marching band techniques.
Harper is a Band Manager and Assistant Professor of Music at VSU. He directs the Wind Ensemble, directs the Graduate Program in Wind Instrument Conducting, and guides all aspects of the University Band Program.
VSU’s Whitehead Auditorium is located on the first floor of the Fine Arts Building at the intersection of Brookwood Drive and Patterson Street.
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