NSU Wind Symphony to perform Feb. 24

The NSU Wind Symphony will perform on Thursday, Feb. 24 at 7:30 p.m. in Magale Recital Hall. Admission is free and open to the public. University COVID protocols will be in effect. Those attending are asked to wear a mask. Dan McDonald will conduct the Wind Symphony.

The Wind Symphony will perform Joseph Schwantner’s “New Morning for the World: Daybreak of Freedom,” with Natchitoches Mayor Ronnie Williams Jr. as the narrator. They will also play “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 throughout the United States and has been narrated by such noted individuals as: Coretta Scott King, Yolanda King, James Earl Jones, Maya Angelou, Danny Glover, Robert Guillaume, Alfre Woodard, and Vernon Jordan.

“I was excited by 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,” said Schwanter. “The words that I selected for the narration were garnered from a variety of Dr. King’s writings, addresses, and speeches, and drawn from a period of more than a decade of his life. These words, eloquently expressed by the thrust of his oratory, bear witness to the power and nobility of Martin Luther King Jr.’s ideas, principles, and beliefs. This work of celebration is humbly dedicated to his memory.”

“Nova” gets its namesake from the word nova meaning new and supernova- a powerful luminous stellar explosion. The beginning is like a small star shining bright with different colors around it but as the music continues to grow the star gets bigger. Finally the star exploded- shooting colors and light throughout turning the old star into the new star, filled with dreams, colors, and joy bigger than most.

“Come Sunday” is a two-movement tribute to the Hammond organ’s central role in black worship services. The first movement, “Testimony,” follows the Hammond organ as it readies the congregation’s hearts, minds, and spirits to receive The Word via a magical union of Bach, blues, jazz, and R&B. The second movement, “Shout!,” is a virtuosic celebration – the frenzied and joyous climactic moments when The Spirit has taken over the service. The title is a direct nod to Duke Ellington, who held an inspired love for classical music and allowed it to influence his own work in a multitude of ways.