Cameron University Concert Band and 77th Army Band unite for free concert to feature renowned euphonium soloist Demondrae Thurman

The Cameron University Concert Band and Fort Sill's 77th Army Band will present a combined concert on Thursday, April 28, at 7:30 p.m. in the Cameron University Theatre. Special guest Demondrae Thurman, highly acclaimed euphonium soloist, will also be featured. The Cameron University Concert Band is conducted by Dr. Matthew Mireles, and the 77th Army Band is conducted by Warrant Officer 1st Class Jac’kel Smalls. Admission is free.

The repertoire will feature compositions from the 1800s to the 1990s, beginning with Leonard Bernstein’s “Slava!”, which commemorates the famed cellist and conductor Mstislva “Slava” Rostropovich. The concert will continue with Beethoven’s “Egmont Overture,” written in 1809 for the premiere of Goethe’s play, “Egmont.” “Irish Tune from County Derry”, a folk song composed in 1911 by Percy Aldridge Grainger,will follow. Jerry Brubaker’s “Rhapsody for Euphonium” will feature Thurman as euphonium soloist. The concert will continue with Morton Lauridsen’s “O Magnum Mysterium,” based on a Christian responsorial chant; “Paris Sketches” by Martin Ellerby, written in 1994 as a personal tribute to a city the composer loves; the challenging “Two Part Invention” by Philip Sparke, which will feature Thurman and Mireles on euphonium; and a rousing rendition of John Philip Sousa’s “U.S. Field Artillery March.”

Thurman is considered one of the stars of the formidable generation of brass soloists. His euphonium playing has been described as “awe inspiring”, and he is touted as “an amazing musician”.  He has established a firm international reputation as a euphonium soloist, having performed in Europe, Asia and throughout North America.  Thurman is Associate Professor of Music at Samford University where he teaches low brass, conducts the Wind Ensemble and serves as Director of Graduate Studies. He is also on the faculty of the Miraphone Academy, Southeastern Tuba Euphonium Workshop and the National Music Festival Euphonium Workshop. 

Known as “The Pride of Fort Sill,” the 77th Army Band was constituted on March 1, 1907 as the 13th Band, Coast Artillery and activated at Fort Du Pont, Delaware. After World War I, it was reorganized and re-designated as the Band Section, Headquarters Battery, 16th Coast Artillery at Fort Armstrong, Territory of Hawaii. Om 1927, it was withdrawn from Headquarters Battery and re-designated as the Band, 16th Coast Artillery. For the next 30 or so years, it was reorganized, re-designated, inactivated and re-activated on numerous occasions. On February 24, 1955, the 77th Army Band was activated at Fort Sill, where it has found what seems to be a permanent home. The 77th Army Band is known nationwide and has performed at numerous special events across the country.

The Cameron University Concert Band, composed of Cameron students, performs at numerous events throughout the academic year. The ensemble is open to music majors, minors and non-music students.

For more information, contact the Cameron University Department of Music at 580-581-2440.

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April 19, 2016

PR#16-084