The Cameron University Department of Art, Music and Theatre Arts is pleased to present a concert featuring trombonist Jonathan Stoby and percussionist Adam Walton, both members of the 77th Army Band. They are set to appear in the McCutcheon Recital Hall on Saturday, April 16, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for senior citizens/military/K-12 students. Admission is free to CU students, faculty and staff with Cameron ID. Please call 580-581-2346 to reserve a seat.
The duo will perform an eclectic mix of compositions arranged for marimba and trombone, starting with Andrew Beall’s “Rose of Sharon” from “Song of ‘Almah.” The text is taken from the Old Testament book, Song of Solomon, written circa 945 BC. King Solomon, known for writing more than 3,000 proverbs and 1,005 songs, called the basis for this piece his Shir Hashirim – his most exquisite "Song of all Songs," it is considered an incomparable celebration of romantic love in all aspects.
They will next perform Charles Gounod’s “Ave Maria.” A curiosity in music history, "Ave Maria" is a collaboration between two composers whose lives did not overlap, with the melody written 130 years after the accompaniment. “Ave Maria” is a popular and much-recorded setting of a Latin prayer, originally published in 1853. The piece consists of a melody by the French Romantic composer Gounod, which he superimposed over a very slightly changed version of Bach's Prelude No. 1 in C major, BWV 846, from Book I of “The Well-Tempered Clavier.”
John Thrower's “True Colours” will follow. A one-movement, rhapsodic classic fusion piece of a serious nature for solo marimba, the work features various virtuosic passages meant to provoke emotions that “go very deep – filled with sadness.” It was commissioned by and dedicated to Bogdan Bacanu, an international marimba soloist.
One of J.S. Bach’s most popular works, “Minuet, from Cello Suite no.1 in G Major,” is next in the repertoire. The minuet presented here is the fifth movement of the suite and is composed in a binary form, the predecessor to the later sonata form.
“Land,” written for marimbist Momoko Kamiya by composer Takatsugu Muramatsu, is a beautiful and elegant piece that incorporates a very rubato tempo, allowing the performer to be very expressive within the framework laid out by Muramatsu. The main theme is presented over a gently pulsating accompaniment after a brief free section to begin the piece. The middle of the piece incorporates this theme into triplets that creates a sort of "rolling" effect. The piece closes with the original theme material in a new key with some additional variations.
Stoby and Walton next present their arrangement of “Intermezzo, Op. 118, no. 2” by Johannes Brahms. When his contemporaries heard the works that Brahms had composed during his summer holiday in Ischl in 1893 (the Piano Pieces op. 118), they were delighted. Clara Schumann was one of the first to be allowed to get to know the new pieces, and she attested that they contained a wealth of sentiment in the smallest of dimensions. Philipp Spitta fittingly said that the works were perfect for slowly absorbing in solitude and tranquility.
Walton also arranged Franz Schubert’s “Impromptu, Op. 90, no. 3.” “Impromptus” were one of a number of small-scale instrumental genres arising in the early 19th century, known under the collective title of “character pieces.” Cultivated by composers of the Romantic era, these pieces present a simple musical idea in an intimate lyrical style with the aim of evoking a particular mood or moment of personal reflection, spontaneously experienced and communicated. The eight impromptus composed by Schubert in late 1827 are classic examples of the genre and are the first pieces bearing the name “impromptu” to establish themselves permanently in the repertoire.
The concert will conclude with “Universe,” transcribed by Jason Blohm and arranged by Walton. The work on which Walton based his arrangement was recorded as marimba plus string quartet. It was transcribed by Blohm, a talented musician, from a recording and arranged for the form and ensemble heard today. The piece is simple, yet subtly virtuosic, especially in the marimba. The opposition of melody and counter-melody create a composition that is beautiful and unforgettable.”
Stoby recently joined the 77th Army Band at Fort Sill as trombone section leader and brass quintet leader. Previously fulfilling those roles with the 323rd Army Band at Fort Sam Houston, he led the 1st Infantry Division Brass Quintet on a holiday tour to several bases and embassies in Iraq in 2019. During the tour, the quintet spent a day flying in a Chinook helicopter to five different forward operating posts in Syria, becoming the first NATO band to perform in Syria since World War II. Stoby has also led groups in performances and clinics at the Texas Music Educators Association and the Kansas Music Educators Association. He holds a degree in trombone performance from Stephen F. Austin State University.
Walton, who is pursuing a doctorate in music from the University of Illinois, enlisted as a musician with the U.S. Army bands in 2012. He has served as a percussionist and arranger in several assignments, including the 8th Army Band at Camp Humphreys in South Korea, the Army Materiel Command Band at Redstone Arsenal in Alabama, the 82nd Airborne Division Band at Fort Bragg, and the 77th Army Band at Fort Sill. He has performed with diverse groups, both as a civilian and a soldier, including various orchestras, concert bands, drum corps, rock/pop bands, salsa groups, big bands, jazz combos, and as a solo percussionist. He earned a bachelor’s degree in music education from Eastern Illinois University and a master’s degree in percussion performance from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.