< Back

Cameron University Concert Band and 77th Army Band team up to present “Oklahoma Connections”

The Cameron University Concert Band and 77th Army Band will team up to present “Oklahoma Connections," a concert featuring music inspired by the Sooner State. Slated for Thursday, March 9, at 7:30 p.m. in the University Theatre, the concert is open to the public at no charge.

“We will be performing a combination of well-known music as well as some pieces that are not often performed,” says Dr. Lucas Kaspar, director of the CU Concert Band. “It has been a joy working with the 77th Army Band. The level of musicianship is superb. This experience is something that Cameron band students will remember for a long time.”

The concert will open with “Mount Scott Overture” by Earl Irons, a composer and trumpeter who resided in northern Texas in the early to mid-19th century. Inspired by the large herds of elk, deer, and buffalo along with the beauty of the 2455-foot Mount Scott, he composed this piece after a vacation to Oklahoma.

Oklahoma composer Ed Huckeby’s “On Wings of Eagles” will follow. A lifelong resident of Oklahoma, Huckeby has made a substantial contribution in the area of music education. He served on the music faculty at Southwestern Christian University as well as Northeastern State University. He is an Emeritus Professor of Music at Northwestern Oklahoma State University where he served for over two decades as director of bands.

W.T. Skye’s “Oklahoma Centennial Suite” will be performed next. This five-movement work was composed in 2007 to commemorate Oklahoma’s statehood on November 16, 1907. The music is meant to reflect the early years of Oklahoma as a state.

That will be followed by “Carbine and Lance” and “Daybreak on Arbuckle Hill,” two works by Justin McCall. A tuba player in the 77th Army Band at Fort Sill until December 2022, McCall was inspired to write both pieces during his time as a soldier at Fort Sill.

Louis Ballard’s 1966 composition “Scenes from Indian Life” was originally written for symphony orchestra. The composer later transcribed it for concert band. Ballard was a Native American composer, educator, author, artist and journalist who was known as the father of Native American composition. He grew up near Miami, Oklahoma, and received degrees in music from the University of Oklahoma and the University of Tulsa.

SPC Brittany Simmons will perform an arrangement of Tony Arata’s “The Dance,” which was a chart-topping hit by Garth Brooks in 1990 and is considered by many to be his signature song. Brooks, born in Tulsa and raised in Yukon, is the son of the late Colleen Carroll, herself a recording artist who instilled a love of music in her children. Brooks attended Oklahoma State University where he earned a degree in advertising in 1984, then returned to earn an MBA in 2011.

The concert will close with music from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s iconic musical, “Oklahoma!” Selections will include “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’,” “Many a New Day,” “Oklahoma,” “People Will Say We’re in Love,” “Out of My Dreams” and “The Surrey with the Fringe on Top.”

Conducting duties for the concert will be shared by bandmaster WO1 Martin Johnston of the 77th Army Band and Dr. Lucas Kaspar, Assistant Professor of Music at Cameron University.


PR# 23-021

Press Releases by Year