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“Unsung Heroes” band concert to feature two Cameron University ensembles

The Cameron University Concert Band and the Cameron/Lawton Community Band will unite to present “Unsung Heroes.” The concert takes place on Sunday, October 8, at 3 p.m. in the University Theatre.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for senior citizens, military members and non-CU students. Cameron students, faculty, and staff are admitted at no charge with a valid CU ID. To reserve tickets, please call 580-581-2346 or visit: https://www.cameron.edu/art-music-and-theatre/events/buy-tickets .

The CU Concert Band, conducted by Lucas Kaspar, assistant professor of music, will open the program with a performance of “Pietro’s Return March.” This brisk march was originally composed for and by accordionist Pietro Deiro in 1913. Kaspar,who identifies Deiro himself as well as all accordionists left in the world as the unsung heroes of the piece, has a personal connection to the accordion.

“Accordion was the first instrument I learned, when I was 8 years old,” he says. “When ‘Pietro’s Return March’ was composed, the accordion was one of the most common instruments in classical and pop music. Unfortunately, over the last 50 years, the instrument has nearly died in the United States. It is my hope that the instrument can come back stronger than ever!”

Larry Daehn’s “With Quiet Courage” and “All Pleasant Things” by James Barnes will follow.

Daehn wrote “With Quiet Courage” to honor his mother. He wrote the following poem which is to be read when his piece is performed:

“Her life was heroic, but without fanfare.

She worked and hoped and inspired.

She loved and was loved.

Her life was a noble song of quiet courage.”

“All Pleasant Things” was written to honor Barbara Buehlman, one of the first female band directors. Buehlman was also well known for her transcription of Brahms’s “Blessed Are They” from “German Requiem.”

The CU Concert Band will close its portion of the concert with a performance of Quincy Hilliard’s “The Unknown Soldier.” This 12-minute piece is dedicated to all the soldiers who have died in battle in defense of their country. Hilliard wrote the following text to accompany his composition:

“I am the Unknown Soldier

Who in futile death stands tall,

And if I were alive to serve once more,

I’d answer my country’s call.”

Following a brief intermission, the Cameron/Lawton Community Band will open its portion of the program with Henry Fillmore’s “Men of Ohio.” Fillmore composed this march in 1921 in honor of President Warren Harding. Harding was from Marion, Ohio, a small town north of Columbus.

The ensemble will perform Percy Grainger’s rendition of “Irish Tune,” better known as “Oh Danny Boy.” This staple in the band repertoire was composed in 1910 by English lawyer Frederic Weatherly. There are several interpretations of the text to “Oh Danny Boy.” It is thought by many that the text was written from a mother’s perspective, wishing a quick return for her son who is at war.

The ensemble will then perform John Tatgenhorst’s “Pet Parade” and “Victory” by M.L. Daniels. “Pet Parade” was selected for this concert to honor all four-legged, furry friends who bring joy and laughter on a daily basis.

“Victory” will feature the percussion section of the Cameron/Lawton Community Band. The piece was written for Daniels’ best friend Charles Trevathan, a colleague at Abilene Christian University.

Leroy Anderson’s “The Typewriter” follows. This very fast and comical work will feature CU percussionist Nick Raso transforming a typewriter (formerly a staple in the business world but now primarily regarded as a vintage and collectible piece) into a percussion instrument.

John Philip Sousa’s “Old Ironsides” will close the Cameron/Lawton Community Band’s portion of the concert. Though Sousa is one of the prominent band composers, this march itself is the unsung hero. The march was never published and is rarely performed. This charming and challenging uptempo composition will feature the low brass section of the ensemble.

Both ensembles will unite to perform Randall Standridge’s “Choose Joy.”

“It is an honor for me to conduct both the Cameron University Concert Band and the Cameron/Lawton Community Band,” Kaspar says. “The last selection of the concert is going to be special, featuring more than 90 performers on stage to perform this heroic piece.”



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