To kick off the season, the Troy Symphony Band will present a masterworks concert, which is a concert performance of significant compositions.
According to Mark Walker, the director of bands, the concert will include mostly classic symphonies and some other significant pieces that may become classics in the future.
“It’s the monument of band literature,” Walker said about the center piece of the concert – “Music for Prague 1968.” The piece is a programmatic work written by composer Karel Husa during the Cold War. Walker said, for bands, playing “Music for Prague 1968” is like playing Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 in C minor for an orchestra.
According to Walker, this is the first time the symphony band has ever played this masterwork.
“In some slow parts, you can even hear the Russian tanks coming to take over,” said Mitchell Thomas, a freshman music education major from Cairo, Ga.
Thomas said “Music for Prague 1968” is a difficult piece, but he enjoyed learning to play it.
“Fan Faranade” is the newest song in the concert. The university commissioned the band to produce the song, and they did the world premiere in February 2013.
“Directing the band is a challenging job, but it’s very worthwhile,” Walker said. “I absolutely love it.” The symphony band has practiced for the concert since the beginning of the semester every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
“It’s not really time consuming,” Thomas said. “Practice is what you make of it. It’s all about wanting to see the band as a whole– the best it could be. You have to find your will and determination to be what the band needs you to be. That’s hard work and loyalty to your fellow musicians.”
Walker also believes that band members are not as overloaded as many people think.
“Students who are the busiest are also the most successful,” Walker said.
“I loved that, unlike the high school environment, Troy’s band brings a sense of professionalism and understanding,” Thomas said. “Here everybody is already an excellent player.”
Walker is very pleased with this year’s band.
The band members meet in Stewart Hall, the former campus dining hall, to practice.
Upon its estimated completion within the year, Long Hall will house the symphony band.
The concert will be at Crosby Theater on Oct. 15. Admission is free for Troy students. This is also a passport event.