Symphonic Wind Ensemble to Perform World Premiere Thursday

Texas Tech commissioned the piece from award-winning composer D.J. Sparr.

WHAT:           Symphonic Wind Ensemble concert premiere

WHEN:           7:30 p.m. Thursday (Oct. 2)

WHERE:         Hemmle Recital Hall (Room 101), Music building

The Symphonic Wind Ensemble of the Texas Tech University School of Music will perform the world premiere of “Cloud of Witnesses,” a 9-minute piece from composer and electric guitarist D.J. Sparr, who recently finished a three-year stint as the Young American Composer-in-Residence with the California Symphony. He has won numerous awards for his music, which has been performed throughout the world.

“Cloud of Witnesses” is inspired by the notion of our ancestors’ guidance helping us “run with perseverance” through our challenges in life. Sparr uses impressionistic orchestration techniques that draw on the variety of sounds available in a wind ensemble. A defining feature of the work is a sustained melodic motive performed by a synthesizer, string bass, harp and piano. The percussion part uses bell-like instruments to create a cloud of rhythmic activity. Wind instruments in high ranges float and embellish the melodic phrasings over a firm foundation of chords in low instruments.

Texas Tech formed a consortium with 20 other university band programs, including Eastman, Michigan, UCLA, Arizona State, Florida State, Baylor and others to commission the piece.

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CONTACT:  Sarah McKoin, director of bands, College of Visual and Performing Arts, Texas Tech University, (806) 834-8848 or