Texas Tech University

Guest Artists Collaborate to Perform 'A Touch of Blue'

Benjamin Robinette

September 20, 2017


The School of Music will host artists from Lubbock, New Mexico and Pennsylvania.

Shades of Blue

The Texas Tech University School of Music will host three guest artists for a recital program titled “A Touch of Blue.” The performance, featuring works for mezzo-soprano voice, saxophone and piano, will be at 4 p.m. on Sunday (Sept. 24) at Hemmle Recital Hall and is free to the public.

Mezzo-soprano Sarah Daughtrey, associate professor of music at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico; saxophonist David Box of Lubbock; and Justin Badgerow, collaborative pianist for Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, will present an afternoon performance of compositions inspired by dance and song styles of North, Central and South Americas.

The repertoire makes use of all three performers' respected instruments and highlights both popular and lesser-known works in equal measure. The performance also will include a world premiere by a faculty colleague, Lon Chaffin, chair of the New Mexico State University Music Department.

Daughtrey, also the coordinator of the Vocal Area at New Mexico State University, brings experiences with Brazilian song and Portuguese dictation to life in her presentation of texts throughout the recital. Box contributes to the vibrancy of the jazz community in Lubbock. He is the founder of the local jazz ensemble, the Frontier Big Band, and the nonprofit Lubbock Jazz and Arts Academy. Badgerow is a researcher at Elizabethtown College. His area of interest, in research and performance, includes Latin American music.

The program begins with “Die Wachterlied” by Cuban composer Joaquín Nin, a piece that highlights both saxophone and voice and is enhanced by piano accompaniment. Other works will explore duo combinations of the instruments as well as solo piano work to fill the first half of the recital. These works feature three jazz and Brazilian-influenced compositions by French composer Darius Milhaud, including “Scaramouche,” “Dans les rues de Rio” and “Saudades do Brasil.”

The second half of the recital will feature Afro-Cuban and Guatemalan-influenced works, as well as saxophone-driven selections from the “Negro Lament” song cycle on texts by Langston Hughes. Other compositions featured for saxophone and piano include “Rumba” by Maurice Whitney and “Romance” by William Grant Still.

The recital finale will feature Daughtrey singing the world premiere of “Blue Diminuendo,” a piece composed by the Chair of the New Mexico State University Music Department, Lon Chaffin. The composition is a three-part song cycle for mezzo-soprano, saxophone and piano, based on texts by Larry D. Thomas, the 2008 Texas Poet Laureate.

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