American composer James Barnes’ monumental “Third Symphony,” specifically chosen to highlight the fresh acoustics of the newly renovated Terry Concert Hall at Jacksonville University, will highlight a free joint concert featuring the First Coast Wind Symphony and the JU Wind Ensemble at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, on the campus at 2800 University Blvd. N.
The “Third Symphony,” part of the JU College of Fine Arts Performing Arts Series, is a major work for wind commissioned by the U.S. Air Force Band in Washington, D.C. Barnes began to work on it shortly after the death of his baby daughter, Natalie.
“This is the most emotionally draining work I have ever composed,” the composer has said.
The work travels through a myriad of emotions from deep despair to ultimate joy. The third movement represents what life would have been like had his daughter lived. It is a farewell to her. The final movement, based on an old Lutheran children’s hymn, “I Am Jesus’ Little Lamb,” represents a rebirth of the human spirit and reconciliation. It expresses the joy in being blessed with the birth of his son Billy, born three days after the symphony was completed.
The first half of the concert will include the First Coast Wind Symphony performing music by French composer Guy Luypaerts and Mexican composer Arturo Marquez, his very popular “Danzon No. 2.” Flute soloist Angela Muller will be featured in Albert Franz Doppler’s “Fantaisie Pastorale Hongroise,” a delightful and virtuosic work based on Hungarian folk tunes.
The 45-member JU Wind Ensemble, led by conductor Artie Clifton, a JU Associate Professor of Music, is a university group that studies and performs music from the traditional and contemporary wind band literature.
The First Coast Wind Symphony, a 60-member community music organization led by music director Artie Clifton and conductor Paul Weikle, is in its 28th season. The group provides a cultural service to the Jacksonville community by offering free concerts of quality wind music.
The First Coast Wind Symphony has released three albums to wide acclaim, Prevailing Winds, A Christmas Celebration and Symphonic Spirit, and a DVD titled Sounds of the First Coast. The group is a member of the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville. More information is available at www.fcwinds.org..
The concert is free to the public. For more information, contact JU Associate Professor of Music Artie Clifton at (904) 256-7386, firstname.lastname@example.org.