KU Symphonic Band performs May 2nd
Concert features Mary-Elizabeth Thompson, flute and Chad Simons, graduate conductor
LAWRENCE, KS — The Symphonic Band will perform at the Lied Center of Kansas on Thursday, May 2, at 7:30pm, closing the 2012-2013 KU School of Music Lied Center Concert Series. The concert features Mary-Elizabeth Thompson, flute, interim professor of flute, and Chad Simons, graduate conductor.
The band will present a wide range of material, including chamber music, a solo feature and some large band works. The evening will open with a Renaissance set and Beethoven’s “Rondino,” featuring the musicians in chamber music settings. Then Thompson will be featured on the flashy “Carmen Fantaisie.” The concert will close with James Barnes’ “Escenas de los Aztecas.”
“I knew when I arrived at KU in 2011 that I'd look forward to the opportunity to work with Jim Barnes, and last year he told me about his plans for the piece. It sounded like a perfect fit for our concert program, and for our ensemble,” said Matthew O. Smith, associate director of bands.
Tickets to this concert will be $7/general admission and $5/students and seniors and can be purchased at the Lied Center Box Office, 785-864-2787 or lied.ku.edu.
About the Symphonic Band
The Symphonic Band is an outstanding ensemble consisting of highly talented music majors, and non-majors selected by audition. This ensemble performs a wide range of repertoire for large concert band, including the finest band masterworks, in a full schedule of concerts. The Symphonic Band is conducted by Matthew O. Smith, associate director of bands.
Flutist Mary-Elizabeth Thompson performs frequently as a solo and chamber music artist, with recent performances throughout Mexico and the United States. She is an advocate for new music and has commissioned and premiered works by composers such as Carson Cooman, Malcolm Dedman, Jorge Sosa and Caleb Burhans, and has participated in festivals such as the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival and the Foro Internacional de Música Nueva Manuel Enríquez in Mexico City, Mexico. She is involved in professional recordings, the most recent of which were projects on the chamber music of composers Jorge Sosa and Gabriela Ortíz. Her first solo CD, a compilation of commissions from Mexican composers, is due for release in Fall 2013.
Thompson received her bachelor’s degree in music education from Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina and her Masters in flute performance from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. She completed her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in flute performance with honors at the University of Kansas as a student of David Fedele, and afterwards spent a year in Mexico City as a Fulbright-García Robles Scholar, engaging in postdoctoral research in contemporary Mexican music for flute with Alejandro Escuer. Thompson currently holds the position of interim professor of flute at the University of Kansas.
Chad Simons is currently on leave from the University of New Mexico and is pursuing the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at KU. His duties as associate director of bands/associate professor of Music at UNM include conducting the UNM Symphonic Band, directing the Spirit Marching Band and Soundpack, teaching various courses in music education, and acting as director of the Zia Marching Fiesta. Professor Simons recently finished a semester as the interim director of bands at UNM.
From 2001-2004, Simons was the associate director of bands at Idaho State University. His duties in Pocatello included directing the ISU “Bengal” Marching Band, concert band and jazz bands. He also taught courses in music education, conducting, music theory and music appreciation.
Before his time at ISU, Simons taught middle and high school band in the public schools of Forsyth, Montana. He holds a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Montana and a Master of Music in Wind Conducting from Oklahoma State University. He shares a home in Albuquerque with his wife, Rebecca.
For more information, contact the KU School of Music at 785-864-3436. music.ku.edu.