The Heidelberg University Symphonic Band, under the direction of Dr. John E. Owen, director of the School of Music and professor of trumpet, will perform its spring concert at 7 p.m. Saturday (April 28) in Brenneman Music Hall.
Kicking off the concert will be “The Cowboys,” an early composition by John Williams before he gained international fame as the composer for the film scores for “Jaws,” “ET” and the “Star Wars” movies. The number is reminiscent of the western writing of Aaron Copland with its jazz-inflected feel. The orchestra will play another jazz-infused number, “Suite Francaise” by Darius Milhaud, one of the most prolific composers of the 20th century, followed by “Handel in the Strand,” a light-hearted Percy Grainger piece that has a definite dance feel.
The second half of the concert features three compositions, beginning with the six-part “Variations on a Korean Folk Song” by John Barnes Chance that highlights various sections of the orchestra. The next number will be “Bandancing” by Jack Stump, professor of music and director of band studies at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. A contemporary piece, “Bandancing” fuses elements of popular dance styles with the harmonic style of Stump, an accomplished percussionist. Concluding the concert will be Gustav Holst’s “Mars,” a piece conceived near the beginning of World War I and a movement from the larger suite of “The Planets.”
Owen is an active conductor, clinician and trumpet performer. He has composed works for large jazz ensemble and symphonic band. He has twice served as president of the Ohio Private College Instrumental Conductors Association, on the state board of the Ohio Music Education and as coordinator for the Midwest states of the Collegiate Music Education Association.
The founding director of Heidelberg’s Master of Music Education program, he teaches courses in music psychology, music philosophy and creativity in the program. He has studied with many of the country's leading instrumental conductors and trumpet teachers.
The concert is free and open to the public.