Dr. Janet Heukeshoven
After graduation from high school, where can people go to continue to enjoy making music together in a concert band? The SMU Concert Band strives to answer that question. If you enjoyed playing in your high school band there is a place for you in the Saint Mary’s University band program. Students from all academic areas are invited to participate. We enjoy making music in a cooperative, positive atmosphere.
The 70 member SMU Concert Band rehearses twice weekly on Monday and Wednesday evenings, as not to conflict with science labs, afternoon sports practices and most other campus events. We also welcome a number of talented high school and community musicians into our midst as part of our ongoing college/community partnership. Auditions are held at the start of each academic year for chair placement, it is expected that band members have participated in high school ensembles prior to joining the SMU band.
The band performs an average twice each semester, and participates in off-campus performances on a regular basis, performing at high schools or other regional concerts.
The SMU Band also performs for the undergraduate commencement ceremony and other official university events when the occasion arises.
Past composers who have written for the band include Grammy award winning Steve Barnett, Lee Kesselman, Philip Rothman, internationally acclaimed composer Judith Lang Zaimont, Marc Bernstein, and Paul Richards. The band recently premiered a new work by Larry Bitensky. Katanya is a composition for narrator and band based on an old Russian Jewish folk tale similar to the Thumbalina story. The composer narrated the work at the Family Weekend premiere September 2013. For additional information on the Kaplan commission Program please click on the Kaplan Project link.
Spring Semester 2014 Performances
The SMU Band and Wind Ensemble will present the annual “Music in our Schools Month” Concert on Sunday, March 30th. The concert features rhythms of the world, from African-inspired music by Valerie Colman, Latin-infused rhythms from Frank Bencriscutto, to Czech gypsy-jazz themed music for violin, winds and percussion featuring faculty soloist Dr. David Leung on violin. The performance is Sunday 3/30 at 3 PM in Page Theater, please reserve tickets in advance at the Page theater reservation site: http://www.pagetheatre.org
The Concert Band also performs for commencement in May, bringing audiences the Centennial March commissioned for SMU’s Centennial Celebration, composed by Eric Heukeshoven, professor of Music Industry and Jazz. The band entertains graduation ceremony families with 20-30 minute prelude concert before the 11:00 AM ceremony.
Interested in joining the band? New members are welcome at the beginning of each semester, contact director Janet Heukeshoven at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.