Hansford to Present Retirement Concert

The OBU Symphonic Band will present its annual Spring Concert at 7:30 p.m., Friday, April 23, in Raley Chapel's Potter Auditorium. It will be the final symphonic band concert for Dr. Jim Hansford who will be retiring at the end of this school year. Hansford, the Burton Patterson professor of music, has served as director of bands since 1990, becoming OBU's longest tenured band director. The Symphonic Band, comprised of the most talented instrumentalists on campus, is OBU's oldest musical ensemble with more than 70 years of rich musical heritage.

The ensemble will perform a variety of wind band compositions including works from the standard, contemporary and sacred wind band repertoire.

Dr. Jim Hansford, OBU Burton Patterson professor of music, will conduct his final OBU Symphonic Band concert Friday, April 23. Hansford has served as director of bands since 1990, becoming OBU's longest tenured band director.

"Selecting music for this concert was quite a challenge," Hansford said. "It would have been easy to simply select my favorite band works, but it would have made for a very long evening of music."

Compromises had to be made, but music was selected to include a couple of new contemporary band works, a "golden oldie" of the wind band repertoire, a fanfare, a Sousa march, a sacred set of three quality settings based on well-known hymn tunes, and a couple of ballads chosen for their inherent beauty and lyrical qualities.

Programmed works include: "American Fanfare" by Rick Kirby, "Perthshire Majesty" by Samuel Hazo, "Foundation" by Mark Camphouse, "Sleep" by Eric Whitacre, "Colonial Song" by Percy Grainger, "Divinum Mysterium" by James Swearingen, "Amazing Grace" arranged by William Himes and scored for band by Luis Maldonado, "Prelude on an Old English Hymn" by Robert Sheldon, and "The Free Lance March" by John Philip Sousa.

The program also will include a brand new composition, "Cathedrals," by Kathryn Salfelder (b. 1987), a recent graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. This work won the 2008 ASCAP/CBDNA Frederick Fennell Prize for best new wind band composition. Salfelder is currently pursuing a master of music degree in composition at Yale University.

"This new work has gained wide acclaim quickly and is sweeping the country in university and conservatory band programs," said Hansford. "It will be our most challenging work on the program."

At this final concert of the year, four graduating seniors will be recognized. They include David Giaco, a musical arts-trombone major from St. Charles, Mo.; Jordan Myers, a Spanish and German major from Perkins, Okla.; Josh Mugler, a Bible major from St. Peters, Mo.; and Patrick Womack, a musical arts-percussion major from Oklahoma City.

"It is always difficult to see these fine musicians leave the band program each year," remarked Hansford. "The leadership, inspiration and support they have provided to our ensemble the last four years are greatly appreciated and they will be sincerely missed. Our only consolation is that we only have the four graduating this year."

The 2009 edition of the Symphonic Band includes members from Arizona, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas. About 50 percent of the band is comprised of music majors and the balance of the membership comes from majors across the campus ranging from accounting and biblical languages to bio-chemistry and English.

This year the Symphonic Band's schedule included a short tour to the San Antonio area where it performed at Trinity Baptist Church and Northwest Hills Baptist Church. Additionally, the band served as a guest performing ensemble at the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS) San Antonio Central Region Instrumental Contest which was held at the New Braunfels Christian Academy. Students from eight schools were in attendance at the concert.

Hansford serves as coordinator of instrumental studies and teaches music education, conducting and low brass. Hansford has degrees from the University of Southern Mississippi and the University of North Texas, where he studied conducting with Anshel Brusilow and trombone with Leon Brown. He served as senior editor of a textbook published in 2002, "The Instrumental Resource for Church and School." Hansford has served as conductor of the Baptist All-State Symphonic Band since 1992 and has traveled with the group across the United States and internationally to England and Canada. He stays active as an adjudicator, guest conductor and clinician in public schools and churches and is a regular adjudicator for Director Choice Festivals out of Lubbock, Texas. Hansford has also served as conductor of the OBU-Shawnee Community Orchestra since its inception in 2002.

The public is invited to the concert and there is no admission charge.