Augustana band celebrates 125 years with brand new music

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Even after 125 years, the Augustana University Band is preparing to do something its never done before.

The Augustana Band began in 1896 as a student run organization but has since grown and become part of the university’s school of music. Tonight, they will be taking the stage to perform a never-before heard commissioned piece created by Dr. James David.

You may be wondering why there is a type writer in the middle of a band performance.
It’s part of a brand new musical piece.

“The piece was based on poem by one of our beloved Augustana professors Dr. Patrick Hicks and the composer took four characteristic lines from the poem and made a really beautiful piece of music on it. Really a good nod to Augustana’s liberal arts and our history,” said Christopher Unger, Director of Instrumental Studies.

It is an honor for the band to be the first to ever perform this work and having the composer himself in the audience.

“It’s really exciting and really interesting. I think that it’s a really special opportunity since we don’t get a lot of opportunities to be the premiere performer of songs,” said Lindsey Funke, sophomore flute player.

It is absolutely a phenomenal feeling to do a premiere of a new piece of music, never being heard before by any audience and especially having the composer in residence,” said Unger. “It means a lot for our students that something was created specifically for them and this event.”

The band has been working hard to make this show a success.

“A lot of rehearsal, a lot of planning, a lot of just back and forth conversations with the composer about the piece and teaching them not just the notes, and the rhythms but the spirit behind the piece itself,” said Unger.

This concert will feature around 45 Augustana Band members.

“This year having this concert be the 125 anniversary is really special to me because and it’s special to everyone just because we had such a hard year last year so this is definitely the year to celebrate,” said Funke.

The concert is Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. at the Washington Pavilion and will also feature the All City Middle School Honor Band. You can get tickets at the Pavilion Box Office, online or at the door.

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