Photo Courtesy of the Townsend School of Music
The Mercer Wind Ensemble is teaming up with Westside and Central High schools for a special concert Tuesday, April 12.
The concert will be held at Central High School’s auditorium. It will begin at 7:30 p.m., and admission is free and open to the public.
The concert has been titled “April Showers Bring Musical Flowers” as a play on words of the original saying, “April Showers Bring May Flowers,” said Douglas Hill, a Mercer professor of music and director of instrumental ensembles.
“[The Central High School auditorium] is a beautiful auditorium,” Hill said, adding that this event is an opportunity for the high school students to gain exposure working with university musicians. This concert will also allow the students from Westside and Central the chance to hear university students in their neighborhood.
In a combined effort, Mercer has been working with symphonic band directors Michael Scott — a Mercer alumnus — from Central and Tyler Allen from Westside. Each school will play a program individually with the Mercer Wind Ensemble concluding the concert.
Hill said that the stage at the auditorium is not big enough to fit all three schools at one time.
Mercer has worked with high schools before, and this is only one concert in a series. But this is the first time Mercer has worked with Westside and Central together.
Hill said that not only is this an opportunity for the students to hear each other, but this collaboration will allow Mercer to potentially recruit new students. This concert will showcase the wind ensemble but will open a door for the high school students to explore all that Mercer has to offer.
There are two standout pieces that the Mercer wind ensemble will be playing. The first is “KHAN” by Julie Gioux, portraying the historical conquest of Genghis Khan.
Gioux described it as a “programmatic work depicting Genghis Khan and his army on the move.”
The second piece is “Five” by Kenyon Wilson. This piece was commissioned for use by 67 high school, university, community, military and brass bands — including Mercer — after the attacks in Chattanooga, Tennessee on July 16, 2015, which killed five servicemen.
During the performance five brass players will leave the stage as a memorial to the five servicemen who died in the shootings.
Hill said that this piece holds a special place with him because his son is an F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot in the Air Force. It is that military connection that nurtures his association with this composition.
For more information on the “April Showers Brings Musical Flowers” concert, visit the Townsend School of Music website at music.mercer.edu. Information will be listed in the event calendar.