WHERE THE SKY HAS NO STARS
2020/2021 | Grade 6 | ~17:00
The most beautiful thoughts are always beside the darkest.
My first moment of darkness happened at a young age- I didn’t want to be alive. The pain and loneliness I experienced is something I will carry with me for the rest of my life. At the time, my depression haunted me; I never thought I would find beautiful thoughts again. Sometime later, I learned that the most beautiful thoughts are beside the darkest and no matter what, you have to force yourself to embrace life through happiness.
Where the Sky Has No Stars is one of my most intentional pieces. It begins with singing bowls, metallic percussion, and a duet between flute and euphonium as a symbol of meditation: centering the soul. The second theme, darkness, is introduced by the euphonium as more voices enter the soul; as the piece enters a new dimension, the soul embarks on a journey through a sky with no stars. Danger eventually intrigues the soul and consumes it whole, but soon after, a segment of joy and light gleams closely in distance. Glockenspiel introduces the third theme, happiness. The soul continues to venture through the sky as the darkness creeps in gradually leading to a warm embrace of happiness- finally, the soul finds the stars again. While writing this piece, it didn’t feel right to end the piece here; instead, I ended the piece with a nod to the beginning, but in a major mode to signify a replenished soul returning home.
TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY KINGSVILLE
Comprised of 50 talented musicians from South Texas, the Wind Symphony is the premiere concert band at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. Directed by Dr. Scott Anthony Jones, the Wind Symphony maintains a highly active annual performance schedule of five to six concerts, regular collaborations with composers, and serves as host ensemble to the winners of the Texas A&M University-Kingsville Music Department Concerto and Conducting Competitions. The ensemble is also committed serving the region through concert tours, clinics, and its High School Invitational Concert series. Since 2014, the Wind Symphony has performed off-campus for over 40 public schools and more than 15,000 students, educators and families.
This distinguished ensemble has been recognized for its outstanding performances at the Texas Music Educators Association Convention in 1993, 2001, 2006, 2010 and 2019, and at the 2002 College Band Directors National Association Southwest Division Conference in Houston. In recent years, the ensemble has developed a tradition of commissioning new works by composers such as Joseph Schwantner, Frank Ticheli, James Syler, Zhou Tian, Jess Langston Turner, Roy Magnuson, and others.
Dr. Scott Anthony Jones serves as Director of Bands at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. Dr. Jones oversees all aspects of the dynamic band program, conducts the Wind Symphony, Concert Band (Fall), University Band (Spring), and teaches courses in conducting, wind literature and music education. Dr. Jones’ creative and research interests focus on two distinct areas: (1) Expansion of wind band repertoire through commissioning and supporting young composers, and (2) Advancing music education in South Texas through development of a graduate-level conducting program and hosting conducting/rehearsal clinics.
Prior to Kingsville, Dr. Jones was Assistant Director of Bands and Associate Director of Athletic Bands at the University of Georgia, working with the 440-member Redcoat Marching Band, directing Concert Winds and Basketball Band, and teaching courses in conducting and orchestration. Dr. Jones has also held positions at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra, Morgan State University, Maryland Conservatory of Music, The Peabody Institute, and The Highlands School in Maryland.
Dr. Jones holds the Doctor of Music in Wind Conducting from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, the Master of Music in Instrumental Conducting from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the Master of Music in Saxophone from The Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University, and the Bachelor of Music from Grand Valley State University in Michigan. Dr. Jones serves frequently as a guest clinician and is a contributor to various GIA publications. He currently holds memberships in CBDNA, NAfME, CMS, NBA, WASBE, TMEA, and is an honorary member of Kappa Kappa Psi and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.