Let the power of music lead you through the universe. A creatively themed concert, The Elements, starts with a big bang, takes you across a river, and even promises to control the elements in space on a journey to the international space station.

Get ready for an out-of-this-world musical experience on Tuesday, February 27th, 2024, for this 90 minute performance, at the Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall on the campus of Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau!

While the theme “The Elements” might evoke visions of cosmic storms and celestial phenomena, it’s more of a subtle nod throughout the concert. Picture this: the Big Bang brought to life through Anthony Barfield’s “Red Sky,” a mesmerizing trombone solo with Dr. Felipe Brito taking center stage. Then, brace yourself for the world premiere of “Mississippi Crossing” by student composer Keaton Lacey. Another piece, about the control of elements in space, is told through Brian Balmages’ “Open Space,” a captivating narrative of the International Space Station.

Most of the musicians are students at SEMO, but they are a diverse bunch, with the Wind Symphony primarily made up of music majors and the University Concert Band boasting a mix of majors. Each brings their unique style and energy to the concert.

Dr. Jim Daughters, Director of Bands at SEMO’s Holland College Department of Music, was inspired to choose “The Elements” as the theme. “I knew we were performing ‘Red Sky’ that represents the Big Bang, and I was looking for music along the same thread,” he says.

And here’s a fun fact: this concert is the grand finale of a whirlwind week of performances. From the Robert Gifford Band Festival, with 20 performances from middle and high school bands in Missouri, Kentucky, and Illionois on February 24th,  the SEMO High School Honor Band on February 26th. This musical marathon showcases talent from across Missouri, Kentucky, and Illinois. High school students from those states also join the SEMO High School Honor Band. Band directors picked 240 students out of nearly 400 nominations!

Tickets for this stellar event are $15 each, with discounted rates of $12 for seniors, military personnel, children, and Southeast Missouri State University faculty. Everyone needs a ticket, and you may buy them here. 

This evening of cosmic melodies promised to leave you starry-eyed! 

All Photos Courtesy of Shawna Creaser

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