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Jacobs Department of Bands begins season with concert in memory of Heather Cramer Reu

Sept. 28, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Jacobs School of Music Department of Bands begins its season at 8 p.m. tonight in the Musical Arts Center with a program performed by the Wind Ensemble, conducted by Professor Stephen W. Pratt. The concert includes the premiere of Symphony No. 2, "Epitaphs Unwritten" by Kevin Walczyk.

Stephen W. Pratt conducts the IU Wind Ensemble

Print-Quality Photo

Commissioned by a consortium of 20 university and conservatory wind symphonies, "Epitaphs Unwritten" was inspired by the words penned by an American soldier on a peace marker in the small village of Foy, Belgium, near Bastogne.

The work is dedicated to the memory of Heather Cramer Reu, who was tragically killed in an automobile accident in the summer of 2009. She was the daughter of Jacobs Professor Emeritus Ray E. Cramer, who was chair of the Department of Bands. The full concert is also dedicated to her memory.

"The performance of the Walczyk symphony in honor of Heather is very meaningful to me personally," said Pratt. "When I was an undergraduate student, I knew Heather as a wonderful young person -- preschool age -- and already in possession of the indomitable spirit which characterized all aspects of her life. When I first came to the Jacobs School of Music as a faculty member, Heather was a delightful college student who played in the first ensemble I conducted. She was always, and remains, an inspiration to me."

Additional works in the concert are Konzertmusik by Paul Hindemith, Dusk by Steven Bryant and "After The Thunderer'" from Symphony on Themes of John Philip Sousa by Ira Hearshen.

An interview with Pratt can be watched at:

The Jacobs School of Music Department of Bands has a distinguished reputation for musical leadership in the wind band field and is actively involved in commissioning distinguished new literature for the wind band medium. World premieres have included works by composers David Dzubay, Eric Ewazen, Frederick Fox, Don Freund, Bernhard Heiden, Sydney Hodkinson, Jere Hutcheson, Jonathan Newman, Eugene O'Brien, Michael Schelle, Gunther Schuller, Ellen Spokane, Eric Stokley and John Stout.

Composers who have relatively recently appeared on campus to conduct or supervise their works include Samuel Adler, Warren Benson, Roger Cichy, David Gillingham, John Harbison, Karel Husa, Jonathan Newman, David Maslanka, Timothy Mahr, Martin Mailman, Ron Nelson, Joel Puckett, Frank Ticheli, and Kevin Walczyk.

Guest artists with the bands regularly include world-renowned soloists from the faculty of the Jacobs School of Music and others of international stature.