New Symphony Band CD features faculty and alumni composers and soloists

The University Symphony Band (USB), the premier concert band at the University of Michigan, has released Reflections, a new recording on the Equilibrium record label, available as both CD and digital download formats. The album includes a variety of recent works, most by faculty and alumni composers from U-M’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance (SMTD), and guest solo appearances by SMTD alumni and faculty. All works are conducted by Michael Haithcock, director of University Bands and the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Conducting.

The album includes compositions by Grammy Award-winning composers Michael Daugherty, current professor of composition, and William Bolcom, emeritus professor of composition. Daugherty’s work, Reflections on the Mississippi for Tuba and Symphonic Band, is “a soulful rumination” on trips that he took with his father down the Mississippi River. The recording features tuba soloist Carol Jantsch (BM ’06), now principal tubist with the The Philadelphia Orchestra, a post she won while still an undergraduate.

Bolcom, a Pulitzer Prize-winner for his Songs of Innocence and of Experience, contributes Circus Overture, “a high-intensity romp that imagines a circus act interrupted by a sad clown trombone solo tipping its hat at Chopin’s funeral.”

Other works on the album include:

  • Anahita, inspired by two historic William Morris Hunt murals once located in the New York State Capitol building, composed by Roshanne Etezady (DMA ’05), an alumna who studied with both Bolcom and Daugherty.
  • Interior, by SMTD composition professor Kristin Kuster, described as “a subtle window into the concealed nature of thoughts and memories.”
  • A Dialogue of Self and Soul, a bassoon concerto by James Stephenson, a Chicago-based composer who frequently writes for concert band. The work was inspired by and features the poem with the same title by William Butler Yeats; the soloists are SMTD faculty Jeffrey Lyman (bassoon) and tenor Scott Piper (voice).