Wind band to premiere new work by BJU grad


Dr. Dan Turner leads the Symphonic Wind Band during a rehearsal for tonight’s concert. Photo: Stephanie Greenwood

Under the direction of Dr. Dan Turner, the Symphonic Wind Band will perform its annual post-lighting ceremony concert tonight at 7:30 in Rodeheaver Auditorium.

Titled “Premiere,” the concert boasts the debut performance of BJU grad Jess Turner’s Concertino Caboclo and will also include the Southern premiere of Steve Danyew’s Lauda. Since it is being held immediately after the lighting ceremony, the concert will conclude with three seasonal pieces. Dr. Turner said hundreds of people from the community stay after the lighting ceremony to attend. “It’s going to be a great night of wonderful music,” he said.

Concertino Caboclo will feature guest performer Tadeu Coelho, an internationally acclaimed flutist from Brazil. Coelho has won multiple awards from around the world for his work in music, performing with the Santa Fe Symphony, Hofer Symphoniker in Germany and the Spoleto Festival Orchestra in Italy, among others. He has taught at the University of Iowa and the University of New Mexico and currently teaches at the University of North Carolina.

This will be the second time the wind band has collaborated with Coelho (the first was in December 2008). Both an artist and a born-again believer, Coelho has a strong Christian testimony at the University of North Carolina, according to Dr. Turner.

Composer Jess Turner, who is Dr. Turner’s son, holds degrees from both Bob Jones University and the Hartt School of Music and is currently working on his doctorate in composition at Indiana University. Turner wrote Concertino Caboclo specifically for Coelho, drawing inspiration from the flutist’s South American heritage. “We wanted the piece to be written for him,” Dr. Turner said. “Jess researched and developed the Brazilian theme musically.”

The piece is composed of five movements. “Each of the sections references some character in Brazilian folktales,” he said. “They are highly descriptive, both rhythmically and methodically, of Brazilian life and culture.” (Dr. Turner said that “Coboclu” is what Brazilians call anybody of mixed race.)

After taking Turner nearly a year to compose, Concertino Caboclo was finally completed this past September. “The piece is actually supported by a consortium of universities,” Dr. Turner said. In all, five universities and about 10 private individuals contributed funds for the composition to be completed.

As the leading band ensemble on campus, BJU’s Symphonic Wind Band is composed of about 50 students. “There are over twenty majors represented among the players—everything from nutrition to premed and music,” Dr. Turner said.

Ashlyn Huggins, a senior orchestral instrument performance major, plays the flute in the wind band and is passionate about the beauty of the music featured in the concert. “I get goose bumps when we play,” she said, referring to Lauda. “It’s just so gorgeous. The colors are just incredible.”

And as for the premiere of Concertino Caboclo? “If people like conga drums, they will like this piece,” Huggins said. “The variety of music that we will be playing is not at all boring. It will be a very exciting performance.”