30th Season Celebration | May 13th Concert - Featuring Trumpet Soloist, Sam Trimble
April 24th, 2018
The Mesilla Valley Concert Band will celebrate its 30th anniversary with a free concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 13, in the Atkinson Recital Hall in the Music Center at NMSU. Featured on the program will be trumpet player Sam Trimble who will solo in two pieces with the band: Dramatic Essay, a “dialogue” between the trumpet and the band, conducted by MVCB Director Dr. William Clark; and the jazzy Ode for Trumpet, conducted by Assistant Director John Schutz.
Trimble, a former faculty member at New Mexico State University, is the founder of the El Paso Brass, which has performed around the country and recorded several albums. Trimble also recently retired as professor of trumpet and director of jazz ensembles at the University of Texas at El Paso and he also was principal trumpet of the El Paso Symphony for many years.
The concert will also feature James Barnes' Third Symphony, Op. 89, "The Tragic", movements 3 and 4; Othello, a symphonic portrait after Shakespeare by Alfred Reed; and To Be Fed by Ravens, by W. Francis McBeth. Barnes, Reed, and McBeth were selected for the band’s 30th anniversary concert because they are among the giants of wind band composers who wrote innovative works that inspired generations of musicians, including the Mesilla Valley Concert Band.
“When asked why this ensemble has been so consistent and has gotten stronger every season, I always reply that our priorities have been consistent and actively emphasized in rehearsals. Those priorities include providing a learning and intellectually challenging atmosphere for performers and audiences. Our goal is the same for every performance: make it at the highest possible level and respect the gift of music. The most important concept for me at the end of every performance is how we can make the next one more intellectually and emotionally valid for composers, performers and audiences,” said Dr. Clark.
The Mesilla Valley Concert Band was founded in 1987 through the joint efforts of Dr. William Clark, John Schutz, and Mike White of White’s Music Box. First called the Mesilla Valley Community Band, the group began with 30 participants who answered an advertisement Dr. Clark placed in the local newspaper. The concert band has now grown to an ensemble of around 100 performers, with many professional musicians, music teachers, band directors, business people, retirees and advanced students. They are drawn not only from Las Cruces but from El Paso, Silver City, Deming, Hatch, Alamogordo, and Cloudcroft. The band has presented more than 220 free concerts to some 150,000 southern New Mexicans.
Dr. William Clark joined the faculty of NMSU in 1985 as director of bands. In 1994, he became chair of the music department, which grew substantially under his 11-year leadership. He also founded the New Horizons program for senior musicians, which has grown into both a concert band and the New Horizons Symphony Orchestra.
Clark’s honors include: Las Cruces Citizen of the Year in 1988 and New Mexico Music Educator of the Year in 1992. He was inducted into the New Mexico Music Educator’s Hall of Fame in 2007 and in 1993 elected to the American Bandmaster’s Association–the highest honor for international professional bandmasters. Dr. Clark received the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts in 2015. In 2018, the New Mexico Music Commission awarded him the Platinum Music Award. He maintains an active private studio and is a freelance tuba player.
John Schutz, an alumnus of NMSU, dedicated over 40 years of his career to music and fine arts education in the Las Cruces Public Schools. Beginning in 1972, he served as a middle school and then high school band director. In 1996, he was named the first ever LCPS coordinator for Visual and Performing Arts. He retired in 2006, but returned to the district in 2008 as a fine arts consultant. Among his many honors was being named New Mexico Music Educator of the Year in 1996. In 2014, he was named Teacher Emeritus by the New Mexico Music Educators Association. In 2018, he was given the Star of the Arts Award by the NMSU College of Arts and Sciences.
The band looks forward to you joining us for this varied and entertaining musical presentation to celebrate our 30th season. Seating is first come, first served.