Tom Slabaugh, a music teacher at Davis High School who directs the Symphonic Band, rehearses with the student musicians for a concert Friday evening at the Brunelle Performance Hall. They will premiere a new piece by Davis composer Garrett Shatzer. Courtesy photo


Band concert to feature premiere of new piece by local composer

By From page A11 | April 08, 2014

The Davis High School Symphonic Band will premiere a new piece by Davis composer Garrett Shatzer during a concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 11, in the Brunelle Performance Hall at DHS, 315 W. 14th St.

Shatzer’s piece is titled “Afraid of Love,” which he said “comes from the final words of the poem ‘Crater Lake’ by Louise Glück, an American poet who’s won the Pulitzer Prize and is a former U.S. Poet Laureate. My music is not programmatic in that it doesn’t follow the story of the poem. Rather, it simply conveys the mood of the brooding poem. Poetry is my main passion outside of music, so many of my works draw from poems for their inspiration.”

Tom Slabaugh, band director at Davis High, said, “Shatzer’s work is a departure from what our kids have usually performed, as it addresses the emotions experienced by the composer as he interpreted a poem. The personal nature of this work requires the students to externalize emotions they have experienced in musical terms. As such, they are growing as both musicians and artists as we work through this composition. The process is proving to be a challenge and a delight.”

Shatzer finished his Ph.D. in music composition and theory at UC Davis in December 2013, and in recent years he’s traveled far and wide for performances of his music.

“I’ve had my work performed in such venues as the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires (Argentina),” he said. “My most recent premiere was a choral work in St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, where I conducted and also played the organ for a Sunday Mass.

“I’ve worked with many professional ensembles and currently have commissions from Grammy Award winners.”

The band concert on April 11 is free, but donations will be accepted with gratitude.

— Reach Jeff Hudson at [email protected] or 530-747-8055.

Jeff Hudson

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