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TCU’s 150th anniversary is officially music to our ears. Professor Bobby Francis’ Sesquicentennial wind symphony recording project was selected to receive TCU’s 150th Anniversary Commemoration Grant for Creative Activities. In addition to the $10,000 grant, TCU’s Office of Research will augment the project with up to double the funding to assist in its successful completion. 

“This is a recording/video production that many people are excited about and will celebrate the musically talented – current and past – that have developed their skills in the TCU School of Music with the amazing tutelage of our renowned music faculty,” said Francis, music professor and director of bands. “The pieces that will be included were composed by a diverse group of young composers that have achieved significant success and in many cases are known worldwide.”

Composers to be included in the project include current student Harrison Collins, former student Quinn Mason, Haley Woodrow ’16, John Cope ’20 and others, including Kevin Day ’19, who has also been commissioned to write a piece for the mariachi band and wind ensemble. Plans also include guest artist Jens Lindemann, trumpet, formerly with Canadian Brass, who premiered Day’s trumpet concerto at the Texas Music Educators Association Convention in February 2020 with the TCU Wind Symphony.

“We are thrilled to welcome these School of Music alumni back to campus and introduce our current students to their music and their creativity. This will be a magical full-circle moment for us where former mentees become the current mentors, which is one of the reasons why we do this work,” said Amy Hardison Tully, Teresa Ann Carter King Dean of the College of Fine Arts. “Professor Francis’ project represents the true spirit of TCU’s 150th celebration of the past, present and future.”

Critical to TCU’s mission, research and creativity were an obvious intersection to spotlight during the anniversary.

“We were thankful to have so many submissions for this opportunity to help commemorate TCU’s sesquicentennial year,” said Floyd Wormley, associate provost for research and dean of graduate studies. “We believed Dr. Francis’ application really spoke to TCU’s Sesquicentennial theme of ‘Explore the Past, Embrace the Present, Impact the Future.’ Additionally, we believe that the project has the potential to generate national and perhaps international exposure for the great musicians and composers who have studied and trained at TCU.”

Recording will take place this spring and next fall, and the final product will be available on social media and limited CD release. The project will be presented during a special Research Week in the fall as TCU begins to conclude its yearlong recognition of 150 years. 

“In addition to celebrating the successes of our alumni, we will be celebrating new music that will receive its world premiere on TCU’s campus,” Tully said. “This will be an important event for us and for our entire campus community.”

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