2005.03.29 > For Immediate Release
contact: Teresa Gleason - University Affairs
phone: 402.554.2762 - email: email@example.com
UNO to Celebrate Music Chair's Birthday with April 9 Benefit Concert
Omaha - The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) will celebrate the birthday of James Saker, chair of the UNO Department of Music, Saturday, April 9, with a concert to benefit the UNO Bands Scholarship Fund. The event will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Strauss Performing Arts Center Recital Hall on the UNO campus.
Admission is free of charge, but a ticket is required to attend. Donations for the UNO Bands Scholarship Fund will be taken during the concert.
Saker has served as director of bands at UNO since 1978 and as chair of the UNO Department of Music from 1992 through 1999. He resumed that leadership role in 2001. Under his leadership, the University Marching and Concert Bands have received regional, national and international acclaim.
Saker earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Bowling Green State University, a Master of Music Degree from Youngstown State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. He has received the University's Great Teacher Award, a Nebraska Board of Regents Commendation and has twice been the recipient of the National Band Association Citation of Excellence.
The UNO Symphonic Wind Ensemble will be joined by guest conductors and soloists who are current or former music faculty members, other collegiate band directors and returning UNO alumni. Conductors Erica Neidlinger, Jay Gilbert, James Sawyer, Doug Keiser, Timothy Yontz, Larry MacTaggart and Jack Snider will be joined by guest soloists Samantha Hinton, Marcus Reddick, Tomm Roland and Charles Saenz. Craig Jacobs, former musician and announcer for the Air Force Heartland of America Band, will be the emcee. The guest artists, who are coming from all over the country for this performance, are paying their own expenses so all the money raised will benefit the student musicians in University Bands.
The varied program, which was chosen by each of the artists, will include Leroy Anderson's "A Trumpeter's Lullaby," Larry MacTaggert's "Pointe du Hoc Commemorative Fanfare," Eric Whitacre's "October," Alfred Reed's "Armenian Dances" and John Philip Sousa's "The Stars and Stripes Forever."
A special highlight of the evening will be the premiere of a new composition by MacTaggart, "Mt. Vernon Reverie," that will be presented as a gift to Saker. MacTaggart, a composer with the U.S. Air Force Band in Washington, D.C., will conduct the piece.
The doors will open 30 minutes prior to the concert. A complimentary reception honoring the guest artists will be held in the adjacent Milo Bail Student Center immediately following the concert.
Tickets should be obtained in advance and are available by calling (402) 554-3427.
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