Amarillo Symphony to give world premiere of piece by WT composer

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CANYON, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – A West Texas A&M University graduate will be alongside an iconic musician as the only two composers whose works will be performed at the next Amarillo Symphony concert.

“Nuage” by Christopher Garcia, a WT alum and current administrative staff member, will open the orchestra’s June concerts, according to the University. The concerts will also feature Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 4.

The June concerts are set for June 4 and 5, at 6 and 8:30 p.m., in the Globe-News Center for the Performing Arts, 500 S. Buchanan St.

Garcia, said the University, won the Symphony’s WT Student Composers’ Initiative competition in 2020, but thanks to the pandemic, the orchestra hasn’t been able to give it a live world premiere until now.

“The WTAMU Composer’s Initiative has been a cornerstone of our mission to support young composers,” says Symphony Music Director Jacomo Bairos. “We are thrilled to present Chris Garcia’s new work to our audience in this special concert.”

“Nuage” is Garcia’s second work to be performed by the Symphony. His first piece, “At the Ball: A Cinderella Story,” was performed in 2015 for Symphony Kids concerts and during the subscription concerts that same week.

“Having a second piece performed by the Symphony is a big thing, especially knowing that Jacomo and the Symphony like my work enough to want to do it again,” Garcia said.

The University said that Garcia expanded his piece’s concept for a light orchestra, after it was originally written for flute and piano. He is noted as active in Dr. B.J. Brooks’ composition studio, despite no longer being a full-time student.

“Chris’ music is engaging, evocative, and a pleasure to hear. He has always had a unique musical voice,” said Brooks, professor of music theory and composition. “I first worked with Chris when he was an undergraduate about 10 years ago. After his graduation I have had many more opportunities to hear his music and see how far he has come in composition. Though words do not do it justice, ‘Nuage’ is close to the clouds as your ears can get while in an auditorium. Chris has a talent for combining notes in just the right way to capture the mood of his subject.”

Garcia said “Nuage”, French for “cloud”, was inspired by an undergraduate trip from his home in the Midland area and Canyon.

“There were blue skies with just the tiniest whiff of a cloud, then all of the sudden, the sky was just full of them,” Garcia said. “They turned gray and a storm hit, and then as I drove into Canyon, it all dispersed and there were blue skies again.”

Tickets are $16 to $55, plus service fees. Call 806-376-8782 or 806-378-3096.

WT said its support of the arts and humanities is a vital part of its long-term plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.

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