CANYON, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — West Texas A&M University’s concert band is set to honor the legacy of a Texas band director, who was killed in a November car crash, with a piece to be heard at 6:00 p.m. on April 27 during a band concert, officials with WT announced.

“The Essence of Memory” by B.J. Brooks, WT professor of theory and composition, will be the piece performed, which officials detailed, “commemorates the life of Darin K. Johns, the Andrews High School band director who died in a Nov. 19 bus- pickup crash near Big Spring.” Marc Elbert Boswell, an Andrews High math teacher and director of data information systems, who was driving the bus, was also killed in the wreck.

“In the weeks following the tragedy that took the lives of Darin and Marc, we were all awed by the outpouring of collective tributes that spread out like waves on a still lake. First local, then in neighboring communities, then further throughout the state as people shared Darin’s story through social media,” Brooks said. “His story touched so many because his story is part of us all. As musicians, educators, parents, and community members, we well understood the commitment to the school and its students that is personified in a band director.” 

“We are so fortunate to have a composer of Dr. Brooks’ caliber on our faculty,” said Russ Teweleit, professor of music and conductor of the WT Concert Band. “It’s sobering to recognize the loss of one of our band director peers, but Dr. Brooks’ piece is truly exceptional.” 

Officials announced that the concert band will include two of John’s former students in its roster: sophomore Anthony NovoGradac and senior Landon Proffitt.

The band, officials said, will perform Brooks’s “Willows of Winter,” conducted by student Shelby Easley McPherson, a graduate music performance student from Odessa; “Galactic Empires” by David Gillingham; “Xerxes” by John Mackey, conducted by student Emily Henson, a graduate music performance student from Hereford; and the finale of Vasily Kalinnikov’s Symphony No. 1 in G Minor. 

Following the performance at 8:00 p.m., will be a performance by the WT Symphonic Band, which, officials detailed will feature Dr. John Shanks, WT professor of trombone, on John Mackey’s “Harvest: Concerto for Trombone.”

“This exciting work is considered to be one of the most challenging works from the trombone repertoire and also is a tour de force for the winds and percussion,” said Don Lefevre, associate professor of music and WT Symphonic Band conductor. 

Admission for both concerts is free, according to officials.