The Wind Ensemble performed at the 2017 TMEA Convention last weekend to close their tour across Texas.
The Texas Music Educator’s Association, or TMEA, hosts an annual convention featuring the biggest names in instrumental, choral and other musical styles, said Noah Hancock, junior music major from Abilene.
“It’s really a cool experience because there are thousands of musicians there doing really awesome things with music,” Hancock said. “You can play basically any instrument you want and you can see some of the coolest new things in the music world.”
Noah’s brother Grayson Hancock, senior music major from Abilene, said that the experience of playing at TMEA was something that he never felt like he would experience.
“It’s really kind of surreal,” Grayson Hancock said. “It’s been a long time since ACU has been at TMEA. We played at CBDNA, or the College Band Directors National Association, the Spring of 2014, but the last time ACU performed at TMEA was in like 2005.”
The Wind Ensemble played a number of pieces on its tour, culminating with a performance of David Maslanka’s Clarinet Concerto performed by Kristin Ward. Ward is instructor of clarinet and saxophone and her husband is the conductor of both Wind Ensemble and ACU Orchestra.
“We were part of a consortium to commission the piece and so we helped premier the piece last April, the whole 32 minute piece,” Ward said. “This time Maslanka was there so we got the feedback from him directly and we performed the second movement of the piece at TMEA. It was just an incredibly humbling, and kind of nerve-racking, experience playing not just in front of thousands of people, but thousands of musicians who know what they’re doing.”
Kristen then said the performance went well, but Grayson Hancock says that was one of the biggest understatements he’s ever heard.
“Performing in that way is something that I’ve never dreamed of doing before,” Grayson Hancock said. “And Kristin was so amazing, if I had to perform just that piece with here over and over again for the rest of my musical career it would be the biggest honor I’d ever have.”