The Civic Orchestra of Abilene will play a concert featuring world-renowned saxophonist Tim McAllister.
Considered to be one of the best classical saxophonists by his peers, his talent is compared to the likes of other musicians like Yo-Yo Ma.
He is also a Grammy-award winning artist, being featured in the album “Spiritualist” by the London Symphony Orchestra.
This is not the first time he has performed in Abilene or with ACU. His first performance was with the campus wind ensemble.
Other notable names that have worked with the university in the past are Frank Ticheli and Richard Sherman.
McAllister also has connections to the university. Dr. Steven Ward, director of the COA and music professor at ACU, shares mutual friends, and has also worked with him at the Interlochen Center for the Arts.
Scheduling his performance with the COA was nothing short of luck as describe by Ward.
“It just worked out perfectly. I saw that he would be in the area, because he was scheduled to perform with the Midland-Odessa Symphony & Chorale on April 6, and asked if he would be willing to show up a few days earlier,” Ward said.
Ward describes McAllister’s presence in the COA as a gift to the orchestra and Abilene.
“To have a person of his talent performing with us is both incredible and inspiring. Not only will his playing be on display, but to be able to have students on stage with him will be a great experience. We’ll all grow as performers.”
The chamber concert will bring together students from ACU, Hardin-Simmons and McMurry, along with faculty and community players.
What sets apart this chamber concert from others, aside from McAllister, is that it features unique compositions that will change emphasis on certain instruments and sounds.
Alanna Curley, senior music education major from Flower Mound, said, “Dr. Ward does a great job organizing concerts. He’s always working on specific themes, finding pieces that will work for them and making it an overall great experience.”
The concert, featuring Tim McAllister, will be in Cullen Auditorium on April 2 at 7:30 PM.