next season concert for the Symphony Orchestra at The University
of Southern Mississippi will feature the three winners of the William
T. Gower Awards competition Feb. 5 in Bennett Auditorium.
the exceptional talent of the Southern Miss School of Music, this
annual concert in the symphony season has become a favorite of local
although ongoing for more than 20 years, was renamed three years
ago in honor of William T. Gower, former professor of music at Southern
Miss and widely respected woodwind musician. Gower, who passed away
in July 2003, was an inspiration to many budding musicians through
his multitude of career performances at music conventions, high
schools, colleges, and universities-often performing on a variety
the faculty at Southern Miss in 1963 as chair of the Department
of Music Education, with a goal of building a university symphony.
During his tenure, regular performances by the orchestra became
the norm, featuring faculty and student soloists. Upon his retirement
in 1974, the music education department had ballooned from a student
enrollment of 75 to 350 majors and 50 graduate students.
within the ranks of the School of Music is quite rigorous. More
than 40 students auditioned in November 2003 before a panel of judges
from outside the university. This year's award recipients are clarinetist
Matthew Carl, trumpeter Michael Ellzey, and saxophonist David Parks.
very talented students will hopefully be our stars of tomorrow,"
said Pablo Saelzer, assistant conductor of the symphony and guest
conductor for the concert. "Maybe, later in life, we will be
able to say that we knew them when they were students here at Southern
the orchestra will open the 7:30 p.m. concert with Samuel Jones'
"Janus." Following the opening work, the three competition
winners will perform the music that earned them distinction among
Carl, a Georgetown,
S.C., native is working toward his master of music in clarinet performance.
He has been studying with professor of music Wilbur Moreland for
the past two years. Under the instruction of Douglas Graham at the
University of South Carolina, he earned his bachelor of music in
Aaron Copland's "Concerto for Clarinet and String Orchestra"
on the concert program, Carl has also studied conducting with Dr.
William Moody and is now studying with Dr. Thomas Fraschillo. He
is principal clarinetist of the Wind Ensemble at Southern Miss and
performs with the Meridian Symphony Orchestra. He will receive his
master of music in May 2004.
Ellzey is a
doctoral candidate at Southern Miss, studying in the studio of Dr.
Joel Treybig. He holds a master of music from the University of
Akron and a bachelor of music from Southern Miss. Prior to his studies
with Treybig, Ellzey studied with retired Southern Miss faculty
member Allen Cox, Wayne Lineham of the Mississippi Symphony, Scott
Johnston at Akron, and Dr. Charles Decher at Tennessee Technological
He will perform
Alexander Arutunian's "Concert for Trumpet" on the program.
While at Southern Miss, Ellzey has been active in various ensembles,
including the Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Winds,
University Singers, Oratorio Chorus, brass quintet, and trumpet
will be performing Paule Maurice's "Les Tableaux de Provence,"
received a bachelor of arts in music performance from Whitworth
College in Spokane, Wash., where he studied saxophone with Sylvia
Baker, flute with Sheri Harbeson, and conducting with Dr. Richard
Strauch and Professor Bryan Priddy.
with Dr. Lawrence Gwozdz, Southern Miss professor of music and acclaimed
saxophonist in his own right, Parks has performed in master classes
for Steven Mauk, John-Edward Kelly, James Houlik, and Otis Murphy,
among others. He is pursuing a master's in saxophone performance
at Southern Miss.
After the student
performances, Dr. Elliott Pood, dean of the College of Arts and
Letters at Southern Miss, will officiate the awards ceremony.
conducting for the concert is Juan Carlos Peña.
guest conductors is a win-win situation for the orchestra,"
said Dean. "It gives the orchestra a chance to work with different
styles of conducting and allows us to showcase some great conducting
Aaron Copland's piece, Peña is a native of Honduras, where
he began his musical studies at the Victoriano Lopez School of Music.
He holds a bachelor of music from the prestigious Curtis Institute
of Music and a master of music in orchestral directing from the
University of Maryland. At Southern Miss, Peña serves as
visiting assistant professor of double bass.
to Mississippi from Chile, Saelzer has been conductor of the Metropolitan
Chamber Orchestra in Jackson and has appeared a number of times
as guest conductor with the Mississippi Symphony. A doctoral candidate
at Southern Miss, he is the conductor of the Mississippi Youth Symphony
Orchestra and the assistant conductor for the symphony at Southern
2003-04 season is sponsored by BancorpSouth. Tickets for the 7:30
p.m. concert are $18, $16, and $14 and may be purchased at the Southern
Miss ticket office by calling (601) 266-5418 or 800-844-8425. Tickets
may be ordered online at www.usm.edu/tickets.