Meadows Percussion Ensemble Presents Alumni Concert Honoring Founder And Retiring Professor Doug Howard, September 22
Concert will feature seven new works and alumni performers from around the country
The Meadows Percussion Ensemble at SMU Meadows School of the Arts will present its first alumni concert to honor Doug Howard, who founded the ensemble in 1975 and recently retired after more than 40 years of teaching percussion at Meadows. The concert takes place at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, September 22 in Caruth Auditorium of the Owen Arts Center, 6101 Bishop Blvd. on the SMU campus. Admission is free and no tickets are required. Parking is available at Hillcrest and Binkley and in the garage beneath the Meadows Museum (enter museum garage through left gate only). For more information, see our events calendar.
Under the direction of Jon Lee, the concert will feature 10 works, including the premiere of seven new pieces composed for the occasion by percussion/composition alumni and colleagues. More than 40 Percussion Ensemble alumni from around the country will return to Meadows for the concert, many of whom will perform on stage with the students.
New alumni works to be presented include I’ll Be Bringing the Bagels by Brandon Carson, The Lineage by Del Cook, Prospect by Alex Shawver, Vines Don’t Reach by Eden Porter and The Mental Manacles of the Rhythmically Divine by Jesus J. Martinez.
Also premiering will be The Titanic Days by Christopher Deane, associate professor of percussion at University of North Texas, and Cannonade by Dr. Lane Harder, alumnus, Meadows faculty member and director of the Meadows SYZYGY ensemble. Cannonade will feature all 40-plus returning alumni performing with current Meadows Percussion Ensemble members.
The ensemble will also present Weapon Wheel, a work by Quinn Mason, visiting composition/percussion student at Meadows.
Two additional works will be conducted by former Meadows faculty who are making special appearances at the concert. Quatrefoil by alumnus Justin Preece will be conducted by former Meadows associate dean Robert Stroker, who is now dean of the School of Music at Temple University. Toccata by Carlos Chavez will be conducted by Deborah Mashburn, former director of the Meadows Percussion Ensemble.
Honoree Doug Howard served as both adjunct professor of percussion at SMU and principal percussionist at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra from 1975 until his retirement in 2018. Howard founded the Meadows Percussion Ensemble in his first year at SMU, and spent decades teaching his students the technique and repertoire for becoming a symphonic percussionist.
“Doug’s former students and Percussion Ensemble members have gone on to distinguish themselves as musicians, professors and entrepreneurs around the world, and we are thrilled to welcome many of them back to campus for our first-ever alumni concert,” said ensemble director Jon Lee. “In his 43 years at SMU, Doug influenced and mentored hundreds and hundreds of talented students. As Meadows celebrates its 50th anniversary, it is fitting that we honor a faculty member who has been a respected and admired professor at Meadows for almost that entire time.”
About the Meadows Percussion Ensemble
Founded in 1975 by Doug Howard, the SMU Meadows Percussion Ensemble, under the direction of Jon D. Lee, consists of 13 undergraduate and graduate percussion students in the Division of Music at SMU Meadows School of the Arts. The ensemble has performed at a number of national and international conferences, including those for the Texas Music Educators Association, Percussive Arts Society and World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles. The ensemble is dedicated to the performance of new and traditional percussion ensemble literature. It has premiered works by noted composers including Warren Benson’s Drums of Summer, Stephen Jones’ strike 2, Robert Xavier Rodriguez’s Xochiquetzal and many others. The ensemble has recorded two CDs on the Gasparo label, Strike: the Music of Motion and Contact.