HAMMOND � World famous Dutch composer and conductor Johan de Meij will join Southeastern Louisiana University's acclaimed Wind Symphony in presenting two concerts entitled "Planet Earth" on Sunday, Oct. 14, at the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts.
Part of the university's annual Fanfare celebration of the arts, humanities and social sciences, the concerts will be held at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Reserved tickets are available through the Columbia Theatre Box Office, (985) 543-4371, or online at columbiatheatre.org. Tickets are $22 for orchestra seats, $25 for loge and $20 for balcony seats. Senior citizens pay $16 and Southeastern students pay $7 with a student ID.
de Meij will share conducting duties with Professor of Music Glen Hemberger, conductor and artistic director of the Southeastern Wind Symphony. The two concerts will serve as fundraisers for the Wind Symphony's trip to Chicago next March, where the ensemble will be one of four international wind bands performing at the Percy Aldridge Grainger Wind Band Festival.
de Meij's "Planet Earth" is a 50-minute, three-movement symphony composed as an ode to the beauty, sights and sounds of the planet. Having premiered in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, in 2006 and performed in Switzerland, Singapore and China, the Hammond performances are among the first presented to audiences in the United States.
The three movements include "Gandalf" from "Symphony No. 1: Lord of the Rings" by de Meij; "Mars" from "The Planets" by Gustav Holst and Merlin Patterson; and "Symphony No. 3: Planet Earth," also by de Meij.
Hemberger said the Wind Symphony will launch into "a universe filled with comets and planets. In the central movement, electronic sounds create a birds-eye view of the world's many landscapes. The symphony's finale pays homage to 'Mother Earth,' with an all-female chorus joining the orchestra to emulate the planet's energy."
A native of Voorburg, Netherlands, de Meij studied trombone and conducting at the Royal Conservatory of Music in The Hague and earned international fame as a composer and arranger. His work consists of original compositions, symphonic transcriptions and arrangements of film scores and musicals. He has been recognized with numerous awards for his compositions and was honored with the Dutch Wind Music Award for his role in role in the worldwide advancement of music.
The concerts are made possible through the support of Southeastern's Student Government Association and the university's Arts and Lectures Committee. For additional information, contact the Department of Fine and Performing Arts, (985) 549-2184.