by Rachel Heston-Davis
The Greenville University Concert Band will debut the University’s first-ever commissioned wind band musical piece during Homecoming. Written by renowned concert/symphonic band composer Ed Huckeby, the composition Hogue Tower Celebration honors the past, present and future of Greenville University.
The piece debuts at the Homecoming concert band performance 3 p.m. on Sunday, October 21, in Whitlock Music Center.
A History In Four Parts
The G.U. concert band commissioned the work in honor of Greenville University’s 125th year. To celebrate the momentous marker, Huckeby dug into the University’s history and carefully researched religious hymns that speak to the institution’s journey.
He paid special attention to the significance of Hogue Hall and the new Hogue Tower. “I incorporated a four-note motive (melodic idea) into the work to provide focus on these historical structures,” he said.
Huckeby describes the song as a four-part composition:
- A bold beginning which “signifies the bold and pioneering spirit of the University founders.”
- A second movement integrates three hymns to honor G.U.’s Christian beliefs.
- A light march concluding with strains of the Alma Mater forms the third movement.
- A final movement “in a fugue-like style builds to a dramatic ‘grandiose’ statement of the final hymn tune, suggesting the importance of unity as the institution moves forward into the future.”
Prolific Composer, Faith-Fueled Works
Huckeby has composed more than 200 published musical works, most in the concert band genre. As a man of faith and the retired president of Southwestern Christian University in Bethany, Oklahoma, he frequently writes pieces that incorporate traditional hymns or other songs of faith.
Huckeby first connected with Greenville University through G.U. band director Will Fairbanks when the two met at a band and orchestra conference in Chicago. Huckeby later visited campus for a G.U. Concert Band performance featuring several of his compositions.
Fairbanks assisted Huckeby in choosing appropriate hymns to represent the journey of the University over 125 years.
The October 21 concert is free and open to the public.
Find more information on Homecoming activities at the Homecoming web site.
Support from donors helped fund this work commemorating G.U.’s history. You can add your support by designating your gift for the “concert band commission.” Thank you for giving!