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JU hosts acclaimed composer Curnow with Private Schools Honor Band Feb. 22

​The area’s best private-school instrumentalists will have the added bonus of working with a world-renowned composer at the 21st annual Jacksonville Private Schools Honor Band concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, in Jacksonville University’s Terry Concert Hall.

Composer James Curnow.jpgThe young artists program, which is free to the public, features performers chosen from eight local private schools: Bishop Kenny High School, The Bolles School, Christ's Church Academy, Episcopal High School, First Coast Christian School, Providence School, St. John's Country Day School and Trinity Christian Academy.

These select students will perform side-by-side with members of the JU Wind Ensemble. The joint private school venture supports music education by providing students an opportunity to study and perform quality music literature with other musicians in a university setting.
This year’s concert features the music of internationally known American composer James Curnow, who will guest conduct the 70-member honor band in a performance of his own music: Fanfare and Flourishes, Folk Dances, Canticles and Appalachian Dances.

The concert will also include a performance by the 60-member First Coast Wind Ensemble conducted by Curnow. The group will perform Symphonic Triptych, Three New England Caricatures, Toward the Sunrising, and Fantasia for Tuba and Concert Band. The tuba soloist for this performance is Hugh Rankin, a member of the First Coast Wind Ensemble and the Ocala Symphony.Tuba Soloist Hugh Rankin.jpg

The First Coast Wind Ensemble is a community music organization in its 24th season, dedicated to providing free concerts of outstanding wind band music as a cultural service to Northeast Florida. The organization’s website is
Curnow received a Bachelor of Music degree from Wayne State University and a Master of Music from Michigan State University. He has taught all areas and levels of instrumental music and has received numerous awards for teaching and composition: the Outstanding Educator of America (1974), the Citation of Excellence from the National Bandmaster’s Association (1980), the Volkwein Award (1977 & 1979), the Ostwald Award (1980 & 1984), the International Competition for Original Compositions for Band (1985) and the Coup de Vents Composition Competition of Le Havre, France (1994). He was named Composer of the Year (1997) by the Kentucky Music Teachers Association and the National Music Teachers Association. He has received annual ASCAP standard awards since 1979.
Curnow has been commissioned to write more than 200 works for concert band, brass band, orchestra, choir and various vocal and instrumental ensembles. His published works now number well over 400. As a conductor, composer and clinician, Curnow has traveled throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan and Europe where his music has received wide acclaim.
Curnow lives in Kentucky and owns Curnow Music Press Inc. He also serves as Composer-in-Residence Emeritus for Asbury College in Wilmore, Ky., and is editor of all music publications for The Salvation Army in Atlanta. He was recently honored with a listing in the Grove Dictionary of American Musicians.
For more information, contact JU Music Prof. Artie Clifton at (904) 256-7386.

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