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Composer John Mackey Visits UL Lafayette for Workshops and Concert

Award-winning composer John Mackey worked with the UL Lafayette Wind Ensemble and two high school bands on January 15 & 16. Students from Lafayette HS and Acadiana HS came to Angelle Hall for rehearsals and clinics with Mackey and to perform his music. Each band performed only one work, since the high schools had been in session for only 2 weeks since the holidays. The UL Wind Ensemble worked up AURORA AWAKES in only 3 sessions, having started classes on 1/13. The intense and condensed preparation impressed the composer who expressed amazement at how well the groups were playing after so little rehearsal, including a saxophone quartet formed by 2 UL and 2 LHS players. Mackey spoke to the audience before each piece, and in his comments about the UL Wind Ensemble, he marveled at the unusually fast progress, emotional impact, and musicianship, stating "these guys are crazy good!" The respective pieces will be presented at future concerts, including the UL Wind Ensemble on March 16 during the Festival of the Arts.

Image: John Mackey (far right) with Lafayette HS students at Angelle Hall: Bells Up for clarinets in The Frozen Cathedral