Cancer awareness concert highlights MSU Music ensemble week

Wind Symphony program supports Cancer Blows, a musically-inspired organization focused on raising awareness.

MSU Music embraces a week of choir, band and orchestra ensemble performances highlighted by a special program honoring “Cancer Blows,” presented by the MSU Wind Symphony on Oct. 24. Other concerts include State Singers and University Chorale Oct. 20, Symphony Band Oct. 22, and Symphony Orchestra Oct. 25. Ensembles perform at Fairchild Theatre of the MSU Auditorium and Wharton Center’s Cobb Great Hall.

Cancer Blows originated as a one-concert idea hatched by Dallas Symphony Orchestra Principal Trumpet player Ryan Anthony after his diagnosis of terminal cancer in November 2012. A single benefit concert to raise awareness and raise money for organizations that helped Anthony through his heroic battle and treatment has grown into a nationwide movement. Major concerts featuring guests like Doc Severinsen, Wycliffe Gordon, and Canadian Brass have led to the creation of a foundation and over one million dollars raised for cancer research. 

The MSU Wind Symphony recognizes how many lives are touched by cancer diagnoses and decided to feature music created in Anthony’s honor and others. The works to be performed by the symphony include “Renaissance of Wonder,” commissioned by Anthony and composed by his friend Peter Meechan, who was inspired by Anthony’s journey. Meechan is a British composer based in Canada, and his work for brass can be heard live all around the world and on countless commercial recordings. Meechan will be in attendance as guest composer at the Wind Symphony concert on Oct. 24. Also performing will be guest conductor Jason Noble who leads the Columbia University Wind Ensemble and is also a cancer survivor.

“It's good to let the students know that music doesn't just have to be about the concert stage,” said MSU Professor of Music, Director of Bands and Chair of the Conducting Area Kevin Sedatole. “The power of music can inspire and heal.”

The full week of ensemble performances includes: 

State Singers and University Chorale performing on stage of the Fairchild Theatre
State Singers and University Chorale
MSU Wind Symphony
MSU Symphony Orchestra

10/20 Sunday 7:00 p.m. 
Fairchild Theatre, MSU Auditorium

State Singers and University Chorale
David Rayl and Jonathan Reed, conductors

See the event page for program details.

10/22 Tuesday 7:30 p.m.
Cobb Great Hall, Wharton Center
Symphony Band         
David Thornton, conductor                               

Works include Serenade for Winds by Pann, Bullets and Bayonets by Sousa, Tam o‘Shanter by Arnold, Van Zandt Lane by Astrarium and Riften Wed by Giroux   

10/24 Thursday 7:30 p.m.
Cobb Great Hall, Wharton Center
Wind Symphony, Honoring Cancer Blows 
Kevin L. Sedatole, conductor; Jason Noble, guest conductor; Peter Meechan, guest composer and Justin Emerich, trumpet.

Works include Seeker’s Scherzo by Tian, Renaissance of Wonder, Song of Hope by Meechan, Rolling Thunder by Fillmore, Always and “Wind” from Symphony No. 5 by Giroux. 

10/25 Friday 8:00 p.m. 
Cobb Great Hall, Wharton Center
Symphony Orchestra
Kevin Noe and Joseph Hodge conductors

Works include Millennium Canon by Puts, La Sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring) by Stravinsky

All concerts are general admission seating: $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, free for students and those under 18 with valid ID, and are available from the College of Music box office—in person at the Music Building, Room 102, 333 W. Circle Drive or over the phone at (517) 353-5340—online at, or at the door one hour before the show. 

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