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Wednesday, Sep 22, 2021

Bear Day Brass concert to change location to Fickling Hall

The Mercer Brass Choir concert that is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. Friday, April 8 — titled Bear Day Brass — has been moved from the McCorkle Music Building patio to Fickling Hall inside the music building. This event is free and open to the public.

“It will be bombastic,” said Douglas Hill, Mercer professor of music and director of instrumental ensembles.

Hill said that the change is a good thing and that Fickling Hall will be easier to play in for the student instrumentalists. Due to the wonderful acoustics of the hall, the sound will be quite immersive, Hill said.

The April concert will feature both brass and percussion students. Not all of the instrumentalists, however, are music majors. Hill said that in addition to students of the Townsend School of Music, the ensembles include students from majors such as engineering, English and business.

During the concert, several groups will play music that they have been working on over the semester. This concert will feature performances by the Horn Quartet, the Tuba and Euphonium Ensemble and the Trombone Quartet, which will be premiering a commissioned composition of “Mean Streets” by Alejandro Guardia, Jr.

Hill said that “Mean Streets” is a piece that he is looking forward to at the concert. The piece was commissioned by the Townsend School of Music after previously working with Guardia, Jr.

“We found him at random,” Hill said.

Guardia, Jr. had contacted Mercer a few years ago after composing a piece, asking if Townsend students would be interested in playing his music. Impressed with his work, the school of music asked Guardia, Jr. to compose a new piece just for Mercer.

Hill said that Guardia, Jr. is a young and up-and-coming composer.

“Mean Streets” is an eclectic piece with all kinds of sounds, said Hill. Recreating a city environment, players will make the sounds of motorcycles, horns and sirens with their instruments.

To join the brass players, Mercer student percussionists will also be featured throughout the concert.

Hill hopes that through this, Mercer brass players and percussionists will be exposed to a greater range of brass literature, particularly Renaissance brass literature. The concert will feature pieces from the 1400s and 1500s that students have been studying.

“Anybody who like brass music will [hear] something that they like in this [concert],” Hill said.

For more information on Bear Day Brass, visit the Townsend School of Music event calendar online at


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