The McAllen Wind Ensemble has been given the honor of premiering the composition “Angels in the Sky” by composer Aaron D. McMichael on February 11. Mr. McMichael composed the piece specifically for the McAllen group as they celebrate their 45th year of performing in the Rio Grande Valley. The February 11th concert, sponsored by Thurmond Eye Associates is entitled “Something...Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue” The event will feature a musical potpourri of concert band works from each of the categories of the old wedding rhyme.
Aaron D. McMichael’s works definitely belong in the “something new” category. Even though he has started composing seriously in just the last three years, Mr. McMichael’s parents started him in music at the young age of five. When he started middle school, he switched to trumpet and was an instant success. After graduating high school, he earned a scholarship at Jones County Junior College in Ellisville, Mississippi. There he met the composer Robert W. Smith, who extended a full scholarship to Troy State University. Once Mr. McMichael graduated in 2003 with his bachelors’ degree, he began teaching at Victoria High School. Since then, he has taught at several high schools and middle schools across the state of Texas including Brownsville ISD, Mercedes ISD, San Benito ISD, Mission ISD, and Victoria ISD.
After graduating with his masters’ degree in 2010, Mr. McMichael dabbled in writing marching band shows for Progreso and Weslaco High Schools. Time passed and in 2018, he decided to pick up the mouse, computer, and midi keyboard to start writing again. Mr. McMichael’s first written song was a piece called I Love Donuts for young middle school band. In April of 2019 he submitted music to the Texas Band Masters Association and was contacted by officials to program his new music. His piece, Winter Storm, was selected to be performed at the Indiana Music Educators Convention. Since July, Mr. McMichael has written 15 compositions, and more are in the works. When he is not writing music, he focuses his attention on his son, wife, house duties, working, and working out.
The McAllen Wind Ensemble is excited to bring Mr. McMichael’s music to the Rio Grande Valley. The February 11th concert will also feature guest artists Christopher A. Jones performing the “borrowed” transcription of Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto and David Sadlier, UTRGV Assistant Professor of Voice performing transcriptions for tenor and concert band.
The Wind Ensemble under the direction of Mr. Roger Olivarez, will top off the program with “old” band standards by Holst and Wagner, and the “blues” with compositions by Anderson and de Haan.
The fun wedding theme of the concert will not stop at the stage. The McAllen Performing Arts Center’s lobby will feature bridal gowns from operas and famous stage shows provided by Rick Walsh from Southwest Costume. Quinta Mazatlan will display reception décor from their historical nature and birding center. To complete the wedding backdrop, the Valley’s finest wedding quartet, the incomparable Viol Consort will be performing pre-concert.
Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. with the stage performance starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets, starting at $10, are available at the McAllen Performing Arts Center Box Office and through Ticket Master. Please visit www.McAllenWindEnsemble.org or call (682) 227-2101 for more information.