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HSU Concert Band Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

By Skylar Bell Brenner, Entertainment Editor

The Hardin-Simmons University Concert Band will perform their fall concert at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 22 in Behrens Auditorium. The theme of this year’s concert is “fiesta”, as the band will play songs with Latin and Spanish elements in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, which began on Sept. 15 and ends on Oct. 15. There is no cost of admission.

This is Dr. Bill Harden’s second year as director of bands and second year directing the fall concert. He is looking forward to the music selection, especially his favorite, “Fiesta del Pacifico.”

“My very first year as a public-school teacher, I was an assistant at a high school, and the top band did [‘Fiesta del Pacifico’]. And I guess because of that fact that it was my first year, it meant something to me. I actually looked at it last year when it was my first year as director of bands, but it didn’t fit any of the themes we were looking at. I think it’s a great beat and I think the students are enjoying it too,” Harden said.

Every year, Harden starts by picking a theme for the fall concert and selecting songs within that theme. “Last fall was my first concert and we called it Our Sacred Heritage and it basically included all music that was based on hymn tunes,” Harden said.

Harden is still adjusting to being the new director of bands, but he is enjoying the job and getting to know the students. “It is still a learning process. But I have a lot of really great students, a lot of really nice people,” Harden stated.

Harden is most looking forward to the sense of accomplishment that comes after a performance. “After 31 years of teaching music, the passion comes out in the performance. Like any job, the day to day grind is not always that much fun, but when you actually put it out there on stage, you're getting to hear and see their reaction,” Harden said.

Harden is passionate about music and recognizes its value. “Just imagine a world where there’s no music. Imagine going to see Star Wars and there would be nothing but dialogue. It would be so lame,” Harden said. “Sometimes, you don't even think about the music being there, but I guarantee that if it was gone it would change the whole experience. So, to me, the opportunity to get to create music well with a group brings me joy.”

Harden encourages students to come to the fall concert to experience something new. “Music is such an important part of life. While this music may not be the traditional music you may be listening to, to really enjoy life you have to experience new things. So, take a chance to go and do something you don't normally do. You can't always get to hear live music. It won't take a whole lot of your time,” Harden said.


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