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    Carrollton Jazz Orchestra to Premiere Work by 2019 Georgia Composer of the Year Terry Lowry

    Terry Lowry, 2019 GMTA Commissioned Composer

    When the Georgia Music Teachers Association meets at Columbus State University this weekend, they will be treated to the debut of the work they commissioned Carrollton Symphony Orchestra’s Conductor, and Steinway Artist, Terry Lowry to compose as the 2019 GMTA Commissioned Composer.

    Having been selected for the honor in the fall of 2018, Lowry began a large work that  he terms “a concerto for piano and jazz band. ” He says the work will run just under 20 minutes in performance and describes it as something in the vein of Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” because it is composed for the traditional jazz band instrumentation.  The concerto begins with a piano solo for perhaps five minutes and then slowly adds each of the other instruments until the full band is playing “pretty much from then on.” 

    The Carrollton Jazz Orchestra, which performed for the first time just a year ago, functions under the umbrella of the Carroll Symphony Orchestra in partnership with the Carrollton Center for the Arts.  The group will travel to Columbus to perform the concerto on Friday and then give a separate concert in the evening. 

    As their website explains, “Georgia Music Teachers Association (GMTA) is a nonprofit organization of over 700 independent and collegiate music teachers throughout the state, who are committed to furthering the art of music through programs that encourage and support teaching, performance, and scholarly research.“GMTA has existed to support music teaching and the art of music since 1954 and is affiliated with the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA).”  

    “MTNA,” according to that national organization’s website, “ is dedicated to encouraging the creation of new works by American composers and annually assists its affiliated state associations in the generation and performance of new music through the national composers commissioning program. A newly commissioned composition receives its premiere performance at the conference of the state MTA that commissions the work.”

    In December the Georgia affiliate will submit both a copy of the score and a recording of Lowry’s commissioned composition to a panel of recognized composers who will select the MTNA Distinguished Composer of the Year. 

    When asked what he planned to do with the award/commissioning fee he will receive at the program on November 8, Lowry immediately declared that he would use the funds to buy a new sound system for the Carrollton Jazz Orchestra. 

    The composer stressed that he sees the honor that the award brings as a platform to benefit the Carroll Symphony Orchestra, Carrollton Jazz Orchestra, the Carroll Community Wind Ensemble, and the musicians who comprise them.

    “It’s about the people in those groups, the musicians who work so hard to bring the music to life. I hope that we can use this award, use me and the things I do, to bring people to our performances and to make them want to financially support the CSO Foundation so that we can do more things in and for our community!”