University of Arkansas Music Department

Chris Knighten

While on sabbatical last year, University of Arkansas music professor Chal Ragsdale arranged a new edition of "Lads of Wamphray Ballad" - a long-neglected ballad from the eccentric Australian composer Percy Grainger.

Ragsdale, a leading scholar on Grainger, says his instrumentation and compositions were integral to the development of modern American band music. 

"[He] put forward a vision of what a band could be," Ragsdale says. "What his vision was is what the wind band became particularly after World War I and World War II on into Today." 

After months of practice, winners of this year's University of Arkansas Music Honors Recital competition showcase their hard work at the Faulkner Performing Arts Center this weekend. In addition to the recital, the students also recorded professionally with Bentonville's Haxton Road Studios.

"It was such an amazing opportunity to do something like this so young," says clarinetist Nathan Barker. "There's just something cool about going into the soundroom and hearing yourself."

Inspirational Chorale

Last week the Firmin-Garner Performance Studio captured the spirit when approximately 30 singers from the University of Arkansas's Inspirational Chorale performed in our bedroom-sized studio ahead of a very special 40th anniversary celebration.

The full gospel gospel choir--accompanied by bass, electric guitar, keyboard, drum kit and one member on our Steinway piano--filled what little space was left with their powerful, haunting harmonies.

"Satori (Awakening)" is a meditative violin concerto named after the Zen Buddhist tradition of "seeing into one's true nature." Penned by University of Arkansas Music Professor Robert Mueller for his violinist daughter Tara Mueller, the work receives a world premiere performance in collaboration with the University Symphony Orchestra in concert 7:30 p.m. Monday, May 1, at the

The Lyrique Quintette, the University of Arkansas's faculty woodwind ensemble, is hard at work on producing its first recording in more than a decade. Ahead of the May recording sessions they present a free concert Thursday, April 13, at the new performing arts venue Stage 18, just off the Fayetteville Square.