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Lander senior brings lifetime of musical experience to Wind Ensemble concert April 9

April 04, 2009
Senior Lander University music major Ryan Davis is comfortable at play, not only on a basketball court or a baseball diamond, but also in the auditorium amongst the other musicians that make up the university's music ensembles and choirs. This is precisely where he will be Thursday, April 9, at 8 p.m., on stage for Lander's final Wind Ensemble concert until fall. The concert, in Lander's Cultural Center Auditorium, is free and open to the public.

The Wind Ensemble concert is just one performance, among many, that Davis has experienced during a lifetime on stage.

"I got interested in band in elementary school," said Davis. "My dad was big on football and I would go with him to watch local games. While everybody else was up and about during halftime, I was watching the band. When everybody else came back for the third quarter I would get up and get something to eat."

A native of Duncan, Davis started band in the fifth grade, after his school district opened the activity up to his age group for the first time. His involvement with band continued throughout school. However, he recalled singing in church as early as age four and he was involved in choral groups throughout school as well.

Davis' music degree at Lander has him focusing on euphonium performance, while he plays the French horn in Lander's Wind Ensemble and Brass Ensemble. He is also a member of the three Lander choirs - University Singers, Old Main Singers and Camarata.

Beyond performing on the Lander stage, Davis is involved with several campus intramural sporting activities. "A lot of people don't know that I'm sport active, but I love sports," he said.

Davis said that he has played baseball and softball since the age of four and basketball since he was eight. At Lander he is involved with intramural basketball, softball and volleyball.

Not only is Davis learning and performing at Lander, he is teaching young performers at Greenwood High School how to be better musicians. Since coming to Greenwood, Davis has been working with the high school's marching band, instructing students in low brass, baritone and mellophone performance and now serving as head of visual, or marching instruction.

Davis will graduate from Lander in May 2010, after which he plans to work on a master's degree in music education. For now, he is set for another excellent concert to close out Lander's season of fine arts student performances.

The upcoming Wind Ensemble concert will be the third conducted by Dr. Reed Gallo, Lander assistant professor of music. Gallo has a Bachelor of Music in trumpet performance and a Bachelor of Music Education from Kent State University in Ohio, a Master of Music in trumpet performance and a special studies certificate in music performance from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pa., and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in trumpet performance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The concert will include pieces such as Ronald Lo Presti's "Elegy for a Young American," Karl King's "Woody Van's March," and Vincent Persichetti's "Pageant."

For information, call the Fine Arts box office at 864-388-8800.