Troy Colt Bands to Honor Founder at Winter Concert
Winter concerts with the Troy High Bands are always celebrations of the season and opportunity to break from holiday hustle and bustle for a few hours to enjoy beautiful music. This year’s concert on December 6th will be special for another reason: the Bands will honor the man who started the school’s instrumental music program over 60 years ago, Dr. Gordon Mathie. Dr. Mathie returns to a vastly different Troy to conduct the Troy High Symphonic Band. He was a recent college graduate when he was asked to establish the program at what was then Big Beaver High School and the district’s six other schools. He had no office – he worked out of his car. He had no classrooms – he conducted his students in hallways and boiler rooms. He had just 40 students in his first band. The Symphonic Band he will conduct in December is comprised of over 80 musicians; the entire Band Program numbers above 240.
Dr. Mathie left Troy Schools to join the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and spent his career playing with several other musical organizations and teaching courses at all educational levels. In retirement, he is the instrumental music proof reader for the Alfred Publishing Company. When a piece of music commissioned by the Bands, Symphonic Essay, op. 133, by James Barnes, crossed his desk, Dr. Mathie decided he would call Brian Nutting, current director of Bands. Needless to say, Nutting was thrilled to hear from Dr. Mathie and immediately asked him to visit Troy to see how the music program has grown.
“This is a perfect opportunity for the citizens of Troy to honor the founder of the Troy Colt Bands and to show our gratitude for Dr. Mathie’s inspiration,” says Nutting.
The theme of this year’s concert is “Seasonal Adornments.” Along with the Symphonic Band, each of the other highly-acclaimed band ensembles – Campus, Concert, and Jazz – will celebrate the beauty of the holiday season through music. The bands will play everything from seasonal favorites like Jingle Bells to a new take on the Nutcracker Suite.
Admission is free. The concert begins at 7 p.m.