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WTAMU Concert Band performance honoring the late band director Darin K. Johns

April 27, 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Darin K. Johns - Andrews High School band director

WT Concert Band to Debut Piece Commissioned for Late Andrews Band Director; WT Symphonic Band Also Set to Perform

CANYON, Texas — A piece honoring the legacy of a Texas band director killed in a November car crash will have its regional premiere during an April 27 West Texas A&M University band concert.

The WT Concert Band will perform “The Essence of Memory” by Dr. B.J. Brooks, WT professor of theory and composition, during its 6 p.m. April 27 concert in Mary Moody Northen Recital Hall on WT’s Canyon campus.

It commemorates the life of Darin K. Johns, the Andrews High School band director who died in a Nov. 19 bus-pickup crash near Big Spring. Also killed in the wreck was Marc Elbert Boswell, an Andrews High math teacher and director of data information systems, who was driving the school bus.

In the weeks following the tragedy that took the lives of Darin and Marc, we were all awed by the outpouring of collective tributes that spread out like waves on a still lake. First local, then in neighboring communities, then further throughout the state as people shared Darin’s story through social media,” Brooks said. “His story touched so many because his story is part of us all. As musicians, educators, parents, and community members, we well understood the commitment to the school and its students that is personified in a band director.”

The piece was commissioned by Association of Texas Small School Bands and premiered in February during the Texas Music Educators Association 4A All-State Symphonic Band concert.

We are so fortunate to have a composer of Dr. Brooks’ caliber on our faculty,” said Dr. Russ Teweleit, professor of music and conductor of the WT Concert Band. “It’s sobering to recognize the loss of one of our band director peers, but Dr. Brooks’ piece is truly exceptional.”

The concert band will include two of Johns’ former students in its roster: sophomore Anthony NovoGradac and senior Landon Proffitt.

The concert band also will perform Brooks’ “Willows of Winter,” conducted by student Shelby Easley-McPherson, a graduate music performance student from Odessa; “Galactic Empires” by David Gillingham; “Xerxes” by John Mackey, conducted by student Emily Henson, a graduate music performance student from Hereford; and the finale of Vasily Kalinnikov’s Symphony No. 1 in G Minor.

The concert band’s performance will be followed at 8 p.m. by the WT Symphonic Band. The ensemble’s performance will feature Dr. John Shanks, WT professor of trombone, on John Mackey’s “Harvest: Concerto for Trombone.”

This exciting work is considered to be one of the most challenging works from the trombone repertoire and also is a tour de force for the winds and percussion,” said Don Lefevre, associate professor of music and WT Symphonic Band conductor.

The concert also will feature Percy Aldridge Grainger’s “Children’s March,” “Frank Ticheli’s “Lux Perpetua” and Alfred Reed’s “El Camino Real.”

Admission for both concerts is free. Call 806-651-2840.

Fostering an appreciation of the arts is a key mission of the University’s long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.

That plan is fueled by the historic, $125 million One West comprehensive fundraising campaign. To date, the five-year campaign — which publicly launched Sept. 23 — has raised about $110 million.


Concert Band Personnel


  • Erin Hinds, Sophomore, Amarillo
  • Natalie Samuels, Senior, Monahans
  • Amaya Rangel, Junior, Odessa
  • Savannah Neis, Senior, Lubbock
  • Nalyn Chanthakhoune, Freshman, Amarillo
  • Isabel Hernandez, Sophomore, Amarillo
  • Elena Moreno, Freshman, Amarillo
  • Jasmine Solis, Freshman, Amarillo
  • Carmella Love, Junior, Amarillo


  • Jocelyn Morales, Sophomore, Amarillo
  • Emily Klein, Junior, Amarillo


  • Kegan Otoole, Freshman, Friendswood
  • Kat Clark, Freshman, Canyon
  • Emma Morris, Sophomore, Sunray


  • Shawn Frausto, Sophomore, Amarillo
  • Faith Powell, Freshman, Amarillo
  • Skylar Jones, Freshman, Dalhart
  • Ashli Sauer, Senior, Dumas
  • Robby Sanchez, Sophomore, Farwell
  • Albert Spencer, Freshman, Claude
  • Jeran Nolen, Freshman, Stinnett
  • Mason Vincent, Junior, Brownfield
  • Kaitlyn Rubinski, Freshman, Amarillo
  • Shelby Easley-McPherson, Masters, Odessa

Bass Clarinet

  • Zoe Stovall, Freshman, Amarillo
  • Maddlyn Worley, Junior, Amarillo

Alto Saxophone

  • Josh Carillo, Senior, El Paso
  • Noah Reneau, Sophomore, Amarillo
  • Coby Mount, Freshman, Coahoma
  • Emily Shaw, Freshman, Tomball

Tenor Saxophone

  • Zach Limb, Sophomore, Amarillo

Baritone Saxophone

  • Zeke Roberts, Junior, Lubbock


  • Malik Boyd, Senior, Amarillo
  • Caleb Hesse, Sophomore, Amarillo
  • Ian Whitehurst, Sophomore, Smithtown, NY
  • Nassir Reyes, Sophomore, Shallowater
  • Jordan Bunn, Freshman, Tulia
  • Connor McClenny, Freshman, Amarillo
  • Ashlyn Vessel, Senior, Lampasas
  • Emily Henson, Graduate, Hereford


  • Sadie Rivera, Senior, St. Augustine, FL
  • Chris Santiago, Freshman, Odessa
  • Jenna Gelinas, Junior, Roswell, NM
  • Norrin Hodgson, Sophomore, Odessa
  • Ericka Ortiz, Junior, Canyon
  • Liliana Rivera, Freshman, Humble

Tenor Trombone

  • Brayden Hebbel, Sophomore, Amarillo
  • Alec Jung, Freshman, Midland
  • William Delph, Senior, Wasilla, AK
  • Nadia Ortega, Sophomore, Stratford
  • Chris Larney, Freshman, Tulia
  • Victoria Wilkinson, Junior, Amarillo
  • Caleb Aguilar-Skeen, Sophomore, Amarillo
  • Dominic Mendoza, Freshman, Plainview
  • Payton Cotton, Freshman, Amarillo

Bass Trombone

  • James Dewey, Senior, Amarillo


  • Anthony NovoGradac, Sophomore, Andrews


  • Jayce Nixon, Sophomore, Mansfield
  • Camron McGuire, Freshman, Claude
  • Jacob Mills, Sophomore, Midland


  • Charlie Romo, Senior, Amarillo
  • William Conway, Sophomore, Panhandle
  • Cooper Delgado, Freshman, Childress
  • Steven Hilton, Junior, Amarillo
  • Hayley Hunter, Sophomore, Monahans
  • Brogan Lichte, Senior, Littlefield
  • Noah Lopez, Junior, Lubbock
  • Tristan Mouw, Junior, Amarillo
  • Charles Neal, Freshman, Canyon
  • Angel Olivas, Freshman, Shallowater


April 27, 2022
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Event Category:


Mary Moody Northen Hall
Canyon, TX 79015 United States + Google Map