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May 1, 2008

Media Contact: Hannah Buchanan
Public Affairs Specialist
News and Information
The University of Texas at Tyler

UT Tyler Music Department Chair Composes March Honoring Local Band Leader

Emge with the King Richard March score on his computer

Dr. Jeffrey Emge, music department chair at The University of Texas at Tyler, has composed a march in memory of a local band leader.

The march honors Richard Highfill, former UT Tyler music instructor and Tyler Independent School District Robert E. Lee High School band director, who died December 2007 after a lengthy illness.

The university’s Tyler Community Band will premiere the “King Richard March” May 6 during a concert at the UT Tyler R. Don Cowan Fine and Performing Arts Center.

“Several former students suggested the title ‘King Richard’ since that was his nickname at Robert E. Lee High School. His favorite composer was John Phillip Sousa so I wrote the march in the style of Sousa,” Emge said.

Cheryl Hale, Tyler Community Band member and former junior high and high school student of Highfill’s, asked Emge to compose and arrange the march.

“We’re all delighted that Jeff has decided to do this as part of his community service. Mr. Highfill was well respected among his students and peers,” said Hale, who also currently manages American Band Instrument Service in Tyler.

The concert, which is free and open to the public, begins at 7:30 p.m.

Emge directs the Tyler Community Band and UT Tyler Wind Ensemble. He holds a doctorate of musical arts from the University of Cincinnati’s Conservatory of Music and a master of music education from Florida State University.

For more information, contact Emge, 903.566.7091 or jemge@uttyler.edu.

One of the 15 campuses of the UT System, UT Tyler offers excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. More than 90 undergraduate and graduate degrees are available at UT Tyler, which has an enrollment of more than 6,000 high-ability students at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine.

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