Culture, Frenk, Inauguration Week, Music

Inauguration to feature fanfare by alumnus Brian Balmages

Alumnus Brian Balmages will perform a personalized fanfare that he composed titled “Fanfare - Toward Our New Century” for President Frenk at Friday’s inauguration. Photo courtesy Katherine Shilling

Alumnus Brian Balmages will perform a personalized fanfare that he composed titled “Fanfare – Toward Our New Century” for President Frenk at Friday’s inauguration. Photo courtesy Katherine Shilling

During Friday’s inauguration, University of Miami President Julio Frenk will be celebrated with a personalized welcome – a fanfare written for him by alumnus and composer Brian Balmages. Titled “Fanfare – Toward Our New Century,” the piece will be played just before the President’s inauguration.

“The title ‘Fanfare – Toward Our New Century’ is taken from the theme of the inauguration ceremony, which is ‘Charting the Course to Our New Century,’” Balmages said. “I wanted the piece to represent the concept of moving forward, so it harnesses a great deal of energy in a short time.”

Balmages graduated from UM’s master in music media writing and production program in 2000. He was also a trumpet player and performed in the Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble and Brass Ensemble. He hopes his fanfare, a celebratory piece of music composed to kick off celebrations, will be memorable and musically associated with the tenure of President Frenk.

“It is very bold and majestic,” Balmages said. “The challenge was to write something that had structure and development in such a short fanfare. I am thrilled with how it turned out. Highly rhythmic passages meet soaring fanfares, and eventually the two are juxtaposed.”

Frost School of Music Dean Shelton “Shelly” Berg said that he looks forward to hearing the piece at the event.

“I think it will be a thrilling moment,” he said. “The fanfare will lend an air of excitement and anticipation. It is a great piece and everyone will know that they are hearing for the first time something that will be associated with President Frenk’s tenure.”

Being asked to compose the fanfare was an honor for Balmages, who will be reconnecting with the same orchestra that he played in as a graduate student, only this time with a very different role, he said. Instead of playing principal trumpet, he will be present as the composer of the fanfare.

“More than anything, I am thrilled to play a small role in such a major event for the U,” he said. “In a lot of ways, this is my way of coming full circle. It truly is a joy and I look forward to what lies ahead for this magnificent institution.”

According to Berg, another version of the fanfare was also adapted for the concert band to play at UM commencements, similar to the fanfare composed for former president Donna Shalala that was played at commencements during her tenure.

January 28, 2016


Emily Dabau

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