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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Wind Ensemble remembers Tucson soldier

    Jake Lacey /Arizona Daily Wildcat

Music Wind Ensemble for GoWild
    Jake Lacey
    Jake Lacey /Arizona Daily Wildcat Music Wind Ensemble for GoWild

    The UA Wind Ensemble will dedicate a concert tonight to Marana Mountain View High School 2004 graduate and fallen Army soldier Sam Huff in addition to playing a composition dedicated to her titled “”Does She Know?”” composed by associate professor of music Jay Rees.

    Huff was an active member of the MVHS band, played the flute and was one of the marching band’s drum majors her senior year. Ellen Kirkbride, the MVHS band director knew Huff well and thought that a piece of music would be an appropriate tribute to her. She contacted Rees to write the memorial composition for her.

    “”I wanted to keep it as personal and close to home as I could. I knew she loved the U of A marching band, and then when I spoke to Rees, he remembered Sam,”” Kirkbride said.

    Rees agreed to write the piece in Huff’s honor and remembered meeting her.

    “”I thought it was a great idea. I wanted to be involved. I had met Sam when she was in high school as drum major. She had that personality that you remembered. When I saw news reports, I saw the picture of her, I turned to my wife and said I remember that girl.

    She was very special,”” said Rees.

    The loss has been hard on Mountain View and friends and family. Huff died a year ago in Baghdad when a roadside bomb hit the Humvee she was driving only 10 weeks after arriving in Iraq. Huff was the 130th soldier killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. She was awarded the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and Good Conduct Metal awards posthumously.

    “”It’s very emotional. Sam was a special young woman. She became really dedicated to the Mountain View band and was a real leader. She was very sure she wanted to go into the military and she was committed to that in the same way she was committed to band,”” Kirkbride said.

    Jeremy Vega, a music education junior who went to high school with Sam, wrote a poem about her titled, “”Does She Know?,”” which the music composition was based upon, and which will appear in the program and in the score of the music.

    Rees calls the piece very contemporary, as it goes through a lot of different kinds of feelings and moods, but part of the style is military to show her dedication to military service.

    To write the music, Rees spent extensive amounts of times talking with friends and parents of Huff’s as well as Kirkbride to get more information about Huff and get a glimpse of her life.

    “”The way it ended up coming out is an impression of her life story. The final third of the piece is a musical meditation of mourning and release,”” Rees said.

    The Wind Ensemble will be performing tonight at 7:30 p.m. in Crowder Hall in the Music Building, 1017 N. Olive Road.

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