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ULM welcomes Douglas Hedwig as Composer-in-Residence Feb. 17-18

Published Feb. 13, 2020

Performances:7:30 p.m. Monday at Grace Episcopal Church; 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Brown Theatre

The University of Louisiana Monroe School of Visual and Performing Arts announces the annual Composer-in-Residence Series on Monday, Feb. 17 and Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020.

The guest composer is Douglas Hedwig, D.M.A. (Facebook/Douglas.Hedwig) of Chattanooga, Tenn.

Douglas Hedwig

“It’s going to be a really peak experience for me,” said Hedwig, “This is the first festival devoted to a wide range of my compositions, I’m very appreciative to ULM.”

Throughout his long and highly successful international career in the musical arts, Hedwig has pursued a wide diversity of expression.

Before turning his full attention to composition in 2011, Hedwig was a professional trumpeter based in New York City. He performed with The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra for 27 years before retiring. Hedwig is a former faculty member of The Julliard School and Professor Emeritus at the Conservatory of Music at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York.

Hedwig’s visit to ULM is thanks to his 2019 appearance at the New Music on the Bayou Festival. At the festival, Hedwig met music faculty from ULM and area musicians.

Want to go?

What: Composer-in-Residence – Douglas Hedwig Music Festival

When and Where: 7:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 17, Grace Episcopal Church and 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 18 at Brown Theatre

Cost: Free and open to the public

Info: VAPA, 318-342-3811


“I’m very impressed with ULM and the incredibly high quality of your performance faculty. It is an amazing bunch of musicians. Now, I’ll have the pleasure of hearing the students,” Hedwig said.

The public will have two opportunities to hear Hedwig’s music;  7:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 17, Grace Episcopal Church in Monroe, features chamber music performed by Hedwig; and 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 18 in Brown Theatre, ULM students and faculty will perform compositions by Hedwig. 

Hedwig, "Taps" & 9/11

Hedwig has a special connection to the sounding of “Taps,” as does ULM with its Talons for Taps group. Talons for Taps is faculty and student from the VAPA Trumpet Studio who voluntarily perform “Taps” at funerals and memorial services for U.S. veterans.

He was living in New York City when the Twin Towers were attacked on Sept. 11, 2001, and his son was at a new school just two blocks from Ground Zero.

“We didn’t hear from him for several hours,” Hedwig explained. “They weren’t letting anyone down there.”

His son went home with a classmate and was safe. In gratitude, Hedwig reached out to the nearby station of the New York City Fire Department.

“Basically, after the events of 9/11, I felt the call to do something. We lived at Manhattan and I dropped a note to the local firehouse. I never expected to hear from them. Within an hour, they called, taking me up on my offer to play ‘Taps’ for memorial services. I played many of them over the next few months,” he said.

Hedwig received a citation for his services as a volunteer civilian bugler with FDNY following 9/11. In 2012, in honor of the 150th anniversary of “Taps,” Hedwig expanded upon the 24-note melody for contemporary concert bands. The resulting “Tone Poem on Taps” was premiered that year by the U.S. Army Band at West Point, under the direction of the composer. “Tone Poem on Taps” will be in the performance on Tuesday, Feb. 18.

Hedwig’s compositions have been performed throughout the United States by orchestras and at new music festivals. Internationally, his works are presented in Britain, Scotland, Italy, Thailand, and Indonesia.

He has recorded more than 40 albums on major international labels in many diverse styles, including the 1977 Grammy award-winning recording of Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess" with the Houston Grand Opera. 

There is no admission charge for these performances. For more information, contact the ULM School of Visual and Performing Arts at 318-342-3811.