MWQ Announces Residency at Adams State University

The Madera Wind Quintet will record a newly commissioned work for quintet and band, perform a quintet recital and give master classes and lessons in their residency at Adams State University November 14-17, 2016.


The new work, David J. Pierce’s El Ranchero, was commissioned by Adams State University along with several other works for soloists and band by composers including Jack Stamp and Jennifer Bellor. The Adams State Winds and Percussion will record each composition this fall, and then perform the works on January 26, 2017 at the Colorado Music Educators Association conference in Colorado Springs. This initiative is part of the Adams State University ETHOS project, which explores equity and diversity through music curriculum and programming. The works reflect the heritage, culture and geography of the San Luis Valley, home to Adams State in Alamosa, Colorado.

David J. Pierce is a native of South Texas whose previous commissions include work for the U.S. Army Jazz Ambassadors and Live Nation. He describes El Ranchero as follows:

The overall concept of El Ranchero was to depict the life of this rancher: the day-in-day-out, “fingers to the bone” hard work, coupled with the merriment and celebration of time spent with family and friends. While the main theme is a melancholy one, it is contrasted by the happier, livelier sections… hard work with “hard” play.

My mother’s side of the family is Hispanic, and only a generation from working out on the ranch. If I have learned one thing from my family’s stories or from my great uncle, Tío Pete, it is that the work is long, and the work is tough, but in that work lies a great sense of pride to counter its great pain. When the week draws to a close, there’s time for music and fun to wash away all the hardships of the daily work.

In this rancher’s world I see the San Luis Valley. I see the scrub grass and the chico brush, the sand dunes and the mountains, and imagine this rancher working from sunup to sundown, with the land’s intense and harsh beauty as his backdrop.  

During the November residency, Madera will record this work with the Adams State Winds and Percussion, present master classes and chamber music coaching, and work directly with the students in one-on-one lessons. On Wednesday, November 16, the Madera Wind Quintet will perform a full recital that is open to the public, featuring works by Latin American and South American composers along with quintet standards and selections by Sean Friar and Don Gillis from the albums Five at Play (Crescent Phase Records, 2012) and Five Piece Combo (Ravello Records, 2015).

dave-bioAbout David J. Pierce

David J. Pierce is a native of South Texas, and began his musical career playing piano at an early age, later moving to trombone in school bands. By sixteen, he was performing with various dance bands such as the Eddie Galvan Orchestra, motivating him to pursue his Bachelor’s of Music Education from the University of North Texas. Working as a freelance trombonist throughout his college years, David also led and co-led several Cuban-influenced bands, such as “Rob G y los LP’s,” “Norte de Havana,” and “Mi Son,” which have all won several Dallas and Fort Worth Music Awards from years 1999 – 2006. After earning his degree in music education from UNT, Mr. Pierce was hired at Southlake Carroll ISD, teaching all levels of music from beginning band to the 12th grade. In his 10 years of teaching in Southlake, Mr. Pierce helped to develop an award-winning jazz program, with nine total jazz groups at multiple levels.

David currently writes and arranges for numerous ensembles of varied styles and his works have been performed by orchestras, jazz groups, and symphonic bands across the country. Mr. Pierce has had works commissioned by professional touring and recording jazz bands, such as the Jazz Ambassadors. He has also written commercial jingles for Taco Bell, On The Border, and Neiman Marcus as well as freelance composition work for North, Moonbot, and Live Nation. In 2009, Mr. Pierce created an original Halloween musical review, “Cirque du Horror.” A true collaborator of the arts, he works alongside of many of the metroplex’s visual and performing artists to produce this original, ever evolving body of work that provides fun, frights and merriment for the whole family. Pierce also acts as the arranger and musical director for the Denton’s Holiday Lighting Festival, where he collaborates with Denton musicians of just about every genre to feature their original take on holiday songs. The musical partnerships continue to present day, as David teams up with everyone from big band entertainers to Indie Rock icons like Tim Delaughter from the Polyphonic Spree as well as the Baptist Generals, with whom he recently composed and arranged 4 orchestral pieces for their recent album released on Sub Pop Records in 2013. Currently, he lives quite happily with his wife Jessica in Denton, Tx, where he writes, plays and privately teaches music.