West Texas Symphony spotlights one of its own

MIDLAND West Texas Symphony kicks off 2024 performances with WTS SPOTLIGHT, an annual event highlighting one of the orchestra’s top musicians at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 3 at the Wagner Noël Performing Arts Center.

Ben Fairfield, West Texas Symphony’s co-principal trumpet, and members of the Lone Star Brass will be featured. Accompanied by the West Texas Symphony Orchestra, he will perform Franz Joseph Haydn’s “Trumpet Concerto.”

Audiences will also enjoy other fantastic works including Florence Price’s “Andante Moderato,” Mozart’s “Overture to the Marriage of Figaro” and Franz Schubert’s “Symphony No. 5.”

In addition to the West Texas Symphony, Fairfield also performs as principal trumpet of the Abilene Philharmonic and is the Artistic Director of the West Texas Symphonic Brass who just recently performed their annual Brass Christmas concert in Midland and San Angelo.

He frequently performs as a guest member of trumpet sections throughout the United States including the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, New Mexico Philharmonic, Santa Fe Symphony, Boulder Philharmonic, San Juan Symphony, and the San Angelo Symphony. Fairfield is a veteran of the United States Army, performing as a member of the United States Continental Army Band at Ft. Monroe, Va.

With this group, he performed throughout the United States on tours with both the Concert Band and Brass Quintet. He was a featured soloist with the United States Continental Army Band and several orchestras, performing in many of the nation’s leading concert halls including Carnegie Hall, the Meyerson Symphony Center, Bass Performance Hall, the Kennedy Center, and the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.

In March 2017, Fairfield and pianist Liana Pailodze Harron gave the New York City premiere of Grammy Award winning composer Michael Daugherty’s “The Lightning Fields” for trumpet and piano at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan, NYC. The duo has also worked with Eric Ewazen on his popular Sonata for Trumpet and Piano, with plans to record the sonata in collaboration with the composer in the near future. The duo’s recording of “Lucid Dream,” an arrangement of Michael Nyman’s Flugelhorn and Piano can be found on iTunes and YouTube.

Fairfield holds a bachelor of music education degree from James Madison University and graduate degrees (master of music and doctorate of musical arts) in trumpet performance from the University of Miami Frost School of Music. He is a Vincent Bach performing artist, a division of Conn-Selmer.

Adult tickets range from $12 – $60 and can be purchased at WTXS.ORG or by calling 800-514-3849. Student tickets are offered for $12 for any level, any seat, with a paying adult or valid college ID.

Patrons are also invited to experience Symphony SoundBites, a pre-concert supper held before the performance in the Rea-Greathouse Recital Hall at the Wagner Noël Performing Arts Center. By purchasing a ticket to this pre-concert event, patrons will enjoy dining with friends as Maestro Gary Lewis and featured artist Fairfield provide an insider’s view of the evening’s program. Seating is limited. Tickets may be purchased for $30 each by calling the Wagner Noël Box Office at 432-552-4437. Deadline to purchase SoundBites tickets is Jan. 26.

WTS SPOTLIGHT is sponsored by Thomas W. and Denise Elrod, Ann Parish, and Betty Ann Prentice. For more information on West Texas Symphony events, visit WTXS.ORG.