Video, photos and story by Jo Mathis/AAPS District News Editor
Pioneer High School graduate Chris Hass is looking forward to his alma mater’s Winter Woods Concert on Thursday for one very special reason.
During the concert, the Pioneer Symphony Band will perform the world debut of Hass’s composition, “Duality.”
Hass, a 2011 PHS graduate, said the Pioneer music program has always meant a lot to him.
“Although I didn’t realize how truly special it is until I graduated and found out few other high schools showcase and care about the arts as much as we do,” he said. “During my four years in band I was exposed to a variety of amazing literature, met some of my best friends, and quickly developed a deep passion and love of music. I wouldn’t be where I am today without David Leach and the amazing music program at Pioneer.”
Hass started writing “Duality” in December of 2017 and worked on the piece on and off until he finally sent out the score and parts a couple of months ago to this year’s symphony band.
The entire Pioneer band program will perform during the Winter Winds concert, concluding with the Symphony Band premiering “Duality.” The concert will be held from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Shreiber Auditorium.
Hass’s music has been performed by ensembles including the New York Philharmonic Principal Brass Quintet, the Donald Sinta Saxophone Quartet, and the Third Coast Trombone Choir, and he has had pieces featured at new music festivals including Indiana State University’s Contemporary Music Festival, New Music Detroit’s Strange Beautiful Music Festival, and several Society for Composers Inc. Conferences.
His pieces have also been performed at conferences including the Indonesia Orchestra and Ensemble Festival, National Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, Singapore Saxophone Symposium, and the US Navy Band International Saxophone Symposium.
Hass lives in Jackson, where he works as a freelance composer and teaches private lessons for low brass students at Northwest Public Schools.