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Musician in the Hause: Rose alum conducts original composition

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J.H. Rose alum Evan Hause conducts an original piece he began writing while a senior in high school in 1985 during the Spring concert at Rose Tuesday night. (Scott Davis/The Daily Reflector)


Holly West

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

A piece of music that began as an idea in the mind of a J.H. Rose High School student 30 years ago finally got its moment in the spotlight Tuesday night as it was played in the school’s Performing Arts Center under the conduction of its composer.

Rose alum Evan Hause, who was a percussion musician and football player at the school in the early 1980s, conducted the J.H. Rose Wind Ensemble in the second-ever performance of his piece “The Four Winds.”

It is among countless pieces of music Hause has created as a professional composer, but it holds a special place in his heart. He wrote the first two minutes of the six-minute song as a teenager fresh out of high school.

“That was kind of the beginnings of wanting to write music and trying to do it,” he said. “It was all the music I had written in ‘85, right in the time I was leaving here and going to college, the summer in between.” 

Hause, now general manager of Edward B. Marks Music Co. in New York City, put the piece aside when he was young and did not finish it until recently.

“I kept it on the side for years and years and years until about three years ago,” he said. ”I thought it would fit well, and I had a platform to publish it, so I thought it was time to finish it. I had no excuses.”

When he was ready to publish it last fall, he knew who he wanted to send it to first — J.H. Rose Band Director Russell Knight.

“I didn’t know Mr. Knight. I looked him up, looked up the high school, mailed it to him and said, ‘This belongs there. Hopefully you’ll do it someday,’” Hause said.

He also sent it to a community band in Ann Arbor, Mich., the home of the University of Michigan where he received his master’s and doctorate degrees. That band gave the premiere performance of ”The Four Winds” on Sunday night.

Assistant Band Director Matt Howard said Tuesday was the first time, to his knowledge, that an alum has come back to conduct the Rose band in an original piece. 

Hause spoke to students at a rehearsal on Tuesday afternoon and in an AP music theory class this morning about being a composer. Howard said it was an invaluable experience for the students, especially a few who have expressed interest in pursuing composition as a career.

“If nothing else, it’s very motivating to see you can make a career out of doing this, making music, and these are the places it can take you,” he said. “In rehearsal, it was interesting to hear him talk about composition and the choices he made about why this sounds that way or these details are the way they are.” 

For Hause, it was an opportunity to return to his hometown and the band that inspired his love for music. He dedicated the performance of his piece to his deceased parents. His father was an orchestra teacher at East Carolina University, and his mother was a private piano instructor.

”I’m very proud to be from here and I have a lot of roots here.”


Contact Holly West at hwest@reflector.com or 252-329-9585.

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