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A Symphony of Songs

Lubbock Symphony Orchestra opens 75th season with original composition inspired by Christopher J. Oglesby’s book

When Lubbock native/Austin artist Christopher J. Oglesby wrote his award-winning book “Fire in the Water, Earth in the Air: Legends of West Texas Music,” he knew he had something special on his hands. After all, Oglesby knew the influences West Texans like Buddy Holly, Mac Davis, and Lloyd Maines had and continue to have on contemporary rock music around the world.

Little did Oglesby know that 15 years later, that labor of love about the magical West Texas music scene would inspire a musical composition of its very own: “Fire in the Water, Earth in the Air: A Symphony of Songs,” composed by Grammy winner D. J. Sparr.

Books by Chris Oglesby
“Fire in the Water, Earth in the Air” by C.J. Oglesby

Sparr and Oglesby’s symphonic song cycle was commissioned specifically for the Lubbock Symphony’s 75th anniversary season and will premiere November 12, 2021, at the brand-new Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts and Sciences. Tickets are on sale now.

“It will be a special night for me,” Oglesby offered, “because November 12 is also the 15-year anniversary, to the day, of when we held our legendary book signing celebration in Stubb’s in Austin, when musicians such as Jimmie Dale Gilmore and even Billy Gibbons showed up to perform. That turned into one of the epic Lubbock music jams of all time, in my opinion.”

Sparr, who reached out to Oglesby simply as a fan of the book after receiving the commission to create the piece, wrote all the original music.  Sparr and Oglesby collaborated on all the lyrics. Rising-star country-western singer and Lubbock resident Hannah Jackson will be the vocal soloist.

“I have known about Chris’ book since my wife and I moved to Lubbock in 2013,” Sparr said. “I thought using Chris’ book to combine the two worlds of all of Lubbock’s great musicians — past and present, classical and country — was a perfect match for the Lubbock Symphony’s 75th anniversary. There’s never been an orchestra piece with full chorus, three added electric guitars, three percussionists, and a country-western singer!”

Oglesby also plans to hold a pop-up art show in Lubbock featuring his original work created via his Pretty Cool Art by cjo brand, Friday November 5 through Saturday November 13. The pop-up art show is hosted by artist Kelly Reyna’s Grey Edges Studio & Gallery, a “dynamic new force in the Lubbock arts scene” in downtown Lubbock, 1614 Mac Davis Lane. Theme of the art show will be “Lubbock Musicians.”

For contact info for Christopher Oglesby, click here.
For contact info for D.J. Sparr, click here.
For contact info for Hannah Jackson, click here.
For contact info for Grey Edges, c/o Kelly Reyna, click here.