ATU Symphonic Wind Ensemble Releases New Album

A new recording from the Arkansas Tech University Symphonic Wind Ensemble features a deeply personal piece by an emerging American composer.

Katahj Copley’s “At Peace” was inspired by the composer’s reconciliation with his father just months before the elder’s passing.

“You hear the sadness, disconnect and pain,” said Dr. Daniel A. Belongia, ATU professor of music and director of bands as well as conductor of the ATU Symphonic Wind Ensemble. “And then you hear the resolution and love. It is a truly powerful and emotional composition. We’re honored by Mr. Copley’s trust to bring it to life.”

The ATU Symphonic Wind Ensemble gave the world premiere performance of “At Peace” in Witherspoon Auditorium on April 23, 2023. The recording, sponsored by the Pat and Roger Wattam Recording Series, was made that same weekend.

Belongia expressed appreciation to members of the Loretz family for their financial support of “At Peace” as one aspect of their support for music at ATU.

“At Peace” is the first entry into the Hal Cooper Repertoire Collection, which was announced in November 2021 and made possible by private contributions.

“The Cooper Repertoire Collection’s objective is to ensure that ATU student musicians continue to have access to premium compositions that challenge and inspire them,” said Belongia.

The collection’s namesake served as director of bands at Arkansas Tech from 1979-2011. Cooper was named ATU professor emeritus of music in 2013 and he received the highest honor the university may bestow upon an individual — induction into the ATU Hall of Distinction — in 2017.

The third Tonsehen album from the ATU Symphonic Wind Ensemble also includes a recording of “Pines of Rome” by Ottorino Respighi. This year marks the 100th anniversary of Respighi completing “Pines of Rome,” which includes four movements and was premiered by the Augusteo Orchestra in Rome, Italy, in December 1924.

A preview of the ATU Symphonic Wind Ensemble’s recordings of “At Peace” and “Pines of Rome” is available on Spotify at

The album will soon be available through record company Tonsehen at