WVU’s Marching Band to premiere original piece in honor of its centennial

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Jay Chattaway an Emmy Award-winning composer, best known for his music on the later Star Trek television series, is now writing music for the West Virginia University Marching Band.

Chattaway a West Virginia University alumnus, has composed a special score in honor of the marching band’s 100th birthday.

The band will perform his “From the Mountains” at an official birthday celebration Nov. 3 during halftime of WVU’s homecoming game against Rutgers.

“What I have written is a blend of familiar West Virginia themes and strong new melodies,” said Chattaway, whose work was commissioned by the Kappa Kappa Psi band fraternity. “This piece was composed during the recent terrorist attacks, and I felt compelled to include some patriotic material as well.”

Its title was inspired by verse from Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America,” he added.

Played in the band. Chattaway grew up in Monongahela, Pa., and earned his bachelor’s degree in music from WVU in 1968. He was a member of the band from 1964-68 and served as a graduate assistant in 1969.

Drafted into the military while working on his graduate degree, he joined the Navy Band and served as the unit’s chief arranger and composer-in-residence.

His early motion picture scores were written for action-adventure films such as “Missing in Action,” “Red Scorpion” and Steven King’s “Silver Bullet.” Chattaway eventually moved into television, writing music for the Star Trek series and National Geographic programs.

He was inducted into WVU’s Academy of Distinguished Alumni in 1994 and finished his master’s degree in music at the university in 1996.

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