The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

NE Fine Arts Building gets new musical addition

By Casey Holder/photo editor

Two employees of NE Campus’ building services department have been up to a little more than installing newfangled clocks and fixing pencil sharpeners.

Eleven-year building services veteran Thay Collis and welder Mike Francis have just completed the finishing touches on a 28-foot music staff that was recently planted in the flower garden at the entrance of the NE Fine Arts Building.

The sculpture, complete with treble clef and the first five measures of Texas Our Texas,” depicts the state song and a bit of Tarrant County history.

“We were just told that it needed to be made, and we made it,” Francis said.

For Collis and Francis, the build was simple. After getting the dimensions of the staff from an AutoCAD program, it was only a matter of welding the staff together and having the notes laser cut by a fabrication shop. The total build took only about 26 hours.

“The hardest part was waiting for the notes to be cut,” Francis said.

They finished the sculpture with a topcoat of flat black on the notes so they would stand out from the glossy black staff. 

“There is nothing I would have done differently,” Collis said.

NE music associate professor Bob Sparks chose the song.

“Oh, it’s because it’s the state song, and it’s written by William J. Marsh, a notable Fort Worth composer,” Sparks said.

However, this decision was not easily made. Sparks wanted the sculpture to include a real piece of music that is simple and easily recognizable and made his decision only after first consulting with the crew.

To simplify the construction of the staff, the song actually appears in a different key than normal to get all the notes within the staff.

“The melody line of the first four measures has been transposed up a fifth from the key of C to the key of G,” Sparks said, “so it would be more attractive in a graphic manner.”

Although nothing has been officially put into action, fine arts faculty have loose plans to add a sculpture of an iconic instrument to the already-standing music gardens and to add drama masks to the outside of the NE Fine Arts Building leading into the theater lobby.

Whenever those plans are OK’d, Francis and Collis are ready to make them a reality.


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