Late Baylor clarinet players honored in concert

John Patrick Stewart was a clarinet player at Baylor.Courtesy Photo
John Patrick Stewart was a clarinet player at Baylor.
Courtesy Photo

By Rebecca Flannery
Staff Writer

A clarinet memorial concert will be performed at 3 p.m. Sunday in honor of two Baylor students who lost their lives in July.

Laura Ezinwa Onwudinanti, a Grand Prairie `14 alumna, and Dallas freshman John Patrick “Jack” Stewart were traveling with two other Baylor students in Central Texas when their truck veered off road into a tree on July 29. The group was on their way to ClarinetFest 2014 in Baton Rouge, La., an annual festival produced by the International Clarinet Association.

Both students studied with Jun Qian, assistant professor of clarinet, who will perform the first of many clarinet pieces during the service with pianist Brian Marks. They will play the slow movement, “Lento, quasi andante,” from Joseph Horovitz’s Clarinet Sonatina of 1981.

San Antonio senior Allison Jayroe, a close friend of both Onwudinanti and Stewart, said the memorial will give students and faculty a chance to remember the joyful times they had with those they lost.

“Even though it’s sad, I think it’s a really good thing to have this service,” Jayroe said. “It’s an occasion to remember their lives instead of focusing on how it ended.”

Stephen Heyde, conductor-in-residence; Alan Raines, director of choral activities; the Baylor University A Cappella Choir; the Baylor University Wind Ensemble and the Baylor Clarinet Quartet will perform other pieces during the service.

“This concert will reflect the lives of Laura and Jack because it will be about faith and about music,” Heyde said in a press release from the university. “Those elements defined Laura and Jack – they were both committed Christians, and both were wonderfully gifted musicians.”

The memorial concert is open to the public. For more information, call the School of Music at 254-710-3991.