Symphonic Band Cuts to the Chase
The HSU Symphonic Band’s bright and bracing winter concert includes a Sousa march, Armenian Dances and a tribute to classic Warner Brothers cartoon chases, but the most novel work may involve 16 different percussion instruments played by one musician.
Senior Jonathan Kipp is the percussion soloist for Concerto for Percussion and Small Orchestra by French composer and teacher Darius Milhaud. “It’s a dramatic work that stresses the interplay between the band and the soloist,” noted Kenneth Ayoob, conductor of the Symphonic Band.
Greatly influenced by American jazz, Milhaud was among the 20th century’s most prolific composers. He was also noted as a teacher: his students included jazz pianist Dave Brubeck and contemporary composer Philip Glass.
Philip Glass also studied with American composer Vincent Persichetti, whose Psalm for Band is on the evening’s program. “ It’s one of the cornerstones of the band repertoire,” Ayoob said. “It uses the separate choirs of instruments extensively supported by thematic rhythms in the percussion.”
Armenian Dances (Part I) by Alfred Reed—another prolific and popular American composer—is built upon 15 folk songs. “ It evokes many moods from soulful ballad, to driving asymmetric meters, and fully exploits the colors of the wind band.”
The Symphonic Band also plays Fortress by contemporary American composer Frank Ticheli, Pas Redouble by modern French composer Camille Saint-Saens and The Gallant Seventh by John Philip Sousa.
In a reprise from its fall concert with the Jazz Orchestra, the Symphonic Band once again presents Cartoon by Paul Hart, a merry melody that conjures the action of classic chase cartoons starring the Roadrunner, Bugs Bunny and Tweety.
The HSU Symphonic Band performs on Friday, December 4 at 8 p.m. in the Fulkerson Recital Hall on the HSU campus in Arcata. Tickets are $7 general, $3 students/seniors, from the HSU Ticket Office (826-3928) or at the door. Free to HSU students with ID.
Media: Humboldt State Now, Arcata Eye, Humboldt Beacon