Friday, April 30, 2010

Godzilla Vs. Lord of the Rings!

Musical evocations of Gandalf from Lord of the Rings and Godzilla on the loose in Las Vegas highlight the first combined concert of the HSU Symphonic Band and the independent North Coast Wind Ensemble, both conducted by Kenneth Ayoob, on Friday, April 30 in Fulkerson Recital Hall.

The Symphonic Band plays Godzilla Eats Las Vegas, the score for a yet-to-exist movie by Los Angeles composer and conductor Eric Whitacre. The music follows Godzilla as he smashes the Vegas strip, laying waste to—among other icons—Wayne Newton. The city is saved by an army of marching Elvi (or “Elvises”), though the king of the monsters escapes to rampage another day.

Other selections on the Band’s program are Bali, an exotic percussion and wind instrument piece by contemporary Canadian composer Michael Colgrass, and Angels in the Architecture, a new piece by Frank Ticheli, another Los Angeles composer. “It portrays elements of light and darkness, good and evil,” said conductor Kenneth Ayoob. “It blends elements of pre-existing and new music into a powerful and thoughtful work of art.”

The Symphonic Band completes its part of the evening with the finale from Symphony #5 by 20th century Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich, one of his most popular compositions.

The North Coast Wind Ensemble plays marches by Paul Hindemith and Charles Ives before combining with the Symphonic Band for two pieces: the Chant Funeraire by Gabriel Faure (composed to honor the 100th anniversary of the death of Napoleon Bonaparte) and a section from Symphony #1 by 20th century Dutch composer Johan De Meij, known as the Lord of the Rings Symphony. Each of the five parts of this symphony corresponds to a character or event in the classic J.R.R. Tolkien novel. The combined Band and Ensemble will play the first section, “Gandalf,” which uses percussion and wind instruments to evoke the wizard who becomes the leader of the Fellowship of the Ring.

The HSU Symphonic Band and North Coast Wind Ensemble perform together on Friday April 30 at 8 pm 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. Produced by HSU Department of Music.

Media: Arcata Eye, Humboldt State Now, Humboldt Beacon

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