Saturday, November 13, 2010

Humboldt Bay Brass Band—Plus 50 Vuvuzelas—Honors World Cup and Veterans Day

Humboldt Bay Brass Band concerts are known for adding audience fun to the musical menu. On November 13 in Fulkerson Hall the prime candidate is “Groovuzela,” an original piece that features some 50 vuvuzelas—the instrument that millions around the world learned about during this year’s World Cup.

“What can I say?” said HBBB director Dr. Gilbert Cline. “This is about the only time in a century that a brass instrument has gotten such public attention. So we had to do this.” The piece will feature jazz solos by Branden Lewis and George Epperson, as well as all the vuvuzelas the HSU bookstore could find. “However, it will not be nearly as loud as the World Cup!” Cline promises.

In addition to this World Cup tribute, HBBB honors Veterans Day, with an original arrangement of “American Patrol,” a nineteenth century tune that Glenn Miller turned into a World War II swing hit. The theme continues with “The Liberty Bell” by John Philip Sousa, a battle of the timpanis in the sixteenth century piece “Die Schlacht,” and a somber chorale commemorating December 7, 1941.

After what Cline describes as the “fantastic crescendos” of Rossini’s “Overture to the Barber of Seville,” HBBB plays its major work of the evening, the three-movement “Pageantry” by twentieth century English composer Herbert Howells.

The band also presents another Cline composition, “Four Dot Flourish,” the second work in a series that began with his tribute to San Francisco columnist Herb Caen, “Three Dot Fanfare.” It is included on the Humboldt Bay Brass Band CD, which is on sale at the concert to help defray travel costs to the Northwest Brass Band Festival in Seattle in January.

Another tradition of these concerts is the return of a vintage instrument to active playing. This year it’s an 1895 tuba that once belonged to Humboldt County Supervisor Len Yocum, brought back from its Missouri exile. “I now have a half dozen of these nineteenth century instruments,” Cline said. “When playing them I feel we’re bringing them back to life. How cool is it to play an instrument 115 years old which still sounds great?”

Humboldt Bay Brass plays on Saturday November 13 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. Directed by Gilbert Cline and produced by the HSU Music Department.

Media: Humboldt State Now, Tri-City Weekly, Humboldt Beacon

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