Saturday, May 07, 2011

Banding Together: HSU and Eureka High Symphonic Bands

HSU Symphonic Band, conducted by Kenneth Ayoob, shares its spring concert with the Eureka High School Symphonic Band, conducted by Gwen Gastineau-Ayoob. After separate sets, the two ensembles combine for the 80-instrument finale, in Fulkerson Recital Hall on Saturday, May 7.

  Featured in the HSU Symphonic Band segment is the widely performed and recorded Tuba Concerto, a three-movement work by contemporary English composer Edward Gregson. HSU Tuba Instructor Fred Tempas is the soloist.

The HSU ensemble also performs four other works. The overture to “The Italian Girl in Algiers” is another widely recorded piece by famed opera composer Gioachino Rossini, written when he was 21 years old. Vox Populi is by contemporary American composer Richard Danielpour, who describes his writing as influenced by jazz and popular music, including the Beatles. This work includes 1920s jazz sounds, reflecting its origin as a piece to celebrate the restoration of the Victory Theatre in Evansville, Indiana, which was built in 1919.

Amparita Roca, the best-known work by 20th century Spanish composer Jaime Teixidor is a “pasodoble,” a march-like Spanish musical and dance style often played at bullfights. The Sinfonians (Symphonic March) is also the best-known piece by 20th century American composer Clifton Williams.

The Eureka High School Symphonic Band plays two works: the stirring Fortress by noted contemporary Los Angeles concert band composer Frank Ticheli, and The Thunderer March by John Philip Sousa.

The two groups combine into an 80-piece ensemble to perform the powerful Elegy for a Young American by Ronald Lo Presti. A memorial to President John F. Kennedy, it premiered only 5 months after his assassination in November 1963. It was first played by the Wind Ensemble of the school now known as Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where Lo Presti was teaching. It has since become a respected favorite in the band literature.

HSU Symphonic Band (conducted by Kenneth Ayoob) and Eureka High School Symphonic Band (conducted by Gwen Gastineau-Ayoob) perform on Saturday May 7 at 8 p.m. in the Fulkerson Recital Hall at HSU. $7/$3 from the HSU Ticket Office (826-3928) or at the door. Free to HSU students with ID. Produced by HSU Music Department.

Media: Humboldt State Now, Arcata Eye, North Coast Journal

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