Saturday, October 01, 2011

Homecoming with the HSU Symphonic Band and Jazz Orchestra

The HSU Symphonic Band goes upbeat and tuneful while the Jazz Orchestra powers up some jazz masters in their shared Homecoming weekend concert on Saturday, October 1 in Fulkerson Recital Hall.

The Symphonic Band plays Satiric Dances by American composer Norman Dello Joio, originally written to accompany a political comedy by Aristophanes. “It’s got a lot of pungent humor,” said Band conductor Paul Cummings. “At times it’s kind of angry clown music.”

“March of the Belgian Paratroopers” by Pierre Leemans is a “widely performed and very tuneful march” in the European tradition. “It’s much more like a symphonic piece than the John Phillip Sousa style of American march,” Cummings said, “but it still has a catchy melody.”

“Ye Banks and Braes O’ Bonny Doon” by Percy Grainger is a slow and sweetly sad tune based on Scottish folk melodies, while the Folk Dances of Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich “is a high energy piece expressing joy,” Cummings said. “It has a forward momentum that finishes in a frenzy, so it ends our half of the concert with a flourish.”

Then the Jazz Orchestra gives a big band treatment to classics from the Count Basie, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Charles Mingus and Maynard Ferguson repertoires. “’Goodbye Pork Pie Hat’ is a tribute by Charles Mingus to the great tenor saxophonist Lester Young, known for wearing the lid referenced in the title,” said director Dan Aldag. “It features tenor saxophonist Phillip Sagastume, bassist Charles Welty and vocalist Jo Kuzelka, who will sing the lyrics Joni Mitchell wrote for this tune.”

Other selections include “Down for the Count” by jazz master Frank Foster, “Boplicity” by Miles Davis, “Driftin’” by Herbie Hancock and “Go East Young Man” by Slide Hampton.

HSU Symphonic Band and Jazz Orchestra perform at 8 p.m. on Saturday October 1 in Fulkerson Recital Hall. 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 the HSU Music Department.

Media: HSU Now, Arcata Eye, Humboldt Beacon

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