Saturday, June 11, 2011

Strut and Spin with the North Coast Wind Ensemble

Comprised of some of the best wind instrument players from North Coast communities, the North Coast Wind Ensemble directed by HSU professor Kenneth Ayoob emphasizes the music of popular dance in its Fulkerson Recital Hall concert on Saturday, June 11.

Featured is Robert Bennett Russell’s Suite of Old American Dances which romps through early 20th century styles, beginning with the strutting cakewalk and continuing through the Western One Step and the Wallflower Waltz to the syncopated Rag. Though Russell is best known as a Broadway and Hollywood arranger for George Gershwin, Irving Berlin and Cole Porter, this suite has been called “a crown jewel of the band repertoire.”

The theme continues with four dances by Malcolm Arnold inspired by Scottish folk music, and Shepherd’s Hey by Percy Grainger, based on a merry old English folk dance. The Ensemble also plays Grainger’s Irish Tune From County Derry, with the famous melody of “Danny Boy.”

Reaching back to the Renaissance, the program includes a work by Dutch composer Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck: a series of variations based on a dance tune played at the wedding ball of the Grand Duke Ferdinando of Tuscany, titled Ballo del Graduca.

The concert begins with Overture for Winds written by Felix Mendelssohn when he was 15 years old and fascinated by summer outdoor band concerts. With this piece, one scholar wrote, “Felix Mendelssohn contributed to the wind band repertoire one of the most notable works to come out of the nineteenth century.”

The North Coast Wind Ensemble performs this final concert of its third season on Saturday June 11 at 8 p.m. in the Fulkerson Recital Hall on the HSU campus in Arcata. $5/$2 from HSU Box Office (826-3928) or at the door. Directed by Kenneth Ayoob, produced by HSU Music Department.

Media: Tri-City Weekly, Humboldt State Now, Arcata Eye, North Coast Journal, Humboldt Beacon.

North Coast Wind Ensemble: the Program

Overture for Winds, Op. 24 (1824) Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)

Suite of Old American Dances (1949) Robert Russell Bennett (1894- 1981)
Western One Step
Wallflower Waltz

Irish Tune From County Derry (1909) Percy Grainger (1882-1961)

Shepherd’s Hey (1918) Percy Grainger

Ballo del granduca (1589) Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck (1562-1621)

Four Scottish Dances (1957) Malcolm Arnold (1921- 2006)