Friday, December 04, 2015

    The Force Awakens at Fulkerson Hall 

 It’s not the new movie, but it is the signature music: HSU Symphonic Band plays two movements of the Star Wars Suite on Friday December 4 at Fulkerson Recital Hall.

 Just weeks before The Force Awakens, fans can warm up with “Yoda’s Theme” and the main Star Wars theme. 

 “It’s hard to find a good arrangement of Star Wars,” said Symphonic Band director Paul Cummings. “But this is a very challenging and exciting version of John Williams’ film music, in the definitive arrangement for college wind band by Donald Hunsberger.” 

 “This is very well written music, using the forces of the wind band in effective ways,” Cummings said. 

 These two movements are a preview in another sense as well, since the Symphonic Band will perform the entire Star Wars Suite in its spring concert, and also take it on tour to northern California junior colleges and high schools in April. 

 The December 4 concert also features Illyrian Dances by Guy Woolfenden, who for several decades wrote incidental music for the Royal Shakespeare Company. The title is taken from the fantasy locale of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night,” a play written to be performed as part of England’s Christmas celebration. 

 “It’s very dramatic,” Cummings said, “with a lot of variety, by a very gifted melodic writer.” 

 The Band also performs two classic keyboard transcriptions: the six-movement William Byrd Suite (“very tuneful music by one of the great English composers of the period”) and a Fantasia by J.S. Bach, both from eras in which the modern wind band did not yet exist.

 “The Bach piece was written for organ,” Cummings said, “and a good wind band can sound like a pipe organ. It’s is a rare opportunity for our band students to perform a work by one of the greatest composers of western music.” 

 The HSU Symphonic Band performs on Friday December 4 at 8 p.m. in Fulkerson Recital Hall on the HSU campus. Tickets are $8, $5 seniors and children, free to HSU students with ID, from HSU Box Office (826-3928) or at the door.  Produced by HSU Music department.

Media: Eureka Times-Standard Urge, Mad River Union, North Coast Journal, Humboldt State Now

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