Showing posts with label Humboldt Symphony. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Humboldt Symphony. Show all posts

Friday, May 09, 2014

Humboldt Symphony Features Concerto Competition Winner

 Humboldt Symphony performs Alexander Borodin’s most popular symphony, plus Grieg’s piano concerto and a festive work by Spanish composer Joaquin Turina in two concerts at HSU, Friday evening May 9 and Sunday afternoon May 11 in Fulkerson Recital Hall. 

 Nineteenth century Russian composer Alexander Borodin’s romantic and melodic works influenced later classical and stage musical composers. Humboldt Symphony performs his Symphony No. 2, which became his most popular “because of its vividly rugged harmonies, deft orchestration, and a seemingly inexhaustible fund of energetic, passionate, and above all, Russian themes,” according to former Washington Post classical music critic Andrew Lindemann Malone. 

 The Piano Concerto in A minor by Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg begins with what has been called one of the most familiar openings in the concerto repertoire. Like Borodin, he employs folk themes from his native country. The Humboldt Symphony features piano soloist Ryan McGaughey, winner of this year’s Concerto Competition.

 La Procession du Rocio by 20th century Spanish composer Joaquin Turina celebrates a fiesta and ceremonial march. Compared favorably to similar works by Ravel and Debussy, it was so well received by its first audience in 1913 that Turina—who was also conducting it—had to immediately lead the orchestra in playing it again.

 Humboldt Symphony performs on Friday May 9 at 8 p.m. and again on Sunday May 11 at 3 p.m. in Fulkerson Recital Hall at HSU. Tickets are $8/$5, free to HSU students with ID, from HSU Ticket Office (826-3928) or at the door.  Conducted by Kenneth Ayoob, produced by HSU Music Department.

Humboldt Symphony Additional Notes

Alexander Borodin Symphony No. 2
Notes by Andrew Lindemann Malone

"Symphony No. 2 in B minor took a long while to compose, as Borodin fit it in between labors on other works and his efforts as a scientist to ensure that women had access to chemistry courses. It was begun in 1869, but the piano score was not complete until 1875, and the orchestral version was not performed until 1877.

That version was revised in 1879 after a poorly received premiere. Yet posterity has made the Symphony No. 2 not only Borodin's most popular symphony, but the most popular symphony written by any member of the nationalist Mighty Handful (Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov, C├ęsar Cui, Modest Mussorgsky, Mili Balakirev, and Borodin), because of its vividly rugged harmonies, deft orchestration, and a seemingly inexhaustible fund of energetic, passionate, and, above all, Russian themes.

 A program for all but the second movement of the symphony has survived, as Borodin told it to critic Vladimir Stassov. The sonata-form first movement depicts a gathering of Russian knights; it opens with a strong, noble theme played on unison strings, as brasses and winds provide dark color and essay a chivalric-sounding contrasting theme. After a few repetitions of the opening music, a second theme enters, based on motifs from the folk songs "The Terrible Tsar" and "The Nightingale" and distinguished by its easy lyricism.

The development section introduces a gallop rhythm that affects fragments of the themes and lends a knightly feel to the proceedings, leading into a recapitulation whose longer notes and thicker orchestration make it even more emphatic than the exposition. The Prestissimo scherzo that follows uses a sustained brass chord to modulate from B minor to F major (a remote key), and then launches into a succession of quick, bright, lightly scored melodies.

The Trio takes a graceful, winding theme (also derived from the abovementioned folk songs) and runs it through various keys. The Andante third-movement portrays a legendary minstrel named Bayan, and evokes the sound of his zither in the opening bars with harp and pizzicato strings. At first, a warm horn melody dominates, but soon a struggle develops between a nervous, minor-mode motive introduced on the woodwinds and the opening melody.

Finally, the opening melody enters triumphantly in the strings, and leads into a coda that brings back the minstrel evocation; this in turn leads directly into the Allegro finale. This finale depicts a jubilant crowd, using an appropriately buoyant main theme (decorated with generous percussion) and a second theme that begins as a quiet lyric, but soon expands into a celebration itself. A new development theme recalls the symphony's opening music, but this soon yields to a supremely joyous, unstoppable elaboration of the two main themes, whose momentum propels the music through the recapitulation and the coda. Borodin's Symphony No. 2 deserves its exalted position in the annals of the Mighty Handful's orchestral music."

Edvard Grieg Piano Concerto in A Minor First Movement
Note by Don Anderson © Copyright 2014 Toronto Symphony Orchestra

"The first movement boasts one of the most familiar openings in the entire concerto repertoire. Much of its memorability springs from its very simplicity. The movement proper wears a rather melancholy expression, although warmth is amply present as well. A long, taxing solo cadenza near the end says about all there is to say, so Grieg follows it with only the briefest of summings-up. Grieg tapped into the rich heritage of the folk song for much of his music and helped chart a path of Norwegian nationalism and a moving away from Germanic models."

Joaquin Turina – La Procession du Rocio
Note by Joseph Stevenson 

 "This was the first orchestral work by Joaquin Turina. At its premiere in Madrid under the baton of in March 1913, it proved so popular that it had to be repeated on the spot. It is an exotic and colorful portrait of a fiesta in the composer's native Seville, equal in brilliance and orchestral magic to similar works by Ravel or Debussy. The first movement quickly shows scenes from the festival, opening with a seguidilla, then a coplas (oboe) and soleares (viola), before closing with a rather tipsy fandango. The other movement is the religious procession itself, a ceremonial march with interruptions for religious hymns. At the end, church bells peal out and trumpets play the Spanish royal anthem."

Saturday, March 08, 2014

All This Jazz: HSU Battle of the Orchestras

 The Humboldt Symphony plays jazz, the HSU Jazz Orchestra plays classical, and together they play an orchestral work by Duke Ellington: is it blurring musical boundaries or HSU’s orchestra slam? You be the judge at Fulkerson Recital Hall on Saturday March 8. 

 The HSU Symphony under the direction of Kenneth Ayoob performs Leonard Bernstein’s Overture to West Side Story, which melds classical, jazz and popular music elements. A major hit as a stage show, this concert version was adapted from the landmark 1961 film by Maurice Peress, New York Philharmonic assistant conductor to Bernstein.

 “Our part of the concert features pieces with a jazz feel and background,” Ayoob noted. The Symphony gets more specifically jazzy with Calvin Custer’s Salute to the Big Bands, which incorporates melodies made famous by Tommy Dorsey, Count Basie, Glenn Miller and other 1940s bands, including excerpts from “Pennsylvania 6-5000” and “Sing Sing Sing.”

 “When Ken Ayoob told me that the Symphony was going to encroach on the Jazz Orchestra's territory with this piece,” said Jazz Orchestra conductor Dan Aldag, “I decided to return the favor by programming a piece of classical music arranged for big band.”

 So the Jazz Orchestra will perform a jazz band version of a song by 19th century French composer Leo Delibes, “The Maids of Cadiz.” Though the song was recorded by Benny Goodman and Miles Davis, this 1950 band arrangement by Gil Evans was only recently rediscovered.

The two orchestras combine for the evening’s centerpiece, Duke Ellington’s Harlem, conducted by Aldag. “This is generally acknowledged as one of Ellington's finest extended works,” he said. 

 The Jazz Orchestra gets back to jazz roots with the raucous “Better Git It In Your Soul” by Charles Mingus. 

 The Humboldt Symphony and HSU Jazz Orchestra concert is on Saturday March 8 at 8 p.m. in Fulkerson Recital Hall on the HSU campus in Arcata. Tickets are $8/$5, free to HSU students with ID, from HSU Ticket Office (826-3928) or at the door. An HSU Music Department production.

Jazz Orchestra Notes

Notes by Dan Aldag, director of the HSU Jazz Orchestra:

rehearsing "Harlem"
The Jazz Orchestra is playing a program specifically tailored to sharing a concert with the Symphony. Most obviously, we are collaborating with the Symphony on Duke Ellington's Harlem... It has become a frequently performed work by symphony orchestras around the world and is generally acknowledged as one of Ellington's finest extended works.

 The Jazz Orchestra's own set will begin with "I Am" by the young Boston-based composer Omar Thomas. I chose this work because Thomas wrote it in a through-composed style much more like typical symphonic writing than jazz's customary repeating forms.

When Ken Ayoob told me that the Symphony was going to encroach on the Jazz Orchestra's territory and play a "Salute to the Big Bands", I decided to return the favor by programming a piece of classical music arranged for big band. The great jazz arranger Gil Evans adapted Leo Delibes' song "The Maids of Cadiz" for Claude Thornhill's band in 1950 (the same year Ellington composed Harlem), but Thornhill never recorded it. Evans wrote a new arrangement of "Maids" for his first album with Miles Davis, Miles Ahead, and the original arrangement for Thornhill was only recently rediscovered by Ryan Truesdell and recorded by his Gil Evans Project for their Grammy-nominated 2012 CD Centennial.

The Jazz Orchestra will close the program with a piece decidedly different from the refined sounds that will precede it. Charles Mingus's "Better Git It In Your Soul" was inspired by his childhood attendance at "Holy Roller" church services, with congregants shouting and moaning and speaking in tongues. Ending the evening with this will bring the Jazz Orchestra back to jazz's roots in African-American vernacular music.

Ellington's Harlem

According to Duke Ellington in his 1973 autobiography, he wrote Harlem in the summer of 1950 while he was aboard the Isle de France returning from Europe. He writes that it had been commissioned by the NBC Symphony Orchestra “during the time when Maestro Arturo Toscanini was its conductor.”

 Just when or if the NBC Symphony Orchestra ever played Harlem is still in question.  Recently Professor Donald C. Meyer of the Lake Forest College music department found a 1951 New York Times story about a benefit concert in New York in which some 70 members of this orchestra plus the Ellington orchestra together played it, with Ellington conducting. The Ellington orchestra had previously played it in 1951, and recorded it live in Stockholm, Sweden for release in 1955.

 Stanley Slome, former secretary of the Duke Ellington Society Los Angeles chapter, has chronicled various orchestrations and performances in the 1950s, though some mysteries remain. However, the version performed by the Humboldt Symphony and Jazz Orchestra was orchestrated by Luther Henderson and Maurice Peress.

 In his liner notes to a 1989 CD, Peress writes “Duke, a master title-giver, described the work as a concerto grosso for jazz band and symphony orchestra... It is one completely integrated movement, the first part of which is held together by the word "Har-lem" (a minor third), intoned by the growl trumpet. The second half is built out of the street funeral dirge (Duke refers to an Elks Band) which begins as an eight-bar blues for three marvelously interwoven clarinets and builds to a climax combining both thematic ideas.”

 According to Peress, Ellington described Harlem in this way: "...The piece of music goes like this (1) Pronouncing the word "Harlem," itemizing its many facets---from downtown to uptown, true and false; (2) 110th Street, heading north through the Spanish neighborhood; (3) Intersection further uptown--cats shucking and stiffing; (4) Upbeat parade; (5) Jazz spoken in a thousand languages (6) Floor show; (7) Girls out of step, but kicking like crazy; (8) Fanfare for Sunday; (9) On the way to church; (10) Church---we're even represented in Congress by our man of the church; (11) The sermon; (12) Funeral; (13) Counterpoint of tears; (14) Chic chick; (15) Stopping traffic; (16) After church promendade; (17) Agreement a cappella; (18) Civil Rights demandments; (19) March onward and upward; (20) Summary--contributions coda.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

 Humboldt Symphony Plays The Nutcracker Suite   

 In its only concert this December, the Humboldt Symphony performs a holiday favorite, Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite on Sunday December 15 at 3 p.m. in the Fulkerson Recital Hall.

 Leading the program is Brahms’ Academic Festival Overture that conductor Paul Cummings calls “a masterwork—one of the great overtures in the symphonic repertoire. It’s perhaps the hardest piece the Humboldt Symphony has played in the last 5 years or so. But it’s also very rewarding music to play and to hear.” 

 In its fall concert the Humboldt Symphony played four movements of Bartok’s Romanian Folk Dances. In this concert, the orchestra plays all seven dances. “What’s interesting about hearing the whole piece is that as these brief movements progress, Bartok gradually adds more wind instruments to what begins as mostly a string orchestra piece,” Cumming said. “This is fun music, lively and usually with quick tempos. They have nothing of the complexity of Bartok’s more famous works.”

 The Symphony also performs a portion of Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring. Building around a Shaker melody called “Simple Gifts,” Copland’s Pulitzer Prize-winning music was originally intended to accompany a ballet by Martha Graham in 1944. It has since become best known in this form, as an orchestral suite. In this version, Humboldt Symphony returns to the original 13 instruments.

 Performing on Appalachian Spring are two HSU Music faculty members: Cindy Moyer plays violin, and Karen Davy plays viola. “We’re excited about doing this piece,” Cummings said. “It’s a great work, very challenging, and even to do just a portion of it is an ambitious undertaking." 

 At first, Tchaikovsky’s music for The Nutcracker ballet was more highly praised than the ballet itself when it premiered in 1892. This 20 minute suite he created for concerts was also a great success. In more recent decades however the ballet has become wildly popular at Christmastime. 

 Now, said Cummings, part of the appeal of the orchestral suite is imagining the images from the well-known ballet. “The magical qualities of toys coming alive after dark—it appeals to the imagination of children and adults.” But the suite itself is also appreciated for its “wonderful orchestration” of this familiar music.

 The Humboldt Symphony performs on Sunday December 15 at 3 p.m. in the Fulkerson Recital Hall at HSU. Tickets from HSU Ticket Office (826-3928) or at the door. $8/$5 seniors and children. HSU students with ID admitted free. Conducted by Paul Cummings, produced by the HSU Music Department.

Humboldt Symphony Concert Notes

Notes edited from interviews with conductor Paul Cummings:

Academic Festival Overture by Johannes Brahms

 This is one of the great overtures in the symphonic repertoire—a definite masterwork by one of our greatest German composers of the 19th century.

 Brahms was a recluse if not a hermit, and he eschewed any sort of ceremony. He did not enjoy attention, much less any sort of pomp and circumstance. But when the University of Breslau gave him an honorary doctorate, he very reluctantly accepted it. He wasn’t any sort of orator, so instead of making a speech, he composed a piece for the occasion to express his thanks.

 The title, which Brahms hated, came from his music publisher. The publisher thought it was a catchy title but it also reflected the content, since Brahms quotes a handful of pre-existing tunes that students sang, into the overture, which gave the overture academic and festive qualities. I’ll point out the student tunes before we play the entire piece—we’ll perform extracts for the audience.

 Right after Brahms wrote this piece, he wrote The Tragic Overture. These are the only two full symphonic overtures he wrote in his life. This a great piece of music and quite difficult to play. It’s perhaps the hardest piece the Humboldt Symphony has played in the last 5 years or so. But it’s also very rewarding music to play and to hear.

 Romanian Folk Dances by Bela Bartok 

 Last time we performed four movements of this piece. This time we’re doing all seven. They’re all short—one or two minutes. What’s interesting about hearing the whole piece is that as the movements progress, Bartok gradually adds more wind instruments to what begins as mostly a string orchestra piece. It’s a good opportunity to highlight our more advanced wind players.

 Bartok was a collector and curator of folk music from Eastern Europe. Much of the music he renders in orchestral settings was familiar to him as a child. They’re all dances so it’s fun music, lively and usually with quick tempos. They have nothing of the complexity of Bartok’s more familiar works. These are simple folk tunes he set for small orchestra.

 Appalachian Spring Suite by Aaron Copland 

 Appalachian Spring was a ballet written for Martha Graham. It was originally written for 13 instruments—a chamber orchestra. Later Copland expanded it for full orchestra, and that’s how it is usually done. However, we’re doing portions of the suite for the original 13 instruments. It’s a concert version for 4 violins, 2 violas, 2 cellos, bass, flute, clarinet, bassoon and piano.

 Written in 1943 and first performed in 1944, it won the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1945. The action of the ballet involves a pioneer celebration in springtime around a newly-built farmhouse in Pennsylvania in the early part of the 19th century.

 We’re excited about doing this piece—it’s a great work, very challenging, and even to do just a portion of it is an ambitious undertaking. We also feature two faculty players: Cindy Moyer plays violin, and Karen Davy plays viola.

 The Nutcracker Suite by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

 This is the concert version of Tchaikovsky’s music to the well-known ballet. This is a wonderful orchestration that uses instruments such as the celeste, glockenspiel and piccolo to wonderful effect. It’s one of the best examples of program music because almost everyone who hears the piece associates it with images from the ballet—the magical qualities of toys coming alive after dark and taking on a life of their own.

 It appeals to the imagination not only of children who are always stirred by the images of the toys, but also of adults who can picture what’s happening in the ballet as they listen to the music—in the dance of the flowers, for instance.

 I’ve played this piece but this is my first time conducting it, so it’s exciting. The students are familiar with it, so it’s fun to play something you’ve heard your entire life, even if only on the p.a. system in Toys R Us.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

A Fiery Start for the Humboldt Symphony

 Humboldt Symphony performs the climactic movements of Stravinsky’s famous Firebird Suite and other selections in its first concert of the school year on Saturday November 2 in Fulkerson Recital Hall at HSU.

 Stravinsky was only 28 when his music for a Russian ballet called The Firebird made him instantly famous and launched his composing career. Humboldt Symphony plays the “lullaby” movement followed by the fiery finale of this familiar signature suite. “It has massive chords for the brass and the whole orchestra,” said conductor Paul Cummings. “ It’s clearly meant to be played loud.” 

 The symphony will also play the overture to an opera, Iphigenia in Aulis by a predecessor of Mozart, Christoph von Gluck. Richard Wagner called it “a glorious work” and Gluck’s “most perfect masterpiece” as an overture. The opera is based on a tragedy by Racine that in turn adapts ancient Greek stories concerning King Agamemnon’s sacrifice of his daughter Iphigenia to the gods to secure victory in the Trojan War.

 Two works derived from folk music are also on the program. The ingenuous John Henry by Aaron Copland is based on the tale of a man who battles a machine to the death. The lively Romanian Folk Dances are orchestral settings of folk music that Bela Bartok collected from his native eastern Europe.

 In a nod to Boston pop concerts, the symphony plays the Latin-inflected Blue Tango by Leroy Anderson. 

 Humboldt Symphony performs on Saturday November 2 at 8 p.m. in Fulkerson Recital Hall on the HSU campus in Arcata. Tickets are $8/$5, free to HSU students with ID, from HSU Ticket Office (826-3928) or at the door. Humboldt Symphony conducted by Paul Cummings; an HSU Music Department production.
Humboldt Symphony: Conductor's Notes

The following are comments edited from an interview with Paul Cummings.

Firebird Suite by Igor Stravinsky 

 This suite is a compilation of music from the ballet, so that orchestras can perform it in concert rather than mounting the full ballet. The suite has multiple movements—we’re doing the last two: “Berceuse” translates as “lullaby,” although in the next movement the baby gets violently awakened. There are massive chords in the brass and the full orchestra at the close of the finale, in which the dynamic marking is ffff—which is a pretty strong indication that Stravinsky wants it loud.

 Romanian Folk Dances by Bela Bartok 

 Bartok is known as a collector and curator of folk music from his homeland in Eastern Europe. Much of the music he renders here in orchestral settings was familiar to him as a child. It’s nice to have the opportunity to play settings of this folk music that he brought to light. We’re doing several movements of this seven movement piece. Each movement is short—one or two minutes—and written for string orchestra and a small number of wind instruments. The first movements are sparsely orchestrated—strings with clarinets, or in the third movement, strings with clarinets and piccolo—very unusual combination. As the movements progress, he gradually adds more wind instruments, but the strings are the constant.

 They’re all dances so it’s fun music, lively and usually with quick tempos. Harmonically they reflect Bartok’s tendency to use modal scales in his melodic material, but his harmonic writing is tonal. There’s a simple harmonic structure—nothing like the music that sophisticated listeners might associate with Bartok, in pieces like “The Miraculous Mandarin” or his Concerto for Orchestra. This has nothing of the complexity of those, or even his string quartets. These are simple folk tunes that he set for small orchestra—especially good for our group since we have a fairly small number of strings, and this gives us a chance to highlight our more advanced wind players.

 John Henry by Aaron Copland 

 This composition from 1940 is also based on a folk song—an American folk melody that he set for full orchestra, though not the maximum-size orchestra that he used for his major works. It’s a reduced wind complement, like the Bartok folk dances. It’s a short, well-crafted piece with transparent harmonies, very characteristic of Copland. It’s based on the story of John Henry, a freed slave who works on the railroad and challenges a piece of machinery--a steam-powered hammer—to a contest. This machinery was going to replace men like John Henry who hammered in the railroad spikes, so it’s man against machine. In Copland’s piece we hear the sound of an anvil, the hammer driving spikes, sounds of trains and so on. It’s very ingenuous how Copland incorporates these industrial sounds into his score.

 Blue Tango by Leroy Anderson

 This is a short, Latin style "pops" piece that features the entire orchestra. It's the type of thing often heard at Boston Pops Orchestra concerts.

 Overture: Iphigenia in Aulis by Christoph Willibald von Gluck, Revised by Richard Wagner

 Gluck is a classical era composer, living a little earlier than Mozart. Mozart, Beethoven and Haydn knew about Gluck—he was quite famous in his day as a composer. His music is very similar to the elder sons of J.S. Bach-- C.P.E. Bach, Johann Christian Bach—sometimes called rococo, which bridges the Baroque and Classical eras. It has a very homophonic texture in which the melody is always distinctly set on top of the texture, and everything else is accompaniment. Basically there are two layers of music—you can always hear a distinct melody even if it’s played on a lower instrument—it may not sit on top in pitch but is much more prominent. The melody is always in the foreground and the harmonic material in the background, much like Mozart and Haydn. It’s therefore a very characteristic piece of Classical era music.

 Gluck was known as an opera composer above all things—he’s a salient figure in music history because of his innovations in the field of opera. H was one first composers to say that we need music and singing that serves the dramatic action rather than serving the singers who desire to be recognized.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Fiddling Around with the Humboldt Symphony

 Humboldt Symphony will perform its carefully planned and well-rehearsed final concert of the year on May 10 and 12, with classics ranging from the 17th to the 20th centuries. But there will also be a surprise—even to conductor Paul Cummings.

 A student ensemble of fiddle enthusiasts is preparing its own medley. “There’s quite a movement in America for fiddle music, and these students are part of it,” Cummings said. “I don’t know exactly what tunes they’re doing, so I’m looking forward to being surprised. Every concert ought to have an adventure—something unexpected. This is it.” 

 The fiddle medley follows Percy Grainger’s Molly on the Shore, a string orchestra version of an Irish reel.

 The concert includes a suite based on the first real opera in western music history by Claudio Monteverdi, who is also sometimes credited as the founder of Baroque. “I agree with other scholars that if Monteverdi had lived 200 years later, he’d be of the same stature as Beethoven and Mozart,” Cummings said. “He was that accomplished a composer.”

Capriccio Espagnol by 19th century composer Rimsky-Korsakoff is “one of the great orchestral masterworks,” Cummings said. “It contains probably the most famous clarinet solos in the orchestral literature.”

 The main selection is The Creation of the World, a jazz inflected, Gershwin-like classic by French composer Darius Milhaud. It’s a “fascinating piece and an important work,” Cummings said, that is seldom performed partly because “it’s so difficult to play.” But this semester there was just the right combination of advanced players to perform it, so it became the main musical project. Now after all the hard work preparing it, why not fiddle around a little? 

 Humboldt Symphony performs on Friday May 10 at 8 p.m. and Sunday May 12 at 3 p.m. in the Fulkerson Recital Hall on the HSU campus in Arcata. Tickets are $7/3, free to HSU students from the HSU Box Office (826-3928) or at the door. Conducted by Paul Cummings, produced by the HSU Music Department. 

Media: Humboldt State Now, Arcata Eye, North Coast Journal 
Notes for Humboldt Symphony concerts of May 10, 12 by Paul Cummings, conductor

These notes are edited from interviews. 

 La Creation Du Monde (The Creation of the World) by Darius Milhaud 

 This piece is very similar in style and musical materials to George Gershwin’s work. Both Milhaud and Gershwin were greatly influenced by jazz. Jazz was the hot new style in the 1920s, not only in the U.S. but in Europe. Milhaud heard jazz in Paris, where a number of American jazz artists toured, and in London. He made a trip to New York to hear jazz in Harlem clubs.

 You hear right away that Milhaud is not going to restrict himself to a traditionally classical approach because you hear a saxophone in the opening measures. Saxophone in a classical piece was unusual in the 1920s.

 It’s called “The Creation of the World” because Milhaud read a book in Paris that summarized many of the African folk legends surrounding that topic. He’s not directly quoting any of the literary material but loosely basing each of the six sections on a part of the creation story.

 This is a fascinating piece and an important work that doesn’t get performed very often, first of all because it calls for an odd combination of instruments—4 string players, a piano, percussion and wind instruments. So symphonic bands can’t do it because they don’t have strings. Orchestras don’t do it if they don’t have all the wind players. It so happens that this semester we had the perfect combination of advanced players on all the required instruments, which we don’t necessarily have in a typical year. The other reason this isn’t performed very often is that it is just difficult to play. But we’ve worked hard on it all semester. We played part of it in our last Humboldt Symphony concert, and this time we’re performing the entire piece.

Tocatta and Ritornelli from the opera Orfeo by Claudio Monteverdi

This is a suite, basically portions of the opera Orfeo, based on the Orpheus legend, that have been culled by an arranger (Maurice Perez.)

 Orfeo has the distinction of being the first full blown opera in western music. Monteverdi established a musical genre almost singlehandedly. I agree with other scholars that if Monteverdi had lived 200 years later, he’d be of the same stature as Beethoven and Mozart. He was that accomplished a composer. But when he was writing, in the early 17th century, we’re just coming out of the Renaissance, which was dominated by vocal music, and even more than that, by the Church and vocal music written for sacred occasions. Monteverdi did as much as he could given the period. Monteverdi is also sometimes considered to be the founder of the Baroque era.

This piece also has the distinction of being one of the first works ever written where there is some indication of what instruments should play each part. Previous to this work, instrumental pieces were composed, but composers did not indicate specific instrumentation, so they might say “recorder consort” or label each part soprano alto tenor bass, and said voices can be doubled by instruments. Those were the kinds of indications written in the Renaissance. But Monteverdi actually indicates this part is to be played by a clarino.

 Of course we’re using modern instruments on a work that’s composed for early 17th century instruments—we use trombones for what was originally played on sackbuts, we use oboes for shawms, valved brass instruments for valveless brass, and so on. But even if we can’t capture the 1607 sound exactly, we come as close as possible. It’s such great music we’re not going to deprive ourselves of it because we don’t have those Renaissance or early Baroque instruments. Singers get to do music that’s 400 years old. Instrumentalists usually don’t, so this is our way of performing some of this literature that is normally associated with voices.

Capriccio Espagnol by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakoff

One of the great orchestral masterworks, written for full symphony orchestra. We teach this piece for the same reason that English teachers teach Hamlet: it’s music by a great Russian composer, and it’s one of his best works.

 It’s similar in many ways to his great work, Scheherazade, but that piece is quite a bit longer, it requires more players and it’s quite a bit more difficult—so this is sort of Scheherazade lite. As with many Europeans in the second half the 19th century, Rimsky-Korsakoff was fascinated by what for him would be considered exotica—so anything not from your own country was appealing. This music is his conception of Spanish music, even though he is a Russian he seems to have captured it very well.

 This is especially a tour de force for woodwind players, clarinet in particular. It contains probably the most famous clarinet solos in the orchestral literature. But there’s also a beautiful movement that showcases the French horn section. The strings have their work cut out for them as well. In addition to the clarinet solos, there are solos for our first violin, performed by concertmaster Karen Davie.

 Molly On The Shore by Percy Grainger and the Big Surprise Fiddle Ensemble

 This is a string piece, based on Irish folk music. We pair this with a surprise. Some of our students have organized their own fiddle group. They’re fiddle enthusiasts and several are on the fiddle camp circuit. I encouraged them to form their own group, and I gave them rehearsal time to put together their own medley of fiddle tunes. It's an opportunity for them to perform music that they love.

Fiddle tunes are basically folk tunes for string instruments in many different styles, such as bluegrass, Irish, western-style and so on. Fiddle is another name for violin. This medley is for an ensemble, probably including cello and bass. I don’t actually know, because they’re doing this all on their own. I’m looking forward to being surprised. Every concert ought to have an adventure, something unexpected. This is it.

Friday, March 08, 2013

Humboldt Symphony Performs Beethoven’s Greatest Concerto

 Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto, Handel’s familiar Water Music and a rarely heard piece that evokes the jazz age of the 1920s headline the Humboldt Symphony concerts at Fulkerson Hall on March 8 and 10.

 “Beethoven’s ‘Emperor’ is his last and probably greatest concerto,” said Humboldt Symphony conductor Paul Cummings, “and one of the greatest ever written.” The Symphony performs the first movement, which at twenty minutes “is as long as some complete concertos,” Cummings added. “It uses a very full orchestra—strings and wind sections as well as horns and trumpets. Though the piano has virtuoso solo passages, it also engages in dialogue with the orchestra in a kind of call and response format.”

 As winner of the HSU student concerto competition, Levi Walls performs at the piano.

 “The Creation of the World” by Darius Milhaud reflects the artistic energy of 1920s Paris, as American jazz was becoming a European craze. “This piece is very challenging to play, very complex,” Cummings said. “Frankly it isn’t a piece we would normally play, and it may well be the first time it’s been played here. But it happens that this semester we have the perfect combination of advanced players on all the featured instruments.”

 Also on the program is Handel’s Water Music Suite, which contains many of his most recognizable melodies, Cummings said. “It’s a very popular piece with a nice musical flow.” 

 The Karelia Suite is a 19th century Romantic work by Jean Sebelius. “This is beautiful writing for the whole orchestra, characteristic of Sebelius,” Cummings said. “ It makes great use of French horns, with English horn, clarinet and oboe solos. The entire second movement is only strings and woodwinds, while the third movement is one of the more famous orchestra marches ever.”

 The Humboldt Symphony performs on Friday March 8 and Sunday March 10 at 8 p.m. in the Fulkerson Recital Hall on the HSU campus in Arcata. $7/$3, free to HSU students. Tickets: 826-3928 or at the door.   Conducted by Paul Cummings, produced by the HSU Music Department.
Humboldt Symphony Conductor's Notes

Edited from an interview with Paul Cummings.

Not necessarily in program order:

 Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Concerto #5 (1811.) Called The Emperor, this is the last he wrote for piano and orchestra. It’s considered his greatest piano concerto, and one of the greatest ever written. Levi Walls, the winner of our concerto competition, will perform on piano.

 We’re playing the first movement, which is one of the longest first movements written for a concerto up to this time. It’s about 20 minutes long, and there are entire concertos from this period that are not 20 minutes long. That’s rather remarkable and placed demands on Beethoven’s audience. The critics panned the concerto, partly because of its length. It has symphonic proportions—the dimensions and structures of a symphony—but it is actually a concerto. It’s considered a trailblazing work.

 It uses a very full orchestra—full strings and wind sections as well as horns and trumpets. And as my colleague Daniela Mineva points out, it’s one of the first concertos to treat the orchestra as an equal partner with the soloist. The orchestra is not in the subordinate role of simply accompanying the piano soloist—rather you’ll hear the orchestra on an equal footing. Often the orchestra and piano even dialogue with one another, in a kind of call and response format. The piano nevertheless has several cadenzas in this movement. Even from the opening 10 measures it’s very clear that this is a work that features the piano soloist. But when the piano is not playing cadenzas, there are equal forces at work.

 Beethoven was completely deaf when he wrote this concerto. It’s said he absorbed the music through the vibrations of the piano strings he felt through the floor. So it’s all the more remarkable when you hear these opening measures where the piano is playing with such incredible technique, to realize this was a deaf composer who wrote this music. And if you’ve ever wondered what kind of pianist Beethoven was, this concerto really highlights the amazing piano technique.

 I’m in awe when I play this music. I can relate to composers like Sibelius and Milhaud, but when you stand in front of the orchestra for this piece, it’s just amazing music. The craftsmanship is impeccable, the music just seems to work for all the instruments he wrote for, and then there’s the synergy that is more than the sum of its parts. The cumulative effect is so much greater than the sum of its parts. Our student players love it as well.

Jean Sibelius: Karelia Suite (1893).  This is a three movement work for full orchestra: strings, woodwinds, horns, trumpets, trombones, tuba and percussion. It’s very beautiful orchestral writing, which Sibelius is known for. It’s in the style of European Romanticism of the 1880s. Sibelius was never accused of being ahead of his time. He was like J.S. Bach—someone who uses the traditional harmonic language and adapts that to his own writing.

 This piece makes great use of all four French horns. You’ll hear them prominently displayed in both the first and last movements. As a late Romantic work this is a great challenge for us because it benefits from a larger string section than we have. There’s also beautiful writing for woodwinds, with solos for English norn, oboe, clarinet. The second movement uses only strings and woodwinds. Listeners may recognize the last movement of this suite, the march, because it’s one of the more famous orchestral marches.

 George Frideric Handel: Water Music Suite (1717.)  This is one of his famous and often performed works. Even if the title isn’t familiar, audiences will probably recognize some of Handel’s most popular melodies.

 Originally this piece was much longer, written for the full Baroque orchestra, so there were no clarinets or trombones or tubas. In the 19th century an Irish conductor and composer, Hamilton Harty, selected six movements from probably 30 or more that Handel wrote, and created the Water Music Suite. This was an art in itself, to cull it down to only six and put them in an order with a nice musical flow to it. He also added some dynamic and articulation markings, and parts for clarinets and flutes. There was a whole school of conductors who did this kind of thing so they could play Baroque pieces with modern orchestras.

 Darius Milhaud: La Creation Du Monde (The Creation of the World.) (1922-23.)  We’re doing part of this fascinating work from the 1920s. Milhaud was in Paris, as were so many great artists, musicians, dancers and theatre artists. There were several famous collaborations centered on a theatrical or dance work, especially those created by Jean Cocteau. Among composers he brought in Stravinsky and Ravel, and ripples went out even farther to include Gershwin and Copland, who were influenced by these Parisian salons.

 This piece is a good example of this period in artistic history, especially because it incorporates jazz, that new American art form. American jazz artists were playing in Paris and elsewhere in Europe. Milhaud traveled to New York to hear more. He went to nightclubs in Harlem, and was fascinated by this new style—the improvisation, the prominent use of saxophone, the ways piano and percussion were used.

 Milhaud applied his classical and jazz crossover idioms with a story of the creation of the world based on African oral traditions. He wrote four movements but they’re meant to be played without stopping, so it flows together. He wrote for an interesting combination of instruments, basically a little chamber orchestra configuration of four strings, two flutes, an oboe, two clarinets, a bassoon, two trumpets, a trombone and a variety of percussion. True to what he learned from jazz, the saxophone is featured in many sections of this work, and the piano has an important part—it’s not just an ensemble part, but it’s intended to be heard rather than blend with the other instruments.

 This is not a piece we would typically play here. I have a strong feeling that this is the first time it will be played at HSU. The reason is that it’s difficult and challenging. The complexity comes mostly from the jazz element—the second movement is a jazz fugue. The instruments are all treated soloistically, and the players all have to be fiercely counting their rhythms. We can do it this year however because we have the perfect combination of players on all of the required instruments. We don’t necessarily have that in a typical year. But this semester there’s a perfect storm of all the advanced instrumentalists actually available. It’s a great piece of music we can’t do very often, but we can do it for these concerts.

Friday, December 07, 2012

vocal soloists  Dylan Kinser, Katherine Johnson and James Gadd. 

Sing the Hallelujah Chorus with the Humboldt Symphony and Choirs

The Humboldt Symphony and a chorus comprised of the Humboldt Chorale and University Singers perform the ultimate big finish to their holiday concert: the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah, and the audience is invited to join in.

Plus, Hallelujah enthusiasts have two opportunities: on Friday evening, December 7 and Sunday December 9 in Fulkerson Recital Hall.

  The Symphony itself performs contrasting works by Hector Berlioz (big and bold) and Claude Debussy (short and delicate) before priming the holiday spirit with Leroy Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride” in its original but seldom heard full orchestral version.

Then the community singers of Humboldt Chorale and the HSU University Singers join the Symphony for Franz Schubert’s Mass in G, featuring three vocal soloists: Dylan Kinser, Katherine Johnson and James Gadd. “Schubert looks back to his famous predecessors, J.S. Bach and Mozart in this work,” said Symphony conductor Paul Cummings. “Parts of this Mass are considered to be among Schubert’s best writing—and he was only 18 when he wrote it.”

Then the Symphony performs the overture to The Messiah by George Frideric Handel, and the choir joins in for two choruses: “Glory to God in the Highest” and “Hallelujah,” with the original orchestral instrumentation as Handel wrote it. “We’re excited to invite the audience to join us in the singing of the Hallelujah chorus at the end of the program,” Cummings said. “We hope to see everybody on their feet for what has become a great holiday tradition around the world.”

This holiday concert is performed on Friday December 7 and Sunday December 9 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. Humboldt Symphony is conducted by Paul Cummings, Humboldt Chorale is directed by Carol Ryder and University Singers are directed by Harley Muilenburg. Produced by HSU Music Department.

Media: Tri-City Weekly, Humboldt State Now, Arcata Eye
Concert Notes by Paul Cummings, Humboldt Symphony Conductor

We’re doing a program every other year now in which the orchestra combines with the University Singers and the Humboldt Chorale.   As in the past, we’re doing the orchestral portion of the program first, then the orchestra combines with the two choirs after intermission.

The orchestra will perform 3 pieces in the first half:

“March to the Scafford” by Hector Berlioz, the fourth movement from his Symphonie fantastique, one of his most famous compositions. It’s about an artist who in this movement has a vision about being marched to his own execution, because of his reckless behavior while in love. Berlioz is known primarily as one of the greatest orchestrators ever, and his use of the instruments in a wide variety of combination is really remarkable. It really comes through in every measure of this short piece.

   Petite Suite by Claude Debussy: This is 180 degrees from the previous piece. Berlioz is extraverted and even bombastic—as a composer he liked to have 200 musicians on stage. Debussy wrote in a much more intimate style. As the title suggests, this is four short movements, miniatures really, originally written for piano four hands. It has gained popularity in this orchestral form, even though it is still done for piano four hand as much or perhaps more. We’re hoping to bring on two pianists to play just the first movement, to give the audience a sense of how a piece can be transcribed from piano to orchestra and still be effective.

  Debussy is very economical in his writing, and yet there’s incredible variety in this suite, with its movements of two or three minutes each. Debussy doesn’t repeat ideas—he writes one and moves on to the next, which is really a challenge to play because it keeps the musicians on their toes.

Sleigh Ride by Leroy Anderson:  This is a lighter, fun piece that everybody knows, but maybe not in its original orchestral form. It’s usually heard in all sorts of later arrangements and transcriptions, but this is the form in which Anderson originally wrote this piece.

Then the orchestra combines with the choirs for works by two major composers:

Mass in G by Franz Schubert. In this composition, Schubert is looking back to his German predecessors J.S. Bach and Mozart, who also wrote settings for the Ordinary of the Mass. Schubert uses the same musical structures such as fugue and chorale and a traditional or common practice counterpoint.

The Credo in particular represents some of Schubert’s best writing—it’s a very haunting portion of the Mass, with some very profound, almost hypnotic music. It’s generally considered the greatest moments in this Mass.I find it especially amazing that Schubert wrote this profound music when he was only 18 years old, all in a five-day period in 1815.

We have three vocal soloists: Dylan Kinser, Katherine Johnson and James Gadd. Katherine in particular has a very demanding solo part and she does a terrific job. The orchestra uses only strings—no winds or percussion.

Finally, we perform three movements from Handel’s Messiah. The orchestra alone performs the Overture, and with the choirs we perform two choruses, “Glory to God in the Highest” and “Hallelujah.”

These are very well known excerpts from the Messiah. They involve a lot of Baroque counterpoint, but Handel’s music can be distinguished from that of his contemporary J.S. Bach by its more extraverted style. You hear fanfares and flourishes, and there’s less dense texture in the music of Handel as compared to Bach. That comes out really clearly in these two choruses. I’ve often thought that Bach could never have written the Hallelujah chorus in particular. It’s almost as if Handel wrote music for the outdoors, whereas Bach’s music seems much more formal and based indoors, inside the Cathedral.

We’re attempting to be faithful to Handel’s original score, including four bassons, two oboes, two trumpets, tympani and string orchestra. And we’re especially excited to invite the audience to join us in the singing of the Hallelujah chorus. We’ll provide the words, and we hope to see everybody on their feet joining us.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Student soloists Ana Cruz, Rachel Kamradt and Anna Coleman

Students in the Spotlight for Humboldt Symphony Concert

Humboldt Symphony features three student instrumental and vocal soloists, plus a piece by a student composer in its concert on Saturday October 27 in Fulkerson Recital Hall.

The student work is Prelude and Dance for the Day of the Dead by Justino Eustacio Perez, an HSU senior studying composition with Brian Post. The Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday celebrated on November 1.

Three student soloists are featured in excerpts from Bach cantatas that center on oboe and voice. Vocalists Ana Cruz and Anna Coleman (both studying with HSU professor Elisabeth Harrington) each perform a solo aria, and Rachel Kamradt plays solo oboe on both excerpts.

“Rachel is a graduating senior planning to study oboe in graduate school next year, “said Symphony conductor Paul Cummings,” so we want to feature her as a soloist before she goes away. These excerpts are exquisite writing for the oboe, but also very challenging to play. Bach brings out the beautiful lyric quality of the instrument. In the arias the oboe and the vocalists are basically performing duets together.”

The Symphony also performs Our Town by Aaron Copland, based on his score for the 1940 film version of Thorton Wilder’s famous evocation of Americans life. “It’s a wonderful slow piece,” Cummings said, “and you can certainly hear the Copland style, with beautiful writing for strings and woodwinds.”

  In a different mood, Carmen Suite #1 features familiar melodies from Bizet’s most popular opera, including the toreador march. “This suite is full of drama,” Cummings said, “with famous passages in each movement, beautifully played by our students.”

The Humboldt Symphony performs on Saturday October 27 at 8 p.m. in the Fulkerson Recital Hall on the HSU campus in Arcata. Tickets: $7/$3/free to HSU students with i.d. from HSU Ticket Office (826-3928) or at the door. Produced by the HSU Music Department.  

Media: Arcata Eye, Humboldt State Now.
Humboldt Symphony Concert Notes
 by conductor Paul Cummings

We’re playing a piece by a student composer written just last year by a senior studying with Brian Post, Justino Eustacio Perez. It’s called Prelude and Dance for the Day of the Dead. It’s an interesting piece, highly technical writing with a lot of dissonance, very challenging for the musicians.

  Our Town by Aaron Copland: Copland was asked to write the soundtrack of the 1940 film of Thorton Wilder’s play. This piece draws upon passages from the film. As a concert piece it was first played in 1944 by the Boston Pops, conducted by Leonard Bernstein. It’s a wonderful slow piece, and you can certainly hear the Copland style. There’s beautiful writing for the strings and particularly woodwinds. It follows the traditional form of a slow piece: it starts out very calmly with a very soft dynamic level, and builds in intensity to a midsection where everyone is playing at full volume, very thick texture, and then it unwinds itself, and comes back to the soft and peaceful opening style. It’s got that traditional arch form.

We’re doing two sets of excerpts from cantatas by J.S. Bach—Cantata #12 and #21. In each one we’re doing the symphonia, or first movement, as well as an aria for solo voice with continuo, which is bass line and keyboard instrument filling out the harmony. We have two solo voices: Anna Coleman and Ana Cruz, both students of Elisabeth Harrington. Each does a solo aria movement. The common theme is that the primary instrument is the oboe. Our oboe soloist is Rachel Kamradt, a graduating senior planning to study oboe in graduate school next year, so we want to feature her as a soloist before she goes away.

 These four movements are really fantastic examples of Bach’s writing for oboe, especially from his early period in Weimar, his first major job. This is exquisite writing for oboe—also very difficult. The movements are all slow but still very challenging. They feature the beautiful lyric quality of the instrument. The aria movements are basically duets between the oboe and the singer.

Bizet’s Carmen Suite #1 has five movements. It’s drawn from the opera that made Bizet quite famous. The music in this suite is full of classic solo excerpts that are played by musicians in auditions for symphony orchestras all over the world. For example, the flute solo with harp accompaniment in the third movement is very famous. In the fourth movement there’s a famous bassoon duet, beautifully played by our students. Then the very famous toreador march in the last movement.

The music is full of drama, and evokes the spirit of Carmen, who is a classic femme fatale figure from 19th century opera. This music is now seen as some of the most quintessential Spanish music ever written, even though it was written by a French composer.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Humboldt Symphony Explores Musical Hybrids

From Appalachia to Mexico, Berlin cabaret to the Beijing Opera, the Humboldt Symphony and guests explore musical hybrids on Friday evening, May 4 and Sunday afternoon, May 6 in the Fulkerson Recital Hall at HSU.

Kurt Weil extracted the best tunes from his wildly popular Threepenny Opera to create a suite for the concert stage, Little Threepenny Music.  “It’s a hybrid of German classical music with 1920s jazz, including Charleston rhythms, a tango and an Al Jolson crooner-style piece,” said Symphony conductor Paul Cummings. The suite includes a movement devoted to the familiar tune of “Mack the Knife.”

The Symphony turns to hybrids of traditional tunes crossed with classical orchestration. Soprano Elisabeth Harrington and guest harpist Jessica Schaeffer join the Symphony string orchestra for Five Appalachian Folk Songs by contemporary American composer Jack Jarrett. They include the familiar melodies of “Shenandoah” and “Black is the Color of My True-love’s Hair.”

Huapango by contemporary Mexican composer Juan Pablo Moncayo is “very rich ethnic Mexican music for full orchestra,” Cummings said, “with many vibrant solos, especially for trumpet and trombone.”

The Symphony reprises an orchestra piece from the recent New Horizons Festival by composer Chen Yi. Jing Diao literally means a Beijing Opera tune, but this similarly high-spirited piece honors Seattle Symphony conductor Gerard Schwarz for his support of the music of living composers.  This hybrid of Chinese and Western music was first played just last spring during Schwarz’s farewell season. “It’s an exciting piece, with a real sense of celebration,” Cummings said.

Humboldt Symphony and guests perform on Friday May 4 at 8 p.m. and Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. in the Fulkerson Recital Hall on the HSU campus in Arcata. Tickets are $7/3, free to HSU students from the HSU Box Office (826-3928) or at the door. Conducted by Paul Cummings, produced by the HSU Music Department.

Media Preview: Arcata Eye, Humboldt State Now.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Haydn, Handel, Hovhaness—and More Paganini—with the Humboldt Symphony

On Saturday and Sunday (March 3 and 4), the Humboldt Symphony performs Variations on a Theme by Paganini for Piano and Orchestra, featuring the winner of this year’s student piano concerto competition, Joseph Welnick.

This work by 20th century Polish composer Witold Lutoslawski is one of many by various composers based on Caprice No. 24 by the 19th century Italian violin virtuoso, Nicolo Paganini. HSU audiences can hear internationally renowned violinist Bin Huang play that original Caprice No. 24 on the preceding Friday.

Humboldt Symphony conductor Paul Cummings describes these variations as “high energy, rhythmic and exciting.” He notes that in his extensive piano solo playing, “Joe Welnick has a wonderful command of this music, both technically and expressively.”

The Symphony also performs a concerto for strings by G. F. Handel (“a great example of classic Baroque,” Cummings said) and the first and third movements of Haydn’s London Symphony, No. 104. “It’s his last published symphony, and by far his most frequently performed. It’s in the style of Mozart and early Beethoven.”

But the Symphony’s final selection is off the beaten track: Tower Music by contemporary Armenian-American composer Alan Hovhaness. This piece for wind instruments “has a serene quality,” Cummings said. “Hovhaness has been accused of writing New Age music, and it’s true that he’s highly influenced by eastern musical forms. This piece is based on Armenian folk melodies, and is very expressive and beautiful, but also not predictable. That may be why he’s slowly getting a following.”

Humboldt Symphony performs on Saturday and Sunday, March 3 and 4 at 8 p.m. in the Fulkerson Recital Hall on the HSU campus in Arcata. Tickets are $7/$3, free to HSU students, from the HSU Box Office (826-3928) or at the door. Conducted by Paul Cummings, produced by the HSU Music Department.

Media: Humboldt State Now, Arcata Eye, KHSU

Humboldt Symphony Program

Concerto Grosso opus 6 #1 : G.F. Handel

Paganini Variations for Piano Solo and Orchestra : Witold Lutoslawski (1978)

Symphony 104 ("London") Movements 1 and 3: Joseph Haydn

Tower Music for Woodwind and Brass Instruments : Alan Hovhaness

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Winter Music

Coming up this winter at HSU: The North Coast Wind Ensemble on Saturday, January 28; Symphonic Band and Jazz Orchestra on Saturday, February 25; Soprano Elisabeth Harrington on Sunday February 26; guest violinist Bin Huang with pianist Daniela Mineva on Friday, March 2; the Humboldt Symphony on Saturday and Sunday, March 3 and 4; guest pianist Henning Vauth on Friday, March 9. All concerts are in the Fulkerson Recital Hall.  Check back for details.