Purdue Symphonic Band warms up for Carnegie Hall
March 5 program previews New York program
The Carnegie Hall-bound Purdue Symphonic Band previews its New York program at a special Sunday, March 5, concert at the Long Center which also features the Purdue Orchestra.
The joint concert, highlighted by the performance of 2006 Purdue Concerto winner Todd McCready playing euphonium with the orchestra, is slated for 2:30 p.m. at the Long Center , 111 N. Sixth St . Admission is free.
“Our Carnegie Hall debut program is an exciting collection of old and new band works,” says Jay S. Gephart, director of the Symphonic Band.
It opens with a piece by Samuel Hazo entitled “Exultate.” The work was originally commissioned by Dr. Edward Kocher, Dean of Duquesne University's School of Music , for ceremonies honoring the university's incoming president. “Hazo says ‘Exultate' was written to be music for a celebration. The Purdue Symphonic Band performing in Carnegie Hall is a celebration indeed,” Gephart adds.
Among the other works on the program are “Awayday” by Adam Gorb, “ Spoon River ” by Percy Grainger, “Fantasia on Black Is The Color of My True Love's Hair” by Mark Camphouse and “Pantomine” by Phillip Sparke. “Pantomime,” which showcases the talents of Purdue faculty member Bill Kisinger, was composed for euphonium with brass band accompaniment and has become a favorite with euphonium soloists all over the world.
“Bill's fiery technique and beautiful lyricism will capture the character of the piece with great skill,” Gephart says.
The Symphonic Band and Kisinger perform at Carnegie Hall at 8 p.m. Monday, March 27. Band members leave on Friday, March 23, for their New York City adventure which includes a dinner cruise around the Statue of Liberty, a Broadway show and a tour of the Metropolitan Art Museum among other things.
Sharing the bill with the Symphonic Band on the March 5 concert, the Purdue Symphony Orchestra presents Rossini's overture from The Barber of Seville, Prokofieff's “Romeo and Juliet Suite No. 2” and the finale from Tchaikovsky's “Symphony No. 4 in f minor.”
Todd McCready, a senior from Indianapolis , earned the soloist spotlight by winning the 2006 Purdue Concerto Competition by playing a Launy Grondahl concerto, originally written for trombone and orchestra, on euphonium.
“Todd is possibly the most natural musician I have worked with at Purdue,” Gephart. “He has wonderful technique and tone, but his playing encompasses much more than that. Todd is intuitive, expressive, reflective and powerful.”
McCready responded positively to the challenge of preparing Grondahl's early 20 th century work for competition. “It's a really neat emotional piece. The second of the three movements is slow and sweet with a lot of high playing that's pretty,” he says.
“I like working towards something harder than what I can already do . That's when I grow the most.”
For more information on this and other Purdue University Bands events call (765) 496-6785