Bands triple-threat weekend offers jazz, guest composers & more
Purdue’s jazz bands are offering a Daylight Saving Special with three hours of jazz in the sun on Friday, April 21, to end their concert season while Purdue’s concert bands and orchestra put on back-to-back Showcase Concerts in Elliott Hall of Music on Saturday and Sunday, April 22-23.
Jazz on the Hill, an outdoor concert at Slayter Center, opens the weekend of music. From 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, April 21, there will be continuous music on the hill with four jazz bands and three jazz combos on the performing schedule.
Purdue’s Lab Jazz Band opens things up, followed by the Concert Jazz Band, the Harrison High School Jazz Band and the Purdue Jazz Band. Combos, including Chammon which is made up of members from the Purdue Jazz Band and has performed at numerous gigs across campus, will perform in-between big band sets.
Several of the combos will feature original tunes written by members. Highlights from the big band sets include Pat Metheny’s “It’s Just Talk,” “Moondance” based on the 1970 Van Morrison hit and “The Letter,” a jazz take on the rock and roll classic made famous by Joe Cocker.
“Usually this annual concert ends in the dark but thanks to Daylight Saving Time, our Jazz on the Hill concert now has more light, more warmth, more jazz and more fun,” says director of Purdue’s jazz bands M.T. “Mo” Trout.
The Saturday, April 22, Purdue Bands Showcase I Concert, begins at 8 p.m. in Elliott Hall of Music and features guest composer/conductor Frank Ticheli. He will conduct Varsity Band and Collegiate Band as they perform several of his original compositions as part of their program.
Ticheli, whose music has been described as being “optimistic and thoughtful” by the Los Angeles Times, “lean and muscular” by the New York Times and “brilliantly effective” by the Miami Herald, is well known for his works for concert band. Many of his pieces have become standards in the repertoire. In addition to composing, he has appeared as guest conductor of his music at Carnegie Hall, at many American universities and music festivals, and in cities throughout the world.
With Varsity Band, Ticheli will present “Simple Gifts: Four Shaker Songs;” and with the Collegiate Band he’ll conduct “Fortress.”
“Vesuvius,” a Ticheli work inspired by the legendary volcano, will be featured in the Purdue Concert Band portion of the program, while the Symphonic Band will perform Ticheli’s “Blue Shades.” Jay S. Gephart, director of the Symphonic Band, says the band has a surprise up its sleeve for audiences on April 23 with the premiere of another composer’s work to be announced at the concert.
The final concert of the season for Purdue Bands, “The Great Marimba Races,” featuring Purdue’s percussionists will take place at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, April 30, in Loeb Playhouse. Admission is free.