Calypso Band Headlines Big HSU Music Weekend - Humboldt State Now

Calypso Band Headlines Big HSU Music Weekend

The ever-popular HSU Calypso Band celebrates its 20th year with a concert also featuring HSU ensembles playing percussion classics, West African drums and Samba, at 8 PM on Saturday, December 2 at the Van Duzer Theatre.

It’s the middle of a big HSU music weekend, with the HSU Symphonic Band teaming with the Eureka H.S. Symphonic Band on Friday at 8 in Fulkerson Recital Hall, and the HSU Madrigal Singers performing with the MRT jazz singers on Sunday at 8, also in Fulkerson.

The all-percussion program in the Van Duzer Saturday begins with the HSU Percussion Ensemble playing famous but rarely heard pieces by 20th century composers “who are all in the history books now,” said HSU Professor of Music and Ensemble director Eugene Novotney, “but they were the rebels and renegades of their day.”

After pieces by Varese (his “Ionization” which Novotney calls the “the most important composition in the entire percussion ensemble repertoire.”), John Cage, Steve Reich and Almadeo Roldan, there’s the traditional set of West African music, led by HSU alum, Joe Bishop. Then the HSU Samba Band performs, focusing on the music of El Salvador and Brazil.

The second half of the evening belongs to the HSU Calypso Band.““We’re doing a high-energy dance set with a lot of variety,” Novotney said.““Most of the music is indigenous to the Caribbean—Trinidad, Tabago, Afro-Cuban numbers. That’s the dance half of the show.”

Novotney founded the Calypso Band in the spring of 1986, so this is the final HSU concert of its 20th year.““It’s amazing we made it this far,” Novotney said, laughing. “And we’re not stopping now.”

For more information on these and all HSU Music Department events, check, or call 826-3531. Tickets for all events can be obtained from the HSU Ticket Office: 826-3928.