Historic Sounds in Symphonic Band and Jazz Orchestra Joint Concert - Humboldt State Now

Historic Sounds in Symphonic Band and Jazz Orchestra Joint Concert

In their joint concert on Saturday, Feb. 21, the HSU Symphonic Band and HSU Jazz Orchestra pay tribute to history.


The Saturday, Feb. 21, concert features works honoring President Lincoln, and jazz musicians Charles Mingus and Bill Evans, among others. / HSU Music

Under the direction of Kenneth P. Ayoob, the Symphonic Band will celebrate the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth by performing Aaron Copland’s Lincoln Portrait. This work was part of the pre-Inaugural concert for President Barack Obama. Narrating the text derived from Lincoln’s letters and speeches is Bernadette Cheyne, chair of the HSU Theatre, Film and Dance department.

In its half of the evening, the Jazz Orchestra celebrates an historic moment of another kind: the 50th anniversary of 1959, which director Dan Aldag calls “one of the most significant years in jazz’s history.” Albums released that year include classics by jazz greats Dave Brubeck, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Charles Mingus and Bill Evans.

In this first concert of the spring semester, the Jazz Orchestra will play selections from the Mingus album (Open Letter to Duke) and from Portrait in Jazz by the Bill Evans Trio (Peri’s Scope.) In its second performance in May, the Orchestra will feature more music from 1959.


Students from the HSU Symphonic Band rehearse in advance of Saturday, Feb. 21 concert. / HSU Music

In addition to the Lincoln tribute, the Symphonic Band will perform Original Suite by 19th century English composer Gordon Jacob, Intermezzo by Monte Tubb, Professor Emeritus of Music at the University of Oregon; and Vesuvius by Frank Ticheli, Professor of Music at the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California. This last work, Ayoob said, “portrays the last days of Pompeii before the eruption of Mount Vesuvius with a combination of driving rhythms, brilliant colors, and a lovely dance-like interlude.”

The Jazz Orchestra plays Duke Ellington’s Rockin’ In Rhythm and an original piece by the Orchestra’s drummer, Jonathan Kipp, called Chased By A Wolf Down a Mountain. Concluding their program is Déjà Vu by Tom Frederickson. “The title refers both to Frederickson’s conscious evocation of the big band era,” Aldag said, “and how, in the latter part of the piece, he brings back musical material from earlier in the composition.”

The HSU Symphonic Band and Jazz Orchestra joint concert on Saturday, Feb. 21 begins 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. http://HSUMusic.blogspot.com.