The concert begins with three works featured in the very first HBBB performance in 2004: the British symphonic overture “Prelude for an Occasion” by Edward Gregson, and two watery-themed pieces, the lush “Moon River” and the lively “Fantasy on British Sea Songs.”
The band then performs one of its unique numbers: “Sunken Rock,” a lost 1865 piano composition commemorating the sinking of the coastal steamer Brother Jonathan off the coast of Crescent City, in HBBB director Gil Cline’s band arrangement. “It features the singing voice of our solo cornetist, Molly Harvis,” Cline said, “accompanied by a small brass band of the sort that would have been heard in that era.”
Along with Irish and British melodies, the concert includes several characteristically American works, some with a military theme to commemorate Veteran’s Day, highlighted by an unusual but historically based rendition of The Star Spangled Banner. Using the original introduction and transition by composer John Stafford Smith, the band presents three seldom-heard verses by Francis Scott Key.
Humboldt Bay Brass Band players are HSU advanced music students plus recent graduates, community musicians and music teachers. It is northwest California’s only all-brass band in the traditional British format. “One of our slogans is ‘25 brass plus three percussion equal sustained intensity,’ ” said director Cline. “And that equals ecstasy!” This is the band’s only HSU concert until next fall.
The Humboldt Bay Brass Band performs on Saturday November 15 at 8 p.m. in Fulkerson Recital Hall at HSU. Tickets are available from the HSU Ticket Office (707) 826-3928 or at the door: $8 general, $5 seniors and children, HSU students with ID admitted free. For more information, visit HSUMusic.blogspot.com. Directed by Gilbert Cline, produced by HSU Music Department.