Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

My computer will be down until next week Monday at the earliest. So, I apologize that the normal Sunday post will be on Monday or Tuesday next week.

Until then have a wonderful and happy Thanksgiving Holiday. We have much to be thankful for...including all the musicians who volunteer their time to make music in our community groups. And the people who help those groups continue to operate. And all the people I'm forgetting!

Happy Thanksgiving!! :-)

Friday, November 21, 2008

A busy weekend ahead

Well, it's Friday evening. Normally I post something on Sunday morning (or sometime Sunday if I'm late). But this post goes out on Friday evening because this weekend will be filled to the brim.

Tomorrow I'll be coordinating the dress rehearsal for the Knightwind Ensemble concert on Sunday. I'll start in the morning and won't finish until well after sunset.

On Sunday, we begin about lunch time and finish about 7 PM. A full day to say the least.

So, not much to put in the post this evening. I hope to see you on Sunday. I'll be at the ticket table before the concert, so stop by and say Hi. If you bring the concert announcement from the Knightwind web site, you'll get $1 off all of the adult tickets in your party. Here's the link: www.knightwind.org.

I'll have a post for the Christmas concerts the Sunday after Thanksgiving, including two special performances by the Fox Valley Horn Choir. And one of them might be a record breaker!

See you at the Knightwind concert. Be sure to say Hi!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The last of the fall concerts

The fall concerts are almost completed. There are two concerts left on the calendar. The first is Friday night at West Allis Hale High School at 116th and Lincoln at 7:30. The Suburban Concert Band will present their concert in the school auditorium. Unfortunately, I do not have any information about the program. But if you have Friday evening open, this is a nice option for you.

The other concert is next Sunday at 3 PM in the Schwan Concert Hall of Wisconsin Lutheran College, 88th and Wisconsin Avenue. The Knightwind Ensemble will present Pastiche, with a number of wonderful works, including a band transcription of Pictures at an Exhibition. As I wrote in an earlier post, the transcription is of the Ravel orchestration, not of the original Moussorgsky piano music. This is one not to miss.

And if you do decide to take in the Knightwind concert, stop by and say hello. I'll be at the ticket table. And if you'd like $1 off your tickets, print out the Knightwind Web Site page with the concert info: www.knightwind.org.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The fall concert season is almost completed...

The calendar shows that the Suburban Concert Band performs on the 21st, and the Knightwind Ensemble performs on the 23rd. Those are the last two concerts of the fall season that I have information on. After Thanksgiving, I'll have a quick summary of all of the concerts between Thanksgiving and New Years. The Holidays almost have a concert schedule of their own. One thing about community music groups in this area: if you have nothing to do over a weekend, the community groups offer many opportunities. And if you do nothing over that weekend, you only have yourself to blame!

Just a note...I attended the performance last night by the Menomonee Falls Symphony Orchestra. A nice performance was witnessed by a good sized audience. I especially liked seeing the many families in the audience. Getting children exposed to classical music in a family setting can plant the seed for the future. And to me, that's one of the beauties of community music groups: the seed is planted and when they become adults, there is a better chance they will attend classical concerts and arts performances in general. Community groups definitely improve the quality of our life in the Milwaukee area. (And if the economy gets any worse, the community groups offer those arts at a much reduced cost...)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Upcoming Orchestra Concert and some news

This coming Saturday November 8th at 7:30 PM, the Menomonee Falls Symphony Orchestra presents their fall concert A Fantastic Night of Fantasy. The featured piece is Paul Dukas' Sorcerer's Apprentice. Those of us boomer-types remember the wonderful treatment of this music by Walt Disney in the movie Fantasia. However, the music stands on its own wonderfully. Great piece of music.

Looking at the program, I get the feeling that Music Director Michael Kamenski wanted to touch on famous fantasy shows and movies. Besides Fantasia there is music from Brigadoon, Jurassic Park, Star Wars, and Star Trek. The famous Blue Danube Waltz by Strauss represents the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. And the program begins with Moussorgsky's Night on Bald Mountain (one of my favorites and another selection from Fantasia).

The concert will be held at the Menomonee Falls North Junior High School. Tickets can be purchased at the door: $15 adults, $12, Senior, and $6 Students. You'll enjoy this one.

And one comment on the upcoming Knightwind Ensemble concert on Sunday November 23rd. I was at the rehearsal on Wednesday evening. Over the last few weeks the group has rehearsed Lollapalooza, a very difficult piece by minimalist composer John Adams. But Wednesday night was different because the piece started coming together. The piece is very difficult to play because a musician cannot listen to other sections to make sure that they are blending as a whole. Each musician must play their part and block out the other sections (sometimes others within their section). Only the director and the audience will be able to hear the "whole" piece. But Wednesday night there were themes scampering across the band, little bits and pieces that moved through the band. It was as if you could watch the music move across from one side to the other. A few more rehearsals like that one, and that piece will by dynamite! And the rest of the concert is sounding very well too, especially the Padstow Lifeboat and Pictures At An Exhibition. Better mark the 23rd on your calendar now. You do not want to miss it!