Sunday, February 27, 2011

Support music education in our schools

The week of March 6 to 10, Barnes and Noble will be supporting music education in our public schools. A portion of the proceeds of eligible sales will be donated to music education.

This is a great deal - not only do you get to do some shopping, but music education in Wisconsin gets a helping hand as well. For all the details, see this site:

Time to add to your library!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Congratulations are in order

Congratulations go out to Dr. Bruce Atwell, Professor of Horn at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, for a successful Horn Day on Saturday the 19th. It was the first Horn Day at UWO, with many more to come.

Besides providing seminars on technique and performance for the attendees, there were two special events. The first was the appearance of the American Horn Quartet, one of the best chamber music groups in the world. Not only did they perform in concert in the evening, but they instructed a Master Class in the afternoon for the Horn Day attendees.

I love to see these events well attended because they promote music within the community, and allow amateur musicians to learn from the very best at an extremely low cost. What a great event for Horn students in the Oshkosh and Fox Valley areas. And I know of adults from the Milwaukee area that attended as well.

But I mentioned before that there were two special events. The second event occurred in the afternoon when the American Horn Quartet joined the Fox Valley Horn Club in a performance of the March from Raiders of the Lost Ark by John Williams. The Fox Valley Horn Club is made up of mostly middle and high school students learning the horn, with some adults to help out - especially with the bass clef parts. This arrangement of Raiders is for 12 voices, all French Horns, and it is great. If you missed seeing the performance live, it will be on YouTube very soon. And I'm sure the members of the Horn Club will remember performing with the American Horn Quartet for many years!

As I said, congratulations are definitely in order for both Dr. Atwell and for Don Krause. Well done!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Upcoming concert: Milwaukee Festival Brass

The Milwaukee Festival Brass will perform on Sunday April 3 at 3 PM in the Schwan Concert Hall on the campus of Wisconsin Lutheran College. In the early spring each year, the MFB perform their festival concert, music saluting one of the many ethnic festivals in the Milwaukee area. This year, the concert will feature music with a French flair.

The MFB is the only British Style Brass Band in the area. The instrumentation gives a unique sound to the music, especially to familiar tunes. If you have never heard a brass band performance, you will be very surprised at the difference in sound.

Included on the program are Gershwin's An American in Paris, Bizet's L'Arlesienne, a suite from the opera Carmen, and of course, the music of the can-can. Dr. Patricia Backhaus always programs at least one piece written specifically for brass band, and for this concert the MFB will perform Blitz by Derek Bourgeous.

You can also receive a discount on your tickets if you bring two or more non-perishable food items to benefit the Hunger Task Force. So you get the best of all things: help those less fortunate in our community, get a discount on your ticket, and enjoy a great concert. It doesn't get much better than that...

For more information, please see the MFB web site:

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Upcoming concert: Knightwind Ensemble

My guess is that many of you are not familiar with the music of James Barnes, from the University of Kansas. His Third Symphony will be featured by the Knightwind Ensemble at their concert on Sunday April 3rd. The theme for the concert is Music From the Heart, and the Third Symphony is exactly that!

Commissioned by the United States Air Force Band in Washington DC, Barnes composed this major new symphony for band shortly after the death of his infant daughter. Constructed in four movements, the work begins in a mood of darkest despair and bitterness, then slowly progresses all the way to a feeling of joyous reconciliation and a renewal of spirit.

The Ensemble has begun rehearsing the piece and even the early rehearsals are sounding wonderful. I suggest you mark April 3 on your calendar just to hear this piece. It will take your breath away!

And you can check their web site for more information: