Sunday, October 26, 2014

Milwaukee Festival Brass Concert

Don't forget the Milwaukee Festival Brass concert coming up on Sunday November 2 at 3 PM.  The MFB will be celebrating their 30th year of music making with a concert entitled Not much...You? 

Here's some details of the program from Music Director Mark Taylor:

The first half of the program is devoted to music with specific connections to Wisconsin.  Turning 30 is a great time to look back and reflect on the people and places that have influenced our history.  We are deeply grateful to the people of the Milwaukee and Southeast Wisconsin community who have shared so much to shape who we are today.”

Longtime fans of a popular radio quiz program based in Madison will recognize the show’s signature opening question (Q: “Whad’Ya Know?”  A: “Not Much…You?”), as well as its host’s singular celebration of all things Wisconsin.  The concert opens with a fanfare penned by the band’s founder, the late Wayne Becker.  We celebrate the achievements of the Milwaukee area’s many outstanding music teachers as veteran Kenosha band director and MFB principal baritone Paul Taylor performs John Golland’s "Rhapsody for Baritone No. 2".  Philip Sparke’s "A Quiet Moment", composed in memory of the late James Krofta, will be presented.  Finally, Percy Grainger’s iconic "Lincolnshire Posy", which premiered in Milwaukee in 1937, receives yet another Wisconsin premiere for a brand new brass band version arranged by John MacKay. 

The concert’s second half takes a more literal approach to the theme of “Not Much,” as the band explores a variety of works related to minimalism, a style in which composers use the smallest possible musical inspiration to create an entire piece.   In this portion of the program the band will perform works by Richard Saucedo, James Ord Hume, William Himes, Dave Brubeck, and Johan de Meij. 

The Milwaukee Festival Brass will present “Not Much…You?” on Sunday, November 2, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 810 North East Ave., Waukesha, WI.  Tickets are $12, or $9 for seniors and students.  Group rates are available.  For more information, please visit the MFB website at

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Two concerts coming up

There are two concerts coming up in the next couple of weeks.  The first is on Sunday October 26th at 3 PM in the Schwan Concert Hall of Wisconsin Lutheran College.  The Milwaukee Metropolitan Community Concert Band performs Autumn Colors of Red, White and Blue, a concert of Patriotic music.  While I do not have a list of music to be performed, the concerts are always fun.  You can find more information on the MMCCB web site.

The second concert is just two days later.  Join the Wauwatosa Community Band for some Halloween fun on Tuesday October 28th at 7 PM in Wauwatosa's Longfellow Middle School (76th and North).  This is a great concert for the trick-or-treaters in your house, as anyone wearing a Halloween costume is admitted free to the concert.  And there are treats after the concert as well.

Get into the spooky spirit of Halloween with the classic Night on Bald Mountain.  Also on the program is music of Disney movies, including Brave and Frozen.  Your little goblins will have a great time. 

If you choose not to dress the part, you can get tickets at the door.  If you need more information about the concert, check out the Tosa Band web site.

One final comment:  both of these groups perform wonderful concerts for the younger ones in the audience.  Concerts like this can help develop an appreciation of symphonic music.  I highly recommend both groups.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Menomonee Falls Symphony upcoming concert

The Menomonee Falls Symphony Orchestra will present "The Anatomy of an Orchestra" on Saturday evening October 25 at 7:30 PM in the Hamilton Fine Arts Center, at Sussex Hamilton High School. 

The MFSO Music Director, Michael Kamenski, has chosen light classical works to showcase the different areas of the orchestra.  This concert will be wonderful to expose students to the different types of sounds that instruments make, and how the classical composers assemble the sounds into music.  While I do not have the program details, I do know that one of my favorite pieces is on the program:  The Procession of the Nobles by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, from his opera-ballet Mlada.

Tickets are available at the Hamilton Fine Arts Center box office.  You can also buy tickets and get more information about the concert at the MFSO web site.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Upcoming Concert

The concert season is beginning.  The Concord Chamber Orchestra 2014-15 season begins on Saturday October 18 at 8 PM at St. Matthew's Lutheran Church in Wauwatosa (1615 Wauwatosa Avenue).  The overall theme for this season's concerts is A Musical Buffet.  The summer concerts were Picnics in the Parks.  Now in October, the CCO presents the Fall Feast.  As the CCO concert flier says: 
"Snuggle in to the warm, lush Viennese sounds of Beethoven and Brahms, with the added spice of crisp harp notes. Would you like a little whipped cream with that?" 
This is wonderful music you can sink your teeth into! 

The most interesting piece on the program in my opinion is the Harp Concerto by former Milwaukeean Dan Lawitts.  Dan now resides in upstate New York, but while in Milwaukee was a member of the CCO, and was their resident composer.  He has since moved on in his career but his music returns for a CCO performance.  The soloist that evening is Lauren Finn, a student of Milwaukee harpist Ann Lobotzke. 

Here is the full program for the concert:
  • Coriolan Overture by Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Harp Concerto by Dan Lawitts
  • Pavane, Op. 50 by Gabriel Fauré
  • Serenade No. 1 by Johannes Brahms
As always, more information and tickets are available at the Concord Chamber Orchestra web site.