Sunday, February 22, 2015

Concert Preview - Concord Chamber Orchestra

The Concord Chamber Orchestra will continue their season of concerts based on food with their offering of Comfort Food on Saturday March 21 at 8PM in St. Matthews Evangelical Lutheran Church in Wauwatosa.

Like comfort food, the CCO will present familiar music.  On the program is Variations on a Rococo Theme, Op. 33 by Pyotr Tchaikovsky featuring cellist Jichen Li, first runner up in the Walter A. and Dorothy J. Oestreich Concerto Competition.  He was also a semifinalist in the Fifth Chinese Golden Bell Award for Music in 2005 and a semifinalist in the fourth Tchaikovsky International Youth Music Contest in 2012. Jichen studied cello at the Tianjin Conservatory of Music and the China Conservatory of Music before continuing his education in the United States. He is currently working toward a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin‐Milwaukee, under the tutelage of Stefan Kartman. Jichen has served as the principal cellist in various orchestras including those of the Tianjin Conservatory of Music, China Conservatory of Music, and is currently the principal cellist of the Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra. In addition to performing in the cello section of the University of Wisconsin‐Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, he also was the featured soloist in the 2015 UWM Concerto Competition.

Also on the program is the Suite in D Major of Jeremiah Clark and everyone's favorite: Symphony #9 From The New World by Antonin Dvorak.

For more information or to purchase advance tickets, please check the CCO web site.  I hope to see you there.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Special Concert for Brass Band fans

I just learned that the Milwaukee Festival Brass will be joining with the Madison Brass Band and the Illinois Brass Band to present a special concert entitled Brass at the Border.  The concert will begin on Sunday March 1 at 3 PM in the Rita Tallent Picken Regional Center for Arts and Humanities at the University of Wisconsin - Parkside in Kenosha.

All three bands will compete in the North American Brass Band Championships in Fort Wayne just two weeks after this special concert.  The audience will get to hear preview performances of some of the competition music by each group.

The venue, The Rita as the Parkside folks call it, is absolutely wonderful.  Nice clean sight lines and the sound is amazing.  There literally are no bad seats in the house.  A better venue for a concert of this caliber could not be found!

Tickets are $12, $9 for seniors and students.  If you need more information, check out the Milwaukee Festival Brass web site.

And don't forget that the MFB will present their 30th Anniversary concert on Sunday the 22nd at 3 PM at Pius XI High School Performing Arts Center.  See you there!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Valentines Concert Reminder

Just a reminder that the Valentines Dinner / Concert by the Menomonee Falls Symphony is this coming Friday and Saturday at the Silver Spring Country Club.  Reservations need to be in by February 9th.  You don't want to miss this wonderful evening with your special someone.  See the MFSO web site for the details.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Concert Preview - Milwaukee Festivall Brass 30th Anniversary

I was surprised when I heard that 2015 is the 30th Anniversary of the founding of the Milwaukee Festival Brass.  It just does not seem that long.  I remember attending wonderful concerts by the Milwaukee British Brass Band, the original name for the group.  The founding director, Wayne Becker, absolutely loved the sound of the brass band, and wanted to bring that sound to everyone in Milwaukee.  His legacy lives on and will be celebrated on Sunday February 22nd at the Performing Arts Center in Pius XI High School, on 76th Street just a few blocks north of I-94.  The concert begins at 3 PM.

Here is a great summary of the concert from Music Director Marc Taylor:

The gala will open with a work that was performed at the band’s inaugural concert, Edward Gregson’s iconic Prelude for an Occasion.  The program also includes a duet performance by two founding members of the Milwaukee Festival Brass who are still members today, Rita Ammon and Terry Neesley.  In honor of the band’s Pearl Anniversary, euphoniumists David Meyer and Deb Gilbert will perform a version of the transcendent duet from Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers: “Deep Inside the Sacred Temple.” 

The anniversary concert will bring back former players and conductors of the band as well.  Former music director Trefor Williams will lead the band in a Goff Richards arrangement, and former music director Patricia Backhaus will be a featured cornet soloist on the program.  Alumni of the Milwaukee Festival Brass will be invited onto the stage to join the current band in two joint selections.

The band will also preview the repertoire to be performed at the annual North American Brass Band Championships, which will be held in March in Fort Wayne, IN.

The Milwaukee Festival Brass will present its Gala “Pearl Anniversary” Concert on Sunday, February 22, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. at Father Robert V. Carney Performing Arts Center, Pius XI High School, 135 North 76th Street, Milwaukee, WI.  Tickets are $12, or $9 for seniors and students.  Group rates are available.  For more information, please visit the band’s website.

I will be there and I hope you will be as well!