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Published on October 20th, 2017 | by Joseph Wickline

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Band’s fall concert will showcase exotic melodies

The Samo Band’s annual fall concert is nearly upon us. The performance, taking place on Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. in Barnum Hall, will feature Samo’s five concert bands performing pieces that they’ve been preparing for the last few months in class.

“This is our first performance,” Director of Bands, Kevin McKeown said. “We know the students are approaching mastery of the music, but it’s a good place to show us where we’re starting.”

The Wind Ensemble, (the top concert band at Samo,) will be performing “Bookmarks from Japan” by Julie Giroux, a symphony in six movements. Giroux was inspired to write the piece after receiving a set of bookmarks as a gift, which depicted scenes from Japan. Each movement invokes the image of a different Japanese icon, including Mt. Fuji, the Kaminarimon (“Thunder Gate,”) and the 19th century woodblock print “The Great Wave off Kanagawa.”

While the Wind Ensemble plays the symphony, images of the bookmarks that inspired the piece will be displayed over the band, providing the audience with a visual reference to the music.

The Wind Symphony, Samo’s second highest concert band, will be performing “Incantation and Dance”, a 1960 composition for symphonic band by John Barnes Chance. The piece heavily features percussion, and contains a wealth of rhythmic and tonal oddities sure to captivate the audience. In addition, the Wind Symphony will perform a transcription of “Scheherazade”, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s legendary homage to the compiled Middle Eastern folk tales One Thousand and One Nights.

“[Scheherezade] is an iconic piece of orchestral literature,” McKeown said. “The students seem to really enjoy rehearsing that piece.”

A combined percussion ensemble will also perform at the concert, consisting of percussionists from across the band program.

“They’ll be featured in between the bands, as a way to highlight our percussion teachers, our percussion students and their instructor,” McKeown said.

Before the concert, guests will have access to the “Concierto Cafe,” a potluck which will serve fresh tamales, taquitos, salads, cookies and other food and beverage donations. The Cafe will be open from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

“We’re looking forward to seeing the development of all the groups throughout the year,” McKeown said. “[It’s] really fun for the teachers to see how much they improve and how quickly they do it.”

Featuring student musicians of exceptional talent and a wide range of musical selections, this year’s Fall Band Concert will not be something to miss.

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