The Central Arizona Concert Band welcomes the new year with a concert filled with instrumental favorites and a rare treat — a featured Clarinet Choir. The performance is at 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 29, at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in the Davis Learning Center Auditorium, 3700 Willow Creek Road, Prescott.
Capitalizing on the availability of the key members of a family of some 10 different clarinet models, Maestro Clydene Dechert has crafted an ensemble of 14 players performing on four of the most popular instruments. Ranging from the high pitch of the E flat to the low range of the B flat bass with the popular B flat and E flat alto in the middle, the combination can resonate with the grandeur of a pipe organ, according to a news release.
The choir’s first selection, the folk song, Shenandoah, is the musical basis for a wide variety of tales wherein its symbolism may depict Indian romance, homesick wandering, escape from slavery among others.
A second selection is a fun number called “It Isn’t Easy To Be A Cuckoo.” For this piece composer/arranger John Gibson has collected a number of works by various composers who have incorporated a cuckoo theme in their music.
First, Camille Saint-Saens wrote “The Cuckoo In The Forest” as part of his Carnival of The Animals. H.D. Sofge contributed Cuckoo’s Courtship Waltz. In Praise of Higher Understanding by Gustav Mahler has the sub-title, “A Singing Contest between a Cuckoo and a Nightingale, Judged by a Donkey.”
This array of titles should foretell a delightful romp of point and counterpoint among the six separate parts being played, the news release stated.
Rounding out the program will be The Witch’s Waltz from the third act of Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel followed by the Overture to Dmitri Kabalevsky’s opera Colas Breugnon, a lesser known but highly appealing musical. Also on tap are a selection of marches and a tour around the world of Disney, the release added.
Of special mention is a performance of Debussy’s Clare De Lune, which in addition to the whole of this concert, is dedicated to the life and memory of Diane Jackson, violinist and long-time member of the musical community of Prescott, Phoenix and beyond. Diane passed away on Jan. 6, 2023. This number will be conducted by Randy Tremper while Maestro Dechert pays tribute to her best friend.
The Central Arizona Concert Band is an all-volunteer organization comprising professional, semi-professional and youthful musicians who come together for the sheer joy of music and entertaining the community.
For more information, visit centralarizonaconcertband.com.
Information provided by the Central Arizona Concert Band.