The Cameron University Concert Band will present a concert titled “Music of Our World” on Thursday, October 28, at 7:30 p.m. in the University Theatre. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for senior citizens, military members and non-CU students. CU students, faculty and staff are admitted at no charge with CU I.D. To reserve tickets, call 580-581-2346. Facial coverings are strongly encouraged; seating is limited.
The concert will feature music from Japan, Spain, Russia, Jamaica, Australia, England, France and the United States.
“I got the idea for performing a concert of music from around the world while watching the summer Olympics,” says Dr. Lucas Kaspar, Assistant Professor of Music and conductor of the Concert Band. “I have always enjoyed watching the Olympics, but this year seemed a little more special and unique due to COVID-19 delaying the 2020 summer Olympics by an entire year. Seeing Olympians from so many countries come together to compete and entertain people made me think about how music also unites people ― music is a universal language.”
The concert will open with John Williams’ “Olympic Fanfare and Theme,” written for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games. Williams once said of this composition, “A wonderful thing about the Olympics is that young athletes strain their guts to find and produce their best efforts. The human spirit stretching to prove itself is also typical of what musicians attempt to achieve in an ensemble. It is difficult to describe how I feel about these athletes and their performances without sounding pretentious, but their struggle ennobles all of us. I hope I express that in this piece.”
“Just as the Olympic athletes unite to compete and entertain, the members of the Cameron University Concert Band will unite to present this heroic fanfare,” Kaspar says.
Other notable selections to be performed are Ralph Vaughan Williams’ “English Folk Song Suite” and Harold Walters’ “Jamaican Folk Suite.”
Kaspar explains that “English Folk Song Suite” is one of the earliest standards in the band repertoire.
“I vividly remember the first time I performed this piece as an undergraduate,” he says. “It was certainly one of the highlights of my undergrad years. I think every wind player and percussionist should play this piece at some point in their career. There are three movements in the suite: A march (‘Seventeen Come Sunday’), an intermezzo (‘My Bonny Boy’), and another march (‘Folk Songs from Somerset’). Williams frequently changes dynamics such as volume very quickly. This keeps the listener on the edge of the seat!”
“Jamaican Folk Suite” was composed by Harold Walters in 1966, with each movement in the suite using classic Jamaican melodies along with typical island rhythms. All six of the concert bands percussionists will be featured on a wide variety of percussion instruments: maracas, bongos, tom-toms, claves, timpani, bells, vibes, snare drum, bass drum, and woodblock.
“The first movement, ‘Mento,’ uses the common Jamaican mento rhythm with the class melodies of two Jamaican songs, ‘Destiny’ and ‘Banana Loader’s Song,’” Kasper explains. “The second movement, ‘Promenade,’ introduces an original walking theme represented by the woodblock and snare drum. The walking theme leads to the melody of the familiar Jamaican song ‘Mango Walk’ and later to the melody of ‘Linstead Market.’ The third movement, ‘Jump-Up,’ depicts a native celebration that includes food, drinks and lots of dancing. The two primary Jamaican songs used in this movement are ‘Marianne’ and ‘Fan Me, Solja Man.’”
Additional selections will include: Percy Grainger’s “Australian Up Country,” Debussy’s “The Girl with the Flaxen Hair,” Pascual Pérez Choví’s “Flower of Spain,” Agapkin’s “Slavic Farewell” and Thomas Duffy’s “Three Japanese Fanfares.”
The Cameron University Concert Band, composed of Cameron students, performs at numerous events throughout the academic year. The ensemble is open to music majors, minors and non-music students.
Members of the CU Concert Band for the Fall 2021 semester are listed by hometown.
Altus: Mykayla Waller
Elgin: Cory Ray
Geronimo: Phoenix Evans, Emma Ferguson
Lawton/Fort Sill: Kinsey Boze, Irmtraud Bryant, Victoria Chambers, Morgan Chisholm, Aviance Davis, Trent Hagood, Harlie Hardage, Hunter Helvey, William Magee, Jeramie McMichael, Alyssa Price, Michael Richard, Bellamarie Saucedo
Snyder: Nicholas Spurlin
Proceeds from this performance by the Cameron University Concert Band will be used for student scholarships.