Cameron University’s Dr. Lucas Kaspar, assistant professor of low brass and concert band, will take center stage for “Lucas Kaspar and Friends,” a recital slated for Monday, November 28. The bass trombonist will be joined by several local musicians to present an eclectic repertoire, which will include the world premiere of a piece composed specifically for him. The recital will start at 7:30 p.m. in the McCutcheon Recital Hall.
Tickets are $10 for adults, and $8 for senior citizens, K-12 students and members of the military. Cameron students, faculty and staff are admitted at no charge with valid ID. To reserve a seat, please call (580) 581-2346.
During the performance, Kaspar will be joined by fellow faculty members Dr. Greg Hoepfner, Dr. JD Little and Dr. Christian Morren as well as Taisha Kaspar, Yiuka Little, Jason Villarreal and Adam Walton.
The recital will open with J.S. Bach’s “Prelude from Cello Suite #2,” an unaccompanied work for cello.
“Trombonists often play Bach’s cello music to work on phrasing and quick breathing,” Kaspar explains of this selection. “Bach is one of my favorite composers. Working on his cello suites brings me great joy. The long, legato lines tell interesting stories that resonate with my soul.”
Kaspar will be share the stage with trumpeter Jason Villarreal for William Presser’s “5 Duets for Trumpet and Tuba.” Villarreal, a 2020 Cameron graduate, recently completed a Master of Music degree in trumpet performance from Oklahoma State University.
Next on the program will be Martin Kennedy’s “Distant Channels” for bass trombone and percussion. Kaspar will be joined by Adam Walton, percussionist of the 77th Army Band.
“This has been on my bucket list of compositions to play since I heard Gerry Pagano’s (St. Louis Symphony trombonist) recording a few years ago,” Kaspar says. “Adam performed at Cameron University last spring for a recital with a fellow 77th Army Band member. I was very impressed with his ability as a percussionist and his musicianship. I knew he would make the perfect fit to play ‘Distant Channels,’ which is a rather challenging piece for even the greatest percussionists.”
Kaspar’s wife, Taisha, will join him for “The Pobble Who Has No Toes,” written for contrabassoon and narrator. The text was written by Edward Lear, and the music was composed by Luigi Zaninelli.
“Taisha and I performed this piece last year at the Lawton Academy of Arts and Sciences, where she teaches second grade,” Kaspar says. “The kids and adults loved our performance, so we decided to program it on this recital. In addition to the piece being a lot of fun to perform, it is also demanding as a bass trombonist. Since it is written for contrabassoon, it requires me to play nearly the entire piece in the lowest register of my instrument.”
The next selection, “Two Songs for Voice and String Bass” by Giovoni Bottesini, will feature the artistry and tone of soprano Dr. Christian Morren, a member of Cameron’s music faculty. She and Kaspar will also be joined by Dr. Greg Hoepfner on piano.
“I have been looking for music that Christian and I could perform together for some time,” says Kaspar. “All the music I have heard for voice and trombone is avant-garde and not pleasant to my ears. When I heard the beautiful melodies and interplay between the voice and string bass in Bottesini’s composition, I knew I found the right piece. Though the string bass makes a different sound than the bass trombone, they have similar ranges and technical abilities.”
The recital will close with the world premiere of Elizabeth Raum’s “Illusion” for alto saxophone, bass trombone and piano. Kaspar will be joined by Dr. JD Little on saxophone and Yiuka Little on piano.
“This is a special piece to me,” he says. “I have enjoyed performing and working with JD and Yiuka over the past couple of years. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of repertoire composed for bass trombone and saxophone. Elizabeth Raum composed ‘Illusion’ for JD, Yiuka and me, and we will be recording this on an album in the near future. Having a piece written for us that showcases our strengths and puts a needed piece of music into the bass trombone/saxophone repertoire gives me a great feeling.”
Kaspar earned a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree from The Ohio State University in 2018 and a Master of Music degree from The University of Alabama in 2013.