Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Holiday music to fill the weekend

By Regina Barbosa
Student conductors Katie Kosiek and Marilyn Yennie.
Photo by Dr. Janet Heukeshoven

The Jazz Band, Concert Choir, Concert Band and Orchestra will perform throughout the weekend of Dec. 6-8. Many of the compositions will reflect the holiday season, but in their own unique styles.

According to director of jazz studies Eric Heukeshoven, the Jazz Band will feature a playful version of “The Nutcracker,” in the Page Theatre on Friday, Dec. 6, at 7:30 p.m.

“It’s the most imaginative, often time hilarious, version of the ‘Nutcracker’ I’ve ever heard,” said Eric Heukeshoven. “It features every section of the band at one point or another, and it uses some unusual doublings, where players have to switch instruments,” he said.

The Concert Choir and the Chamber Singers will perform their annual Lessons & Carols concert on Saturday, Dec. 7, at 7:30 p.m., in the Chapel of Saint Mary of the Angels.

According to director of choirs, Patrick O’Shea, Ph.D., both the Concert Choir and Chamber Singers are performing pieces by Francis Poulenc, Pavel Chesnokov and Arvo Pärt. The Chamber Orchestra will also be joining them to perform three movements from Charpentier’s ‘Midnight Mass.’

Readings are read in between musical pieces. “It’s set up as if it were a liturgical service,” said O’Shea, “and so the audience doesn’t applaud until the very end.”

The Concert band will be playing a variety of pieces including “Festival Español,” “Polish Christmas Music” and “O Magnum Mysterium” in the Page Theatre on Sunday, Dec. 8, at 3 p.m. Two more pieces will be conducted by student education majors Katie Kosiek and Marilyn Yennie.

According to music director Janet Heukeshoven, Ph.D., there will be no “Sleigh Ride” encore piece this year. Instead, music will be played during a lobby reception, where audience members are encouraged to enjoy homemade cookies, drinks and interact with music members.

The orchestra is holding off on Christmas music this year to celebrate Benjamin Britten’s 100th birthday with two of his compositions: “Symphony” and “Seranade for Tenor and Horn.”

“This year is Britten’s centennial so I wanted to use this last chance to do it with the orchestra before 2013 goes away,” said David Leung, Ph.D.

The orchestra will also celebrate the 400th anniversary of the Romanov Dynasty with Russian composer Tchaikovsky’s ‘Andante Cantabile.’

Leung will conduct the orchestra at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 8 in the Figliulo Recital Hall.

All performances are free to SMU faculty, staff and students with identification arriving 20 minutes before the performance.

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