Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Archive for August 2nd, 2014

2014 Racine Concert Band Season Continues Tomorrow . . .

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Folks, I didn’t manage to get up a reminder about the Racine Concert Band summer concerts at the Racine Zoo in July . . . at least, I don’t remember doing so. But we have four more free concerts left out at the Zoo, and I figured I’d get over here and say a few brief words about tomorrow night’s 7:00 P.M. concert to whet your interest.

Tomorrow night’s concert features trumpet soloist Mark Eichner and xylophone soloist Nicholas Stainbrook — and if you’re a longtime reader of my blog, you’re probably going, “Mark Eichner? Isn’t he the conductor of the band? How can he play a solo?”

I could be sarcastic and say, “Very easily, thank you.” (Oops, I just was.) Because we have a guest conductor for two pieces, our regular euphonium player Paul Taylor (who led a high school band for many years in the Kenosha Unified School District — Bradford High, I think) will conduct two pieces — Eichner’s trumpet solo “Beautiful Colorado,” which is a virtuosic waltz for trumpet and concert band, and “The Florentiner” march directly before the solo.

This concert interests me more than most of the others because I’m playing the first clarinet parts instead of the second alto saxophone parts. I even have a solo on Chaminade’s “Scarf Dance,” which is a piece of French band music with the characteristic French harmonies (love that stuff, truly), and have a number of very good and very melodic parts. (We haven’t seen much of that in the saxophone section so far this summer. Depends on the year what we get, of course.)

Other things that may interest you: My usual stand-mate, Vivian Krenzke, will have an extended alto saxophone solo on “Spiritual,” and Vera Olguin will have several solos on both flute and piccolo among the woodwinds. Dave Kapralian and others in the cornet and trumpet section have some interesting parts, and our substitute first horn player (sorry, I don’t know her name; she’s a dark-haired woman with a robust sound and exquisite musicianship) will have a lengthy solo in one of the French pieces also.

Mind, there’s a good amount of music people who usually go to band concerts will recognize — Percy Grainger’s “Country Gardens,” several marches, including John Philip Sousa’s “King Cotton,” and a waltz from the ballet “Coppelia.” (This last is something you often hear on television commercials in vastly shortened form.) And did I mention this concert is absolutely free yet?

All you have to do, if you want to come out and see it, is go to one of the two side entrances to the Racine Zoo. (That way, you’re getting in for nothing. Besides, the front entrances should be closed by the time you get there at six-thirty or so to grab a spot on the lawn.) Bring a blanket or a lawn chair, and prepare to be captivated by sound.

See you tomorrow evening at 7:00!


P.S. After the concert, please make sure to tell your local alderman and/or Racine Mayor John Dickert how much you enjoy our absolutely free Zoo concerts. Because we still need your support — badly.