Spring Concert 2014 Press Release

The final concert of the Cascade Winds will be held on Sunday, May 4, 2014 in the Summit High School Auditorium. Admission to the concert is free, but donations are gratefully accepted. COCC professor of music, Michael Gesme, will lead the ensemble in a varied program beginning, appropriately, with “Quirks” by Brant Karrick. By definition, quirks are sudden sharp turns or unpredictable peculiarities and this capricious work takes full advantage of its title; never resting too long on one style, the piece seamlessly and continually transitions between latin, jazz, tango, swing, et cetera. The “Huckleberry Finn Suite” by Franco Cesarini, a piece of intentionally lighthearted disposition, is up next musically describing some of the primary scenes and characters of Mark Twain’s classic. Interspersed with brief readings from the text, the four movements of this work will portray a lazy river town, Jim, The King and the Duke, and Huckleberry Finn himself. Also on the first half will be a march by John Philip Sousa, “Solid Men to the Front!,” and “Carmen Fantasy” with music by Georges Bizet and arranged by Eiji Suzuki. The march was composed in 1918 while the 62-year-old Sousa was serving as Music Director of the Great Lakes Naval Training Station. The fantasy is a wandering pastiche of several of the great melodies from Bizet’s famously scandalous opera, which, in this arrangement, prominently features mallet percussion.

The second half will open with two works by Giovanni Gabrieli, an Italian high renaissance composer famous for church music intended to be performed from opposite sides of the cathedral. The Cascade Winds brass section will simulate this experience with two brass choirs placed on opposite sides of the auditorium. “For those of us who play brass instruments,” comments Gesme, “the music of Gabrieli is one of the high watermarks of composition. It is extremely satisfying to listen to and to play.” The final piece on the concert is the “Sixth Symphony” by James Barnes. This three movement work is very traditional in form, melodic and harmonic language, and is brimming with the wide palate of colors for which Barnes’ compositions are famous–a rousing conclusion to the 2013-2014 season.

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