Tusculum Band Program to present spring concert on Sunday, April 30

The Pioneer Jazz Band will be featured, as well as the Tusculum Concert Band and Handbell Choir, in the spring concert by the Tusculum Band Program at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 30. (Tusculum College photo)

The Tusculum Band Program invites audiences to enjoy a Sunday afternoon filled with music as it presents its spring concert on April 30.

The concert will begin at 2 p.m. in the auditorium of the Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Building. The local community is invited to the performance, which will feature the Concert Band, Jazz Band and Handbell Choir.

A sense of place is present in the repertoire to be performed by the Concert Band. That sense of place is readily evident in “An American Fanfare,” “God Bless America,” “March of the Belgian Paratroopers,” and “Mars,” a movement from Holst’s symphonic masterpiece, “The Planets.” Two places are brought to mind by the jazz standard “Tuba Tiger Rag,” first, New Orleans as the home of Dixieland Jazz and second, Canada, as the tune as become synonymous with the Canadian Brass. Jeff Bennington, who shares his talents in all three of the Tusculum groups to perform in the concert, will be the featured tuba soloist on the song.

Less familiar to the audience may be the beautiful “In Perfect Silence, I Often Gaze at the New Stars,” a musical tribute written by Richard L. Saucedo about those who lost their lives in the May 2011 tornado that devastated the city of Joplin, Missouri, and the heroes that sacrificed of themselves to help the victims.

Special guest string musicians under of the direction of Galina Timofeev will also join the Concert Band for performances of “God Bless America,” “March of the Belgian Paratroopers” and “Mars.” The string musicians will also be performing “The Star Spangled Banner,” “For the Beauty of the Earth” and “America the Beautiful.” A professional violinist, Timofeev performs as part of the Johnson City Symphony Orchestra and teaches violin at the University School at East Tennessee State University, as well as in private lessons to students of all ages.

Those attending the performance of the Pioneer Jazz Band during the Old Oak Festival on the Tusculum campus got a preview of some of the tunes to be performed during the Spring Concert. Toe-tapping “Mack the Knife” will feature vocalist Amy Saxonmeyer, and vocalist Sandi Moore is featured on the soulful, “God Bless the Child,” a tribute to the late Al Jarreau. In another tribute to the late Chuck Barris, the Jazz Band will play “Jumpin’ at the Woodside/Two O’Clock Jump,” songs featured on Barris’ television classic, “The Gong Show.” The Jazz Band will also be performing “Copacabana,” Herb Albert’s “Tijuana Taxi,” Quincy Jones’ arrangement of “Fly Me to the Moon” and “Feeling Good.”

Spring is the subject of the first movement of one of the pieces to be performed by the Handbell Choir. In addition’s to a handbell arrangement of Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons,” the Choir will be performing some popular music classics, “Eleanor Rigby,” Floyd Cramer’s “Last Date,” the 1960s pop hit “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” and a Neil Sedaka-penned tune made famous by the Captain and Tennille, “Love Will Keep Us Together.”

The band program began in 2010 with the formation of a pep band and has grown to include a Marching Band, Concert Band, Jazz Band, Handbell Choir and various small ensembles. The Band Program hosts three concerts each year, a Christmas performance and programs in the winter and the spring. In addition, each of the major groups as well as small ensembles have performed in community events such as the Greeneville Christmas Parade, the Old Oak Festival, Music on the Square in Jonesborough, the Laughlin Hospital Foundation’s Derby Days event.