Tchaikovsky, Broadway performed at Lamarissimo!
Lamar University’s acclaimed Lamarissimo! Concert Series continues Tuesday, March 4, as the Wind Ensemble and Concert Band perform a wide mix of selections from Broadway hits to classical music and everything in between. The program begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Julie Rogers Theatre for the Performing Arts.
Scott Deppe, director of bands, conducts the Wind Ensemble, while Ryan Smith, director of athletic bands, leads the Concert Band. More than 80 Lamar students will perform at the concert, sponsored by ExxonMobil.
“I like to always program a wide range of music,” said Deppe. “The Wind Ensemble will perform Tchaikovsky’s finale from ‘Symphony No. 4.’ On the other end of the spectrum is ‘Hymn to a Blue Hour,’ which was composed in 2010. So we move from very early literature to recent compositions.”
The Concert Band starts the evening off with Broadway selections, including highlights from “Wicked,” with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz; “The Lion King,” music by Elton John, lyrics by Tim Rice, and original score by Hans Zimmer; and "Seventy-Six Trombones," from Meredith Willson's “The Music Man.”
“I wanted to find an enjoyable, fun program for the concert, so I picked some light, popular pieces from the Broadway genre,” said Smith. “We’re also very excited to feature guest soloist Angela Pickering. At our Lamarissimo! concert each year, it is our goal to showcase local talent onstage with our Lamar students. Angela will sing ‘I Dreamed A Dream,’ from Les Misérables.”
The concert will also feature an exciting guest performance by the Lamar Percussion Ensemble, organized by Travis Fife, director of marching percussion. The six-member group will perform “Denkyem” by Joe W. Moore III. “Denkyem” is the West African Adinkra symbol for the crocodile and refers to the animal's adaptability. Players will use a number of different percussion instruments for the dynamic piece, including caxixi, cajon, log drum, congas, castanets, djembe, bongos, claves, timbales, and the cowbell, bass drum and brake drum.
“It’s a very cool piece,” said Fife. “It’s a great way to introduce audiences to the West African style of drumming, which is a fast growing genre as American audiences are starting to gain interest in and appreciation for it.”
In addition to the finale from Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 in F minor, the Wind Ensemble will perform Samuel Barber’s “Commando March” and Percy Grainger’s “Handel in the Strand,” arranged by Richard Franko Goldman. They will also play a new composition, “Hymn to a Blue Hour,” by John Mackey. The “blue hour” referred to in this stunning work is the “moment of day between twilight and complete darkness, a time of day known for its romantic, spiritual, ethereal qualities.”
The Lamarissimo! Concert Series is presented by the Mary Morgan Moore Department of Music.
The Julie Rogers Theatre is at 765 Pearl St. in downtown Beaumont. Individual tickets are $18 for adults and $12 for students and will be available in the theatre box office beginning at 6:45 p.m. before the performance. Admission is free to students of Lamar University with valid LU identification.