University of Southern Maine's School of Music Presents an Old-Fashioned Outdoor Band Concert

University of Southern Maine's School of Music Presents an Old-Fashioned Outdoor Band Concert

The first University of Southern Maine Concert Band performance of the season celebrates the fusion of the traditional and the contemporary for their concert outside of Corthell Hall. In a venue that harks back to the outdoor band tradition of the early 19th century (and earlier!), timeless works by composers such as Copland, Sousa, and Osterling will give an atmosphere of nostalgia.

The Old-Fashioned Outdoor Band Concert has become a beloved annual event in the greater USM community. It will take place on the lawn in front of historic Corthell Hall during USM's Homecoming Weekend on Saturday, October 13 at 1 p.m. (rain location will be Brooks Student Center). A BBQ lunch by Sodexo will begin at noon, cash only. Parking is free.

The concert, sponsored by Sodexo, is free and open to the public.

The merging of old and new will be on full display as the band performs Ira Hearshen's "After The Thunderer" - a symphonic take on Sousa's classic march "The Thunderer" and an aural image of Sousa meets Mahler!

Rounding out the program will be works by more contemporary composers, such as Carl Holmquist's "Play!" - a celebration of the New Orleans comeback following Hurricane Katrina, and Frank Ticheli's "Cajun Folk Songs" - a setting of traditional Cajun melodies written in the contemporary wind band medium.

Finally, the explosive and highly energetic style that has come to be associated with the works of John Mackey will conclude the performance with his composition "Night on Fire." Come hear this celebration of the old and the new, grab some BBQ, and keep an eye out for an extra special guest conductor!

This annual favorite outdoor band concert features the first USM Concert Band performance with our new director of bands, Dr. Jackie Townsend. Dr. Townsend received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in wind conducting from the University of North Texas (Denton, Texas) and studied with Eugene Migliaro Corporon, Dennis Fisher, and Nicholas Enrico Williams. From 2015-2018, Dr. Townsend served as the assistant conductor of the Lone Star Wind Orchestra, a professional group made up of musicians from the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. She has written two articles for the most recent installment of the Teaching Music Through Performance in Band series (Volume 11), published by GIA. Her dissertation research on recent symphonies written for the wind band was presented in March 2018 at the southwest division conference of the College Band Directors National Association in Houston, Texas.

About this concert, she writes, "For this concert, I felt it was important to not only highlight the impressive capabilities of our USM Concert Band, but to also show how adaptable the wind band has been over the course of many centuries. Going back to the French Revolution, the wind band has been viewed as the ideal medium for outdoor events, and our students are continuing that tradition today. The works they are performing showcase classic composers and time-tested pieces, but also venture into more contemporary and innovative realms. The wind band has always embraced new ideas while valuing the traditions of the past, and this has given us such a tremendous wealth of repertoire to perform! I wanted to make sure that the students had the chance to experience this from the onset of this year, and they have unflinchingly taken this challenge on. This is only the beginning of what will surely be an exciting and innovative year, and I am so grateful to have the chance to be a part of it - what an awesome year to be a part of the USM School of Music!"

Those needing special accommodations to participate fully in this program, contact Lori Arsenault, (207) 780-5142, loria@maine.edu. Hearing impaired: call USM's telex / TDD number (207) 780-5646.

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