4-4-24 fdl symphonic band spring pops concert

Under the direction of Music Director Dr. Evan Chancellor and Associate Conductor Jill Koerwitz, the Fond du Lac Symphonic Band will present its 43rd annual Pops Concert on April 19, at 7:00 p.m.  at the FdL High School Performing Arts Center, 801 Campus Drive.

The concert theme this year is “The Golden Age of Jazz,” featuring as guest artist, the internationally-acclaimed concert pianist Petronel Malan. She will perform George Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F, as arranged for concert band by Stephen Bulla.  Although classical in form, this dynamic work sparkles with the improvisatory feel of jazz. The most prominent “jazz rhythm” is the Charleston, signature dance of the Jazz Age, which dominates the first movement: Allegro. The melancholy of the Adagio-Andante con moto conveys a quintessentially American kind of solitude and isolation. About it, Gershwin wrote, “The second movement has a poetic nocturnal atmosphere which has come to be referred to as the American blues.” Of the last movement, Gershwin said, “The final movement reverts to the same style of the first. It is an orgy of rhythms, starting violently and keeping the same pace throughout.”

“Formidable…dizzying…magical.” These words from New York reviewer Harris Goldsmith vividly illustrate Petronel Malan’s uniquely captivating style. Lauded by reviewers as an unmistakably creative force in the classical music industry, Petronel’s critical acclaim culminated in nomination for three Grammy® Awards and “The American Prize of Excellence in the Arts” award, among many others. She  maintains a full performance schedule as recitalist, orchestral soloist and chamber musician in major venues throughout the world. After her European debut in Rome, further highlights have included Carnegie Recital Hall, Orchestra Hall (Chicago), and halls in Paris, Budapest, and Salzburg. She has appeared with the St. Petersburg State Orchestra and many others in Europe, the USA and South Africa. She debuted with the Johannesburg Symphony at age ten and subsequently won all major national competitions before becoming a resident of the U.S. She completed both her graduate degrees at the University of North Texas.

The program opens with Vaughan Williams Flourish for Winds (1939) and includes two Karl King marches:  Ragged Rozey (1913) and The Goldman Band (1930).  Also on the program are the Serenade from Sigmund Romberg’s 1924 operetta “The Student Prince,” a collection of big band classics from Duke Ellington, and a medley of Benny Goodman favorites including “Pushin’ Sand,” “Air Mail Special,” “Flying Home,” and “Slipped Disc.” There will also be several Gershwin tunes including a recent arrangement of “Oh Lady Be Good,” led by associate conductor Jill Koerwitz.

Thanks to the generosity of major sponsors Steve Peterson and Lisa Washa, Dick and Mary Wehner, Steve and Lynne Uecker, and KELLY Mouthpieces, there is no admission charge for the concert; a free-will offering will be received. Sponsors’ seating is available at $15 for main floor seating and $100 for a mezzanine box with seating for four. Sponsors receive a program listing and complimentary refreshments. Sponsors’ seating requests may be mailed to “Pops Sponsors, P O Box 1483, FdL WI 54936.”

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