Thursday, February 8, 2018

TrumpetFest: Benefit CSS and celebrate the trumpet

This Sunday, February 11th, there's an opportunity to hear great trumpet music and support the work of Catholic Social Services (CSS) by attending TrumpetFest at Pius X High School. Featuring local trumpeters Darryl White, Kevin Murray, Maria Pytlik, and more, this annual event is in memory of Mac McCune and Dennis Schneider. A free-will offering is collected for the benefit of CSS.
Sun. Feb. 11, 2018 from 3:00-4:30pm at Pius X High School

Kevin Murray, the event organizer and lifelong lover of trumpet, shared with LincolnCMN what the inspiration for TrumpetFest was:

"A friend told me that without CSS counseling, his son would not still be alive. I was on the golf fundraiser committee that is in August, so I decided to start something in the winter to help. Since I was always looking for some place to play myself and I knew most of the locals, I decided to have a Trumpetfest."
The best shows, according to Murray,  "were when Mac and Denny were playing with us." Now, the show is in honor of these local trumpet legends. 

 Darryl White, trumpet professor at UNL, will perform at TrumpetFest along with members of the UNL trumpet studio. His favorite memories of past TrumpetFests were the chances to "make music" with Denny Schneider and Mac McCune. "I miss those guys," he shared, but as audience members get the chance to hear trumpet, White says that they can look forward to hearing "a variety of trumpets that the general public may have never heard before" and "the program selection will include all types of music ranging from classical, jazz, and original music written by some of the performers."

The best thing about the trumpet according to White? "It’s versatility for sure. It can sound as soft and sweet as child’s voice, as lyrical as operatic soprano voice and as powerful as the trumpets in heaven!" His performance of Sicilienne by Maria Von Paradis will be a moment of that sweet and lyrical side of the instrument while he'll also close with great improv.

Maria Pytlik will perform this year again as well: 
"I started playing the trumpet when I was seven years old, and the best part of playing the trumpet in my opinion is the ability to express emotion through the horn and make those listening feel the emotion that is being expressed. I first played for TrumpetFest when I was nine years old, and my favorite experience was listening to Mac McCune play When the Saints Go Marching In."
 Whether you choose to attend TrumpetFest to support the work of CSS, because you love the trumpet, or because you'd like to hear all the variety the instrument has to offer for the first time you're in for a treat!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Guitar and Flute: A Happy Meeting Bringing You an Evening of Music

A musical duo of guitar and flute will present a concert entitled Duo Primo on February 4th at 4:00pm at O'Donnell Auditorium on the Wesleyan campus (Tickets $10, Students $5, Free up to age10). Musicians Betsy Bobenhouse and Antonio Forgione spoke with LincolnCMN about the upcoming performance. 
Forgione is excited that:

"The concert will feature some of the best composers who wrote for flute and guitar, from Mauro Giuliani, who made by far the largest 19th century contribution with 22 compositions, to Astor Piazzolla, who dedicated to this ensemble the celebrated Histoire du Tango."

The duo met, according to Bobenhouse, "last April through mutual musical friends. We had both played flute/classical guitar repertoire in the past and were excited to do so again." With Forgione having moved from Italy in 2011, he said, I missed my friends flutists in Italy, but it was only by chance that I met Betsy and the excitement about doing a duo was immediate" since he'd played guitar since the age of 11 and flute was the first instrument that "gave me the feeling of a perfect match with the guitar."

With both members of the duo having played guitar/flute music before, there are carefully selected favorites as well as some that are new to them both such as a piece by Libby Larsen.

What brought them to a love of music and a life with their instruments?

For Forgione, "The guitar happened to be my instruments just by chance, after a gift from a friend. I would say that it really chose me rather than the contrary,"and he feels that classical guitar is the "'ultimate' guitar" because while "not many big names of the history of music dedicated their efforts to this instrument, [...] still what the classical guitar repertoire can offer is extremely fulfilling and second to none especially in the 20th century. It challenges the hands and the mind in directions that every young musician can find rewarding."

Bobenhouse had an early start and exposure to music since her "father played French horn in the Omaha Symphony for over 30 years and my sister joined OSO as a 'cellist when she was 18 years-old." But Bobenhouse chose the flute for its sound, and while she's been playing and teaching the instrument for years, the thing she loves the most is "starting a rank beginner; it is so much fun introducing children to the music, in general, and the flute, in particular. It doesn't matter to me if a student intends to pursue a career in music because music is for everyone!"

Music is indeed for everyone, and this performance is a perfect way to experience music for those who've loved it for years or those who are just discovering the beauty of music--especially the classical sounds of guitar and flute duo!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Music of another time in a place that takes you back

St. Thomas Aquinas Church
photo credit:
Once again, Lincoln Choral Artists brought together musicians from around the community to make an afternoon of musical memories. Featuring "music of and inspired by the Renaissance," guest performers were Dulces Voces, the instrumental ensemble, Lincoln Early Music Consort, and Dan Ahlin at the organ.

In the incredible space of the St. Thomas Aquinas Newman Center, the choirs took on the music that has for centuries filled the great spaces of churches. LCA and Dulces Voces tackled a double choir piece, Victoria's Ave Maria. The afternoon was full of beautiful music surrounding the audience with an aural beauty to match the visual beauty of the church.

The lush harmonies of Eric Whitacre's Go Lovely Rose were a jump several hundred years to the future from most of the rest of the program. A few other pieces took us from one century to another, but the result was an afternoon that was a glimpse back in time--and a treat to see more of the talent brought together and the love for music that the wonderful Lincoln community has alive and well.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Orchestra and kids: constant commotion!

Lincoln's Symphony Orchestra (LSO) performed their fall Family Concert this afternoon at O'Donnell Auditorium on the Wesleyan Campus. Maestro Polochick became a lovable father figure of the orchestra as they went about introducing the instrument families to the lost dog, "Treble," actor T. Adam Goos.

For those who've never attended a Family Concert, it's preceded by crafts, photo booth, and instrument "petting zoo" (where kids can take turns playing different instruments). As you head in for the concert, kids receive their programs and a pack of crayons--they can color the picture on their programs and turn it in at the end of the concert for a chance to win a prize!

The concert never lasts more than an hour and yet it's full of a variety of classics and the fun interactions between the orchestra and the actor.

This performance kept the kids moving and learning rhythm, dynamics, conducting, low/high, and all the sections of the orchestra! Each section took turns introducing itself and playing "Linus and Lucy"--strings, brass, woodwinds, and percussion!

A perfect introduction to the orchestra and the world of music and fun for all ages. Save the date for the next Family Concert with LSO on March 4th, 2018.

Friday, October 20, 2017

A captivating choral evening

The Glenn Korff School of Music offered a delightful evening of choral music featuring the All-Collegiate Choir, University Women's Chorale, and Varsity Men's Chorus. Despite the full program and number of performers--the concert lasted just over an hour and each work that was featured was sung with energy and enthusiasm even as the styles changed drastically.

The choir, soloists, and organ beautifully began the concert with Britten's Rejoice in the Lamb. The other choirs featured shorter works some with vibrant energy and rhythm and some with harmonies that set hearts soaring with some favorites being Svatba sung by the University Women's Chorale and Oba Se Je performed by the Varsity Men's Chorus with percussion by Dakota Mathew.

The youth of the choirs and the large number of students joining together to sing made it an evening to share in their youth and enthusiasm: You can listen and experience it as well HERE.