Gustavus Presents Home Concerts of Symphony and Jazz

Posted on March 24th, 2006 by

The Department of Music presents the Home Concerts for the Gustavus Symphony Orchestra and the Gustavus Jazz Lab Band as the ensembles return from their annual spring break concert tours. The Symphony, under the direction of Warren Friesen, open the weekend with a 7:30 p.m. concert on Friday, April 7. The Jazz ensemble and director Steve Wright will follow with their home concert and guest trombonist Dave Graf on Saturday, April 8, at 7:30 p.m. Both performances will take place in Jussi Björling Recital Hall and are free and open to the public.

The Gustavus Symphony Orchestra’s ten-day, eleven-concert spring tour includes stops in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Illinois. Along the way, the ensemble and conductor Warren Friesen will present concerts in Rochester, Duluth, the historic Ironwood Theatre in Ironwood, Michigan, and churches throughout Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin. Their program includes works by Mozart, Bedrich Smetana, Georges Bizet, Franz Schubert, Johannes Brahms and others. The orchestra premiered Nemisis, a work by Gustavus visiting professor in music Michele Gillman, and performed alumnus Steven Heitzeg’s Symphony to a Prairie Farm at the recent Gustavus Music Showcase at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis. Both works are included in this concert tour program. Other works include Symphony No. 8 in B minor (Unfinished) by Franz Schubert and the Scottish Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra by Max Bruch, with concertmaster Colin McGuire of Mankato as the soloist.

The Gustavus Jazz Lab Band and director Steve Wright return from its spring tour to Denver to present its Home Concert on Saturday, April 8 at 7:30 p.m. in Jussi Björling Recital Hall. This tour included several benefit concerts raising funds for projects as diverse as the restoration of Fairmont’s Opera House and the music program at the high school, to events to raise funds for the summer ELCA national youth gathering in San Antonio and Hurricane Katrina Relief, to a benefit to help cover medical expenses for a young jazz vocalist in Denver. In addition to eight concerts, the band will present three high school clinics and one live broadcast on Denver-area television.

Their concert includes a wide variety of works for traditional big band and contemporary jazz ensemble. The program includes works by Dizzy Gillespie, Mike Tomaro, Duke Ellington, Wayne Shorter, Sammy Nestico, Chick Corea and others. The energy generated by the 2006 Gustavus Jazz Lab Band and the program’s variety will certainly offer something for everyone.

This weekend’s Home Concerts are free and open to the public. The events begin at 7:30 p.m. in Jussi Björling Recital Hall.


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