Old warhorses and a few contemporary fast ponies hit the last stretch of the symphonic classical music scene in Humboldt County this month. Whether you prefer a rousing tuba concerto, a delightful viola trio, or operatic Latin masses, the North Coast's lively and talented musicians will not disappoint.
HSU kicks off May's spring concert season with several diverse offerings from its school of music. The Humboldt Symphony, under the baton of Paul Cummings, features the Winter and Spring concerti of Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons." HSU Music professor Cindy Moyer will perform solo violin.
Also on the program are Mozart's "Overture to The Magic Flute" and Schubert's "Unfinished Symphony," both warhorses of great stature, but the symphony will also offer up a fast pony, "Danza Final," by Argentine composer Alberto Ginestera. "It starts fast and ends fast -- it's just relentless in its driving rhythms," Cummings said.
Humboldt Symphony performs on Friday, May 6, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, May 8, at 3 p.m. in HSU's Fulkerson Recital Hall.
Expect a mighty sound when the HSU Symphonic Band and the Eureka High School Symphonic Band share the Fulkerson Hall stage Saturday, May 7. HSU Symphonic Band will feature a tuba concerto by contemporary English composer Edward Gregson with tuba instructor Fred Tempas as soloist. The ensemble will also perform works by Rossini as well as contemporary Spanish and American composers.
Eureka High School's symphonic band will perform works by contemporary Los Angeles concert band composer Frank Ticheli and John Philip Sousa.
The two groups will meld into an 80-piece blastissimo ensemble that will cut loose with the powerful "Elegy for a Young American" by Ronald Lo Presti, a memorial to President John F. Kennedy that premiered five months after his assassination. HSU Symphonic Band, conducted by Kenneth Ayoob, and Eureka High School Symphonic Band, conducted by Gwen Gastineau-Ayoob, will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 7, in HSU's Fulkerson Recital Hall.
HSU's University Singers and the Humboldt Chorale share the stage to perform choral classics and settings for Latin masses and musical choruses at Fulkerson Recital Hall on Sunday night, May 8.
The University Singers present three settings of the central text of the Latin Mass, "The Sanctus," with works by Charles Gounod, John Burge and Gabriel Faure. Other pieces include a sacred motet by Baroque composer Il Padre Giovanni Baptisma. Rounding out the program will be Josephine Poelintiz's "City Called Heaven" and "The Lone Wild Bird,' a Presbyterian hymn arranged by University Singers director and HSU Music Professor Harley Muilenberg.
The Humboldt Chorale, a community group with singers of all ages conducted by Carol Ryder, will perform selections of opera choruses including "The Brindisi" from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata, "Dido's Lament" from Dido and Aeneas and choruses from Rossini's "William Tell" and Verdi's "Nabucco." The concert starts at 8 p.m.
On a lighter note check out talented chamber musicians of the trio ensemble Trillium. Dana Christen, piano, Karen Sack, clarinet and Sherry Hanson, viola, are active local performers. Hanson and Sack both play in the Eureka Symphony. Christen accompanies local choral groups.
The trio will perform chamber music by Mozart, Bruch and Reinecke. Concert time is 8 p.m. Saturday, May 14, at the Fortuna Monday Club, 610 Main Street in Fortuna.
The final round up of May's classical offerings features the Eureka Symphony at the Arkley Center for Performing Arts May 20 and 21 at 8 p.m. Performances feature "Escapades" by John Williams with soloists Virginia Ryder on alto saxophone and Jonathan Kipp, vibraphone. Tchaikovsky's "5th Symphony" and Libby Larsen's "Deep Summer Music" are sure to please. Get your tickets at the Arkley Center.