Thursday, February 27, 2020

Spotlight: Area 9 Quartet

Area 9 Quartet
guest ensemble
The Area 9 Quartet is a Boston-based ensemble dedicated to exploring the rich, diverse and ever growing chamber music repertoire for saxophone. Recent performances have included works by Bach, Debussy, Glazunov and Vaughan Williams, as well as compositions by Sidney Bechet, Paul McCartney, Freddie Mercury and Herbie Hancock. Area 9 is also proud to have commissioned and debuted new works by contemporary composers, including Jun Feng’s “Somehow, Tango”, performed at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, MA in 2015, and Michael Kosch’s “Castle in the Air”, which Area 9 premiered at the Metropolitan Playhouse in NYC in December of 2016. For more information about upcoming performances, Area 9 invites you to visit its Facebook page, Area 9 Quartet.

Sean Mix (soprano saxophone) is active as a saxophonist and music educator in Boston, Massachusetts. He has performed throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia, including appearances at Jordan Hall (Boston), MACM Hall (Bangkok), Walt Disney Concert Hall (Los Angeles), The Stone (New York City), and the United States Military Academy (West Point, NY). He has been featured as soloist with the NEC Bach Ensemble, Boston Turkish Film and Music Festival, and at conferences of the North American Saxophone Alliance. Sean is pursuing the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Boston University. He also holds degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music (MM, GD) and the University of Southern California (BM). His teachers have included Kenneth Radnofsky, James Rötter, Tom Bergeron, and Scott Hall. Sean is a member of the music faculty at the Wellesley Public Schools, where he enjoys working with young saxophone and clarinet students.

Area 9 Quartet (l. to r.): Sean Mix (soprano), Seychelle Dunn (alto),
John Rabinowitz (tenor), Kangyi Liu (baritone)
Seychelle Dunn (alto saxophone) is a saxophonist and pianist known for her inclusion of African American artistry in education and performance. Prior to her work in the Greater Boston area, Seychelle worked in education for the Baltimore Public School system and is an alumni member of Morgan State University; a Historical Black College that prides itself on incorporating African American culture through the daily collegiate experience. While attending MSU, Seychelle studied with accomplished composers Dr. James Lee III and Dr. Nkeiru Okoye, as well as, jazz saxophonist Tim Green and pianist Dr. Stephanie Bruning. Upon completing her studies and earning both a B.A. & M.A. degree in music, Seychelle furthered her education at Longy School of Music of Bard College in Cambridge, Ma earning her graduate performance diploma while studying with classical saxophonist Kenneth Radnofsky; in the fall she will continue her studies as a Doctor of Musical Arts candidate in woodwind performance. Currently Seychelle performs with her saxophone quartet, as well as various chamber music settings; in addition to serving as piano faculty at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education and as a freelance teaching artist. She is also highly involved with the surrounding community having served as board member of the Ashmont Hill Chamber Music Society and currently as the Director of Educational Programming with Castle of our skins; an organization that promotes and celebrates black artistry.

John Rabinowitz (tenor saxophone) studied classical piano and music theory at the Longy School before taking up his saxophone studies at The New England Conservatory with Ken Radnofsky. He has performed in a variety of musical settings in greater Boston, including with the jazz groups Prezzi Bomba and Zox Populi, as well as with Les Messengers de la Nouvelle Alliance, an Haitian reggae-gospel band. When not playing music, John reads Shakespeare aloud with inebriated friends, shops obsessively for the perfect side table on Wayfair, and squanders an enormous amount of time perusing football message boards. He is a contented resident of Arlington, MA, though a part of him will always pine for the fjords of northern New Jersey where he grew up.

Kangyi Liu (baritone saxophone) is native of the southern inland city Changsha in China, born into a family of art and literature, where he started playing saxophone in his childhood. At age 15, he was enrolled at the Central Conservatory of Music High School in Beijing as the first saxophone student where he studied with the principle saxophonist of China Youth Wind Symphony. Before coming to the United States, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Central Conservatory of Music, where he was also awarded during his undergraduate study the “National Scholarship” and “National Determined Scholarship” by the Ministry of Education of P. R. China. He was an instructor at Beijing YAMAHA Music Center, and he taught with the China Disabled People’s Performing Art Troupe, an organization for UNESCO Artists for Peace. In 2010, Kangyi continued his education at Longy School of Music with saxophonist Ken Radnofsky. Currently Kangyi is pursuing his Doctoral degree at Boston University in addition to teaching saxophone in the North Andover Public schools.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Neil Tischler Sponsors New Commission

Neil Tischler
Terry White’s Fantasia Latina has been commissioned by Concord Band percussionist Neil Tischler “in celebration of his 48 years with the Concord Band.” Neil wanted to note this milestone with a second commissioned piece that would be published and available to symphonic wind ensembles and bands worldwide. Neil’s first commission for the Band was Dixieland Live! by Lewis Buckley in 2001.

Neil joined the Concord Band at the beginning of the 1972 season after moving to Acton MA from upstate New York. Although he joined his high school band in eighth grade as a percussionist and played throughout high school, Neil had little opportunity to play music while in college and the beginning of his engineering career. So he was very happy to discover the Concord Band and to be able to play with a large ensemble once again.

As a mechanical engineer specializing in product design for 36 years, Neil helped design several medical devices. One was a circulatory support system that provided temporary support for one or both sides of the natural human heart in circumstances where the heart had failed. Best of all, as the last project of his career, he helped create the Solea Dental Laser that is changing the way dentistry is performed; the Solea eliminates the needle and the air drill and thus has the potential to positively affect people’s lives throughout the world.

For our percussion section, Neil has built numerous items that make it easier for the section to play band pieces. These include his unique rolling cymbal stand and modified temple block holder. Neil also constructed a stage support for our grand piano and custom risers for band members. For many years, he’s been the primary drum set player for Dixieland and other jazz or pop numbers. Neil is also well known for his nature photography and has been a longtime provider of outstanding prints of birds and flowers for the Band’s annual raffle. He and his wife Regina continue to live in Acton. The Concord Band is grateful to Neil for his life-long contributions to the Band and to wind band literature.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Composer Terry White

Terry White
composer and guest conductor
Terry White has been a music educator, composer, arranger and band leader in the Portland, Maine area for over 34 years. Terry is a 1975 graduate of Berklee College of Music with a B.M. in Composition, a graduate of the University of New Hampshire with a M.S. in Music Education and has studied composition with John Bavicchi, Hugo Norden and Herb Pomeroy. Terry is has written for many idioms including the Portland Symphony Orchestra, marching band, jazz ensemble and concert band.

As an educator, Terry has taught instrumental music in Maine for 34 years having taught at all levels from beginning band to college jazz ensembles. He presently is retired from teaching, concluding his career as the middle school band director at Cape Elizabeth Middle School in  Maine.

His professional performing career began while still in high school with the Don Doane Big Band, and continued as trumpet player and arranger/composer with the band until 1984. Terry continued with his own big band for many years, releasing a CD entitled This Note’s For You, and presently writes for the Portland Jazz Orchestra. He resides in Westbrook with his wife Mary Ellen and two sons Matthew and Thomas.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Join Us for Festival de Música Española

Winter 2020 Concert Poster
Join the Concord Band 8pm, Saturday, March 7th at 51 Walden St. to celebrate music with a Latin flare! The concert with the theme “Festival de Música Española” will be a fantastic musical voyage to Southern Spain and Andalusia—the mountains of Peru and folk music of the ancient Incas—the fiery dances of Brazil and Cuba—Mexico’s matador marches and wedding dances—and Argentinian street dance. And it will feature the world premiere of Fantasia Latina by Terry White, a new commission sponsored by Concord Band percussionist Neil Tischler.

La Mezquita de Córdoba by Julia Giroux awesomely depicts the mosque (La Mezquita) of the tenth century the city of Córdoba, which was recognized as the most sophisticated city in Europe, treating Christians and Jews with tolerance. Rulers also improved trade and agriculture, patronized the arts, and made valuable contributions to science. According to Giroux’s notes in the score, the grandeur of La Mezquita and its colorful political and religious history has earned it its place as a true wonder of the civilized world.

Carmen Suite is a setting of selected movements from Carmen Suites 1 and 2 transcribed for winds by Lewis J. Buckley. The four-act French opera stunned first-time audiences with its bold story and subject matter, and was highly controversial.

Volver a la Montaña (Return to the Mountain) is the second movement of the four-movement suite and is based on several folk tunes of the Quechua ("Inca") people. The movement opens with a stately processional, followed by a fast dance that uses the characteristic Latin American alternation or simultaneous appearance of two- and three-beat patterns.

Composer Terry White describes Fantasia Latina being based on four Latin dance styles: Tango, Danzon, Songo and Samba. The extended introduction is intended to introduce idiomatic rhythms and motives that are common to the various styles and evolves with unexpected rhythmic and harmonic twists intended to keep the performer and listener from settling into a "groove." Terry White will conduct the premiere.

Amparito Roca and El Relicario are two of the band world’s most popular paso dobles (two-step) marches fashioned around the Spanish bullfight and dramatic entry of the matador and participants. Its Latin flavor is full of colorful Spanish flourish.

A traditional huapango song, La Bamba De Vera Cruz (La Bamba for short) is often played during wed-dings in Veracruz, where the bride and groom perform the accompanying dance. The footwork, called zapateado, builds to a frenzy as the music tempo accelerates to a climactic conclusion.

Guest ensemble Area 9 Saxophone Quartet will make a special appearance performing the Fandango and Choro y Tango movements from Saxophone Quartet (1977) by Spanish composer Aldemaro Romero. The Concord Band's Secretary and alto sax player John Rabinowitz and our baritone saxophone player Kangyi Liu are quartet members.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Festival de Música Española

Winter 2020 Concert Poster
Saturday March 7, 2020, 8:00 pm, at 51 Walden Performing Arts Center promises to be an exciting evening of Latin music. The concert will present the World Premiere of Fantasia Latina, commissioned by Concord Band percussionist Neil Tischler in celebration of his 48 years with the Band, with composer Terry White conducting the premiere.

The Area 9 Quartet will perform the Saxophone Quartet by Aldemaro Romeo. This exciting ensemble features Concord Band members John Rabinowitz (alto saxophone) and Kangyi Liu (baritone saxophone).

– Program –
Fantasia LatinaTerry White
World Premiere
El RelicarioJosé Padilla
La Mezquita de CórdobaJulie Giroux
· Intermission ·
La Bamba de Vera CruzTerig Tucci
Volver a la MontañaShelly Hanson
Carmen SuiteGeorges Bizet;
ed. Lewis Buckley
Amparito RocaJaime Texidor

This is a free concert. Donations at the door will be gratefully accepted.

Note: If this concert is snowed out, it will be rescheduled for 2:00 pm on Sunday afternoon, March 8.