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By Heidi Tanner
Special to The PREVIEW
Get ready for a wonderful treat.
The second annual Band O’ Rama presented by the Pagosa Springs Community Band is right around the corner on Saturday, March 23, at 7 p.m. at the high school auditorium. Admission to this concert is free.
Our Spring Band O’ Rama concert features our middle school and high school bands along with our own band. We kicked off this event last year and had a great time sharing the stage with Pagosa’s student bands.
This year’s performance promises to be even better and will feature a very special soloist playing a very special piece — pianist Venita Burch will be playing George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.” In addition to lushly beautiful and fast-paced solo piano lines, “Rhapsody in Blue” also features some wonderful jazz themes for the clarinet, and we are proud to showcase our own Jarrett Chaney playing his clarinet on this exciting piece that is a significant contribution to the blending of classical and jazz traditions in America.
Our middle school’s sixth-grade band will lead off our concert. These kids are our beginners, but you would not know it by listening to them. Next, we will hear from the middle school’s eighth-grade band, our advanced players at the middle school. The middle school band will be under the direction of new band director Malinda Fultz, who was born and raised in Pagosa Springs and is also a member of the Community Band.
Following the middle school band will be our high school jazz and concert bands under the baton of Pagosa Springs High School music director Dan Burch, again also a member of the Community Band. The high school bands are always a treat to listen to.
The Community Band is a full concert band and includes woodwind, brass, string and percussion instruments. Our band is under the direction of Larry Baisdon, a retired music educator from the Houston, Texas, area who has made Pagosa Springs his home along with his wife Kathy for the past 12 years. Along with “Rhapsody in Blue,” Larry has chosen some other interesting and varied pieces for this concert such as Malaguena by Ernesto Lecuona, which has a classic Spanish flair. We will also be playing “Caravan,” a jazz standard which was first performed and made famous by Duke Ellington in 1936 and is a fun and familiar piece. Lastly, we will play, “The Cowboys,” the theme song from the 1972 John Wayne movie by the same name written by John Williams, another prolific American composer, particularly of cinematic music. As our finale all bands will join together on the stage to play the patriotic “This is My Country.”
Please join us for a memorable concert on Saturday, March 23, at 7 p.m. at the high school auditorium. Remember, admission to our concert is free. We look forward to seeing you there.