BRATTLEBORO — This Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Brattleboro Union High School Auditorium, something will happen that hasn’t in 20 months: the music department ensembles will perform for a live audience. Admission will be strictly limited to those holding tickets. Each performer will receive two tickets for family or friends, but no tickets will be made available to the public.
The concert will feature all four of the department’s ensembles. It will begin with the concert band, celebrating the return of live concerts with Randall Standridge’s “Celebration.”
The band will continue with a commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, performing the opening movement of the German Requiem of Johannes Brahms, whose title translates to “Blessed Are They.” The concert band’s program culminates with “Alegre” by Pulitzer Prize-winning Cuban-American composer Tania León.
BUHS Madrigals next take the stage. They will kick things off with a light-hearted, humorous English madrigal adaptation of the Spice Girls’ hit “Wannabe.” The fun continues with a popular sea chanty, “Wellerman,” which includes solos, duets and trios. The group will end with “When October Goes,” by Johnny Mercer and Barry Manilow, featuring lush, intricate jazz harmonies.
Madrigals will be followed by the jazz band. The set opens with an original blues tune by Mike Tomaro, titled “Lose the Shoes.” This will be followed by Mike Kamuf’s arrangement of the Freddie Hubbard rock-style standard, “Red Clay.” The jazz band closes with Erik Morales’s arrangement of “Dat Dere.”
The chorus will close the concert, beginning with “Lovely Day” by Bill Withers, featuring four student solos. The chorus will continue with the somber “In This Ancient House” (Momoshiki Ya) by Ruth Morris Gray, in Japanese and English. They will then sing “Thixo Onothando,” a popular isiXhosa hymn performed throughout South Africa and arranged by South African professor Michael Barrett. They will finish the program with the newly published choral piece, “I Am Possibility,” by David Von Kampen and Becky Boesen.
Vocal ensembles are directed by Julie Ackerman-Hovis, who is new to the BUHS music department this year. Instrumental groups are directed by Stephen Rice. The chorus will be accompanied by Cathy Martin. For information, call 802-451-3511.