The SUNY Orgnge Syphonic Band to Premire “Dionysian Mysteries”

The SUNY Orange Symphonic Band will offer a collection of premieres of contemporary concert band compositions when it presents its annual Spring Concert at 8 p.m., Saturday, May 12 at Middletown’s historic Paramount Theatre.

Entitled “First Hearing …”, the program will showcase several works receiving either their world or New York State premieres. The highlight of the program will be the world premiere of Carlton L. Winston’s “Dionysian Mysteries.”

Winston, a native of Columbus, Ohio, is a promising young composer whose “When the Great Owl Sings” was a highlight of the band’s 2010 summer concert series. The performance of “Dionysian Mysteries” will include a brief introductory narration written by Winston to complement the music and recorded by principal horn Christine Chase Sacchi under the direction of Kevin Scott, band director.

The evening’s musical slate will also feature the first New York State performance of Gary Powell Nash’s “Giovanna’s Song and Dance,” a festive dance celebrating the birth of his daughter and employing African rhythms alongside jazz and rhythm and blues riffs.

Rounding out the concert are three concertos, including Persis Parshall Vehar’s “Bright Phoenix Ascending” for alto saxophone and wind ensemble, which will be receiving its first performance in Orange County. Featured soloist during this piece will be Tonie DePasquale, chair of the Middletown City Schools District’s music department and vocal/general music teacher at Maple Hill Elementary School.

The remaining concertos include Eric Joseph Richards’ “Dance of the Southern Lights” for piccolo and wind ensemble, and Aaron Copland’s “Quiet City” in an arrangement for wind ensemble by Donald Hunsberger. Stefanie Proulx (below), a senior at Monroe-Woodbury High School, will play a solo during the Richards piece while soloists for the Copland arrangement include Scott Suckling (the band’s principal trumpet player) and Natassia Velez (principal oboist/English Horn).

Rounding out the program will be Maurice C. Whitney’s “Dramatic Episode” and a Glenn Cliffe Bainum arrangement of Jaromir Weinberger’s “Polka and Fugue” from “Schwanda, the Bagpiper.”

The concert is sponsored by the College’s Arts and Communication Department. General admission is $5. SUNY Orange Students with a current ID and active military personnel will be admitted free. The Paramount Theatre, located at 17 South St. in Middletown, is universally accessible. For more information, contact the Arts and Communication Department at (845) 341-4787.

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