Roanoke College Jazz And Wind Ensembles To Present Holiday Concert

The Jazz and Wind Ensemble performing.
The Jazz and Wind Ensemble performing.

The Roanoke College Jazz and Wind Ensembles under the direction of Dr. Joseph Blaha will present its annual joint Holiday Concert Thursday, December 8, in the Olin Hall Theater at 7:30 p.m.

The concert will feature the Jazz Ensemble performing arrangements of such diverse tunes as Sammy Nestico’s exciting “Basie Straight Ahead,” written for and recorded by the Count Basie Orchestra, and a very complex work influenced by the rhythms of India by guitarist, Pat Metheny. There will be the usual salute to funk and fusion with Bill Liston’s “Fall Madness” and a samba offering of the familiar “Tico, Tico” by Zequinha Abreu. The ballad for the evening will feature Roanoke College trombonist, Peter Foxen, performing the Stan Kenton Orchestra version of “Polka Dots and Moonbeams” arranged by Bill Holman. Band vocalist and trumpeter, Dumar Daniel, will put his own holiday spin on the old, familiar, “Ain’t Misbehavin.’

The Wind Ensemble will open its portion of the concert with Blaha’s own, The Kiron Processional, a work that coincidentally has themes based on the first four notes of two familiar Christmas carols. The band will then follow up with William Slocum’s arrangement of Girolamo Frescobaldi’s magnificent, Toccata. Other compositions will include the dynamic tribute to those fallen in battle entitled, Black Granite, by former arranger for The United States Army Band (Pershing’s Own), James L. Hosay and Malcolm Arnold’s fiery Four Scottish Dances. The evening will conclude with a concert suite of music from the holiday motion picture, The Polar Express, composed by Alan Silvestri and Glen Ballard—a piece that coincidentally uses a theme based on the first four notes of a famous Christmas carol.

The concert is free and open to the public. No tickets are required.