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Blinn College to host four musical performances in six days

Blinn’s Percussion Ensemble, concert bands, Jazz Ensemble, and choirs will showcase free performances

December 1, 2017

The Blinn College Music Program will wrap up the semester with a series of concerts at the Dr. W.W. O’Donnell Performing Arts Center and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.

The Blinn College Percussion Ensemble will perform at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, at the O’Donnell Center; the Blinn bands will perform at 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3, at the O’Donnell Center; the Deep Blue Jazz Ensemble performs at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 5, at the O’Donnell Center; and the Blinn choirs will perform at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church located at 305 West Third Street in Brenham.

“Since these kids work extremely hard all semester it is nice for them to have the audience and community let them know with their applause and attendance that they appreciate it and are rooting for them to succeed,” said Todd Quinlan, Department Head. “These concerts are an accumulation of a semester’s worth of work where they perform standard works as part of their education, and holiday music because of the time of the year.”

Admission is free and open to the public.

The Percussion Ensemble, co-directed by Quinlan and Director of Bands Sarah Burke, will open the concert series with a performance that will feature mixed pieces featuring all the percussion instruments. The ensemble will also play on stools in a performance similar to the percussion group Stomp, which plays on buckets and chairs. The concert will close with holiday favorites such as “Christmas Time is Here” and a jazzier version of “O Christmas Tree” called “Yo! Christmas Tree.”

Blinn College’s Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band will take the stage on Sunday, Dec. 3, and will perform separately with each playing standard band pieces followed by holiday-inspired selections.

The Wind Symphony, directed by Burke, will open with “Joyride,” a combination of “Short Ride in a Fast Machine,” a fast and furious piece, and snippets of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy.” The Wind Symphony will close out with a modern version of “Ave Maria” and the Christmas favorite, “Sleigh Ride.”

The Symphonic Band is directed by Assistant Director of Bands Kendall Prinz and will perform several pieces including “Jubilant Flourishes,” a brilliant and joyful fanfare.  The concert will also include a wonderful programmatic work entitled “The Witch and the Saint”, set in Medieval Europe, which traces the life and tragic demise of twin sisters.  The Holiday portion of their performance will include a haunting rendition of “Greensleeves” by Samuel Hazo entitled “Whisper to their Souls” along with several holiday favorites.

The Jazz Ensemble will perform Tuesday, Dec. 5, and will be co-directed by Craig Garrett and Brian Klekar.

The concert will feature a variety of Jazz styles including swing chart “Back Home Again in Indiana”, the Latin standard “Spain”, a funk arrangement of the theme from “I Love Lucy”, and an arrangement of Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature.”  It will also feature a variety of Christmas standards arranged for Jazz Ensemble like “The First Noel” and “The Christmas Song”, mixed in throughout the concert.

Blinn’s chamber, concert, and women’s choirs will close out the musical performances on Thursday, Dec. 7. Directed by Dr. Paulo Gomes, the concert will be a holiday performance featuring the sounds of the season.

The choirs will sing a variety of Christmas songs, including John Rutter’s “Candlelight Carol,” Dan Forrest’s “The First Noel,” and “O Holy Night.”

Blinn College faculty joining the choir include Jill Stewart on clarinet, Klekar on saxophone, Jessica Owens on flute, Cheryl Amelang and Joe Ellen Hubert on piano, and Soo Yeon Kim will sing “Handel’s Rejoice.”

The Blinn College choirs also will sing Handel’s “Hallelujah” chorus and invite any faculty or staff who have sung the Hallelujah chorus before. If interested, please contact Gomes.

The Music Program is part of Blinn’s Division of Visual/Performing Arts and Kinesiology, which offers courses in architecture, arts, communication studies, kinesiology, music, and theatre.