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Central Arizona Concert Band to perform Sunday

April begins the season when Prescott residents and visitors alike begin to enjoy strolls around the square, evoking memories of simpler times perhaps as depicted in Norman Rockwell’s paintings with the local band playing from the bandstand. Well, we have that band in the form of the Central Arizona Concert Band, the group that provides free concerts on the square on balmy summer evenings and that same group that you can hear on Sunday, April 10, in a presentation of some exciting new music and lots of old favorites.

This concert brings to a close the band’s 19th regular season with a wide variety of musical selections ranging from the traditional to the contemporary. For instance, the extraordinary talents of two of our flautists will be presented in a duet, “Three Dances for Two Flutes,” by composer Gary Schocker. Jamie Ondrusek is active in the local music scene as founder of the High Desert Flute Circle and as soloist with other ensembles. He recently passed the Royal Conservatory Level 8 examination in flute performance. Beverly Chesterby has taught and organized performances for her students from her private studio in Prescott for more than 20 years. She and her ensembles are a regular feature of the Acker Night performances.

In “Three Dances for Two Flutes” (1993), each movement includes a motif taken from the orchestral flute literature. The first movement, easygoing, is in the form of a chorinho (a Brazilian dance) and quotes the main theme from Strauss's Til Eulenspiegel. The second movement, moody, again quotes Strauss: the “Dance of the Seven Veils” from Salome. Finally, Coffee Nerves includes part of the flute solo from Beethoven's “Leonore Overture No. 3.”

The remainder of the program speaks to a variety of musical tastes. There is a symphonic scenario from the popular television series of the early 1950s, “Victory at Sea.” Composer Richard Rodgers compiled this medley of tunes from some 24 themes that he wrote for the show. Johannes Brahms somewhat grudgingly wrote the “Academic Festival Overture” as a “thank you” to the University of Breslau for having awarded him an honorary doctorate. True to his nature as a joker, Brahms filled the work with a potpourri of student drinking songs.

Continuing in the mood of the unusual, you will hear Percy Grainger’s clog dance, “Handel in the Strand.” This piece is typical Grainger, a piano prodigy turned composer about whom his admirers have said that he possesses the “supreme virtue of never being dull.”

Rounding out the afternoon concert are rousing marches including King’s “Carrollton March,” Henry Fillmore’s “The Circus Bee March,” John Philip Sousa’s “The Liberty Belle March” and a double quick step, “Pas Redouble,” by Camille Saint-Saens.

All this takes place at the Davis Learning Center on the Embry-Riddle campus at 3700 Willow Creek Road on Sunday, April 10, beginning at 3 p.m. Tickets at the door are $10 for adults and $3 for students with ID.

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