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April 10 – Instrument Wannabe

Leroy Anderson: Sandpaper Ballet
Percussionists are great at making sounds on hundreds of different instruments—even those that aren’t normally seen outside of the hardware store! In this piece, Leroy Anderson asks percussionists to imitate the sound of vaudevillian softshoe with two knobbed blocks covered in sandpaper.

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March 28 – Little Secrets

Aaron Copland: Fanfare for the Common Man
Aaron Copland knew a thing or two about the power of brevity. In this piece, dedicated to those who fought in World War II, he used only percussion and brass, creating a starkly moving sound that won him the 1964 Presidential Medal of Freedom.

March 29 – Heavenly Hybrid

Billy Mayerl: Waltz for a Lonely Heart
Composers needn’t be living in the same era to find inspiration on one another. After all, Prokofiev composed his “Classical” Symphony No. 1 two centuries after Haydn had died. Sometimes the influence comes from many directions at once. The music you hear in this clip might sound like Tchaikovsky…or Gershwin…or Borodin. But no—it’s British master of light music, Billy Mayerl!

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March 30 – Movie Music

Jacob Gade: Jalousie, Tango Tsigane
You may not have seen of the 1925 hit film Don Q – Son of Zorro, but you probably have heard its most famous component: Jacob Gade’s Tango Jalousie. This piece has far outlived the popularity of the film with which it originally appeared; it also put Danish film music on the world stage for the first time.

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March 31 – Classical Superstars

Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov: The Tale of Tsar Sultan: The Flight of the Bumblebee (arr. Cziffra)
Some classical superstars are famous not only for their musical prowess, but also for overcoming tremendous setbacks to achieve greatness.  Join KING FM’s Lisa Bergman on this episode of Explore Music as she delves into the life of one such master, who was known as “The Magical Hungarian Improviser.”

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April 1 – Comical Composer

Gioacchino Rossini: The Thieving Magpie: Overture
Jokesters in classical music? A borderline stand-up comic, Italian composer Gioacchino Rossini was a hoot! Composer of the Overture to The Thieving Magpie, he wrote an unexpected opening blast on the drums just to make sure everyone was awake. Rossini’s sense of humor and wit were essential to his composing.

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April 2 – Instrument Wannabe

Hans Christian Lumbye: Champagne Galop
Listen for an unusual popping sound in the orchestra…can you name that “instrument”?

Friday, March 23 at 8pm: ECCO Chamber Ensemble

The Ecco Chamber Ensemble, soprano Stacey Mastrian, flutist and composer Sarah Bassingthwaighte, and guitarist and composer Mark Hilliard Wilson, work to build concerts around the intersection of art and social change.