The Baker Orange

Department of Music and Theatre spring lineup

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Image by Sarah Baker.

Image by Sarah Baker.

Sarah Baker

Sarah Baker

Image by Sarah Baker.

Story by Sarah Baker, Editor

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Band

With six instrumental performances and activities scheduled during the semester, Director of Bands Frank Perez has been busy making preparations.

For starters, the High School Honor Band Festival and Concert will be held Thursday, Feb. 9. With 223 high schoolers entered, Perez is unsure if this is the largest turnout, but he knows that it is close.

Perez said that this concert will be a great opportunity for recruitment if BU musicians can impress high school students and their parents.

Two weeks later, on Feb. 22, the Baker Band will combine with the Baldwin High School band for a concert at the Performing Arts Center. Another two weeks after that, the Jazz Ensemble will hold their own concert on March 9.

Perez is also excited for the Trombone Day Workshop set for April 22.

The two largest instrumental concerts of semester will bring the 2016-17 school year to a close. The Symphonic Winds Guest Artist Concert, featuring percussionist Von Hansen, will be on May 4, and the Chris Grubb Memorial Jazz Concert will be on May 10.

Drumline

You can expect to hear from Baker University’s newly formed drumline members this semester in a variety of settings.

Adjunct Instructor of Music Andrew Foerschler said that the percussion ensemble will make appearances at band concerts, basketball games and anywhere needed.

“We’re looking forward this semester to expanding further beyond drumline music and into the realm of modern chamber music,” he said. “I’m excited to share that with the rest of the community.”

Choir

The Baker University Combined Choirs will be practicing all semester for their most prominent performance, “Masterwork Concert” on April 28. Audience members can expect to hear works from Mozart, Thomas Tallis, Thomas Morley, Josquin des Prez and more.

On April 9, the Concert Choir will perform with Grace Cathedral Choir in Topeka as part of an Evensong service, during which University of Missouri Director of Choral Activities Paul Crabb will conduct the choirs. The choirs will also be joined by a professional orchestra and guest soloists.

Theater

Director of Choral Activities Cathy Crispino will serve as musical director for the first theater production of the semester, “Ernest in Love,” which is a musical version of Oscar Wilde’s 1895 play “The Importance of Being Earnest.” That will premiere during the first week of March.

“The cast is working hard on “Ernest in Love” Associate Professor of Theatre Tom Heiman said. “[It is] one of the wittiest plays in the English language, according to my history book, and number seven on the greatest plays ever written list.”

The second production of the semester will be Jane Chambers “A Late Snow” a story of five gay women trapped in a cabin overnight because of snow. BU theater performers have put on one of Chambers’ plays before, “Last Summer in Bluefish Cove,” and Heiman says it was a conversation starter, so he hopes this production will have the same effect.

“[Last Summer in Bluefish Cove] prompted tremendous audience conversation on a variety of subjects, and we believe this will do the same,” Heiman said.

Orchestra

The Baker University Orchestra will only perform one concert this semester, but it will be a unique one. On May 9, the group will combine with the Johnson County Community Orchestra to play “one of the most iconic orchestral works ever written,” Director of Orchestral Activities Mark Pretzel said.

Pretzel is not mentioning what will be on the program for the Spring Orchestra Concert just yet, but he promises that it will be a great concert.

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