Saxophonists, from left, Lee McAbee, Willard Hipkins, Tyler Lambert,
Tyree Scott and Jon Loudermilk rehearse for "A Musical Mosaic of
African-American Artistry," coming to Lander University on Thurs. Feb.
Each semester, Lander University's best ensembles and soloists team up to put on what the music department calls its "collage concert."
"A Musical Mosaic of African-American Artistry," as this semester's concert is being called, will feature rapid-fire performances of works by composers like Duke Ellington, Fats Waller, William Grant Still, James Reese Europe, Luckey Roberts and Charles Mingus. The show, scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 9, is expected to add some flair to Lander's celebration of Black History Month.
Lander's Jazz Ensemble, led by associate professor of music Dr. Robert Gardiner, will perform several selections, including Ellington's "Take the 'A' Train" and Mingus' "Better Get Hit in Your Soul." Lander's Wind Ensemble, led by assistant professor of music Dr. Reed Gallo, will likewise be busy, performing Valerie Coleman's "Umoja -- Anthem of Unity" and Still's "Scherzo from Afro-American Symphony." Multiple selections will also be performed by Lander's University Singers and Old Main Singers, directed by associate professor of music Dr. Chuck Neufeld, and Lander's Faculty Brass Quintet will play a pair of tunes, including Waller's "Handful of Keys."
Other highlights include vocal renderings of George Gershwin's "My Man's Gone" and "It Ain't Necessarily So," from "Porgy and Bess," and an arrangement for strings of the spiritual "Deep River." Two piano duos will also be featured -- associate professor of music Dr. Robert Kelley and music major Kelly Hammond will play Europe's "Castle House Rag," and professor emeritus of music Dr. Anthony Lenti and music major Matt Miller will play Roberts' "Pork and Beans."
Gardiner, who organized the event, said the collage concert "has always worked very well in the past," and he expects that this semester's show, scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. in the Josephine B. Abney Auditorium, will likewise be "an interesting and fun concert."
The concert is free and open to the public.