Friday, June 20, 2014

Intermezzo : Sunday, January 11 @ 3pm

Cliff Newton Trumpet
Jonathan M. Lacey Trombone
Bill Prince Trumpet, Sax, Clarinet, Flute
Dennis Hunsicker Accordion
Bonita Sonsini Wyke Piano
  • BORIS BLACHER: Divertimento for Trumpet, Trombone and Piano
  • FRIGYES HIDAS: Fantasia for Solo Trombone
  • ERIC EWAZEN: An Elizabethan Songbook for Trumpet, Trombone and Piano
  • ALLEN VIZZUTTI: The Enchanted Trumpet
  • DARIUS MILHAUD: Selections from Saudades Do Brasil
  • MILY BALAKIREV: Georgian Song (from 20 Lieder nach Verschiedenen Dichtern)
  • ASTOR PIAZZOLLA: Three Tangos (arr. by Aníbal Troilo)

Although Cliff Newton retired from the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra after 32 years as Principal Trumpet, in addition to teaching he maintains a busy and varied performance schedule that out-paces what most college freshmen could handle. Formerly a member of the NORAD Band in Colorado Springs, Colorado, he currently is Acting Principal Trumpet for the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra and performs as soloist with the Belle Fleur String Quartet and the Palm Court Society Orchestra. He also is co-founder and an active member and of the Ancient City Brass Band, as well as of The One Step Ahead of the Law Brass Band (Edelweiss Piraten), a polka/oompah ensemble. A native of Central Florida, Cliff began studying trumpet at age 12 and received Bachelor degrees in Music Performance and Music Education from the University of South Florida. He later earned a Master's degree in Trumpet Performance with an emphasis on college-level teaching from the University of Northern Colorado. Mr. Newton has been an instructor of trumpet at the Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, Canada, as well as at Jacksonville University and the University of North Florida, and currently teaches through the North Florida Conservatory. An aficionado of early jazz, Argentine tango and American Civil War era brass band music in addition to classical,  Cliff and his wife, J-Sym violinist Glynda Newton, have provided live music for both private and public functions since 1978 through their company, Newton Musical.

A native son of Albany Georgia, Jonathan M. Lacey is bass trombonist with the Savannah Philharmonic and Valdosta Symphony orchestras, and also performs with the St. Augustine Symphony and Ancient City Brass Band. Mr. Lacey previously has performed with the Albany Symphony Orchestra, the Macon Symphony Brass, the Ocala Symphony Orchestra, the Voyager of the Seas Orchestra, and Italy's Rome Festival Orchestra. He toured Florida and Georgia as a founding member of the Valdosta State University Presidential Brass Quintet, and as a jazz artist has performed with the Ed Barr Jazz Orchestra, and at the North Sea Jazz Festival and the Montreaux Jazz Festival. He received a Bachelor's Degree in Bass Trombone Performance from Valdosta State University, where he currently teaches while completing his Master’s degree. He is researching the history and development of the trombone, which he plans to continue while working toward a Doctor of Musical Arts degree.

Bill Prince, professor emeritus at the University of North Florida, has performed with numerous bands and orchestras including Buddy Rich, Billy Maxted, Pee Wee Hunt, the NORAD Band, the Denver, Ft. Lauderdale, Palm Beach and Jacksonville Symphonies, the American Wind Symphony Orchestra, Xavier Cugat, Ray Anthony, Tex Beneke, Les and Larry Elgart, Harry James, Tommy Dorsey, and Louis Bellson. He has appeared in televised broadcasts in the United States, Canada, Japan, the Philippines, Costa Rica, Colombia and Ecuador, and has performed on over 70 albums including his "The Best Kept Secret in Jazz." His performing instruments include trumpet, flugelhorn, trombone, flute, clarinet, saxophone, piano, and electric bass. For his own CD, "Happy Thoughts," he composed, arranged and performed all the parts himself. Bill holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree with a major in Theory and Composition from the University of Miami. He has taught at Florida Atlantic U, the U of Colorado/Denver, St. Francis Xavier U, Nova Scotia, the U of North Florida, and served as a visiting lecturer in South Africa. Dr. Prince has appeared in all 50 states and 80 countries, and his compositions and arrangements have been performed and recorded by professional and student jazz ensembles throughout the United States and Canada.

Dennis Hunsicker began his musical career studying concert accordion at the Neupauer Conservatory of Music in Philadelphia. During this time he was a member of the PAO Orchestra in Philadelphia as well as a featured pearformer with the Allentown and Lancaster symphonies. After graduation he joined the US Navy CINCLANT (NATO) band where he toured the Eastern US, Spain, Italy, Greece and France. Dennis continues his eclectic musical interests and performs with a wide variety of musical groups including the River City Continentals, the renaissance band La Dolce Vit, the Palm Court Society Orchestra, One Step Ahead of the Law Brass Band and Bella Voce Cabaret. He also teaches, and has performed several seasons with the Amelia Island Music Festival, the “Georgia Artists in the Schools" program, and the Madison Georgia Chamber Music Festival.

Bonita Sonsini Wyke has been an active part of the Jacksonville music community since 1985, and in working with many of the First Coast's leading vocalists, instrumentalists and musical ensembles has earned the reputation as a musician of unsurpassed sensitivity, technical skill and artistry. Originally from Los Angeles, California, she has performed for over four decades as a collaborative pianist and harpsichordist with singers, choral groups, instrumental soloists, and orchestral and instrumental ensembles, and especially enjoys four-hand piano literature. She has been the music director for a wide variety of stage productions, including opera, musical theater and ballet.  In addition to coaching seasoned performers, Ms. Sonsini Wyke has helped student musicians hone their craft at a number of area universities and music schools. While maintaining a busy recital schedule, Bonita also currently serves as Staff Choral Accompanist at Florida State College at Jacksonville.

The son of an international banker, German composer Boris Blacher (1903-1975) spent his childhood and teens in China and Siberia. In 1922 he moved to Berlin, first pursuing mathematics and architecture before switching his studies to music. Despite having his “un-German” musical style condemned by the Nazi’s, Blacher began teaching composition at the Dresden Conservatory in 1937. But he was dismissed two years later and soon went into hiding, fearing his grandfather’s Jewish heritage might be discovered. After the War Blacher taught until his retirement in 1971. By the 1950s he had followed many other academic composers into what became the 12-tone Mainstream, but his breezy Divertimento, op. 31 was written in 1936, when his somewhat jazzy cosmopolitan style reflected more the Neoclassicism of Stravinsky, Poulenc and Milhaud.

The catalog of 135 works by Hungarian composer and conductor Frigyes Hidas (1928-2007) includes operas, ballets, concertos and other orchestral works, and vocal and choral music. But it is for his band music and chamber music for wind instruments that he is most famous, and 67 of his compositions feature brass instruments. The first of several works commissioned by Hungarian trombonist Gusztáv Höna, Hidas's Fantasia for Solo Trombone was written in 1977 (according to Höna) and published in 1979. Very popular among trombonists, the 3-1/2 minute piece has been recorded more than 20 times.

Since 1980, Ohio-born Eric Ewazen (b. 1954) has been a composition professor at The Juilliard School, where he received both his M.M. and D.M.A. degrees after having received his B.M. from the Eastman School of Music. Among others, his principle teachers included Milton Babbitt and Joseph Schwantner, but Ewazen's own style has evolved into one perhaps more closely aligned with “populist” style of Aaron Copland. The recipient of numerous composition prizes and prestigious international commissions, Dr. Ewazen has been lecturer for the New York Philharmonic's Musical Encounters Series, Vice-President of the League of Composers--International Society of Contemporary Music, and Composer-In-Residence with the Orchestra of St. Luke's in New York City. He arranged his Elizabethan Songbook (1998) from vocal duets originally for mezzo-soprano and tenor with piano.

American trumpeter, composer and music educator Allen Vizzutti (b. 1952) earned a B.M., M.M., Performer's Certificate, and the only Artist's Diploma ever awarded to a wind player from the Eastman School of Music—where as a freshman he already was touring with the faculty brass quintet. Equally comfortable in jazz, pop and classical idioms, Vizzutti has performed with international artists and ensembles ranging from Chick Corea and Doc Severinsen to a multitude of major symphony orchestras on every continent except Antartica. Originally included in a collection of eight pieces entitled Explorations, the hauntingly beautiful The Enchanted Trumpet dates from 2002 and is also sometimes performed with organ accompaniment.

Modernist French composer Darius Milhaud (1892-1974) rose to fame as one of Les Six, a group of young Parisian composers linked to Jean Cocteau and Erik Satie. Inspired by a visit to South America in 1917-18, in 1920 Milhaud composed his wistful Suadades do Brasil (Yearnings for Brazil), a piano suite that features polytonality (i.e., playing in different keys at the same time). Based on Latin-American tango and samba rhythms, each of the suite's original 12 movements is named for a different neighborhood in Rio De Janeiro.

Although Mikhail Glinka (1804-1857) laid the foundation for Russian Romantic Nationalism in music, it was composer, pianist and conductor Mily Balakirev (1837-1910) who became the movement's chief architect during the second half of the 19th Century. Except for the monstrously difficult Islamey for piano solo, Balakirev's music is now mostly neglected, but by age 25 he had become the cornerstone of The Five (aka “The Mighy Handful”), a group of young composers who strove to create forms and melodies born of Russian folk music rather than Germanic symphonic traditions. Georgian Song (1863) is the 19th of Balakirev's 20 Songs after Various Poets. Inspired by an often-set poem of Alexander Pushkin (“Do not sing for me, my beauty, Your sad Georgian songs of yore…”), Balakirev conjures an appropriately “oriental” atmosphere by using florid embellishments and exotic melodic gestures—which musicologist Richard Taruskin says are actually more akin to Armenian, Turkish and Persian folk music than to Georgian.

Ástor Piazzolla (1921-1992) pretty much single-handedly reinvented the Argentine national dance, the tango, transforming it into a new style aptly called nuevo tango ("new tango"). Born in Argentina, Piazzolla spent most of his childhood in New York, and there he gained exposure to and a fondness for jazz and classical music. But through his father's influence he also gained proficiency on the bandoneón, a type of concertina that is a staple of Argentine tango ensembles, and when he returned to Argentina in 1937 he played with some of the leading bands in Buenos Aires. He also began the serious study of composition with noted composer Alberto Ginastera, and then in Paris with legendary composition teacher Nadia Boulanger. When he returned to Argentina in 1955, his "new tango," which infused traditional elements with characteristics of jazz and incorporated contrapuntal techniques and formal elements adapted from his classical studies, was met with resistance in his homeland, but Europeans and North Americans were captivated by it and his international career blossomed. It is estimated that he composed over a staggering 3,000 pieces, and he recorded about 500 of them himself!

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