Free Pops Concert Showcases USAO Music Ensembles Oct. 11
CHICKASHA – For one night only this fall, five musical groups are sharing the spotlight for a fun evening of live entertainment as the University of Science and Arts debuts its premiere “Pops Concert” Oct. 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the Te Ata Memorial Auditorium.
The music faculty promises an exciting and eclectic mix as student bands, choirs and other ensembles join for the free, public concert.
“The Pops Concert will be the first collaborative effort of all of the USAO music ensembles in a single performance,” said Dr. Jan Hanson, music professor. “The show will feature many different types of popular music, from vocal jazz to big band. The program is versatile and entertaining with enough variety to please everyone in the audience.”
The USAO ShowBand kicks off the concert with original arrangements of popular hits “Everybody Needs Somebody” by Berke, Berns and Wexler, “You’re Nobody ‘til Somebody Loves You” by Morgan, Stock and Cavanaugh and the classic, “Route 66.” The 18-member student band features brass, rhythm section, drums and five vocalists.
Since its inception five years ago, the ShowBand has performed across the state as ambassadors to USAO. This spring, the ShowBand released its first CD, an album recorded in Nashville by legendary guitarist Harold Bradley.
Joe Settlemires, the youngest surviving member of the Texas Playboys, directs the ShowBand with the assistance of his wife, Donna.
One of the University’s newest groups, the Vocal Jazz Ensemble, debuts with the Frank Sinatra tune “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning,” “Don’t Know Why” by Jesse Harris and jazz standard “A Day in the Life of a Fool.”
Dr. Ken Bohannon, professor of music and director of the ensemble, said the jazz group soon will be available for off-campus performances.
“The Vocal Jazz Ensemble is a new venture with an aim toward publicity and recruitment for the school and the music department,” he said. “While our main focus will be jazz singing, we will also do some classical and popular literature. By January or February, we will be ready to perform in the public schools or for evening banquets or similar events.”
The Vocal Jazz Ensemble includes 11 student singers and a small rhythm combo.
Another new ensemble takes the stage when The Key Players, an electronic group composed entirely of keyboards, electric drums and bass, recreates three tunes from the popular Beatles album, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” Selections include the title track, “With a Little Help From my Friends” and “A Day in the Life.”
Formed last fall, Dr. Dan Hanson, professor of music, created the hand-picked synthesizer team to give the University a smaller ensemble capable of travel. Since each keyboard can replicate virtually any instrument, the Key Players can perform practically any type of song. Each musician contributes to the overall arrangement of every song.
“This group will surprise you with rich, powerful and complex sounds,” Hanson said. “We play any style, anywhere, anytime.”
USAO’s Concert Choir joins the lineup with a selection of four pieces. The choral ensemble presents Jim Croce’s 1973 classic “I Got a Name,” Motown hit single “Do You Love Me?” by Berry Gordy, Celine Dion’s popular “I Knew I Loved You” and Broadway hit “For Good” by Stephen Schwartz from “Wicked.” The choir is conducted by Jan Hanson, with piano accompaniment by Deborah Johnson.
The Droverspirit Concert Band delivers a rocking finale to the evening with “Back in Black” by AC/DC, “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” by The Buckinghams and “Frankenstein” by The Edgar Winter Group. The instrumental band, made up of wind, brass and percussion, also appears as the Pep Band at select home basketball games.
The band includes nearly 30 students playing instruments from flutes to trombones to percussion.
Additional performing arts events for this fall are available online at www.usao.edu/news.