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United States Marine Band

Colonel Jason K. Fettig, Director
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Final Summer Orchestra Concert Features Hidden Gems

By Staff Sgt. Brian Rust | United States Marine Band | August 7, 2015

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Aug. 7, 2015 -- style="line-height: 150%;">The Marine Chamber Orchestra’s Summer Series will conclude with a concert at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 15, at Northern Virginia Community College’s Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center in Alexandria, Va. Conducted by Director Lt. Col. Jason K. Fettig, the program features four somewhat lesser-known orchestral works, but truly hidden gems, by some significant composers. The concert is free and no tickets are required. Free parking is available in the adjacent garage. Please note there will be no pre-concert ensemble performance.

The performance will begin with American composer Russell Peck’s Signs of Life II. Peck enjoyed a successful composing and academic career before shifting his focus toward humanitarian causes, most importantly ending world starvation. After several years of humanitarian work, Peck reemerged on the music scene with one of his most successful works, Signs of Life, which intermingles musical worlds with a beautiful Arioso followed by a jazz and blues infused Scherzo. Three years after the original score, Peck added a new movement and called the updated version Signs of Life II.

The orchestra will then perform Croatian composer Boris Papandopulo’s colorful Concerto for Xylophone and String Orchestra, featuring soloist Gunnery Sgt. Kenneth Wolin, followed by Russian composer Alexander Glazunov’s Theme and Variations in G Minor, Opus 97. While much of Glazunov’s music has since fallen into obscurity, his Theme and Variations has found a permanent place in the repertoire. Rooted in the traditional Russian style, its elegant and stately theme is followed by a series of six distinct variants that seamlessly grow from the melody without overshadowing it.

The concert will conclude with American composer George Antheil’s Serenade for String Orchestra that is a charming piece with playful, open, and optimistic qualities found in some of Antheil’s other music. It is also infused with some American musical references, most notably quotes from “The Battle Cry of Freedom.”

“The works on this program represent some gems in the repertoire that are not particularly well-known and come from the pens of important composers who have been somewhat neglected in many orchestral concert programs,” Fettig said. “This concert celebrates these talented composers and the opportunity to become acquainted with their very worthy contributions to our repertoire.”

Program and notes

Directions and parking


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