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United States Marine Band

Colonel Jason K. Fettig, Director
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Marine Chamber Orchestra Concert: Conflicts and Confluences

By Gunnery Sgt. Brian Rust | United States Marine Band | February 14, 2017


Music is inherently built upon the premise of conflict and resolution. With that theme, the Marine Chamber Orchestra will present the concert “Conflicts and Conflu­ences” at 2 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 19, 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 performance is free and no tickets are required. Free parking is available in the adjacent garage.

“The idea for this program sprung from the new Bassoon Concerto that will be given its world première during the performance,” Fettig said. “Ken Watson is a former band member and Marine officer who has become a prolific composer and arranger in his life after retirement. He wrote this concerto for our principal bassoonist, Master Sgt. Chris McFarlane, and the music was inspired by the challenges and emotions felt by men and women in uniform during the most trying parts of their service.”

Watson, an oboist in the Marine Band from 1974-76, had never intended to have a career in the military, but rather had plans to be an orchestral musician. However, while with the band, Watson was drawn to the Marines stationed at 8th & I and their leadership. He decided he wanted to be a Marine Corps officer and eventually became a Marine aviator and retired as a lieutenant colonel. Watson said of his Bassoon Concerto: “The original inspiration for this piece was the inner turmoil experienced by military members coping with loss, separation, and re-integration after long deployments. ... I drew on this rich palette of emotional material, using instability, stability, dissonance, and conso­nance to express the ideas of inner conflict and resolution.”

In addition to the Bassoon Concerto, the orchestra will perform Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Overture to Don Giovanni. The opera is filled with conflict and drama and is widely considered to be one of Mozart’s finest efforts in the genre. The concert will conclude with Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 9 in E-flat, Opus 70, a work never before performed by the Marine Chamber Orchestra. Shostakovich composed his symphony as a celebration of the Russian victory over the Nazis on the eastern front of the Second World War.

Prior to the performance, a clarinet quartet will offer pre-concert music in the lobby beginning at 1:15 p.m. Also, Fettig, McFarlane, and Watson will be available in the lobby immediately following the concert to chat with patrons about the program and performance.

Complete program and notes

Directions and parking

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