Washington, D.C. --
“The President’s Own” 2017 Chamber Music Series continues at 2 p.m. this Sunday, March 12, with a contemporary concert featuring a tuba and euphonium ensemble, strings, brass ensemble, and jazz sextet. The concert is free, no tickets are required, and will take place at the John Philip Sousa Band Hall at the Marine Barracks Annex in southeast Washington, D.C., and will stream live at www.marineband.marines.mil and www.youtube.com/usmarineband.
According to concert coordinator trumpet/cornetist Staff Sgt. James McClarty, “I wanted to program a performance of modern music from the 20th century to the present to become acquainted with great repertoire that was not already familiar to me,” McClarty said. “I started the process by first looking at string quartets, and I knew that I wanted to represent all the instrument families on the concert. Lovers of 20th century and Romantic music, and brass and string lovers should be pleased with this performance.”
The concert will begin with Overture for Euphoniums and Tubas, a short romantic overture commissioned in 2015 by Marine Band euphonium player Staff Sgt. Hiram Diaz and composed by Marine Band clarinetist Staff Sgt. Parker Gaims.
“When I first heard the Marine Band tuba and euphonium ensemble read the piece, I thought it sounded beautiful,” Gaims said. “The ensemble has the rich expressivity of the lower range of a pipe organ and the characteristic brilliance and clarity of brass instruments. I love the sonority of all the euphoniums and tubas. And although it is only about six minutes long, the audience will appreciate the short romantic overture’s variety of moods.”
The first half of the concert will continue with Benjamin Frankel’s String Quartet No. 1, Opus 14, and Camille Saint-Saëns’ Caprice on Danish and Russian Airs, Opus 79. “While the Saint-Saëns’ is not a 20th century piece, its late Romantic style pairs nicely with the Gaims romantically styled overture and it showcases the woodwinds very nicely,” McClarty explained.
The second half of the program includes three pieces by living composers: a brass ensemble performing James Pugh’s And Flights of Angels…; Eric Ewazen’s Trio for Trumpet, Violin, and Piano; and legendary jazz musician Chick Corea’s Part 1 (Overture) from Lyric Suite for Sextet.
On the concert’s conclusion, McClarty said: “While I was looking for a piece to showcase percussion, I came across the Corea piece with vibraphone, supported by acoustic piano and string quartet. I love how the jazz style is a fun contrast with the other pieces, and it almost feels like an encore so it is a fun way to end the program.”
Complete program and program notes
Directions and parking information