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United States Marine Band

Colonel Jason K. Fettig, Director
Unit News
Marine Band Performs Character Pieces

By Staff Sgt. Rachel Ghadiali | United States Marine Band | February 23, 2016

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At 2 p.m. this Sunday, Feb. 28, the Marine Band will present a concert titled “Character Pieces,” performing Gustav Holst’s largescale orchestral suite The Planets, along with two relatively newer works for band: John Mackey’s The Frozen Cathedral and William Bolcom’s Concerto Grosso for Four Saxophones and Band. Conducted by Major Michelle A. Rakers, the free concert will take place at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center at the Northern Virginia Community College in Alexandria, Va.

Music has the remarkable ability to convey emotions, transform feelings, tell stories, or portray the character of someone or something. The concert begins with Mackey’s The Frozen Cathedral, a piece which utilizes unique instrumentation and aural colors to portray the character of Alaska’s majestic icy peak of Denali. Following this character piece, Bolcom’s Concerto Grosso will feature saxophone soloists Gunnery Sergeants Steven Temme, Gregory Ridlington, David Jenkins, and Otis Goodlett. According to the composer, the piece includes elements of be-bop and rhythm and blues and “was written purely as a piece to be enjoyed by performers and listeners.” Finally, the concert concludes with Holst’s monumental suite depicting his interpretation of the astrological character of the planets.

Prior to the concert, attendees will enjoy a jazz combo performance beginning at 1:15 p.m. in the lobby, and following the concert, patrons are invited to meet the soloist and conductor in the lobby. Free parking is available.

Complete program

 Directions and parking information


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