Southern Oregon Concert Band Celebrates 100 Years !

The Southern Oregon Concert Band, celebrating its 100 year anniversary this year (1909 – 2009), presents a free Centennial Celebration Concert at the Ginger Rogers Craterian Theater, 23 S. Central Ave., Medford at 7:00 PM on Tuesday, May 19, 2009. This once-in-a-lifetime event promises to be an exciting and entertaining evening of music with guest soloists, original compositions, much loved favorites, and a gang of irrepressible local school choristers.

The Band, under the direction of Dr. Ted Dollarhide, is a 60 member community band celebrating its 100 year anniversary (1909-2009) as a vibrant part of the area’s performing arts culture. The Band began as the Hillah Temple Shrine Band in 1909. Over the years, it has evolved into a broad-based community band, with players from a dozen or so communities in the Rogue Valley of southern Oregon.

The Centennial Celebration will open with the Star Spangled Banner, sung by members of the Talent and Scenic Middle School choirs.

The program will include George Gershwin’s immortal Rhapsody in Blue with piano solo by brilliant young pianist Daniel Swayze. Since its premier in 1924, Rhapsody in Blue has been hailed as an epoch making work that brought jazz into the concert hall. Today, it is considered a milestone in the development of an independent American concert repertoire. Mr. Swayze, an outstanding SOU student of Dr. Alexander Tutunov, an award-winning performer and an incredibly talented musician. His performance of Rhapsody in Blue with the Southern Oregon Concert Band will likely be remembered here long after he has gone on to his professional career.

The program will also include an original arrangement by the band’s conductor, Dr. Ted Dollarhide, entitled Valentine Medley, sung by soprano Heather Hutton. The medley includes the songs But Beautiful, It Had to Be You and My Funny Valentine. Ms Hutton is a Rogue Valley vocal coach and teacher as well as a singer. While she has an artistic style that is uniquely her own, the richness of her voice, musical texture and insightful treatment of lyrics are reminiscent of such artists as Tori Amos, Joni Mitchell and Loreena McKennitt.

Other works featured in the concert include: The premier of an original composition, Suite of Flight, by George Somi; Chicago (That Toddlin’ Town) by Fred Fisher; Berceuse and Finale from Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite; and John Philip Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever.

So, come join the Southern Oregon Concert Band’s Centennial Celebration: Let the choir inspire, let Daniel get your feet tapping, let Heather melt your heart and enjoy a thoroughly wonderful (and free) evening of great concert band music for the Rogue Valley.


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