Up Close Concerts Begin at Lycoming College

Up Close Concerts Begin at Lycoming College

The latest musical notes from the Williamsport Symphony Orchestra.






Who: The Williamsport Symphony Orchestra and Lycoming College


Where: Mary Lindsay Welch Honors Hall at Fourth and Basin Streets in Williamsport

When: Sunday, November 17, 2013 at 3:00pm

Cost: $10

Tickets: Lycoming College Music department at 570-321-4016 or at the door



Co-sponsored by the Williamsport Symphony Orchestra and Lycoming College, the annual series of chamber music concerts entitled "Close-up Concerts" begins on Sunday, November 17, at 3 PM in the historic Mary Lindsay Welch Honors Hall at Fourth and Basin Streets in Williamsport. "ALL-SCHUBERT" presents some of the region's finest musicians in a program of music by Franz Schubert, the composer of the "Unfinished Symphony."


The "Trout Quintet" is Schubert's best-known work for small ensemble. It was given its fishy title because one of its movements is a set of variations on one of Schubert's most famous songs-Die Forelle [the Trout]. The performers are Jennifer Updegrove, the assistant concertmaster of the WSO; violist Mary Scripko, a graduate student at Penn State; Andrew Rammon, principal cellist of the WSO; Kevin Huhn, principal bassist of the WSO; and the WSO's pianist, Gary Boerckel-the host of "Music to My Ears" on public radio station WVIA. Yvonne Mitchell-Sarch, a pianist who frequently performs at regional colleges and universities, joins Dr. Boerckel in Schubert's Fantasy in F Minor.


Schubert composed more than 600 songs during his short life - he died at the age of 31-and many scholars consider him the finest songwriter of all time. We will hear a group of Schubert's songs sung by two recent additions to the Lycoming College music faculty: soprano Fiona Gillespie and bass-baritone Christopher Jackson. Dr. Jackson is the College's new choral director.


The Close-up Concert Series was created so that audiences could hear great chamber music performed in an intimate setting. Other concerts on the series this season are ANDREW RAMMON, CELLIST, and STRAUSS AND MOZART FOR WINDS.


Tickets for individual concerts are $10 and a series ticket is $25. Call the Lycoming College Music Department (570-321-4016 mornings) for advance tickets or purchase them at the door. All proceeds benefit the Williamsport Symphony Orchestra.


Billtown Brass x-masWSO BILLTOWN BRASS

November 24, 7:00 pm at CAC


Who: WSO Billtown Brass Band with guest artist Spencer and the T-Bones

What: "Kick Off the Holidays!" concert presenting a program of seasonal favorites like Sleigh Ride, Silent Night, What Sweeter Music, Rhapsody for Hanukkah, and Latin Drummer Boy.

When: Sunday, November 24, 2013, 7:00 pm

Where: Community Arts Center

Tickets: $10 adults / $5 students; sold at WSO office by calling 570-322-0227, Robert M. Sides Music Center, and at the door.


The Williamsport Symphony Orchestra's Billtown Brass with special guest artist Spencer and the T-Bones, will present "Kick Off the Holidays!" Sunday, November 24, 7:00 PM at the Community Arts Center. The Billtown Brass, under the direction of Rick Coulter, will present a program of seasonal favorites, incredible soloists and audience participation.


The program will include traditional favorites Sleigh Ride, Silent Night, Bizet's Farandole from the L'Arlésienne Suite, John Rutter's What Sweeter Music and Rhapsody for Hanukkah. Less traditional will be the special treatments found in Yule Dance (Oh Little Town of Bethlehem intertwined Good Christian Men Rejoice), Comfort and Joy featuring a high octane version of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, and Jingle All the Way, a wild celebration of Jingle Bells. Frosty the Snowman features tuba soloist Dr. William Ciabattari. Bill is the principal tuba of the Williamsport Symphony Orchestra, director of bands and department chair of the Lycoming College music department, and music director of the WSO Youth Orchestra and the newly formed Williamsport Community Orchestra.


Selections with our special guest artists Spencer and the T-Bones include arrangements, by our own Kevin Henry, of Angels We Have Heard You're Funky and Latin Drummer Boy.


Spencer and the T-Bones is what you get when you mix a soulful singer with a rock'n rhythm section and funky horn line.  The band features Williamsport's Spencer Sweeting on vocals with eight of the area's top musicians.  Their playlists include covers and original compositions that span classic rock, funk, soul, jazz and rhythm, and blues. Many members of the band are regular members and frequent performers with the Williamsport Symphony Orchestra and the Billtown Brass.


The vision that led to forming the band came from a performance by Don Henley (of the Eagles) in which he used trombones, and only trombones, in his horn line.  The "T-Bones" were originally manned by four trombones and rhythm section with members of the band doing some of the vocals.  Then, Spencer came along.  Actually, Spencer Sweeting is an established singer in the Billtown area and is no stranger to blues, gospel and soul music.  When members of the original band wanted to add a singer he was the natural choice.  With a few more changes - trading one 'bone for a bari sax and adding a keyboard player (gotta love that Hammond B3!) the band has created a niche with their innovative sound.


The Williamsport Symphony's Billtown Brass was formed in 2000 to meet the need for a smaller and more "portable" ensemble within the WSO umbrella. The ensemble is organized in the style of the traditional British brass band featuring a full gamut of brass instruments (cornet, flugelhorn, Eb horn, baritone, euphonium, trombone, Eb and Bb tuba) and 3 very busy percussionists.


Tickets will be available at Robert M. Sides Family Music Center, the WSO office, and at the door, $10 adults and $5 students.




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