Symphonic Band to present May 1 concert

The Northwestern College Symphonic Band will present a concert with the Le Mars Community High School Band on Friday, May 1, at 7:30 p.m. in Christ Chapel. The concert is free, and the public is invited to attend.

The Le Mars band, directed by Curt Ohrlund, will perform on the first half of the concert. Pieces they will perform include Blessed Are They by Johannes Brahms, A Jubilant Overture by Alfred Reed and The Crosley March by Henry Fillmore. This is the first time Northwestern’s Symphonic Band has had an area high school band share the stage with them in Christ Chapel.

Northwestern’s band, directed by Dr. Timothy McGarvey, professor of music, will then present their portion of the concert. The 56-member ensemble will open their last concert of the year with Outdoor Overture by Aaron Copland.

The Symphonic Band will also present the world premiere of After Darkness, Light by Dr. Luke Dahn, assistant professor of music at Northwestern. Dahn was commissioned by Northwestern to write the piece with funds from a gift to the music department by alumni Josiah and Kristen Dunlap.

“The piece is based on the tune of our alma mater, which is also the tune of the Dutch national anthem,” says Dahn. “Throughout the piece, the tune appears in various guises—sometimes it is altered and hidden within the musical texture, while at other times it is clear and audible. The work’s title, ‘After Darkness, Light,’ is a literal translation of the Latin phrase ‘Post tenebras lux,’ which became a kind of motto for the Protestant reformers.”

The Symphonic Band will close the concert with Blue Shades by Frank Ticheli. The high-energy, jazz-inspired piece will feature an extended clarinet solo by Sarah Shively, a junior music major from Council Bluffs, Iowa, who is the 2009 recipient of the Herman and Elizabeth Ritsema Family Music Scholarship.