Oklahoma Baptist University

Annual M&Ms Concert Hits Raley Oct. 28-29

The 21st annual M & M’s Pops Concert featuring the OBU Symphonic Band under the direction of Dr. Jim Hansford, professor of music and director of bands, and the Bison Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Mr. Kevin Pruiett, assistant professor of music, will be presented at 7:30 p.m., Thursday and Friday, October 28-29 in Raley Chapel’s Potter Auditorium.

Dr. Dan Reeder, professor of finance in OBU’s Paul Dickinson School of Business, serves as guest Master of Ceremonies.

“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Reeder to our stage upon the retirement of longtime emcee William James Brown last year after completing 20 years in this position,” Hansford said. “Dr. Reeder has been active as an emcee at several recent OBU Christmas Chapels and we felt he was the person to move us into our third decade of concerts.”

The popular program will feature a collage of light concert fare including Broadway and film music, a reflection on the life of Bob Hope, a novelty number for the children and a couple of solid works for band that are sure to invigorate the audience.

Music to be performed by the symphonic band includes the following selections: “Champions Fanfare” by Philip Sparke, “The Star Spangled Banner” arranged by Jack Stamp, “Pirates of the Caribbean” (Symphonic Suite) by Klaus Badlet and arranged by John Wasson, “The Departure” ( a movement from a larger work, The Coventry) by W. Francis McBeth based on the Bret Harte novel “The Outcasts of Poker Flat,” “Ride” by Samuel Hazo ,”Salute to Bob Hope” arranged by Warren Barker, and the novelty piece for children, Theme from “SpongeBob Square Pants” arranged by Jay Bocook.

The “Name that Tune” portion of the program will involve music surrounding the life of Bob Hope.

“This pops concert is a favorite event with many families who have small children because of its relaxed atmosphere,” remarked Hansford. “It is a good way to introduce youngsters to public concerts without being on pins and needles worrying that the child might speak out or disturb. Actually, we will have them in the aisles marching around the room as the band plays the SpongeBob work. We are hoping that SpongeBob can make an appearance at the concert and lead in the march around,” Hansford said.

The “Name That Tune” portion of the concert will center around the “Salute to Bob Hope” work. “With the passing of Bob Hope this past year we felt it was appropriate to do our own salute to his long and star-studded career,” Hansford said. Candy will be given to winners of this contest.

The second half of the concert will be presented by the ever-loved OBU Bison Jazz Orchestra. Fourth-year director and trumpeter Kevin Pruiett will lead the group in its second public performance of the season. The group performed in the Shawnee Jazz Festival on Bell Street a few weeks ago and has prepared an outstanding program of big band jazz tunes to get your toe tapping.

The jazz orchestra program will include the following works: “All of Me” by Simons and Marks, “Twilight Zone/Twilight Tone” arranged by Paul Jennings, three works arranged by Sammy Nestico, “Basie Straight Ahead,” “Big Band Milestones,” and “Satin Doll,” Tribute to Kenton,” by Lenny Niehaus and “Dominga” by Jeff Jarvis. Bison Jazz Orchestra soloists featured will include John Mark Dadulo (drums), Olivier David (piano), Andrea Dent (saxophone), Aaron Jameson (trumpet), Haskell Melton (trumpet), Caleb Rainey (guitar), Adam Ray (saxophone), and Aaron Reeves (piano). Also, Dr. James Vernon, music division chairman, will make a quest appearance during the jazz orchestra program.

Admission cost is $5 for adults and each person receives a bag of either peanut or plain M & M’s candy to enjoy during the concert. Children 6 years and under are admitted for $1 and there is no charge for lap babies. This year a larger bag of M & M’s will be included with the cost of the ticket.

“We try to cater to families and we encourage parents to bring the youngsters,” Hansford said. “This is not a concert where parents need to be overly concerned about children being perfectly quiet. In fact, it can serve as a kind of laboratory to teach concert etiquette to young people.”

Tickets, which typically sell quickly, can be reserved by calling 878-2305.

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