October 18, 2007
Oklahoma Baptist University’s 24th Annual M&M’s Pops Concert will be presented Thursday and Friday, Oct. 25-26, at 7:30 p.m., in Raley Chapel’s Potter Auditorium.
The concert will feature the OBU Symphonic Band, directed by Dr. Jim Hansford, Burton Patterson professor of music and director of bands; and the Bison Jazz Orchestra, directed by Kevin Pruiett, associate professor of music.
Serving as the master of ceremonies will be Dale Griffin, OBU campus minister.
“We are thrilled to welcome Dale back to our stage this year,” said Hansford. “Dale is a former member of the Symphonic Band and a fine musician in his own right. He will be our third guest since the 2003 retirement of longtime emcee William James Brown, who retired after 20 years in this position.”
Hansford said the Symphonic Band’s program selections include music from a recent blockbuster movie, a popular Latin dance, reflections on the big band sounds of renowned trumpeter Harry James and some of Hollywood’s most famous movie theme music.
The concert begins with “Gavorkna Fanfare” by Jack Stamp, followed by “Sterling Brass,” a concert march by James Barnes, and “Lola Flores,” one of Argentine composer Terig Tucci’s famous Paso Doble pieces. The band also will perform music from the soundtrack of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, written by Hans Zimmer and arranged by Jay Bocook.
The Bison Jazz Orchestra will be featured in “A Tribute to Harry James,” along with Pruiett and the Symphonic Band trumpet section. Four of James’ greatest tunes will be highlighted including “Ciribiribin,” “The Mole,” “You Made Me Love You,” and “Trumpet Blues.”
The “Name That Tune” portion of the concert will center on popular film music from the 1920’s to the 1980’s in a setting titled “Hooray for Hollywood,” arranged by Warren Barker. Noted film score composers such as George Gershwin, Max Steiner, Henry Mancini, and John Barry will be highlighted. As in the past, candy will be awarded to winners of the contest.
OBU Bison Jazz Orchestra will present the second half of the concert. Pruiett, in his seventh year as the BJO director, will lead the group in musical selections including a wide range of jazz big band styles from such composers and band leaders as Cole Porter, Thad Jones, Quincy Jones, and Sammy Nestico. Tunes performed will include “Tribute to the Duke,” “When I Fall in Love,” “The Subtle Sermon,” “Big Dipper,” and “For Lena and Lennie.”
“Our portion of the program will feature various styles ranging from ballads to shuffles, and the variety is guaranteed to entertain,” said Pruiett. “The Duke Ellington tribute includes three of the Duke’s most popular tunes, ‘In a Sentimental Mood,’ ‘Mood Indigo,’ and ‘It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing.’”
Micah McCaslin, a sophomore vocal performance major from Midwest City, will perform three selections in the concert, “When I Fall in Love,” arranged by Mark Taylor, “Too Close for Comfort,” and “At Last.”
“Micah has a great sense of style and her wonderful voice is sure to impress,” said Pruiett.
Instrumental soloists featured include Sarah Rizzo, alto saxophone, Jordan Myers, tenor saxophone, Kade Goforth and Brandon Crnkovic, trumpet, David Giaco, trombone, Steven Soward, guitar, Mandy Spicer, piano, and Patrick Womack, drum set.
“This pops concert is a favorite event with many families who have small children because of its relaxed atmosphere,” said Hansford. “It is a good way to introduce youngsters to public concerts without undo concern by parents worrying that their child might speak out or disturb. Because of the informal setting and the relaxed atmosphere this popular concert can serve as a kind of laboratory to acquaint toddlers and young children with proper concert behavior and etiquette.”
Admission is $5 for adults and each person receives a bag of either peanut or plain M&M’s candy to enjoy during the concert. Public school and university student tickets are $3.00. Children six years and under are admitted for $1.00 and there is no charge for babies. To inquire about special group rates call 878-2307.
Tickets can be purchased at the door or at OBU’s Fine Arts office in Raley Chapel; the Band Office (in Raley 104), OBU’s Geiger Center, or at Lasting Impressions in MacArthur Park in Shawnee. For additional information please call 878-2305 or 878-2307.