Marshall Philharmonic to open 44th season Sunday wiith premiere

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Marshall Philharmonic Orchestra will begin its 44th season on Sunday, Nov. 5, with a concert featuring horn soloist, Brandon McDannald on Mozart's "Concerto for Horn and Orchestra, E-Flat Major," K. 417.

This performance, underwritten by Community Bank of Marshall and Fitzgibbon Hospital, will begin at 2:30 p.m. in the Harold L. Lickey Auditorium, Bueker Middle School in Marshall.

McDannald, a native of Independence, is currently working toward his master's degree in music at the University of Central Missouri (formerly CMSU) as a graduate assistant.

Prior to his appointment at UCM, he was the director of bands for the Holden R-III Schools. While there, he was involved in every aspect of the band program from beginners to high school marching, jazz, and concert bands.

Growing up in the Kansas City area, McDannald studied horn with Rachel O'Connell and earned accolades at district and state music festivals. In 1997, he was further honored by being selected to play principal horn in the U.S. Marine Corps High School Honor Band which performed at the Kansas City area Marine Corps Ball in November of that year.

As an undergraduate at CMSU in Warrensburg, McDannald sat principal chair in both the University Symphony and Concert Band studying horn with Gary Moege. He also served as drum major for the CMSU Marching Mules during his junior and senior years.

McDannald is also a familiar face to the Marshall community as he has been a member of the Marshall Philharmonic since the fall of 2000 and a member of the Marshall Municipal Band since 2005.

Marshall musicians fondly refer to him as "Marshall's adopted son" as he is such a remarkable young musician and so very dedicated to the importance of community.

In addition to the classical Mozart performance, Conductor Charles Ferguson offers his orchestra and audience members a wide variety of music.

This concert will also feature 19th Century Impressionist music by Claude Debussy (1862 to 1918), and a brand new contemporary symphony written and directed by Columbia composer and MVC music instructor, David Ackerman.

The orchestra will perform two of the Debussy Nocturnes."Fetes" (Festivals) opens with a burst of light and excited rhythm. "Sirens" calls for a chorus of eight women's voices and is hence rarely performed.

For this work, Ferguson will be enlisting the assistance of Marshall Community Chorus members under the direction of Ron Sayer to complete the requirements of this difficult selection.

"This nocturne describes the sea and its endless rhythms ... then amid the billows silvered by the moon, the mysterious song of sirens is heard; it laughs and passes." (From "Guide to Symphonic Music" by Edward Downes. 1976)

Ackerman studied composition under Leonard Mark Lewis and W. Thomas McKenney at the University of Missouri. His "Symphony No. 2 in C-sharp" had its beginnings in thematic material taken from one of Ackerman's earlier works for a mixed chamber ensemble.

Ackerman notes, "With writing an orchestral symphony based on this earlier idea, it is my hope that I might bring this material to an audience in a more polished form; as a more complete and disciplined thought."

The symphony will be presented in its entirety of four movements and conductor Ferguson will hand the baton to Ackerman for this premiere. It is indeed an honor for both orchestra and audience to experience an original compostion conducted by the composer himself.

All Marshall Philharmonic Orchestra concerts are free to the public and the reception that follows.

Come and enjoy a wonderful afternoon of traditional, unique, and original music with Marshall's very own symphony, organizers said.

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