Busby guest conducter for philharmonic concert April 22

Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Bryan Busby

The Marshall Philharmonic will close its 44th Season with a grand celebration concert featuring television weather personality, Bryan Busby, as a guest conductor and will also honor MPO conductor, Charles Ferguson, in his last concert, as he has announced his retirement at the close of this season. The performance will begin on Sunday, April 22, 2007, in the Harold L. Lickey Auditorium at Bueker Middle School in Marshall, beginning at 2:30 p.m.

Bryan Busby, KMBC Channel 9 NEWS Chief Meteorologist, came to Kansas City in 1985 and quickly established himself as the area's leading meteorologist. Fun, interaction, and community outreach are key ingredients that make Busby a favorite television personality. Busby's community outreach stretches beyond the boundaries of the nightly weather forecast. He is responsible for initiating innovative weather programs such as "Earth Station," "Weather-To-Go," "Bryan Goes To School," and "Instant Weather Network," a weather display system which earned him a U.S. Patent.

A natural showman with wit and personality, Bryan's performing is not limited to television. Musically, Busby is the principal timpanist for the Civic Orchestra of Kansas City performing five or six times a year. Professionally, he served as the solo timpanist with the Independence Messiah Festival Orchestra from 1992 - 2005. He has also performed with the Kansas City Symphony, the Kansas City Percussion Quartet, and the Moody Blues at Verizon Amphitheater. He has also been a private timpani instructor to many of the area's best student musicians.

In 1998, Busby made his first popular guest appearance with the Marshall Philharmonic as a timpanist. In this Sunday's performance, Busby will display his talents as a conductor. Currently, Busby is the principal guest conductor of the Kansas City Youth Symphony, having conducted that group in such venues as the United States Pavilion at the 1992 World's Fair in Seville, Spain, and most recently at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Sunday's concert will feature Busby's conducting expertise as he will be leading the orchestra in Beethoven's Symphony No. 1, Op. 21 as well as Edvard Grieg's "Peer Gynt" Suite No. 1 from the Incidental Music, Op. 46.

Beethoven's Symphony No. 1 was first performed April 2, 1800, when Beethoven was thirty years old. During this period, Beethoven traveled around Europe listening to and learning from the best musicians in Europe. This early style symphony was classical in the likeness of Mozart and Haydn. It was not until later in life that his hearing began to fail thus hindering his travels which forced him to develop his own greatly expressive style which, in turn, led him to become one of the most admired composers in the history of Western music.

Grieg's "Peer Gynt" Suite No. 1 is inspired by the legend of Norwegian hero, Peer Gynt. Peer Gynt is a peasant's son whose parents have squandered all they once possessed. Poverty stricken, his mother and he are left to shift for themselves. Peer Gynt's brain evolves wild schemes, which paint pictures in such brilliant colors to his poor mother, that she is entirely won over to his plans, in spite of all the mad pranks he has played on her. The orchestral suite contains fragments from the music written for the stage performance of the work which includes "Morning," "The Death of Ase," "Anitra's Dance," and "In the Hall of the Mountain King."

In addition to the great music led by Mr. Busby, this concert will also be a very special one for the orchestra members and its conductor, Charles Ferguson, who has announced his retirement from the orchestra at the close of this 44th season. Ferguson has led the orchestra for many years and has achieved many honors in his musical career. During Ferguson's tenure as conductor, there have been not one, but two Associated Press feature articles about the Philharmonic that were circulated in newspapers nationwide and in Canada. It has also been during his years on the podium that the children's art shows and chamber concerts have been added to the orchestra's yearly itinerary. Ferguson has also been instrumental in bringing both local and nationally known talent to the Harold L. Lickey stage including The Kansas City Symphony, The Kansas City Chorale, and various college and university soloists and chamber musicians.

On Sunday, the orchestra will wish Ferguson a fond farewell from the podium, but not from Marshall music, as he conducts John Cheetham's "Variations on a Gregorian Hymn" and Selections from "Fiddler on the Roof," arranged by Herbert Baumel. "Variations on a Gregorian Hymn" is by Missouri composer, John Cheetham, Professor of Music Theory and Composition at the University of Missouri-Columbia. This work is rooted in the phrygian mode and is derived from "Pange lingua gloriosi", a chant well known to anyone familiar with the traditional Roman Catholic liturgy for Easter week. The idea of doing an arrangement from the music of "Fiddler on the Roof" came to Herbert Baumel while he was taking violin lessons in elementary school at the age of eight. The number eight proved to be a lucky number because he was told "Fiddler" would run at least eight weeks. In reality, it ran for eight years. Selections in Baumel's arrangement include "Tradition," "If I Were a Rich Man," "Matchmaker," and "Sunrise, Sunset."

As always, Marshall Philharmonic concerts are free to the public. Concertgoers will not want to miss a grand finale for a grand conductor. The members of the MPO board extend heartfelt thanks to all who have helped to make this season yet another successful one and look forward to many more years of Marshall music-making to come.

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