SUNY Orange Band to Celebrate Autumn and 100th Anniversary of First Transcontinental U.S. Airplane Flight

PHOTO: SUNY Orange Symphonic Band conductor Kevin ScottMIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – SUNY Orange’s Symphonic Band will celebrate the beauties of the autumn season and pay tribute to the 100th anniversary of the first transcontinental airplane flight in United States history when it opens its 2011-12 concert series at 8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 5 in Middletown’s historic Paramount Theatre.

Titled “Remember…” the theme of the concert will include music inspired by the 1911 flight of Calbraith Perry Rodgers from Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn to Long Beach, Calif. The first stop of Rodgers’ historic flight was in Middletown, near the location of SUNY Orange.

Among the works featured during the concert will be David Gillingham’s “Aerodynamics,” a work written in 2003 commemorating the first flying excursion of Orville and Wilbur Wright; Jared Cowing’s “Flight Through The Valley”; and Brian Lewis’ “Heroes of Flight.” The concert will also include the first performance in New York State of Brooke Pierson’s “Remembering Autumn Skies.” Pierson, a graduate of Michigan State University and currently music director of Grace Lutheran Church in Howell, Mich., composed the work as a tribute to autumn’s musical and emotional transfiguration on one’s life as fall’s twilight melds into the approaching darkness of winter.

The concert will also include Clair W. Johnson’s “Autumn Caprice,” a concert piece for clarinet and concert band featuring Mark Crisfield, the band’s principal clarinetist; Dudley Buck’s “Festival Overture on The Star-Spangled Banner”; Fred Jewell’s “Trombone Blues,”; and John Philip Sousa’s “The Aviators,” one of the last marches he composed.

A scale replica of the Rodgers’ airplane, called the Vin Fiz, that was built by SUNY Orange students under the supervision of engineering professor John Wolbeck, will be on display in the outer lobby of the Paramount. The concert will be preceded by a discussion hosted by SUNY Orange Symphonic Band conductor Kevin Scott (above) with composers Cowing and Pierson, Wolbeck, and Linda and Edward Dubin, who organized the centennial celebration of the Vin Fiz flight in and around Middletown this past September.

The event is sponsored by the College’s Arts and Communication Department, in conjunction with the Global Studies Department. General admission is $5. SUNY Orange Students with a current ID and active military personnel are admitted for free.

For more information, contact the Arts and Communication Department at (845) 341-4787. The SUNY Orange Symphonic Band, comprised of students and members of the community, is also seeking musicians. Interested performers may contact Scott at (845) 341-4393.

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Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940