MCC Wind and Jazz Ensembles Perform “Hope in Music” Oct. 16 at Frauenthal Center

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The Downtown Live Concert Series continues with the MCC Wind and Jazz Ensembles performing “Hope in Music,” selections based upon the 2019 Arts and Humanities Festival (ahFest) theme of “Hope,” on Wednesday, Oct. 16, at the Frauenthal Center, 426 W. Western Ave.

Tickets for the concert, which begins at 7:30 p.m., are $10 for adults and $2 for students and seniors. Tickets are available online at

Directed by Daniel M. Meyers, the Wind Ensemble will perform:

  • “Choreography” by Robert Sheldon Commissioned by the Association of Texas Small School Bands, “Choreography” was written in overture form. The piece draws its motivation from dance movements found in contemporary stage, ballet and theatrical productions.
  • “Urban Dances” by Erik Morales Drawing inspiration from elements of today’s popular music, this serious concert piece focuses on rhythm as the primary developmental tool. Featuring a large battery of percussion, the piece uses the full gamut of colors available to the concert band.
  • “Autumn on White Lake” by Samuel R. Hazo Commissioned by Lakeland High School of White Lake, MI, “Autumn on White Lake” offers sounds that conjure golden leaves, crisp air and rustic memories as it recalls an October visit to this beautiful region.
  • “Infinite Hope” by Brian Balmages Inspired by the juxtaposition of uncertainty and boundless optimism, this powerful piece seeks to forge a path of faith, trust, belief and assurance amidst a world of chaos. The opening lyrical section ultimately gives way to unbridled power and optimism as the music ultimately comes together in a show of unity and unfettered glory.
  • “Hope” by Robert W. Smith Once heard and experienced, the melody of this exquisite lyrical work stays in the hearts and minds of musician and listener. From the opening phrases in the solo clarinet to the full band melodic statements, “Hope” takes us on a warm and beautiful musical journey of reflection and promise.

The Jazz Ensemble, directed by Patrick Parrish, will play four selections:

  • “Watermelon Man” by Herbie Hancock This 16-bar blues tune, based on a piano riff, drew on elements of R&B, soul jazz and bebop – all combined into a pop hook. Recalling the piece, Hancock said, “I remember the cry of the watermelon man making the rounds through the back streets and alleys of Chicago. The wheels of his wagon beat out the rhythm on the cobblestones.”
  • “Hope Swings Eternal” by Lennie Niehaus This solid swing original contains a series of musical motives layered to create an interesting effect. Niehaus, an award-winning composer and arranger, performed with the Stan Kenton Orchestra and wrote the film scores for “Tightrope,” “Pale Rider,” “Black Heart” and “Bird.”
  • “What a Wonderful World” by George David Weiss arr. Alan Baylock Weiss wrote the song specifically for Louis Armstrong after being inspired by Armstrong’s ability to bring people of different races together. First recorded by Armstrong and released in 1967 as a single, the recording was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.
  • “Shake a Tail Feather” by Otha Hayes arr. John Wasson Recorded by Ray Charles in 1963, this funky classic has been covered by countless artists but is probably best remembered from Ray’s performance of it in the 1980 film “The Blues Brothers.”