Here's a note of apology from Steve Matthes, the conductor of the Corvallis Community Band, to the band's clarinet players:
The centerpiece of the band's concert, set for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Oregon State University's LaSells Stewart Center, is a band arrangement of Haydn's Concerto for Trumpet, with guest soloist Ken Saul taking on the trumpet part.
But bands, of course, don't have string sections. So it's the band's clarinet section that takes many of the string parts in the Haydn piece. "It's the clarinets who suffer," Matthes joked.
But he has confidence in the clarinets, and the rest of his band, as it dives into the classics for next week's show. "Over the years we've played a lot of classical pieces," he said. "I think they've met the challenge."
Haydn's concerto is among the composer's most popular pieces. It was written in 1796 for his friend Anton Weidinger, who had just developed a keyed trumpet that could play chromatically throughout its entire range. Saul plans to perform the piece at about the same tempo as it would originally have been performed.
The rest of the concert offers the sort of variety that is common for Community Band shows.
So concertgoers also will hear works by composers as varied as Rimsky-Korsakov, Strauss, Wagner and, of course, John Philip Sousa.
The piece on the program that could offer the sternest challenge to the band is a relatively modern work, "Variants on a Medieval Tune," written in 1963 by American composer Norman Dello Joio. Matthes said the piece includes "lots of exposed parts" for musicians in the band: "You can't make a mistake and not be heard," he said.
The concert also features members of the Willamette Apprentice Ballet performing to Jacques Offenbach's music from "Orpheus in the Underground" — including, of course, the part of the operetta known as the "Infernal Galop," which the rest of us know as can-can music.
Choreographer Megan Skinner (Matthes' daughter) also will showcase a pair of dances she created for the recent "Ten Tiny Dances" performances at the Majestic Theatre.
Matthes will be assisted by Corvallis High School band director Lia Poole as well as Linus Pauling Middle School band director Robyn Chapman.