Christmas Concert (copy)

Richard Sorenson conducts the Willamette Valley Concert Band last December. The conductor emeritus will return to conduct a pair of pieces for a Saturday concert by the band. 

The Willamette Valley Concert Band will perform a free concert at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 16 at Linn-Benton Community College's Russell Tripp Performance Center, 6500 Pacific Blvd. SW in Albany.

Six different band conductors will take the baton for this show, as new conductor Mike Bevington is on an overseas trip that was planned before he was appointed to succeed Richard Sorenson, who announced his semi-retirement last fall after 47 years.

Sorenson, now emeritus conductor of the band, will direct two pieces: An arrangement of "Amazing Grace" by American composer Frank Ticheli and "Canterbury Chorale," by Belgian composer Jan Van der Roost.

Mike Rogers, assistant conductor of the band, will direct "First Suite for Band" by English composer Gustav Holst.

Julie Buchert, a band member playing percussion and trumpet and the former director of bands and choirs at Albany's Memorial Middle School, will open the program with a new setting of "The Star-Spangled Banner," arranged by Steve Smith.

Charles Haugen, trumpet player and a former band director at Lebanon High School, will direct a recent work by young American composer Brian Balmages titled "Summer Dances." The piece was written to capture the beauty and spirit of summer festivals and events.

Matthew Scott, a trumpeter in the band who is in his first year as band director at Calapooia Middle School in Albany, will direct the well-known "Raiders March" composed by John Williams for the "Indiana Jones" movies.

Randy Solansky, new director of bands and choirs at Memorial Middle School in Albany, will direct "Emperata Overture" by the American composer Claude T. Smith.

The concert is free but members of the audience are encouraged to make donations to help cover costs of presenting the concert. Sponsors of the concert are Russell and Duffy Tripp through the Linn-Benton Community College Foundation.

The Willamette Valley Concert Band, an adult community band based in Albany, was founded in the spring of 1970 and has performed concerts in the mid-Willamette Valley for the past 49 years. The 50-member ensemble includes musicians from Benton, Linn, Marion and Polk counties. Personnel range in age from teens to seniors with diverse occupations.


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