We’ve got some classical tunes: Bizet’s Carmen Suite No. 1 and Light Cavalry Overture by Suppé. Grant Anderson, principal clarinet in the orchestra, will play the Rondo from Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto.
We’ve got some movie music too: Harry Potter theme music by John Williams.
And Broadway: Richard Rodgers’ Slaughter on Tenth Avenue is a ballet choreographed by George Balanchine for Rodgers and Hart’s 1936 Broadway musical comedy On Your Toes.
Friend of the Orchestra composer Bernie Hoffer has done another arrangement of American songs, with lyrics by Johnny Mercer, a perfect vehicle for our guest jazz vocalist Maureen McMullan.
We’re thrilled to have Maureen McMullan back for Pops. You’ll love her jazz style. It’s cool that she sang in the Lord of the Rings Symphony!
Here’s her impressive bio:
Maureen McMullan is a Scottish soprano, songwriter, arranger, producer, and vocal pedagogue, trained in both classical and contemporary music. Widely recognized for her stylistic versatility, she has appeared as lead vocalist at Symphony Hall with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops, Holiday Pops, and Swing Pops, including the world premiere season performances of Visions of America with compositions by Roger Kellaway and Alan and Marilyn Bergman, the Concord Orchestra Pops with Richard Pittman, and for the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra with acclaimed jazz tenor saxophonist, Tommy Smith. Career highlights include performances at Celtic Connections, the Montreux Jazz Festival, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, WGBH A Celtic Sojourn, PBS music special, Highland Heartbeat, and for Howard Shore’s iconic work, The Lord of the Rings Symphony in Six Movements.
A former session singer for the BBC, McMullan is an accomplished bandleader and recently directed and performed the featured musical tribute honoring Emmy-winning documentarian, Ken Burns, at the Great Scot Awards in NYC, and as part of a global music diaspora concert for the Smithsonian Institution’s Scots In The American West symposium. McMullan has over 14 years of college-level teaching experience, and prior to moving to the USA, was a Voice Faculty member at Edinburgh Napier University, the University of Strathclyde, and a Kodály Vocal Instructor for the award-winning National Youth Choir of Scotland.
Continuing her passion for teaching, McMullan previously served as an Associate Professor of Voice, and later as the Assistant Chair of the Voice Department at the renowned Berklee College of Music – which is the largest Voice Department in the world. McMullan now serves as the Concert and Event Producer at Berklee College of Music, providing leadership and artistic direction for their high-profile events that feature student and Faculty talent, and a myriad of visiting artists across diverse musical genres.
McMullan earned a bachelor’s degree with 1st class honors in Applied Music from the University of Strathclyde, a Professional Diploma from Berklee College of Music (summa cum laude), and an MBA from the D’Amore-McKim School of Business at Northeastern University with beta gamma sigma honors. McMullan is the Artist in Residence for The National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA, and a recipient of the Sir Sean Connery SIET Arts Award.
Our horn soloist Richard Sebring’s repertoire may not be familiar to audiences, but they are well-known and well-loved pieces for many horn players in our midst.
So I asked the other horn players in the orchestra if they knew, and loved, these pieces, like I did.
Patricia Lake, who plays third horn in the orchestra and has taught many horn students, says:
“The Dukas was an All-State audition piece for me and continues to be a Massachusetts Central District audition piece today. It’s part of a rotation of audition pieces from the Mason Jones Solos for the Horn Player collection. As recently as 2 years ago, one of my students prepared the Haydn for an All-state audition as well. I am excited to have a few students in the audience who have prepped the Villanelle as well as some younger up and coming students. This year marks my 35th year teaching and it’s safe to say I have the Dukas memorized!”
Your blog writer — Pam Marshall, 2nd horn in the section and a composer — has also played the Dukas and the Haydn:
“When I was just out of college, I had a group of soprano, horn, and piano called the Tamarind Trio. For variety in our recitals, we often included Villanelle. Dukas only wrote the piece for horn and piano, no version with orchestra. Back in the 1970s, I didn’t know of any orchestra versions made by others, so I entertained the idea of doing an orchestral version. However, my college advisor discouraged me, saying it wouldn’t be a challenging enough project.
” I also enjoy playing the Haydn. It’s more dynamic and energetic than the Mozart concerti that you can hear all the time on WCRB. It’s definitely worth getting to know it, as a listener or as a musician.”
In March, the Orchestra plays its Young Artist concert, with a concerto or solo piece performed by the winner. As a prelude before the Friday and Saturday concerts, we also present a short recital by other competition honorees. There are so many excellent young musicians who audition. The recital allows us to recognize and appreciate more of their hard work and talent.
This year, 2019, the winners are all string players.
The winner is cellist Hayden Idson. He will play Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme. He is 13 years old and lives in Jamaica Plain.
The musicians invited to play recitals are:
Cellist Zehavi Rodriguez, also 13 years old, from Dorchester
Violinist Hannah Ryu, 17 years old, from Lexington
We’ll have more news about recital schedules and about the musicians soon!