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Tuesday, July 18, 2017


The Endless Mountain Music Festival opens this Friday and Saturday with performances by the 62-member Festival Symphony Orchestra and on Sunday, the first chamber concert.
The first orchestra concert will be Friday, July 21 at 7:30 p.m. at Steadman Theater at Mansfield University with the MU Concert Choir, Festival Chorus and Choral Academy students and violin soloist Diana Seitz. Peggy Dettwiler, MU director of Choral Activities, and Maestro Stephen Gunzenhauser will each conduct the orchestra.

The second will be Saturday, July 22 at 7:30 p.m. at the Corning Museum of Glass Auditorium in Corning, New York with the maestro conducting the orchestra and Israeli pianist Yevgeny Yontov as the featured soloist.

This Sunday at 7:30 p.m., the four members of the Endless Mountain Music Festival Percussion Ensemble will perform a musical concert in Steadman Theater on the Mansfield University campus.

Xueqing Wu, principal percussionist with the Festival Symphony Orchestra will open with a snare drum solo titled “The Whimsical Nature of Small Particle Physics” by Ben Wahlund. Musically, this 2006 composition was inspired by the contributions of Askell Masson and Jacques Del├ęcluse while respecting John S. Pratt and Charles Wilcoxon,” Wu said. “All four are great percussionists and snare drum composers. The piece incorporates classical music snare drumming to marching band drumming,” she added.

“Stop Speaking” by Andy Akihol, commissioned in 2011 for the Modern Snare Drum Competition, will feature Brian Smith as snare drum soloist.

Wu and Smith will then perform “2300 Degrees” by Ivan Trevino on marimbas and small tuned cymbals called crotales. “In the glassblowing art world, 2300 degrees is the temperature at which glass gets interesting,” Wu said. “The composer learned this at the Corning Museum of Glass where he participated in a music and glass event.” The museum is one of the two places where the Festival Symphony Orchestra is performing this summer and also where the composer was inspired to write “2300 Degrees.” “Quite a coincidence,” Wu said.

Two ragtime pieces, “Rainbow Ripples” and “Triplets,” both written by George Hamilton Green and arranged by Bob Becker, will follow. For “Rainbow Ripples,” Wu will solo on the xylophone with Smith, Joe Turner and Simon Bjarning on marimbas. For “Triplets,” Smith will be the xylophone soloist with Wu, Turner and Bjarning on marimbas. “Ragtimes are fun music that make everyone want to dance,” Wu said.

Marimba soloist Nancy Zeltsman arranged “Adagio for Strings” by Samuel Barber into a marimba duo, which Smith and Wu will perform.

The exciting “Dance of the Drums” by Gene Koshinski has rhythms and grooves and loud primal drumming. Two percussionists will play a bass drum, five tom-toms, two China cymbals, a pair of bongos, a pair of congas, a conch shell (used as a single-pitch melodic instrument), a gong and two pairs of claves (hardwood sticks).

Available is a $150 flex pass to attend any six of the Endless Mountain Music Festival concerts, including the six symphony orchestra concerts on Fridays and Saturdays, the chamber concerts Sundays through Thursdays or a mix of both for a $30 to $84 savings.

Also available is a $225 season pass to see 14 concerts for a $249 savings.

Youth 20 and under are admitted free to all concerts.

For a flex or season pass or $39 symphony orchestra tickets or $30 chamber concert tickets, call the box office at 570-787-7800 or visit www.endlessmountain.net.

Heather Mee Fotografee and Design
Xueqing Wu (left) and Brian Smith play marimbas during the 2016 Festival Percussion Ensemble concert.

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