The Racine Concert Band will perform at Park High


RACINE – The Racine Concert Band continues to celebrate its historic 100th season with a 7 p.m. program on Tuesday, November 1 at Park High School, 1901 12th St.

The free concert highlights the band’s “Rooted in Racine” series.

“Our new tradition features guest artists who have developed their musical skills in our region,” said Mark Eichner, the band’s bandleader.

Park and UW-Parkside alumnus Bill Nelson will lead a rendition of “Concerto for Tenor Saxophone” by American Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Ward.

“It will be a great pleasure to collaborate with Will Bill again and also to conduct composer Robert Ward’s only group work not previously performed by the band.”

The November program also includes the Racine Concert Band‘s third premiere of the year: a version for orchestra – arranged by Eichner – of “Melodia” from Daron Hagen’s “Concerto for Brass Quintet”.

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A native of Brookfield, Hagen “moved to New York before moving to Wisconsin,” Eichner said. “Nevertheless, our musical paths crossed several times, and Daron allowed me to do the band’s version and lead the first.”

“Although I have done many arrangements for the band,” Eichner added, “I have never arranged the music of a living composer.”

Hagen studied for two years at the University of Wisconsin-Madison before moving to New York in 1984, where he graduated from The Juilliard School.

After living abroad, he returned to the United States and studied with Leonard Bernstein. Hagen dedicated his 1993 opera, “Shining Brow”, to Bernstein’s memory.

He has worked as composer-in-residence and visiting professor at numerous universities and is a faculty member at the Chicago College of Performing Arts Conservatory of Music.

In 2020-2021, Hagen made his filmmaking debut, releasing his first “filmopera”, titled “Orson Rehearsed”, in which he explored the dying thoughts of Kenosha native Orson Welles through words, pictures and music. His second “filmopera” was shot on location in a Chicago restaurant and is currently in post-production.

Guest artist

Soloist Nelson, who plays tenor saxophone and clarinet, performs regularly on professional stages in the Milwaukee and Fox Valley areas.

He was a high school and middle school conductor in the Ripon Area School District for 32 years and now teaches in the Xavier School System in Appleton. He is also a saxophone teacher for the Wisconsin State Honors Jazz Ensemble.

Nelson has taught applied clarinet and saxophone at Ripon College since 1988.

On November 1, Nelson will perform the “Concerto for tenor saxophone and wind ensemble”.

Root Harmony also occurs:

  • “The Gods Go A-Begging” by George Frideric Handel, a 20th century ballet that uses music from Handel’s operas, arranged by Thomas Beecham in an orchestral version by WJ Duthoit.
  • “Pas redouble” by Camille Saint-Saëns, a fast double march.
  • “Huntingtower Ballad” by Ottorino Respighi, the Italian master’s only work for orchestra.

The Park High School Band, led by Mark Jensen, performs:

  • “Burnished Brass” by John Cacavas.
  • “Komm, Susser Tod” by JS Bach, arranged by Alfred Reed.
  • “Stone Creek Episode” by Ed Huckeby.
  • “Pie in the Face Polka”, featuring guest artist Bill Nelson.

The two bands will team up for the finale, a medley of music from Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” by Danny Elfman.


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