USAO Logo

Spring Music Showcase features swan song of beloved faculty


Four performing groups will present three concerts in the upcoming USAO Spring Music Showcase. The Concert Band and Key Players will present a joint concert on April 13; the Concert Choir on April 14; and the Showband on April 17.

Spring Music Showcase features swan song of beloved faculty

 

A series of upcoming concerts showcasing the hard work of music students will contain at least two bittersweet notes as beloved faculty members direct their final performances at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.

The Spring Music Showcase will include concerts from the Concert Band and Key Players, under the direction of Dr. Dan Hanson, on April 13 in Te Ata Memorial Auditorium; the Concert Choir, under the direction of Dr. Jan Hanson, on April 14 in the Alumni Chapel; and the Showband, under the direction of Joe Settlemires, on April 17 in the Ballroom.

All three concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. and are free and open to the public.

Concert Band and Key Players

After 27 years, Dan Hanson will direct his final concert for the university with a performance from the two groups under his direction, the Concert Band and the Key Players.

Hanson is proud of the time he spent directing the Concert Band and various other ensembles.

“It’s been a real privilege to work with so many great musicians over the years,” Hanson said. “I have thoroughly enjoyed the wide-range of talent while working to pull it together into various, cohesive ensembles that performed challenging and educationally sound music.”

The Key Players will present a program featuring original arrangements of rock classics by Led Zeppelin, Toto, Styx, Boston, Bruce Springsteen, Gary Wright and Elton John.

Performers include Nathan Allen, Amber; Zev Stein and Harrison Guy, Oklahoma City; Bret Embry and Glenn Finley, Midwest City; Bailey Vinsant of Morris; and Hanson.

Instrumentation includes three synthesizers, guitar, bass guitar, drum set and alto sax.

The concert will feature USAO alumnus Rob Vollmar as guest vocalist on Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir.”

The Droverspirit Concert Band presents a colorful program of contemporary arrangements of a classic Spanish march, Rossini’s “William Tell Overture”, a featured trio of trumpets, and the music of Oklahoma Ed Huckeby and legendary composer William Francis McBeth.

Concert Choir

The Concert Choir’s performance will showcase a number of guest conductors.

Senior music education majors, Robert Perou of Elgin, and Lindsay Robbins of Moore will lead the Concert Choir along with Dr. Kate Sekula, special instructor in music, and Dr. Jan Hanson, professor of music.

Perou will conduct the Serbian song, “Niska Banja”, set for voices, clarinet and tambourine.

Based on a traditional Romani dance, “Niska Banja” is a lively song with driving rhythms that will feature Nick Curtis on clarinet, freshman music major from Oklahoma City; Zev Stein on percussion, senior music education major from Oklahoma City; and Nathan Allen on piano, senior music education major from Chickasha.

Robbins will conduct Robert Shaw’s arrangement of “All Creatures of Our God and King”, arranged for mixed choir and organ.

Dr. Kate Sekula, accompanist and conductor, will lead the Concert Choir in Z. Randall Stroope’s, “The Call” for organ and choir.

The well-known Ave Maria setting, “Bogoroditse Devo,” by Sergei Rachmaninoff will be performed in Russian.

Additional selections include “To The First of My Lovers” by the young American composer, Craig Hella Johnson, and “The Race Is Run”, with a text inspired by the victims of the Boston Marathon tragedy.

Seating is limited in the chapel. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early to secure a seat.

Showband

USAO’s Showband is going out the way it wants to be remembered – with the audience on its feet. The ensemble’s final performance will be a dance in the university’s ballroom.

The Showband’s director Joe Settlemires, who is also leaving USAO this trimester, says he is proud of the students who contributed to the ensemble’s enduring legacy.

“I have worked with a lot of great kids,” he said. “None of them ever let me down. Every band was the best yet and I’m going to miss them.”

The ensemble’s final set will showcase its crowd-pleasing strengths of blues, jazz, soul, rock-n-roll and country.

Highlights are expected to include performances of the Edgar Winter Group’s “Free Ride”, George Strait’s “Ace in the Hole”, as well as standards like “Beyond the Sea” and “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.”

The band has worked up a special closing number in support of Settlemires’ granddaughter, who is currently battling against cancer.

Donna Settlemires, Joe’s wife and assistant director to the Showband, said that her granddaughter had selected OneRepublic’s “I Lived” as her personal anthem in recovery.

“I wasn’t that familiar with the song,” Donna Settlemires said. “But when I played it for Joe and the band, they knew that it would make a perfect song to close out this chapter in the Showband’s history as well as celebrate her bravery.”

The Showband was formed in 2001. The ensemble recorded albums in Nashville in 2006 and 2010.

In its 14-year history, the Showband has served as an ambassador for the university, playing for audiences all over Oklahoma and Texas, often while raising money for worthy charities.

More information about all of the concerts in the Spring Music Showcase, including rosters for the various ensembles, can be found online at usao.edu/events.