USAO Band, Key Players Display Musical Variety Nov. 20

USAO Band, Key Players Display Musical Variety Nov. 20


CHICKASHA – If variety is the spice of life, then the University of Science and Arts is the spice rack of music. On Nov. 20, the university will showcase two of its top musical groups when the USAO Droverspirit Concert Band teams up with the new Key Players Synthesizer Ensemble for a night of free eclectic and energetic music.

The 7:30 p.m. concert, scheduled in the Te Ata Memorial Auditorium in Troutt Hall, is free and open to the public.

The 30-member Concert Band, complete with wind, brass and rhythm sections, will perform symphonic classics during its part of the show. The Key Players, USAO’s newest musical ensemble, is a five-person synthesizer band made up of four keyboards and electronic drums.

Dr. Dan Hanson, professor of music and director of both ensembles, said the concert is packed with diverse music.

“The Key Players ensemble is a daring musical experiment with an impressive repertoire from Bach to The Beatles, from Wagner to polkas, from rock to jazz, from movie music to novelty tunes, and from pop classics to wedding music,” Hanson said.

With selections including a processional march, a medieval chant and pop radio favorites, “Funkytown” by Lipps Inc. and “Moondance” by Van Morrison, the Concert Band promises a broad mix as well.

“The program showcases an impressive range of talent from this dynamic and versatile university wind ensemble,” Hanson said. “Band members are drawn from every course of study across the USAO campus.”

In his 19th year as band director at USAO, Hanson has built the ensemble from a handful of students to more than 30 today.

“When I came here, there were two students in the band. Two students!” Hanson said. Within a few years, Hanson built the stock to 30 students. “I was really happy to have a band at all. It’s kind of hard to build a band though, since we don’t have a football team to play lots of shows with, but it’s a big enough group now that we can hardly travel.”

With a desire to do more gigs, Hanson tossed around ideas of small ensembles for years before coming up with the Key Players.

“I’ve thought about this for 10 years,” Hanson said. “That’s why I want to do this keyboard group. It’s portable, small and it sounds really big! Keyboard players are used to being entertainers, so I thought, ‘give me four or five musicians, and we can really scare some people!’”

Hanson said each member of the keyboard ensemble collaborates to create original arrangements of each song. Because synthesizers allow a vast amount of sounds and instruments at their fingertips, literally, each member plays a different part.

“Sometimes we trade off on the repeat,” he said. “Someone will become the bass player, take the lead, play rhythm, whatever we think sounds good. Each song has its own arrangement.”

Hanson said the public is welcome to attend the free concert Nov. 20 at 7:30 p.m. “The ensembles are challenging, inspiring, exciting and fun,” Hanson said. “Please join us for a delightful hour of distinctively rousing and unusual instrumental entertainment!”

More information is available from Dan Hanson at (405) 574-1297.

Members of the Droverspirit Concert Band are:

Purcell music sophomore Kari Newell (flute), Claremore chemistry freshman Robin Jones (flute), Claremore physical education freshman Tina Rainwater (flute), Newcastle biology freshman Alicia Stanford (flute), Tuttle freshman Kelsey Hostetter (flute) and Margaret Ann Smith of Broken Arrow (oboe).

Newcastle music sophomore Megan Eldredge (clarinet), freshman Andrea Jones (clarinet) of Covington, Ohio, Tuttle deaf education junior Heather Lindsey (clarinet), Blanchard biology freshman Kayla Kerbo (clarinet), Moore music senior Josh Jaques (bass clarinet), Eufaula music sophomore Mechelle McDowell (bassoon), Vian music senior Loretta Seay (alto sax) and
Marlow communication junior Meagan Peters (alto sax).

Sapulpa music senior Lisa Daniel (cornet), Dibble music senior Danyele Oxford (trumpet), Minco music junior Cassie Walje (trumpet), music freshman Scott Pitts (trombone) of Georgetown, Texas, Chickasha communication sophomore Bryan Nabors (trombone) and Sand Springs physics sophomore James Hazelton (euphonium).

Comanche music freshman James Harper III (percussion), Minco music freshman Bob Sanders (percussion), Gage music sophomore Houston Green (percussion & guitar), Moore music senior Kristin Epperson (percussion), music freshman Tyrel Greenhalgh (percussion) of Clarendon, Pa., Rush Springs music sophomore Corey Moon (bass guitar) and Moore music sophomore Mickey Deford (keyboard).

The Key Players Synthesizer Ensemble is composed of Anadarko music junior Susanna Hayworth (synthesizer), Newcastle music sophomore Megan Eldredge (synthesizer), Mickey Deford (synthesizer), Dan Hanson (synthesizer) and
James Harper (electronic drum set).