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Wind Symphony Lives Up To Its Promise

Dr. Mazzaferro introduces
the evening

By MIchael Buss, 2012-11-04
The Halloween concert Chillers and Thrillers certainly had its moment of spooky excitement. Consider a program that includes Dances From the Witches of Eastwick, March to the Scaffold by Berlioz in which you hear the guillotine drop, Dance Macabre which conjures up the rattling bones of dancing skeletons, and the masked phantom from the Paris Opera House (you know what I mean!) and you can spend an imaginative time shivering in your shoes.

Dr. Tony Mazzaferro set the tone for the evening with his 6pm talk about the music. Little did we know until he told us that Camille Saint Saens, famous for his Carnival of the Animals, wrote nearly all his music as a teenager and then, apparently turned more to teaching and playing the organ. Scan his biography in Wikipedia and you soon discover he was a sheer genius.

Monica Cummins (left) keeps the clarinets in order; Stephanie Getz (flutes, right) smiles back.

Of course, neither the Flying Dutchman – which opened the concert – nor the Witches of Eastwick were originally scored for a wind band. Mark Hindsley provided the transcription. This meant that the role normally taken by the violins now became the preserve of the clarinets. It was fun to watch the speed with which the musicians pressed the keys. The lead was bright and crisp at all times.

It is no exaggeration to say that this wind band comprises a great number of very fine musicians, making the OCWS one of the best wind bands you could possibly hope to hear.

Some of the children in costume get ready to parade through the auditorium.

The concert was also notable for the kids who showed up in Halloween costumes. The well-advertised deal was that families bringing children in costume would get in free. It was certainly good to see them there, even if they were a bit fidgety from time to time.

Next up with the Symphony will be the Holiday Celebration, on Sunday December 9th, at Anaheim First Christian Church. Conductor David Rentz (who was nursing a bad cold at Chillers and Thrillers) said this will be a good location for the concert. Acoustically just lively enough, the church should be a great place to hear the special guests Claremont College Choir who will render some of the Christmas parts of Handel’s Messiah.

Naturally, the evening will also hold some nice surprises.
The advertising says that seating may be tight – so you are encouraged to make reservations early. You can do this online at right here, now.



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