Column: Buffalo Grove Symphonic Band’s fall concert promises to be a hit


Buffalo Grove seriously is one of the best local hotspots to take in the arts.

The next fabulous opportunity to enjoy community culture will be Oct. 29, when the Buffalo Grove Symphonic Band (BGSB) puts on its 16th annual fall concert “No Strings Attached.”

Howard Green, founding conductor and music director, recently had some time to tell me all about it. First, I was curious to know more about the title and theme of the concert.

“The music is primarily from the orchestral and jazz band literature,” said Green, who oversees 72 members. “The orchestral selections we will play are what we call ‘transcriptions,’ where the string parts are taken over by winds. Also, where most of the time in orchestras, solo pieces are for violin, cello, piano, viola, etc., we are featuring an instrument that gets comparatively little chance to shine as a solo – the trombone, featuring one of the band’s own players, Jeremy Sims.”

Next, I wanted to know a little about the music for this concert.

“Very few band audiences get the chance to hear the music of Viennese composer Gustav Mahler, one of the first conductors of the New York Philharmonic, by the way,” Green said. “But we are featuring the absolutely transcendent ‘Adagietto’ from his Fifth Symphony. Jazz and pop fans are not left out, either. We will be performing a great blues tune – ‘Blues for a Killed Kat’ – as well as music of Charlie Parker and Dave Brubeck, among others. We are also performing Danzon No. 2 by Mexican composer Arturo Marquez, and the exuberant and exciting finale from the Tchaikovsky No. 4.”

Green added that all concertgoers should look for the variety of music from “the wonderful musicians of the band.”

“It would be hard to find a community-based band, or orchestra for that matter, that performs such diverse programs so well on a regular basis,” Green said, adding, “If anyone has a student who plays a bass brass instrument, or is trying to settle on an instrument, I believe the Trombone Concerto by Rimsky-Korsakov will be a revelation, as will the Mahler selections.”

Although hard to pick a favorite part about directing the BGSB, Green relishes “being able to perform such high-quality selections and styles of music with so many fine, dedicated musicians.”

“It has been, and continues to be an honor and a privilege to direct the Symphonic and Jazz Band ensembles,” Green said. “This concert is special to me since I had some fairly major surgery in August of this year, and am so excited and happy to be back on the podium doing what I love, making music with this wonderful group.”

One last thing, after hearing out about “No Strings Attached,” I spoke with BGSB clarinet player, Irene Lerner, and found out some fun facts.

Irene and her husband, Mike, a trumpet player, have been married for 53 years. Both are in the BGSB and they actually met while playing in their high school band. Isn’t that so cool?

“If it weren’t for band, we wouldn’t have met since Mike was a year older than me,” Irene said. “Music is very important in our lives and it continues to be with the BGSB. Being in the band is so many levels of pleasure – from remembering being in our high school band, where Mike got kicked out a few times for watching me, instead of playing his instrument, to being in the band now, which is amazing. It’s also incredible to see how our musicality as a group has grown. And audiences love the Buffalo Grove Symphonic Band, too.”

The “No Strings Attached” performance starts at 7 p.m. Oct. 29 inside Buffalo Grove High School. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. Seniors and students with an ID can purchase tickets for $8.

For information, visit www.bgsb.org.

Susan Dubin is a freelance columnist for Pioneer Press. Contact her at gabbin@susandubin.com.



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