The Union Recorder

Columns

October 2, 2012

Variety of events are on the horizon

MILLEDGEVILLE — There’s a musical interlude coming up this week and some story telling as well. And that’s NOT a story.

This very evening, Tuesday, Oct. 2, The Georgia Woodwind Quintet is performing at Max Noah Recital Hall starting at 7:30 p.m., courtesy of the Georgia College Department of Music.

This stellar group is a resident faculty ensemble at the University of Georgia School of Music and was founded in 1967 right after one of its members heard “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and thought “heck, I can do better than that!”

The quintet has maintained an active schedule ever since. Looking at a photo that was published on its website, it’s hard to believe these same people have been performing since 1967. They look so young!! Woodwinds must do that to you. I was a low brass player myself, and the aging effect is a bit more dramatic.

Of course, I guess it’s possible there have been changes in personnel over the years.

Regardless, the quintet performs woodwind chamber music from the early quintets of Danzi and Reicha to 20th century compositions. In fact, the group has sponsored seven Symposia for New Woodwind Quintet Music at that little red school house up in Athens since 1978 and has recorded a compact disc of winning compositions from some of those Symposia.

Current instrumentation of the quintet includes a flute (makes sense), a clarinet (again, perfectly sensible for a woodwind ensemble) and a bassoon (one of my favorite “often larger than the person playing it” instruments). And can anyone, at least of my generation, hear a bassoon without thinking of Grandpa from the Disney version of “Peter and the Wolf”?

Since this is a quintet, that means there should be at least two more representatives — unless you want to make it like those strange photos you see all the time advertising some singing quartet with six people in the photo.

Filling in the fourth slot is an oboe. Now I will agree that this is a woodwind instrument. But in all my years of listening to music, I’m not sure if I have ever heard an oboe IN TUNE! So personally I will be fascinated to just find out if an “in tune” oboe player really exists or if such a creature ranks right up there with the tooth fairy, trolls and politicians who actually care.

The fifth member of the quintet is listed as playing “horn.” Now this COULD be an English horn, which is a real woodwind instrument. But the pictures that I saw at the group’s website definitely showed a French horn, which is a brass instrument.

However, because of its mellow sound, the French horn often has its parts written to complement the woodwind section of an orchestra, so it frequently gets included with the woodwinds. Hey, I don’t make ALL of this stuff up!

Anyway, it should be a fun evening of mighty fine music, and admission is absolutely free. I say check it out — but it’s tonight, so you better head over to Max Noah real soon.

Now if you can’t make it out tonight (or even if you can), perhaps you can head over to that strange edifice known as the “Black Box Theatre,” in the always beautiful Campus Theatre tomorrow night, Wednesday, Oct. 3, when the GC Theatre Department presents an evening of “Storytelling” starting at 8 p.m.

GC rhetoric professors Amy Burt and Scott Dillard, along with nationally known storyteller Milbre Burch, will present an evening of tales sure to amuse and confuse.

Both Amy and Scott are experts in this field — plus both have directed plays in the past for the Milledgeville Players — so I have a special connection with these two talented individuals.

Amy’s choice of stories particularly interests me — “Letter to Max — Baroness Schraeder’s Fabulous Life” — an alternative view of Sound of Music’s iconic villain, Baroness Schraeder. As many people know, “Sound of Music” is not one of my favorite musicals. I’ve always felt it could send any diabetic into a sugar-induced coma.

So I find the idea of an alternative view of Baroness Schraeder to be most intriguing.

Story telling is a great art — I love doing it myself. And it is amazing how mesmerizing it can be, even in an age of instant media gratification.

Tickets are $4 for general admission with a dollar discount for senior citizens and GC faculty and staff.

 Finally, let me mention a couple of events coming up Sunday afternoon, Oct. 14. Put them on your calendars now.

Over at the Marlor House, the folks at Allied Arts will host an opening reception for a photograph exhibit from David Veal. This is scheduled from 1: to 3 p.m.

On that same day and date, the Oconee Regional Symphony Orchestra (ORSO) will present its fall concert in Russell Auditorium starting at 3 p.m.

A chance for both photographic art and community music on the same day in the same vicinity of town! It’s almost like living in Vienna (pronounced “vee-” as in Mozart, not “vi-” as in Pig Jigs) without the cumbersome statues.

Until next time gentle readers — catch you on the flip side.

Tom Toney can be reached at ttoney@unionrecorder.com.

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