The instrumental music department at Dodge City Community College will present their winter concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 7, in the Little Theatre on the college campus.
David McKinney, associate professor of bands and orchestra, has programmed an evening of music on the lighter side.
"Our April concert in Windthorst will be more serious, in keeping with the venue, so we decided to follow the choral department's lead and program more toward the pops end of the spectrum," McKinney said in an interview Friday.
The Dodge City Symphony will open the concert with the Hopak, a Ukrainian dance from the unfinished opera, "The Fair at Sorochyntsi," by Modest Mussorgsky.
The symphony, which includes players from both the community college and the community, will continue the program with a medley of music by Henry Mancini and excerpts from "The Sound of Music."
Two DC3 ensembles will also be featured at the concert.
The jazz ensemble will present two jazz standards: "September," and "Birdland,"
"I was surprised when none of the students had heard of 'Birdland,'" McKinney said.
"Birdland" was a jazz-fusion hit in the late 1970s by Joe Zawinul, drummer for Weather Report. The tune marked a high point for the band and has since become a jazz classic and part of the repertoire of artists like Buddy Rich, Maynard Ferguson, The Manhattan Transfer and Quincy Jones.
"I grew up with that tune," McKinney said, "And it was so popular and recorded so many times in so many versions that we got sick of it. So I'm glad to introduce it to my students."
The DC3 wind ensemble will round out the program with three wind band classics.
"These are pieces that have stood the test of time and they've all been named in the top 100 band classics of all time," McKinney said.
The pieces, all composed between 1952 and 1962, are all overtures: The Variation Overture, Overture for Winds and Fantasy on American Sailing Songs.
"We had to plan some extra time into our rehearsal schedule because several students were selected for the Kansas Music Educators Association convention band," McKinney said.
So the snow storms of the last few days didn't affect preparations for this concert but the weather did cause part of the convention, which took place in Wichita, to be canceled.
"The band clinician was flying in from Miami to work with students from all over the state. Our students had worked hard and were really well prepared, but the weather kept the clinician from getting to Wichita so their performance was canceled," McKinney said.
Still, the students were able to enjoy some of the convention sessions and visit the vendor exhibits so the trip wasn't a total loss.
Page 2 of 2 - "We had already planned the overnight stay and the students weren't missing classes, since the campus was closed for snow, so we ducked between snow storms getting to and from Wichita and the students got to get a taste of the state convention," McKinney said.
And to help make up for the cancellation of their performance, all the students were promised an automatic spot in next year's ensemble.
Still on the schedule for the DC3 instrumental department this semester are an April 28 concert in Windthorst featuring the Dodge City Symphony and a May 2 concert showcasing the jazz and wind ensembles.
"We'd really like to let people know that community players are always welcome to join the symphony any time we start new music and begin a new session to prepare for a concert," McKinney said.
The symphony rehearses on Tuesday evenings and anyone interested in joining the ensemble for the spring concerts is invited to contact McKinney at 227-9246.
IF YOU GO
What: DC3 winter instrumental concert
When: 7:30 p.m. March 7
Where: DC3 Little Theatre
Concert is free and open to the public.
Follow Don Steele on Twitter @Don_dcglobe.