AU Musical Events: A Blast of Brass, 4/11-12

Boy, do I love spring in the AU Department of Performing Arts. It seems as if every new day brings a new performance or event, which means fun and easy blog content! But actually, it is great to walk around Katzen knowing I’ll probably run in on some concert or other. It’s an exciting artistic environment!

As you all know, tonight is our AU Jazz Orchestra’s spring concert, sure to be a wild time, but do you think our performing arts students and faculty will take the weekend off afterwards? No way! Instead, AU’s Chamber Singers are partnering up with the Rockville Brass Band to bring you “A Blast of Brass!” on both Saturday and Sunday.

Led, respectively, by our own Dan Abraham and the appropriately-named Nigel Horne, these two ensembles will join in a rendition of John Rutter’s “Gloria,” as well as traditional British Brass Band works by Eric Ball, Peter Graham and Richard Strauss. What a sturdy trio of names.

The events will occur at 8pm tomorrow and 3pm on Sunday afternoon, both in the Abramson Recital Hall in Katzen. Tickets are $10 for the general public and $5 for AU community members and seniors. RSVP for the facebook event, and find tickets here!


New Semester, New Arrivals S2015

Hello, 2015!

To kick off our spankin’ new semester we’ve got a deluge of new arrivals, scores and CDs! To save this poor blogger some time, we’ll be posting half of them today and some more tomorrow (arbitrarily chosen). Here’s day 1, and check back tomorrow for some more!


Baker – Mickey Baker’s Complete Course in Jazz Guitar, books 1-2 – MT582 .B2 1955

Baker – Mickey Baker’s Jazz Guitar – MT582 .B2 1973

Glenn & Taylor (ed.) – Classic Italian Songs for School and Studio, Vol. III – M1619 .G536 C5 v. 3

Lu – Partita for brass trio – 357.4 .L8 P37 2013

Meacham – American Patrol; German Trombone Vibration, arr. for trombone quartet by Jorg Vollerthun – M459 .M43 A44 2011

Mozart – Concerto no. 14 in E-flat major for Piano and Orchestra (KV 449) – M1011 .M93 K.449 1990

Mozart – Concerto no. 27 in B-flat major for Piano and Orchestra (KV 595) – M1011 .M92 K.595 2011

Mozart – Piano Concerto in G Major piano reduction (KV 453) – M1011 .M93 K.453 2006

Mozart – Piano Concerto in C Major piano reduction (KV 467) – M1011 .M93 K.467 2006

Phillips – Catamaran for brass septet – M757.4 .P45 C38 2013

Saint-Saens – Concerto no. 1 in A for Violoncello and Orchestra, op. 33 – M1016 .S15 op. 33 2001

Segovia – Diatonic Major and Minor Scales – MT585 .S44 D53 2011

Sousa – The Gladiator March, arr. for trombone quartet by Andrew Converse – M459 .S68 G53 2010

Sousa – Stars and Stripes Forever, arr. for trombone by Brad Howland – M459 .S68 .S83 1999

Tiger Rag, arr. for trombone quartet by Jack Gale – M459 .T541 1993

Von Suppe – Light Cavalry (the good parts), arr. for trombone quartet by Craig Kaucher – M459 S88 2006

Wagner – Ride of the Valkyries, arr. for trombone by David Uber – M459 .W25 R46 2002



Allen Anderson – An Opportunity for Mischief – CD 6962

David Claman, Ryan Vigil, John McDonald – Keypunch – CD 7089

Trouble Funk – Drop The Bomb – CD 1892

Love’s Labour’s Lost (Original Cast Recording) – CD 8289

A Loving Home’s A Happy Home: 19th Century Moravian Parlor Music – CD 8279

Otha Turner and the Afrosippi Allstars feat. the Rising Star Fife and Drum Band – From Senegal to Senatobia – CD 2204

Yann Tiersen – Music from the Motion Picture Amelie – CD 2080


Carley’s Staff Picks!

In recent months I have been fueled by Beethoven. Piano sonatas, string quartets, symphonies, concertos, everything. So, my first staff pick is the excellent documentary In Search of Beethoven. There are too many prominent ensembles, conductors and pianists featured in the film to count. The documentary truly takes the viewer on a journey. It catalogs his works and gives us some insight into Beethoven’s remarkable personality and his empathy for humanity.

In Search of Beethoven: A film by Phil Grabsky  ~  DVD 202

Chamber music. There’s so much of it! I think Mendelssohn is a good place to start. His piano trios are remarkable (the man DID write “Songs without Words”).

Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio in D minor was written in 1839, the year before Schumann experienced his most prolific year of songwriting. I love that Schumann viewed Mendelssohn as the Mozart of the 19th century, saying that he was the “most of illuminating of musicians”. High praise.

The Piano Trios of Felix Mendelssohn  ~  CD 9069

2013 is the bicentennial of Verdi and Wagner! Orchestras and Opera companies all over the world are celebrating with seasons dedicated to performing great works, from the most famous to the lesser-known. The AUSO began the celebration in March with the overture from  Die Meistersinger von Nurmberg and they will be joined by the AU Chorus in a couple of weeks to keep the party going with Verdi’s Four Sacre Pezzi.

Simon Boccanegra  ~  CD 8802

Birgit Nilsson Sings Wagner Arias with Hans Hotter and Leopold Ludwig  ~  CD 8173

This one’s for Robert:

Meredith Monk: Turtle Dreams  ~  CD 9697

We just got Eighth Blackbird’s GRAMMY NOMINATED “Meanwhile” (and other scores, CDs, DVD)

Get excited about our newest acquisition, Eighth Blackbird’s recent release “Meanwhile”: CD 10048.

“Is there an ensemble anywhere that conveys the sheer exuberance and joy of contemporary music like Eighth Blackbird? To listen to this brilliant young American sextet is to be constantly reminded of just how exciting, funny and ingratiating new work can be – especially when it’s delivered with these players’ characteristic blend of breakneck virtuosity and charm.”

– Joshua Kosman for the San Fransisco Chronicle


The Kashmere Stage Band: Texas Thunder Soul, 1968-1974 – CD 10047

Paul Winter Sextet: Jazz Meets the Bossa Nova/Folk Song – CD 10046



Chops – Music Library DVD 55

Follows a group of high school students from Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, a public school in Jacksonville, FL, as they try to win a competition where the prize is being able to play at the prestigious Essentially Ellington Festival at New York’s Lincoln Center and an opportunity to work with famed jazz musician Wynton Marsalis.



Bird Cage  –  M1473.C34.B57 1972
Chess Pieces for Piano  –  M25.C34 C54 2005
 Nocturne for Violin and Piano  –  M221.C34 N63 1972
Radio Music  –  M1473.C34 R33 1961
Sonata for Clarinet  –  M72.C34 S66 1963
Sonata for Two Voices  –  M298.5.C34 S66 1979
String Quartet in four parts  –  M452.C32 S77 1960


David Amram  –  Cancion de Verano: A Piano Quartet for Young Musicians  –  M412 A47.C36 2012
J.S. Bach  –  Sechs Partiten for Klavier, 1-3  –  M24.B115 S8 1958 v. 1
Ludwig van Beethoven  –  Three Equali for four Trombones WoO 30  – M457.4.B44 D74 2012
Luigi Carvelli  –  Serenata Napolitana for Violoncello and Piano  –  M233.C37 S47 2012
Richard Danielpour  –  Spirits in the Well for Soprano and Piano  –  M1621.4.D36 S65 2012
Michael Daugherty  –  Elvis Everywhere for String Quartet and Tape  –  M585.D38 E48 2010
Jacob Druckman  –  Dance with Shadows for Brass Quintet  – M557.4.D78 D36 2012
Beat Furrer (yes that is a name)  –  Phasma for Piano  –  M25.F87 P53 2005
David Friedman  –  Mirror from Another: A collection of solo pieces for vibraphone  –  M175.X6 F75 1987
Osvaldo Golijob  –  Tenebrae (Version III) for String Quartet  –  M454.G65 T46 2011
Aram Khachaturian  –  Double Fugue for string quartet  –  M452.K53 D68 2011
Lowell Lieberman  –  Six Songs on Poems of Nelly Sachs, Op. 14 for Soprano and Piano  –  M1621.L54 op.14 2012

Steve Mackey  –  Fusion Tone for Electric Guitar and Violoncello  –  M295.M33 F87 2012

Steve Reich  –  Know what is above you for Three Soprano Singers, One Alto Singer, and 2 Small Tuned Drums – M2019.5.R45 K66 2012
Igor Stravinsky  –  Circus Polka composed for a Young Elephant, for saxophone quartet  –  M459.S77 C57 2011

New CD’s!

 We’ve got plenty of new CD’s! Check them out and have a listen

Outkast – The Love Below and Speakerboxx – CD 9898

Carole King – Tapestry – CD 9907

Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday and more – Let’s Be Frank Sinatra – CD 9901

Betty Carter – I Can’t Help It – CD 9902

The Very Best of Burt Bacharach CD 9900

Ruby Braff, Dick Hyman – America, The Beautiful

CD 9904

The George Benson Collection – CD 9899

Kevin Mahogany – My Romance – CD 9892

Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers with Thelonious Monk –        CD 9891

Thank you, John! Our Tribute to John Coltrane –                    CD 9893

The Best of Lou Donaldson, Volume 1 (1957-1967) –           CD 9903

Gene Ammons and Sonny Stitt – We’ll Be Together Again – CD 9905

Phineas Newborn Jr. – Back Home – CD 9906

The Ultimate Diva Collection – CD 9894

Jazz at Night’s End – CD 9895

Jazz Weekend – CD 9896

Jazz for the Open Road – CD 9897

Glenn Gould – The French Suites (Anniversary Edition)    CD 9889

Glenn Gould – The English Suites (Jubilee Edition)            CD 9890



Music of Edward Joseph Collins:

  • Vol. I – Variations on an Irish tune and other works, Allegro piacevole, Tango (in Form of a Rondo) and other works – CD 9879
  • Vol. II – Orchestral Music – CD 9880
  • Vol. III – Concerto No. 3, Symphony (“Nos habebit humus”)CD 9881
  • Vol. IV – Hibernia (Irish Rhapsody), Concerto No. 1, Lil’ David Play on Yo’ Harp, Lament and JigCD 9882
  • Vol. V – Arabesque, Songs, Prayer, Suite for Violoncello and Piano            CD 9883
  • Vol. VI – Hymn to the Earth, Variations on Irish Folksong, Cowboy’s Breakdown  –      CD 9884
  • Vol. VII – Ballet-Suite: The Masque of the Red Death, Irish Rhapsody, Set of FourCD 9885
  • Vol. VIII – Piano Trio (Geronimo) Op. 1, Songs Piano Solo Works                CD 9886
  • Vol. IX – Daughter of the South (opera in one act and two scenes)               CD 9887
  • Vol. X – Sonata Op. 2/14 for violin and piano (Allegro) CD 9888


September 2,  2:00 pm [Studio Theater]
September 7,  4:00 pm – 9:30 pm [Recital Hall]
September 8, 9:00 am [Recital Hall]

Join the AU Music Department in a centennial celebration of John Cage’s birthday!  In partnership with the John Cage Centennial Festival of Washington, DC, American University will be hosting three Cage-ian events!

On September 2nd at 2 pm, come to the Katzen Center Studio Theater to get a taste of Cage’s repertoire with [In] CAGE.  Bonnie Whiting Smith, Dustin Donahue and AU Music Faculty Dr. William Brent, the members of red fish blue fish will be performing.

On September 7th at 4 pm, Tom Delio will give a lecture about John Cage’s percussion work “Amores” [1941].  Following Mr. Delio’s lecture, a series of concerts will cover every decade of Cage’s work from the 1930s to the 1990s.  Steven Schick and the Percussion Group Cincinnati will give rare performances of Cage’s music.  This performance will be located in the Studio Theater at 5:30 pm [free], the Katzen Museum at 6:30 pm [free], and there will  be a feature performance in the Recital Hall at 7:30 pm [$5 with a student ID]. There will be another performance of Cage’s work at 9:30 pm in the Museum [free].

On Saturday September 8th at 9:00 am [Recital Hall], Steven Schick and Percussion group Cincinnati will lead a free masterclass on interpreting Cage and other experimental music that will be performed in the September 7th concert.

For more information about the rest of the John Cage Centennial Festival Washington, DC, visit

Staff Picks ~ 7/12

It’s been awhile since the last round of staff picks, so its about time for some more.

Steve Reich Works 1965 – 1995

I like Steve Reich’s music. This box set is a collection of Reich’s music spanning a 30 year period featuring the Steve Reich Ensemble among many other esteemed groups. Its a great collection.

The cover art is pretty cool too.

Bruckner: Symphonies 1-9

This nifty little box set off the the RCA label is a really well put together compilation of what are arguably some of the biggest, longest and most complex symphonies in the major Western repertoire. The cycle was recorded in the 70’s by the Gewandhausorchester of Leipzig under the baton of Kurt Masur. Its powerful where it needs to be powerful, which is important with Bruckner. Even the slower tempos don’t seem as drawn out as other recordings of Bruckner, although I would not say Masur zips through them. Overall, if you like Bruckner, this is a good box to look at.

Copland: Third Symphony ~ Music for the Theater

I like Copland. I especially like his Third Symphony. It represents a culmination of his Americana-esque sound now associated with Western Soundtracks. I also like it because the orchestration is incredibly well done. Chief among this, in my opinion is the way he handles the Brass. I know I am a bit biased towards Brass (was the Bruckner a clue at all?), but this is one of those pieces that is made for the brass section, taking advantage of everything it does well. But enough about the piece, lets talk about this recording.

Usually when people talk about a recording of Copland’s Third Symphony, they talk about the New York Philharmonic recording from 1986 under Bernstein’s Baton. Actually, with so much attention on that recording, people tend to forget that there are other great recordings out there. This is one of them. Yoel Levi conducts the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in a great performance that reminds you that you can find a nice recording outside of the Big Five.

Prokofiev: Alexander Nevsky, Lieutenant Kije, Scythian Suite

Sporting more than just a cool picture, this collection of Prokofiev conducted by Abbado is seriously heavy. Alexander Nevsky and Lieutenant Kije is as big as anything gets these days. However, Scythian Suite is something that just takes that extra excessive step. This was my first recording of the piece and as a brass player, the second movement holds a special place in my heart. Take a listen and see why.

Prokofiev: The 5 Piano concertos

If you asked me which Pianist I would want to hear play something Russian, it would be Alexander Toradze. Then if you asked me who I would want to conduct, it would be Valery Gergiev. So it only makes sense that this recording be in my list of recommendations. Toradze is powerful on the keys, yet sensitive to the frenetic changes in mood common in Prokofiev. Add to this the long years of collaboration between him and Gergiev and you have a match made in heaven.