Empire Statesmen First Winter Concert This Weekend

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There’ll be a hot time in Dundee, NY Saturday, March 3, when Rochester’s Empire Statesmen heat up the winter concert stage with their high level tribute to the music of Maynard Ferguson, one of last great trumpet players of the Big Band era.

He often played lead trumpet parts an octave or two above the band, electrifying band members and the audience.

Canadian-born Ferguson was noted for his exceptional power, endurance and lip-splitting high-note command. He recorded 60 albums during a career that lasted for more than 60 years, including movies, television shows and live performances on bandstands and concert stages across North American and Europe. Ferguson passed away in late August, 2006 at age 78, of kidney and liver failure.

The curtain goes up on Statesmen’s 2007 winter concert season at 7 pm at Dundee High School, 155 Water Street. The concert will feature the first public performance by Statesmen of songs made famous by Ferguson, which will also be featured in this year’s field show during the summer contest season. The selections, arranged by World Drum Corps Hall of Fame member Jerry Kelsey, include Maria, the familiar love ballad from West Side Story; Palliacci, a lament for the opera world’s lovelorn clown; Birdland, a standard from the Big Band era, and New York, New York.

One of the highlights of the concert will be a percussion section feature. Audience members will also enjoy a number of favorite Statesmen songs, including Elks Parade, I Go To Rio, and a rousing rendition of Yankee Doodle Dandy.

The Dundee concert is part of a special out of town camp weekend for the Empire Statesmen. Dundee is located south of Geneva, NY, near Penn Yan. The weekend itinerary includes Saturday practice beginning at 11 am, followed by supper at 5 pm, provided by the Dundee High School Boosters.

The Statesmen will spend the night at the school, sleeping on the gym floor, then rehearse again from 9 am to 3 pm on Sunday, March 4.

Performing in winter concerts is part of the Empire Statesmen tradition of supporting various community groups across western New York and southern Ontario.

The Statesmen, five time Drum Corps Associates (DCA) world champions, also operate the Empire Cadets youth marching band for area boys and girls as a community outreach program. A major capital fund-raising campaign now underway aims to provide the long-term financial support required to maintain various programs of both the Statesmen and the Empire Cadets.

The Statesmen will be sponsoring the DCA world championship tournament on Labor Day weekend for the second year in a row. The three-day schedule includes individual and ensemble contests in several downtown locations, the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame induction ceremony, an alumni corps field show and preliminaries and finals to determine the 2007 DCA champion. The field events will all be held in PAETEC Park Stadium.

The Empire Statesmen drum and bugle corps is a self-supporting independent group that represents the city of Rochester across the United States and Canada and as far abroad as Europe, the Caribbean and South America.

To contribute to the Empire Statesmen’s capital campaign, or to obtain information about performances, membership, volunteer opportunities, call (585) 266-2232 or visit the Empire Statesmen Web site at: www.statesmen.org

Posted by on Wednesday, February 28th, 2007. Filed under DCA News.