Originally created 07/31/98

Cornet player dresses for his role

Bill Denton isn't bragging, but he wants the audience at his vintage cornet recital Sunday to expect some musical acrobatics.

Mr. Denton will be performing in the pyrotechnic style of noted virtuoso Herbert L. Clarke, a technique requiring the player to run through numerous fast scales and arpeggios to impress the audience.

"It's like musical fireworks," said Mr. Denton, who will be accompanied on piano by Gary Stegal for the 5 p.m. free concert at the Church of the Most Holy Trinity, 720 Telfair St. "It's difficult, yet very listenable."

Mr. Clarke played in John Philip Sousa's band, the turn of the century's equivalent to Elvis Presley or the Beatles in terms of popularity.

To capture Mr. Clarke's essence, Mr. Denton will wear a period uniform and fake mustache, wire-rimmed spectacles and a parted-in-the-middle, slicked-down hairpiece.

The legendary musician is credited with writing standard repertoires for trumpet and cornet, an instrument similar to the trumpet but with a softer, French horn tone.

"He is one of the heroes of the trumpet world," said Mr. Denton, who plays with the Augusta Symphony, Augusta Opera, the Augusta Chorale Society and as a substitute for the Atlanta Symphony. "Your golfers have Bobby Jones; trumpet players have Herbert L. Clarke."

Sunday's program will consist of nine selections, including the traditional folk song Carnival of Venice as arranged by Mr. Clarke. Mr. Denton anticipates the show running about 66 minutes.

Between numbers he will give narratives and tell anecdotes recounting Mr. Clarke's life and times. "I'm going to tell what it was like to be in the Sousa band," he said.

On Stage

What: Vintage Cornet, a recital of Victorian cornet music featuring William Denton and Gary Stegal

When: 5 p.m. Sunday

Where: Church of the Most Holy Trinity, 720 Telfair St.

How much: Free

Phone: 722-4944


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