Aiken band opens with bold music

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AIKEN --- The passion of warring gods and goddesses will kick off the Aiken Concert Band's 2011 season Tuesday.

Conductor Col. Gary Lamb said the evening will offer audiences a dynamic experience.

The hour-long performance at USC Aiken's Etherredge Center includes Jacques Offenbach's composition based on Ludovic Halevy's Orpheus in the Underworld and a special piece provided by a colleague of Lamb's.

Emmy-winning composer Julie Giroux allowed the use of her Journey Through Orion piece, which is accompanied by photos from the Hubble telescope.

"It's not something that you get to see every day," Lamb said. "The photos are breathtaking."

"Overall, we're taking a thematic approach that you can rally your thoughts around," he said.

The selections have stretched the 60-member band's repertoire.

"I like to offer a cross section of music but nothing too difficult because, obviously, the ones that are more difficult will take more rehearsal time," he said.

Other selections will include Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries , and selections from Johan de Meij's Symphony No. 1 The Lord of the Rings , based on the stories of J.R.R. Tolkien.

As Lamb prepares for the season through score study, learning music and spinning his own interpretations, he said the season is a learning process for everyone.

"Even as long as I've done this, it's nothing but constant learning," he said. "Otherwise you'll lose it."

Lamb is also in preparation for the band's summer concerts at Hopelands Gardens, which he hopes includes more pop music.

"I think everybody's ready for summer and really looking forward to that time," he said.

If you go

WHAT: Aiken Concert Band, Mythology & Music

WHEN: 8 p.m. Tuesday

WHERE: Etherredge Center, University of South Carolina Aiken, 471 University Parkway

TICKETS: $7 students; $10 adults; www.aikencommunityband.org


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