Caltech-Occidental Concert Band to Perform at Carnegie Hall

Students from Occidental College will be making their first-ever trip to Carnegie Hall as part of the Caltech-Occidental Concert Band, scheduled to perform at the renowned New York concert venue May 24.

Approximately 60 performers will participate as part of the hall’s Ensemble Spotlight Series.

"I'm ecstatic to be able to play in Carnegie Hall," said Jessica Gelzer ’11, a flute and piccolo player and the Occidental band manager. "When I went to New York for the first time last year, I took a picture in front of it and jokingly said I would play in there one day. Now, this year at Oxy, I am, and I am very excited."

MidAmerica Productions selected the band to perform at Carnegie Hall after the ensemble sent in a recording. William Bing, director of bands, handpicked pieces for the concert to fit the venue. For instance, "Chorale and Alleluia," by Howard Hanson, was chosen because it suits the famous acoustics of the hall. "Prairie Hymn," by Joseph Curiale, on the other hand, was chosen for its "meditative quality, and it's a contrast to the other pieces, which are much louder," Bing explained.

In addition, Paul Asimow, associate professor of geology and geochemistry at Caltech, will be conducting "Be Glad Then, America," by William Schuman.

Featured in the Carnegie Hall concert will be Caltech alumna and vocal soloist Kjerstin Williams. This will be her fourth time performing as a soloist with the Caltech-Occidental Concert Band, and this time she will be singing George and Ira Gershwin’s "Someone to Watch Over Me."

The Caltech-Occidental Concert Band has produced three CDs and performed for thousands of people. The ensemble features Caltech and Occidental College students, alumni, faculty and staff, and employees from JPL, as well as members from the local community.

Carnegie Hall, founded by Andrew Carnegie, opened May 5, 1891 with a concert featuring the American debut of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Today the venue presents more than 190 concerts each year.

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