BROOKLYN BUZZ: Wagner symphonic band to bring music to New Utrecht

April 2, 2012 Denise Romano
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It’s music to their ears.

The Susan E. Wagner High School Symphonic Band will be giving a free community concert at the New Utrecht Reformed Church on Saturday April 14.

“It’s always a great place to perform. The audience is very enthusiastic and very welcoming,” said Paul Corn, the director of the Staten Island high school band. He has been performing at the church for years and this will be Wagner’s third concert there. Corn also directed the jazz band from Fort Hamilton High School there, as well as the jazz band from Brooklyn College.

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“We usually have standing room only,” Corn said of the venue. “It’s always nice to play to a full crowd.”

The symphonic band consists of a wind ensemble with clarinets, saxophones, flutes, oboes, French horns, trumpets, trombones, tubas, eunophones and two new string basses. Corn said they will be playing a full repertoire: serious competition music, a Frank Sinatra medley, a John Phillip Sousa march and a Broadway medley from the play, “Miss Saigon.”

The band will also perform a piece called “Purgatorio,” by Robert W. Smith, which is a symphony based on the play, “Dante’s Inferno,” as well as “Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral,” which is a transcription of the opera work, “The Ring Cycle,” by Richard Wagner.

“It’s one of the most powerful and exciting pieces written,” Corn commented. “It’s particularly challenging.”

The symphonic band will be working hard over spring break. Not only is it performing this concert, but it is also going to Boston on April 20 to compete in the Heritage Festival.

“It’s a perfect tune-up for them,” Corn said, adding that band members will go to school during their vacation to rehearse for this concert. “They work really, really hard. The kids really love playing there [the church] because of the audience – they always have nice things to say afterwards.”

The concert will take place on Saturday, April 14 at 7:30 p.m. at the Parish House of the New Utrecht Reformed Church, 18th Avenue and 84th Street. Admission is free. For more information, call 718-256-7173.

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