Symphony Band and Chorale Concert


Abigail Shimniok graphic

The Platteville Chorale and UW-Platteville Symphony Band performed a joint concert on Wednesday, May 3 in the Brodbeck Concert Hall at the Center for the Arts.

The Chorale, led by conductor Gregory Dennis, started the night with the Alma Mater of UW-Platteville. Gregory asked the audience to stand for the Alma Mater and hoped to repopularize its usage by students and alumni.

Peter Putz, folk music educator at Riverdale Schools, was a guest and conducted the song “Four-Leaf Clover” with the Chorale. Peter explained that the song was from the early 1900s and possessed a schoolbook moral quality. He said it reminded him of the Thomas Jefferson quote which goes: “I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.”

Songs performed by the Chorale included “Comedy Tonight,” “I Cannot Conceal It,” “Sing Me to Heaven” and “O Love.”

Gregory told the audience that the Platteville Chorale was started 48 years ago. The Chorale then ended their line-up with the gospel song “A City Called Heaven.” Todd Richmond was the soloist.

The Symphony Band, conducted by Aaron Cooley, began their line-up with the song “The Promise of Living.” The song was performed in tandem with the Chorale.

After the Chorale departed, the Symphony Band played “Fairest of the Fair,” a march by John Phillip Sousa. Sousa’s march inspired the writing of their next song, “Fantasy on a Theme by Sousa,” a bombastic and ethereal piece by Andrew Boysen Jr.

The band performed “Shenandoah,” and conductor Aaron Cooley explained that the song was very old and traditional, but the band was playing an arrangement by Omar Thomas who is heavily inspired by jazz and soul. The band achieved a mysterious, rippling stream effect in the song by snapping randomly.

Allen Cordingley, a baritone saxophone player, was soloist for the Symphony Band’s performance of “Rhapsody for Baritone Saxophone and Wind Orchestra.” He played a protracted and highly ornate solo at various intervals and received much applause at the song’s conclusion.

The final song of the night was “Illumination.” At the song’s end, the Symphony Band rose, joined again by Allen Cordingley, bowed and departed the stage.