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Mesilla Valley Concert Band opens season with music of Grainger

Oct 10, 2019

William Clark, conductor of the Mesilla Valley Concert Band, with some of the music the band will perform on Sunday.
Credit Leora Zeitlin

The music of Percy Grainger has charmed audiences for decades with his inventive arrangements and use of traditional English folksongs in works for orchestra, band, piano and other instruments. The Mesilla Valley Concert Band will open their season this weekend with a concert showcasing some of Grainger’s music, including his masterpiece “Lincolnshire Posy,” based on folksongs he collected at the beginning of the 20th century. “In his category, he was just a genius mind,” said Dr. William Clark, conductor of the MVCB, who came to talk with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin about Grainger’s music and the concert. “Lincolnshire Posy” and other Grainger works, he said, are “extremely difficult, but the product is so worthwhile.”

Mesilla Valley Concert Band has a dozen or so new members this year, and Clark said that after 32 years at the helm, he thinks “this may be the best band we’ve ever had.” Other works on the program include music by Mozart, Eric Whitacre, and  John Philip Sousa. Clark includes a Sousa march in every concert, he said, because “Sousa had 127 of them and I bet 70 of them were really great. And I don’t want that to die.” The free concert takes place on Sunday, October 13 at 3 p.m. at the Atkinson Recital Hall. Listen to the full interview here:

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