When you’re one of the 98 players in the Mesilla Valley Concert Band, you’re used to playing in a large ensemble, usually in a sizable section of other musicians who play the same instrument as you. But every so often, one of those players gets to step out to the front of the band as a soloist. In the March 8 concert, saxophonist Tai Mikulecky, assistant director of bands at Las Cruces High School and a graduate of the Jacobs School of Music at the University of Indiana, will be the soloist in the Concerto for Alto Saxophone by 20th century Italian-American composer Paul Creston.
“She’s a world-class player,” said Dr. William Clark in this interview with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin. And of Creston he said, “he is an unsung composer of the 20th century. He’s very inventive.” Clark has been conducting the band since its founding 32 years ago.
Listen here for a lively conversation about the unusual program – “it is insanely, brutally hard, but it is interesting!” Clark said – and its varied composers, including Girolamo Frescobaldi, Camille Saint-Saens, Robert Lo Presti, Frank Ticheli and the prolific band composer Alfred Reed. Discussing Reed’s concert overture, “The Hounds of Spring,” Clark said, “when he gets to the slower sections, it’s just unbelievably beautiful, it’s breathtaking.”
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