That’s right; “cannon” with three “n”s – as in “cannonballs,” not Pachelbel’s musical round. Enthusiastic Associate Conductor Benjamin Rous led the well-oiled orchestra through European and American music that featured martial airs in each half of the program at the First Flight High School Sunday afternoon. The final concert of the Outer Banks Forum’s 30th season began with the Europeans, including Franz von Suppé’s Overture to Light Cavalry and “music that strikes fear into the hearts of bachelors,” Mendelssohn’s Wedding March from A Midsummer Night’s Dream (not martial, especially, but marital music – difference?) and Brahms’ Hungarian Dances No. 4 and 1. Post-intermission the audience heard the Americans: John Williams’ The Cowboys Overture, Morton Gould’s American Symphonette No. 2 and his arrangement of the African-American spiritual “Deep River.” Martial music after the break was Jay Unger’s beautiful 1982 “Ashokan Farewell,” used in Ken Burns’ The Civil War television series and Peter Wilhousky’s version of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” (or “John Brown’s Body” if you will). Keep your eye on outerbanksforum.org for news of next season.
Master guitarists Frank Vignola and Vinny Raniolo visited the First Flight High School Saturday. Playing amplified acoustic instruments, they owned the audience after their first number, ‘It Might As Well Be Spring,’ when they stopped mid-song to pose comically for a photographer in the audience. The show continued apace, mixing virtuosic musicianship with comedy. The music ranged from ballet, as the pair managed to play Tschaikovsky’s Swan Lake Act One while assuming ballet positions and prancing about the stage, to beautiful jazzy versions of early to modern standards (‘Stardust,’ ‘I Shot the Sheriff’), with special emphasis given to past masters Les Paul (whom Vignola has played with) and Gypsy genius Django Reinhardt … not to mention Frank Zappa. Visit FrankVignola.com, VinnyRaniolo.com and OuterBanksForum.org for more. (Pete Hummers photo)
Singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Dore Coller (right), of Marin County, California, visited the Outer Banks recently and played gigs at Ocean Boulevard and the Nags Head Pier. A current member of The Hot Club of Marin, Savannah Blue, Trio Max and Unplugged, Dore specializes in playing Bermudagrass and Caribbean R&B, and has played with such artists as Big Brother, Jeffrey Cain, The David Grisman Quintet, Dan Hicks, Paul Mehling and the Hot Club of San Francisco, Van Morrison, The Youngbloods and many others. For the Nags Head Pier show he enlisted former high-school bandmate, local newspaperman Pete Hummers, on second guitar. The gracious audience was demonstrably appreciative. (JoAnn Hummers photo)
Associate Conductor Benjamin Rous and the Virginia Symphony presented highlights from the orchestra’s past season to the audience at the traditional Sunday-afternoon final concert of its own season from the Outer Banks Forum For the Lively Arts at the First Flight High School. The afternoon featured excellent, not to mention animated, conducting, and a high level of musicianship was displayed by all concerned on pieces such as Brahms’ Hungarian Dances No. 20 and No. 5. An aria from Verdi’s La Traviata featured a trumpet playing the vocal parts. The emphasis after the intermission was on American composers, with the scores of John Paul Sousa, John Williams, Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein and other Yankee scribes receiving enthusiastic interpretations. When ‘God Bless America’ earned a standing ovation, the VSO replied with the evening’s spirited encore, Elmer Bernstein’s ‘Main Title and Calvera’ from the film The Magnificent Seven (1960), after which they rode off into the sunset.
Click here or the picture above for another look at the performance.