UGA School of Music, Performing Arts Center open season with Golden Age Band Concert

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UGA Hugh Hodgson School of Music faculty and students will form the UGA Golden Age Band in Hodgson Concert Hall on August 25 at 7:30 p.m., taking the audience on a journey through American band music of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The concert, which is the joint kickoff to the School of Music’s Thursday Scholarship Series and the UGA Performing Arts Center’s (PAC) season, assembles a rare group under the baton of George Foreman, director of the PAC.

“UGA faculty members will be joined by our best students,” said Foreman. “This makes for a fully professional quality 25-piece ensemble.”

The instrumentation of the band will mirror the kind used by American bands of the late 19th and early 20th centuries: piccolo, clarinets, cornets, alto horns, trombones, euphonium, tubas and percussion. Special guests from the Hodgson School include faculty members Cynthia Johnston Turner, guest conductor; Philip Smith and Brandon Craswell, cornet soloists; Joshua Bynum, trombone soloist; and Stephanie Tingler, soprano soloist. 

“The concert will include the types of works that made up a typical Golden Age program, including marches, overtures, works featuring soloists on various instruments and novelty numbers,” said Foreman.

The program features music by a who’s-who of the Golden Age of American bands with names like John Philip Sousa, Edwin Franko Goldman, Herbert L. Clarke, and Arthur Pryor.

“This type of concert offers many opportunities to draw the audience into the experience,” said Foreman. “The music is highly accessible and fun, the audience can enjoy stories about the history of the bands and music between numbers and the band will perform in colorful, fantastic looking period-accurate uniforms.” 

Audience members arriving early will also be treated to an ice cream social on the quad at the PAC before the performance. Reminiscent of the popular social gatherings of the time period, the Golden Age Band Concert’s ice cream social will cool off the crowd with complimentary ice cream and lemonade. 

The event is informed by Foreman’s extensive knowledge of and passion for the era. In addition to providing all of the items on display in last year’s “Before The March King: 19th American Bands” at the Georgia Museum of Art, Foreman was the director of the professional New Columbian Brass Band. 

“Along with internationally known trumpet/cornet virtuoso Vince DiMartino, I established the New Columbian Brass Band in 1992,” said Foreman. “I was the conductor and concert organizer for the band. We made annual tours from coast-to-coast, including concerts in Los Angeles, Chicago and the major arts centers of Florida.”

Tickets are available at pac.uga.edu or the PAC box office for $20 or $6 with a UGA student ID.

The Thursday Scholarship Series began in 1980 and continues the tradition of “Music Appreciation Programs” started by Hugh Hodgson in the 1930s. Proceeds from contributions and ticket sales to these concerts are among the primary means through which School of Music scholarship funds are raised each year.

The UGA Hugh Hodgson School of Music sponsors more than 350 performances each year. To view the performance calendar, subscribe to the weekly email concert listing or learn more about the School of Music, go to music.uga.edu.