Director Pete LaRue loves to reward stellar seniors for their great contributions to the band programs over their Georgetown College careers.
Colby Whittaker, a Religion and Philosophy double major, gets that distinction for this, the 165th Tiger Symphonic Band Fall Anniversary Concert tonight in John L. Hill Chapel. Patrons will only get to enjoy his Baritone Saxophone solo on the Mozart “Rondo” if in attendance at the 8 p.m. Monday (Nov. 23) event.
LaRue couldn’t resist thrusting a brilliant freshman, Evan Harrell of Middlesboro, into the spotlight as well. His composition “In Praise Rejoice” is a skillful weaving of two hymns – “All Creatures of our God and King” and Simple Gifts.” Harrell’s piece can be heard both that evening and Tuesday (Nov. 24) at 11 a.m. when the the symphonic band will play three numbers during the weekly chapel service.
“That an 18-year-old can compose something like this is simply beyond amazing,” LaRue said of the son of Steve and Sonya Harrell of Middlesboro. Evan also plays tuba in the band and is a staff member of The Georgetonian, the campus newspaper.
Whittaker’s moment in the spotlight is a real testament to his talent. Director LaRue said, “It’s definitely unusual to hear a baritone saxophone as a ‘solo’ instrument. But, Colby has an unusual level of ability and technique on the baritone saxophone – and coupled with the extraordinary beauty of the Mozart ‘Rondo,’ this will be a special moment.”
Colby, the son of Greg and Tammy Whittaker of Winchester, is involved in the President’s House Association and Campus Ministries.
Professor Emeritus Danny Tilford on the Osborne-Tilford Family Johannus Organ will command a third spotlight as he joins the band for a stirring rendition of “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.” This number is also on the Tuesday card, as is Daehn’s “With Quiet Courage.”
But, real music-lovers need to come Monday evening and revel in Dr. LaRue’s always-interesting selections – 11 altogether this year, including works by Beethoven and Haydn. There’s even the holiday classic “Good King Eenceslas,” as popularized by Mannheim Steamroller, featuring Michael Bailey – a junior from Richmond – on the bass guitar.
Admission is one canned or processed food item, which the band donates to the AMEN house for use in the Scott County area.