The Illinois State University Symphonic Band and University Band will hold a joint December concert at 8 p.m. on Thursday, December 1, in the University’s Center for the Performing Arts Concert Hall. Tickets are $10 for general admission, $8 for ISU faculty/staff, and $6 for students and seniors.
The concert will feature guest soloist, Neal Corwell, euphonium, on Carnival of Venice Variations by Herbert L. Clarke and will pay tribute to renowned former director of bands, George Foeller, through the performance of Foeller’s arrangement of the Radetzky March by Johann Strauss Sr. as well as The Demon by Paul Huber, the last piece Foeller conducted on his final concert at Illinois State University.
A soloist, composer, clinician, and recording artist, Neal Corwell has been a professional musician for over 35 years. Corwell served as an euphoniumist with “Pershing’s Own,” The United States Army Band, from 1981 to 1989 and then again from 2002 until 2016. He has authored over 70 musical compositions and arrangements, making a significant contribution to the repertoire available for solo euphonium. Carnival of Venice Variations features a euphonium solo with a brass band and was arranged and edited, with an added original cadenza, by Corwell. Corwell’s website states that “this new version of Herbert Clarke’s concert standard is spiced-up a bit, primarily through the injection of some subtle humor that was not present in the original work.”
Professor Emeritus George Foeller was the director of bands and instructor of trombone at Illinois State University from 1960-1977, after which he became assistant chair of the Music Department until his retirement in 1990. Dan Dietrich, conductor of the Symphonic Band said of Foeller, “Forty years ago I was a senior music education major at ISU. I am now filling in as a band director at ISU. Forty years ago was George Foeller’s final year as director of bands and trombone instructor. I was also a trombonist. George is the director who started what is now acknowledged as the State of Illinois premier marching band championship. George is one of the directors who started increasing the size of the marching band which led to today’s Big Red Marching Machine. After serving ISU for 30 years, the bands are acknowledging his many accomplishments and paying tribute to him during our upcoming concert. We hope that many of his former colleagues and students will be able to attend.”
Tickets can be purchased at the Illinois State University Center for the Performing Arts box office, or by phone at (309) 438-2535. Tickets are also available through ticketmaster.com. Performance parking is available for free in spots 250 and above at the School Street Parking Deck, 400 W. Beaufort St., in Normal.