The Shippensburg University String Ensemble, Flute Choir and Saxophone Choir brought their spring rehearsals to a close on Saturday with a concert in Old Main Chapel.
The string ensemble, which was directed by Mark Hartman, opened the concert with four songs. “Daydream” by Randy Sabien and Bob Phillips was a song in which each of the members of the ensemble traded off the melody to the next person. They then followed “Daydream” with an Eric Gorfain arrangement of “Can’t Help Falling in Love.”
The ensemble wound down with another Gorfain arrangement of an Elvis Presley song — “Love Me Tender.” This piece featured a love theme while a background part lurked behind the main melody, as if it were a forgotten lover trailing behind.
The group ended with the Cole Porter classic “Anything Goes,” which they played with skill and poise. Perhaps it was best that this Mimi Rabson arrangement was purely instrumental, because the double-entendre-laden, or sexual lyrics may not have been well received in the somewhat reverent setting of Old Main Chapel.
Next was the flute choir, led by Suzanne Thierry. The group opened with a Gustav Holst classic arranged for flutes by Robert Rainford.
After that, they played the second movement of “Memories of East Tennessee” and “The White Frame Church Near Tater Branch,” by Austin Alan Scott.
They followed this with “Prayer for Saint Gregory,” and “Flute Cocktail.”
The three seniors of the group Katya Nolder, Jessica Chernich and Megan Spicuzza, stood in front of the other members to perform “Flute Cocktail.” “Flute Cocktail” is a Harry Simeone piece that Thierry transcribed to the flute instrumentation.
The song was a touching way for the three to end their senior concert, and during one of the bouncier sections of the tune the three had fun by playfully dipping toward the group by bending their knees. Before the concert, they gave Thierry a picture of the three of them for her office.
The group finished their portion of the concert with the “Gershwin Favourites,” which featured tunes like “Rhapsody in Blue,” “Strike up the Band” and “I got Rhythm.”
The saxophone choir tied the show up by performing “Placid” and the “Latinizations Suite.” The Suite included different takes on famous musicians, such as Stan Getz and Henry Mancini, and was composed by Hirsch. “Whatever Stan Wants” is a jazzy and upbeat tune, and harmonies of the different instruments resemble an accordion.
“Mancini Digs that Mambo” is a confrontational piece that feels just as much a knife fight as a dance, where the baritone “Mancini Digs that Mambo” is a confrontational piece that feels just as much a knife fight as a dance, where the baritone saxophone grooved underneath the dancing alto and tenor saxophones.
Finally, the group closed with the third movement, “Paquito de Habana,” a song that was mystical and sly. It virtually placed the listeners directly into the shoes of a vacationer in 1948. The song brought forward a theme that was restated time after time again.
The concert ended with a restatement of gratitude toward the seniors of the group including Nolan who played violin; Nolder who played the piccolo, c flute and bass flute; Chernich who played the c flute, alto flute and bass flute; Spicuzza who played c flute; and Dan Rosen who played the tenor saxophone.