At its February concert, the Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra will present a program featuring talents from Germany, Italy, England … and Plymouth.
Jason Sebranek, the SSO’s principal trombone for 30 years and longtime director of bands at Plymouth High School, will be the featured soloist at the Saturday, Feb. 6, concert.
The 7:30 p.m. performance is at the Stefanie H. Weill Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Sheboygan. To purchase tickets, contact the Symphony Office at 920- 452-1985. Ticket prices are $39, $35, $30 and $15 for students.
Sebranek is featured on British composer Gordon Jacob’s Concerto for Trombone, and SSO Music Director Kevin McMahon said he’s looking forward to spotlighting one of the orchestra’s top talents.
“Jason is among the finest performers in the orchestra,” McMahon said. “I find it fascinating how he has contributed to this organization over the years. At one point, he was singing solos in the ‘Messiah’ in our orchestra’s early performances.”
In his teaching role at Plymouth, Sebranek has taught many of the students involved in the SSO’s Sheboygan Area Youth Symphony SAYS program.
“In that sense, we are partnering with him in helping those students develop and foster a good thing for their life through music,” McMahon said. “He comes in to coach the brass and percussion students. That’s a higher involvement that shows leadership.”
Sebranek is a fixture on the local music education scene, having served as Oostburg School District director of bands prior to his work at Plymouth, and teaching as an adjunct professor at Lakeland College, the University of Wisconsin-Sheboygan and the Lawrence Conservatory. He is currently finishing a term as coordinator for the Wisconsin School Music Association State Honors Band.
In addition to the SSO, his performing credits include a variety of work in bands and orchestras, with work in numerous musical and stage productions throughout Wisconsin.
The Jacob concerto, which is being played for the first time by the SSO, has gained increased popularity in recent years thanks to some new recording. And, despite being composed in the middle of the 20thcentury, McMahon said it doesn’t feature some of the dissonance common to many works written during that time.
“Jacob was fighting a lot of trends in England at the time when people were moving into 12 tone worlds that produced music that can be less friendly for audiences,” McMahon said. “Jacob was interested in forms and writing that was old fashioned; his music is completely tonal and I think the audience will really enjoy this.
“Performing this work was Jason’s choice, and he’s made a good one. There are some really attractive moments for percussion solos and some nice writing for woodwinds and brass to dialogue with the soloist. There are moments that are very jubilant, and moments where people might be reminded of the music of Vaughan Williams.”
The concert will open and close with two works very familiar to regular concert-goers – the overture to Rossini’s opera “The Barber of Seville,” and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, the “Eroica.”
McMahon said the Rossini, which the SSO performed in February 2001, will get the evening started with exciting, comical music, while the Beethoven, which the SSO played in November 1996, encompasses a range of emotions, from the funeral march (the composer originally dedicated the work to Napoleon) to the triumphant chords that end the piece.
“These works are a counter balance to the Jacob, which will probably be unfamiliar to most of our audience,” McMahon said. “For some Beethoven connoisseurs, the ‘Eroica’ is the best of his symphonies, even above his Ninth. Orchestras get equally fired up to play it, even if they’ve performed it before, because it’s a special journey and they like coming back to it.
“This Rossini overture and the Eroica are a good pair because they both have elements that go back to older musical styles.”
The concert will include a surprise encore that will invite audience participation, and may have people marching out of the Weill Center.
IF YOU GO
1. The concert is Saturday, February 6, 2016 at 7:30 pm at the Stefanie H. Weill Center for the Performing Arts.
2. Tickets are available for the February 6th concert. Ticket prices are $39, $35, $30 and $15 for students. Tickets are available from the Symphony Office at 920- 452-1985 or the Weill Center ticket office at 920-208-3243. Tickets are also available in the box office two hours prior to concert.
3. The Interludes Pre-Concert talk, held at 806 N. 8th Street, is a free event for concert ticket holders. Space is limited, an R.S.V.P. is required. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 920-452-1985.
4. This concert is generously sponsored by Vollrath.