Las Vegas, N.M. – The Highlands University Department of Music presents concerts for jazz and Brahms lovers in April.
The Jazz Ensemble performs April 17 at 7 p.m. in the Student Union Building Theater, 800 National Ave. The Madrigal Choir performs All About Brahms April 19 at 3 p.m. in Ilfeld Auditorium, 900 University Ave.
Ticket prices for both concerts are $5. Highlands University students with valid IDs are free.
“For the first time, the Jazz Ensemble showcases singers in pieces from the jazz repertoire that feature a singer,” said music professor Edward Harrington, ensemble director. “Joseph Rivera, a tenor, will sing They Can’t Take That Away From Me.
“Nita Lujan is also a vocalist seeking her second B.A. in music technology. Nita is a full-time singer with the ensemble this semester and will be performing Something’s Gotta Give, I Get A Kick Out Of You, and My Funny Valentine,” Harrington said.
Harrington said all the vocal pieces are beautifully arranged in a way that features both the band and the singer. He added that the instrumentalists will be featured in selections such as Too Close For Comfort and How High The Moon.
Other compositions on the program are by American jazz musicians such as Thelonius Monk and Chick Corea.
Student instrumentalists in the Jazz Ensemble include Amor Romero and Mario Urioste, alto saxophone, Rebecca Trujillo, tenor saxophone, Kevin Baca, guitar, Nita Lujan, voice and percussion, Jason Murray, guitar, and Daniel Sam, drums.
Music faculty members of the Jazz Ensemble include Harrington, trombone, Yasmin Flores, baritone saxophone and clarinet, and Kevin Koernig, ensemble co-director and pianist. Community members include Bruce Holmes, alto saxophone, Daniel Smith, bass, and June Franklin, tenor saxophone.
The All About Brahms concert on April 19 will feature a collection of love song waltzes for voice – Liebeslieder Walzer and Neue Liebeslieder – written by classical composer Joannes Brahms.
Andre García-Nuthmann, director of Highlands University’s choral and vocal program, will conduct the concert. He and music faculty member Linda King will accompany together on piano, using the four hands method.
Brahms was a prolific German composer and pianist who lived from 1833 – 1897. He is grouped in stature and musical influence with Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven.
“Brahms is one of the three great classical composers that we call The Three Bs,” García-Nuthmann said. “He wrote these dramatic waltzes after he was influenced by the music of Hungarian gypsy refugees that fled to Germany in 1848.”
García-Nuthmann said the two Brahms pieces have very different qualities.
“In Liebeslieder Walzer – Love Song Waltzes – the music is joyous and full of energy, reflecting a youthful interpretation of love. Neue Liebeslieder – New Love Songs – includes hard-driving rhythms and more dissident chords in minor keys. You see a darker, more mature side of love, which is reflective of Brahms’ life,” García-Nuthmann said.
The student soloists for the Madrigal Choir include Karliz de Marco, soprano, Daniel Torres, baritone, Jaylene García, soprano, Sebastian Jaramillo, tenor, and Janie Chavez, soprano.
Las Vegas community member Christie Baskett, an alto, is also a soloist.
“This is one of the strongest and most talented Madrigal Choirs I have ever worked with at Highlands. Their voices blend beautifully,” García-Nuthmann said.
The Madrigal Choir will sing in German with the concert program providing the English translation.