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Pilafian's 'Scottsdale Sunrise' to debut Oct. 16


October 03, 2011

The Scottsdale Concert Band will open its 2011-2012 season with a fanfare – one composed just for the band by ASU professor of tuba Sam Pilafian.

"Scottsdale Sunrise" will have its premiere performance at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 16, in the Saguaro High School Auditorium, 6250 North 82nd Street, Scottsdale, near the corner of MacDonald Drive and Hayden Road.

The program is titled "Opening Night," and it will feature big-band music, some Broadway show tunes, a march and a patriotic work.

Performing with the band will be Justin Carpenter, an ASU graduate student studying opera performance who is a member of the Arizona Opera Chorus. Carpenter will sing "Big News" from the musical "Parade," and "Johanna" from "Sweeney Todd."

In her first year as director of the Scottsdale Concert band is Michele Kalo, who also is founder and director of Sonic Arts, a performance-based music education organization that offers lessons and performance opportunities for people of all ages and experience levels. Kalo earned her master’s degree in music from ASU.

Sonic Arts includes the Sonic Seniors New Horizons Band for adults ages 40 and up; Sonic Brass, a group for student brass and percussion players; the Youth Ensemble, a group for grades 6-9 who play woodwind, brass and percussion instruments; and the Sonic Boom Tuba and Euphonium Ensemble.

Pilafian's fanfare is, he said, "a gift to Michele" to recognize her commitment to community music.

Pilafian added, "Community music is a massive movement now. It’s been fun to watch it grow."

His fanfare starts with percussion, with the rest of the band joining in as the piece moves along.

Pilafian composed the fanfare at the end of the summer after experiencing sunrise at Scottsdale Community College, where the band rehearses.

"I sat and waited for sun to come up over mountains, and sketched a piece," he said. "It starts around 'dawn,' then the sound starts to get busy, and then it bursts open. It gets really big and bright, then slower."

The Scottsdale Concert Band, an adult community concert band with more than 70 members, performs four times a year and is open by audition to interested musicians. The band is a winner of the Sudler Silver Scroll Award, the most prestigious award for adult community concert bands.

The Oct. 16 performance is free. The Sonoran Woodwind Quintet will perform first, at 3 p.m.

For more information about the concert, contact Kalo at (602) 327-3168.