From time to time, the Pride Wind Ensemble, South Florida’s LGBT and allies concert band, has performed the works of gay and lesbian composers. On Saturday, June 10 at the Broward Center, the ensemble will present, “Celebration!,” a concert of works exclusively by LGBT composers.
“This is something I’ve never delved into before,” artistic director Dan Bassett said of the exclusively LGBT-composed program. “I try to make it all about the music.”
He added, “We always do a June concert, but because the concert fell just two days before the anniversary of the Pulse (attack) and June is Pride month, it seemed appropriate to celebrate how far the LGBT community has come in the last few decades, while still remembering those who still fight be accepted for who they are.”
Bassett promises a diverse program of both classical and contemporary styles, as well as pop music and show tunes, and highlighted by special guest performers and engaging multimedia and lighting effects.
The 60-piece concert band will perform Aaron Copland’s familiar “Hoe Down” with dancers from the C&J Dance Productions’ Dance Attack, along with “Irish Reel” by British composer Benjamin Britten and feature members from the Kelly Academy of Irish Dance.
Samuel Barber’s “Sure on this Shining Night” will provide the moving musical soundtrack for a video tribute to the victims of the Pulse massacre in Orlando.
Contemporary works for wind band include “Rise of the Firebird” by Steven Reineke, Randall D. Standridge’s “Undecim” (“Eleventh Hour”) and two works by Robert Sheldon, “Metroplex” and “The Stormchasers.”
Lesbian composers are represented in the program by Emmy Award-winner Julie Giroux’s “One Life Beautiful,” and Rossano Galante’s “God’s Country” which is a sweeping musical portrait of the natural beauty of the United States, taking listeners from the vistas of tall peaks to the valleys and streams in between.
After an intermission interlude by the South Florida Pride Steel Drum Band led by Ron Hughes, the second act will open with “Sheridan Square” by Charles Creasy and “Take the A Train” by Billy Strayhorn and his famous bandleader, Duke Ellington, both performed by the South Florida Pride Jazz Band. The jazz band will be under the direction of Alain Ortiz.
On the lighter side, Elton John’s most popular hits will be performed in a rousing medley sung by James Perkowski, as well as “Four Dances from West Side Story,” Leonard Bernstein’s classic jazz- and Latin-infused Broadway musical about star-crossed lovers.
The South Florida Pride Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble and Steel Band will present “Celebration!,” featuring music by LGBT composers on Saturday, June 10 at 7 p.m. in the Amaturo Theater at the Broward Center in Fort Lauderdale. Tickets are $30 at BrowardCenter.org. For more information, go to PrideWindEnsemble.org.