Tag Archives: Bremerton Symphony Orchestra

More about Morse Code music

I had some fun in a story previewing Dr. Peter Mack‘s Oct. 22 performance with the Bremerton Symphony Orchestra, as the Seattle-based pianist recalled his only previous performance in Bremerton.

Mack recalled playing for a concert celebrating what he remembered was the 75th anniversary of what we know now as Naval Base Bremerton, and hearing a piece that contained a Morse coded message composed right into one of its rhythms and played by solo oboe.

It didn’t take long for the piece’s composer and another former BSO musician to check in with the actuals of the situation.

The concert was to celebrate the Bremerton centennial, according to trombonist and composer Jim Brush, who was commissioned by the symphony and the city to write a commemorative orchestral work.

“I did,” Brush wrote from his home near Las Vegas, “and then returned to Bremerton to conduct the symphony in its premiere, in early November 2001.”

Brush remembered that the piece was “well received by a near capacity audience.” He added that he got a laugh by telling the crowd he “didn’t think it would receive even a kneeling ovation.”

Pat Bailey, a percussionist with the symphony at the time, and was known to Brush as a radioman from his Navy days. He used a synthesizer keyboard to tap out the coded message “Bremerton 100,” and Brush incorporated it, played by solo oboe, in the piece.

The eight-minute work, Brush wrote, “consisted of original melodies and celebratory (fanfarish) sections, sometimes intertwined with short musical mentions of “Anchors Aweigh,” “The Navy Hymn” and the “Marines Hymn.” He added that the music also was informed by the fight songs from East and West Bremerton high schools and Olympic College.

The idea for the Morse code message, he said, came from Richard Rodgers’ “Victory at Sea” televisions series, orchestrated by Robert Russell Bennett. An oboe also imitated the code sound in that music.

“He (Brush) didn’t realize the difficulty in writing good Morse Code in rhythm,” wrote Bailey.

Brush taught instrumental music in Bremerton for more than 30 years, from elementary school to community college level, prior to his retirement. He and his wife, Judie, live in Las Vegas — where, coincidentally, Bailey was born.

Bailey joined the symphony while stationed aboard the USS Kitty Hawk in 1964 (after seeing an audition notice in the Bremerton Sun), and rejoined several years later moving back to Kitsap with his wife. He played until the mid-1990s, and worked at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard until retiring in 2007. He now volunteers at Esquire Hills Elementary School.

The article on Dr. Mack and the Oct. 22 concert can be found here: http://www.kitsapsun.com/entertainment/a-great-time-playing-gershwin-3eea1053-f895-38dd-e053-0100007f32c8-397346781.html

— MM

Flutist front and center for Bremerton Symphony concert

Principal flutist Deliana Broussard will step to the front of the stage for the Bremerton Symphony Orchestra‘s March 13 concert to play Mozart’s D Major flute concerto.

The “Inextinguishable” concert is named for Nielsen’s Symphony No. 4, which is also featured in the pBroussardrogram, along with Saint-Saens’ “March Militaire.”

The Mozart concerto is a change from the program originally scheduled by the symphony. It replaces a Paganini violin concerto. Music director  pointed out that the change is an opportunity to put Broussard into a featured role.

The concert is at 7:30 p.m. at the Bremerton Performing Arts Center, 1500 13th St., with a pre-concert chat at 6:30 p.m. led by Futterman. Ticket prices range from $26-$8.

Information: 360-373-1722, bremertonsymphony.org.

— MM

Sledd plays Dvorak for Bremerton Symphony opener

The Bremerton Symphony Orchestra has announced its six-concert 2015-16 season, which begins on Oct. 10 with an all-Dvorak program featuring the return of former North Kitsap resident Claire Sledd for Dvorak’s violin concerto.

That concert, one of four at the Bremerton Performing Arts Center, also will feature Bremerton Symphony Chorale director and mezzo-soprano LeeAnne Campos in a performance of “Four Biblical Songs.” Dvorak’s Symphony No. 6 seals the deal on music director and conductor Alan Futterman‘s season opener.

“Organ Principals, Swell to Great” finds the Symphony visiting Our Lady Star of the Sea Church in Bremerton on Nov. 14 and 15 for a program including works by Debussy, Vivaldi, Barlow, Reinecke and Saint-Saens. The first four pieces will feature members of the Symphony’s woodwind section — respectively, clarinetist William Ferman, bassoonist Adam Williams, oboist Amy Duerr-Day and flutist Deliana Broussard. Organist Peggy Maurer will be featured in a performance of Saint-Saens’ Organ Symphony.

The Symphony and Concert Chorale have their annual holiday get-together on Dec. 13, a 2 p.m. matinee, featuring J.S. Bach and C.P.E. Bach’s “Magnificat” and Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony, among other Christmastime goodies.

Saint Saens is back for the March 12 concert with his “March militaire. That concert also features Nielsen’s Symphony No. 4 and the violin concerto of Paganini, with guest Erich Woo up front.

The focus is on light opera for the April 15 and 16 concerts at Gateway Fellowship in Poulsbo (Friday evening) and the Sylvan Way Baptist Church (Saturday evening). The Symphony and Chorale will perform a concert version of Gilbert and Sullivan’s “H.M.S. Pinafore.”

The season concludes on May 22 with a 4 p.m. concert featuring performances by the BSO Young Artists Competition winners, and the Symphony and Chorale combining for Prokofiev’s “Alexander Nevsky and Disciples.”

Other events include the annual “Brunch With Bach” fund-raising brunch and performance on Jan. 23; a Feb. 9 family concert at the Admiral Theatre, with the Symphony playing and the Peninsula Dance Theatre dancing Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf” and a preview performance of the Paganini violin concerto with Erich Woo; the Symphony League Gala on Oct. 25, with Campos performing Telemann’s “Canary” cantata; Bremerton Youth Symphony concerts on Nov. 22, March 13 and May 15; and a trio of chamber performances in different Kitsap venues on Oct. 24 (Campos and Telemann) and Jan. 15 and 17 (Gounod’s “Petite Symphonie”).

Information is available at 360-373-1722, or by following this link: bremertonsymphony.org

— MM