Fireworks and band music

The American Band College Directors Band are in town. Last week they performed at the Craterian Ginger Rogers Theater in Medford. Next week they will help Ashland celebrate Independence Day with the annual Fourth of July Fireworks Concert.

The concert will take place at the Ashland High School Football Stadium. Families are encouraged to bring blankets and picnic on the grounds. Pre-concert music by small groups of ABC band members begins at 7 p.m.

The concert by the two 110-member Directors' Bands will begin at 8 p.m. The last 30 minutes of the show will coincide with the Ashland fireworks display.

Since June 21, 200 middle school, high school and college band directors from throughout the United States and a few foreign countries have been attending the American Band College held at Southern Oregon University.

Twenty-five world-class clinicians have been providing two one-week sessions as part of the curriculum. Most directors attending the college are part of the three-year masters degree program. Some already have earned their masters from the program but are returning.

The American Band College began in 1989 as an undergraduate training program at SOU. In addition to classes the participants, the program also offers the public opportunities to hear the band. The first was the performance at the Craterian. The second will be the Fourth of July concert. Over the years the band also has played as part of Ashland's Fourth of July parade.

The Fourth of July Fireworks Concert will feature guest soloists the Capital Saxophone Quartet. Founded in 1991, the Capitol Saxophone Quartet is made up of saxophonists who are alumni of United States military bands and teaching faculty at American music schools.

The zoot-suited saxophone group plays the standards of Tin Pan Alley and swing. They have performed with many symphony orchestras and released two orchestral CDS, "Anything Goes" and "DIG." "DIG" features jazz-influenced arrangements of orchestral works by Bach, Beethoven and Mozart.

Guest conductors for the Fourth of July show will be David Holsinger, composer and professor at Lee University, Cleveland, Tennessee, and Ray Cramer, member of the Indiana University School of Music faculty from 1969 to 2005. Both have won awards for their many contributions to band music.

Tickets for the Fourth of July Fireworks Concert are $16 for adults, $12 for seniors 62 and up. Children under 12 will be admitted free with a paying adult. Tickets are available at Cripple Creek Music and on-line at .

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