The University of Arkansas at Little Rock will once again be the home of beautiful music this summer with the return of the Summer Concert Band June 10 for the community band’s first performance in three years.
The Summer Concert Band, which performed 2017 to 2019 under the direction of Dr. Kenneth Goff, director of bands and professor of music education at UA Little Rock, has been absent in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.
Goff is planning to return with a bigger and better concert than ever before. In addition to the Summer Concert Band, UA Little Rock is adding a Jazz Band, which will be led by Dr. Michael Underwood, this summer due to popular demand.
The Summer Concert Band and Summer Jazz Band are open to all high school students and community members who play an instrument. No prior registration is required. Anyone who wants to join the bands should simply show up for the first rehearsal.
The Summer Concert Band will rehearse from 6-8 p.m. May 31, June 2, June 7, and June 9. Meanwhile, the Jazz Band will rehearse from 6-8 p.m. June 1, 3, 6, and 8. All rehearsals will take place in the Stella Boyle Smith Concert Hall in UA Little Rock’s Fine Arts Building.
Both summer bands will show off their skills during a free concert at 7:30 p.m. June 10 in the Stella Boyle Smith Concert Hall.
According to Goff, the summer band is a fun-filled experience filled with high school band members, community members, music faculty and students, and alumni.
“I jokingly call it the danger band,” Goff said. “We have four rehearsals and a performance, and you never know what you are going to get. It’s exciting, but it’s very much a fly by the seat of your pants type idea.”
The bands’ performance will include “Chorale and Alleluia,” “All the Pretty Little Horses,” “Variations on a Korean Folksong,” “Cajun Folk Songs,” “The Typewriter,” “Old Irish Tune,” selections from the movie “Moana,” Studio Ghibli’s “Anime March Medley,” “Softly Speaks the Night,” “Ancient Flowers,” “So What” by Miles Davis, and “Moten Swing” by Benny Moten.
UA Little Rock students Carmen Ramirez, Elijah Jennings, and Alex Hughes as well as Andrea Lambert, a recent UA Little Rock graduate who previously did not have the opportunity to conduct the Summer Concert Band due to Covid, will serve as conductors for the performance.
“Our community is so diverse,” Goff said. “I’m a first-generation college student. When I was a kid, I wanted to go to band camp, but my family couldn’t afford it. That’s one of the reasons I enjoy leading this free summer concert band. This is a good opportunity for students and community members to get quality instruction and experience without having to take off a week of work, travel, or pay a lot of money. It’s great community outreach, and it gives our students the opportunity to conduct. I think it encompasses everything we try to do as a university.”