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French horn soloist D’Ann Artis to perform Mozart at band concert

Please join the Pagosa Springs Community Band on Saturday, Nov. 17, at 7 p.m. at the Pagosa Springs High School auditorium for a special treat of concert band music, sure to please.

This concert under the musical direction of Larry Baisdon is offered free of charge.

The evening will feature soloist D’Ann Artis on French horn, playing the Andante and Rondo movements of Mozart’s “Horn Concerto in E Flat.”

Artis first began playing the French horn in fifth grade. In her formative years she was a member of the Phoenix Youth Symphony. She went on to earn a degree in music performance at the University of Arizona. From there, she played with the Tucson Symphony for four years at which time she moved to Scottsdale where she spent the next 12 years as principal horn for the Scottsdale Symphony. Her career next took her to Chandler, Ariz., where she played with the San Marcos Symphony for eight years prior to moving to Pagosa Springs in 2005.

Since her move to Pagosa, Artis has played French horn with the San Juan Symphony in Farmington and Durango and is a member of the Pagosa Springs Community Band. She has given generously of her talents in Pagosa Springs playing for both the Pagosa Springs High School and Curtains Up Pagosa! productions. Artis and her husband, Rick, have two daughters. She is the daughter of Ray and Sue Diffee, also longtime residents of Pagosa Springs.

Despite its name, the modern French horn originated in Germany and in its infancy was simply a horn made of metal with no valves used to call hounds when hunting. This horn was very limited in its range of notes. The modern horn has valves which allow it have a wide range of pitches.

The Mozart “Horn Concerto in E Flat” is reminiscent of a hunt, particularly in the Rondo Movement which has a recurring theme which conjures visions of a nobleman’s fox hunt. Artis relates that Mozart wrote four horn concertos and that each one is standard repertoire for any student of the French horn. Her styling and precision in playing this concerto is a rare treat for Pagosans.

This piece will feature guest conductor Kathy Wadenpfuhl. Kathy hails from Texas where she was a successful music educator and member of the Lamar University Faculty Woodwind Quintet and the Symphony of South East Texas. Along with conducting, Kathy is an accomplished flutist and a member of the Pagosa Springs Community Band.

No band concert would be quite complete without a piece written by John Philip Sousa. In this concert we present “The Gallant Seventh”, a march written by Sousa in the early 1920s, during the latter part of his career. Sousa wrote this march for the 7th Regiment, 107th Infantry, of the New York National Guard. Its conductor, Major Francis Sutherland, had been a cornetist in Sousa’s band before joining the army during World War 1. The march was premiered by members of the 7th Regiment’s band and of Sousa’s band at the N.Y. Hippodrome in November 1922. Sousa composed this march at the height of America’s involvement in World War 1 to salute the efforts of the U.S. infantry in that conflict. In one portion of this march, one can hear the percussion beating out a staccato rhythm meant to create visions of machine gun fire.

Please join us for an evening of stirring concert band music, small ensembles and French horn. We look forward to welcoming you to our fall concert. Mark your calendars for Saturday, Nov. 17, and we will see you at 7 p.m. at the Pagosa Springs High School auditorium for a fun evening of concert band music.

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