3 Madison College groups to perform holiday concert on Dec. 6



The Madison College municipal band rehearses for an upcoming concert to be held at Madison College’s Mitby Theater on Dec. 6. at 7:30 p.m. The group will be joined by the college’s big band and jazz ensemble.

Andrew Kicmol, Editor Emeritus

The holidays are right around the corner, which means holiday music is right around the corner too.  Madison College will be getting into the holiday spirit with a three-group concert in Mitby Theater featuring the Madison College jazz ensemble, the Madison College municipal band and Madison College big band, on December 6 at 7:30 p.m. The latter two will perform dueling “Nutcracker” suites.

While not the first-time ensembles have joined forces before it will the first time the big band and municipal band will be on stage at the same time in a side by side concert.

The audience will get to hear one movement played classically, followed up immediately the same movement played in the jazz arrangement. The municipal band will perform the classic 1892 Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky as an arrangement for concert band by James Curnow, and the big band will play a jazz arrangement by Billy Strayhorn and the Duke Ellington Orchestra.

“I think this provides an opportunity for the musicians to really show off their virtuosity and to show their talent in performing something so complex like this,” said Kierstyn Torres Madison College student and Municipal Band Member.

The jazz ensemble will perform first to warm up the crowd. The ensemble will play “Told You So” by Bill Holman, “Linebacker” by Fred Sturm, “Skylark by Bob Brookmeyer and “Struttin’ with Some Barbecue” by Louis Armstrong.

“Linebacker” is about legendary Green Bay Packer linebacker, Ray Nitschke adding a uniquely Wisconsin touch to the concert.

“It’s a different Jazz arrangement then most, it takes a hip hop beat and runs with it through out the entire piece,” said Matthew Podolske Madison College student and jazz ensemble member.

After the jazz ensemble is done, the two bands that have been practicing separately each focusing on their own version of the “Nutcracker” will hit the stage at the same time.

The idea to have both bands on stage at once was something that was created before the semester began. Municipal band member Rick Wirch saw a similar show featuring dueling “Nutcracker” suites and pitched the idea to Scott Teeple the director of the Madison College municipal band and Jamie Kember the director of the Madison College jazz ensembles. They liked the idea and decided to run with it. 

“We agreed it would be a great way to join forces and put on a performance that would be educational for all involved … It is amazing the different attitudes and atmospheres that the music creates coming from a different perspective,” said Kember.

Members of both bands aren’t just Madison College students but local musicians from around the community as well, giving students added experience that isn’t just from their instructors. 

“One of the best parts about the groups here it’s not just made up of students at the college it’s made up of students and community members, you’re working with people who’ve had decades of experience or this is their first group they’ve been in and it gives it an entirely new experience,” said Podolske

The concert will not only put people in the holiday spirit but give all the groups the chance to show off the music programs at Madison College.

“That’s something we’re trying to do now, is bring out the music programs a little bit more here at Madison College not a lot of people find them easily, especially have a concert like this and being able to promote it, really helps show people that we do have a lot of music opportunities,” said Kierstyn Torres.

The concert is welcome for anyone to attend and is free of charge.