The McPherson Opera House
McPherson, KS
© Lydia Lowe 10/28/2012

New Horizons Clarinet Ensemble  . . . The McPherson Opera House played host to a special concert by the United States Air Force New Horizons clarinet ensemble.  The band played a variety of music which included everything from jazz to ragtime, show tunes, marches, and classical music.  No matter what your musical preferences, there was a tune for every musical taste.
The band started its set with “Dizzy Fingers” which I had never heard before but is now one of my new favorite tunes.  It’s a fast rollicking tune that gets your toes tapping.  I have a love/hate relationship with the tune “The Girl From Ipanema”, another tune that the band played.  I’ve heard so many versions of this song and some of them are just so incredibly bad.  But I loved the version that the band played.  The timing was exceptional and I felt like I was actually there at a sidewalk café in South America as the girl from the song walked by me.   

The clarinet players took a break to catch their breath and a marimba was wheeled onto the stage and Sr. Airman Gary Steinberg played a couple of tunes on it.  Quite the highlight of the show, as the audience was unfamiliar with this instrument and the sheer size of it as well as how it was played was an instant hit.   

Some of the other songs that I enjoyed from their set were:  “Fly Me to the Moon”, “Summertime”, and of course, the final song which was a medley of military marches.  It was hard not to feel patriotic while all branches of the armed forces were recognized.

This band is playing in the area for a few weeks, so if you get a chance to go and see them, do.  It is definitely worth your time.   Get there early, as they have CD’s of their music that you can have for free.  It’s a great concert and a CD you can take home to listen to again and again.