Typewriter will be featured instrument at Philharmonic performance

News-DemocratFebruary 26, 2014 

The Belleville Philharmonic Orchestra will feature an unusual new instrument at its pops concert Saturday.

It's a Remington Standard No. 7 typewriter that dates back to about 1900. Music Director Robert Howard borrowed it from the Belleville Historical Society.

Pianist and chorale singer Susan Friesen will "play" the typewriter during the orchestra's performance of "The Typewriter."

"The composer Leroy Anderson wrote all sorts of novelty pieces," Howard said. "One was called 'Syncopated Clock,' and it has percussion instruments that imitate a clock. 'Sleigh Ride' has sleigh bells, and in 'The Typewriter,' the typewriter actually has a part."

The concert is at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Lindenwood University-Belleville Auditorium. The theme is "pops and light classics you have heard before."

"It's music that's very familiar, even to people who aren't familiar with classical music," Howard said, giving the example of the "William Tell Overture." "That's 'Long Ranger' music."

The concert will begin with "Bacchanale from Samson and Delilah." Also on the program are selections from the movie "Mary Poppins" and four dance episodes from Aaron Copland's "Rodeo."

Perhaps the best known episode is "Hoedown," the theme for Beef Council commercials with the slogan "Beef. It's What's for Dinner."

Courtney King will solo on flute in Francois Borne's "Carmen Fantasy," and Philip Tinge will solo on "Violin" in Jules Massenet's "Meditation from Thais."

The concert also will include a 20-minute set by the Four Voices, a jazz and vocal quartet that specializes in the music of the Four Freshman.

"They were a legendary quartet that began in the late 1940s," said founding member Allan Horney. "They've been around for 65 years, and there have been 24 personnel changes.

"I've always loved their music. I grew up listening to them. Lots of people fell in love with their music in the '50s, '60s and '70s."

Horney is a retired professor of trombone and jazz studies at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston. Formed in 2009, the quartet performs throughout Illinois.

Other members are Tom Birkner, of Belleville; Craig Lindvahl, of Effingham; and Joe Wolfe, of Atwood. Birkner also is a trumpet player and band director at Belleville West High School.

The Four Voices will perform "Somebody Loves Me," "Girl Talk, "Ain't Seen Nothin' Like You," "Poinciana," "If I Only had a Brain," "Route 66" and "Walkin' My Baby Back Home" on Saturday.

Howard also is a Four Freshman fan. "They were a big influence on the Beach Boys, the Lettermen, the King Sisters and many others," he said.

At a glance

What: Belleville Philharmonic Orchestra Pops Concert

Where: Lindenwood University-Belleville Auditorium, 2600 W. Main St.

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday

Admission: $15 for adults, $12 for senior citizens 55 and older and military personnel and $7 for students (free for Lindenwood students with identification)

Tickets: Available in advance at Fletcher's Kitchen and Tap, Happy Hop Homebrew and Gourmet or bellevillephilharmonic.org or at the door

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