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Tuba concerto highlights spring orchestra concert

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Brian Thacker and his tuba “Thor” will perform with the Northern Neck Orchestra on April 29 and May 1.

Brian Thacker, principal tuba player for the Northern Neck Orchestra (NNO), will be the featured soloist on Friday, April 29, and Sunday, May 1, when the NNO presents twin concerts titled “Something Fun for Everyone.”

The April 29 concert is slated for 7:30 p.m. at the Lancaster Middle School Theater in Kilmarnock. The May 1 performance will be presented at 3 p.m. at the Performing Arts Theater in Northumberland High School in Claraville.

Thacker, a graduate of Christopher Newport University (CNU) and a Middle Peninsula business entrepreneur, will perform the “Concerto in F minor for Bass Tuba and Orchestra” by Ralph Vaughn Williams.

“It’s the ultimate piece for tuba,” said Thacker, who ranks the concerto as the most desirable composition to perform among tuba players.

Thacker is an accomplished musician with over 20 years of musical experience. He has performed locally in the CNU Wind Ensemble, the Chesapeake Bay Wind Ensemble and the Steptoe Brass. As a guest artist, he has also performed in Germany, Holland, Austria, Slovenia and Italy.

“The bass tuba is a perfect complement to our concert theme. It’s the instrument more often associated with oom-pah bands and sounds that evoke grins and giggles. Brian’s virtuosity lets us appreciate the horn, which his family calls ‘Thor,’ in a new context and he gives it the respect it rightly deserves within an orchestral setting,” said NNO publicity director Bruce Burgess.

Also featured on the program will be “Selections from the King and I” by Richard Rogers, “Ballet Dances from Faust” by Charles Gounod, and “Symphony No. 4” by Ludwig van Beethoven.

Tickets for either concert are now available at The Kilmarnock Antique Gallery, Ross’s Rings and Things and The Book Nook in Kilmarnock, and at Material Girl Quilt Shop in Burgess, River Birch Gifts in White Stone, and Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury in Irvington. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students.

Celebrating 20 consecutive years of performances, the Northern Neck Orchestra is the region’s only community orchestra and is comprised of talented adult and student musicians. It is supported by local residents, advertising, and grants from the Rappahannock Foundation for the Arts and private individuals. For more information about the orchestra and its performances, call 438-5225.

posted 04.20.2011

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