Jazz and Christmas music will be center stage this weekend in Southern Oregon University's series of festive concerts that cap its fall quarter.
Performances kick off at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29, with music for winds and percussion from the French Revolution to the beginning of the 20th century by the SOU Symphonic Band in the Music Recital Hall on the SOU campus, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland.
The symphony will showcase Mark Jacobs on the ophicleide, a 19th-century brass instrument that is an ancestor of the tuba. An instructor of low brass (trombone, euphonium, tuba) at SOU, Jacobs played trombone and ophicleide in the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's 2011 production of "The Pirates of Penzance." In 2010, his symphonic poem, "Las Ranas de Katanchel," was premiered by the Rogue Valley Symphony. Cynthia Hutton conducts.
Listen to upbeat grooves at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30, when saxophonist Tony Hayes and the SOU Jazz Collective, directed by Jeff Richmond, present a mix of jazz, funk, rock, hip-hop and R&B.
Hayes studied at Berklee College of Music in Boston. While on the East Coast, he studied sax with Jerry Bergonzi and George Garzone. He toured France and Germany in 1984 with a jazz group called Blue Lips. He's worked as a singer, actor and sax player in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Francisco and Miami.
SOU's Brass Ensemble will present "Holiday Brass" at 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, in the Music Recital Hall. The ensemble will feature four brass consorts: the Student Brass Quintet, the Horn Quintet, the Brass Trio and a newly formed 15-piece brass ensemble.
Music selections by the consorts will include Giovanni Gabrieli's "Canzon Septimi Toni No. 1," Ian McDougall's "Bells" and J.S. Bach's "Little Fugue in G Minor." The large brass ensemble will perform "Sussex Mummers Christmas Carol," "I Wonder as I Wander," "Carol of the Bells" and Gordon Emerson's "An Album of Christmas." Cynthia Hutton will conduct.
The concert series wraps up at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, with SOU's Chamber and Concert choirs' "A Ceremony of Carols." The choirs will perform festive music from the Renaissance through the modern day, including excerpts from George Frideric Handel's "Messiah."
Featured pieces will be James MacMillan's "And Lo the Angel of the Lord" for triple choir, Eric Whitacre's "Lux Aurumque," Josquin des Prez's "Ave Maria," Dutch carols by Jetse Bremer and French and English carols by John Rutter.
The women of the Concert Choir will perform "A Ceremony of Carols, Op. 28" by Benjamin Britten, scored for a three-part treble chorus, solo voices and harp. Harpist Laura Zaerr will provide accompaniment.
Admission to the SOU concerts is $5 each, free for students. Advance tickets are available at the Performing Arts box office in the Theatre Arts Building off South Mountain Avenue, at www.sou.edu/performing arts, by calling 541-552-6348 or at the door.