A Listing of Programs
1) “An African Celebration”
A concert featuring authentic Ghanaian music and arrangements of African music for orchestra with master drummers. Exciting West African drumming plus the rousing Concerto for African Percussion Ensemble and Orchestra by the popular American composer Bill Douglas. A truly inspiring presentation that provides a multi cultural experience for your community.
“. . . a grand finale of joyful music . . . brought the audience immediately to its feet.” “ The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
2) “From Rags to Riches”
A program of popular music from the early 1900’s featuring the Mack Sennett silent film comedy, “Teddy At the Throttle”
This concert brings the spirit of early 20th century popular music to modern audiences. A soprano soloist presents a bouquet of romantic and sentimental ballads and the vivacious roaring 20’s are re-created in spectacular xylophone rags. A hilarious and exhilarating accompaniment to the silent film – with authentic sound effects “ has Nexus fronting a “pit orchestra” for a truly Grand Finale!
“From Rags to Riches” takes the audience back to another era and is especially delightful for children and adults who have never seen a silent film. The arrangements of authentic pit orchestra music are accompanied by many of the sound effects associated with the silent movie era.
“The film-with-live-music was great camp, the young Gloria Swanson and Bobby Vernon losing then finding their true love amid a riot of rinky-dink tunes by Victor Herbert and others. There can’t have been a single face unsmiling at the end.” “ The Kansas City Star
3) “The Story of Percussion in the Orchestra”
A narrated one-hour program telling the story of percussion instruments and how they became part of a symphony orchestra.
A musical journey describing the history of percussion in symphony orchestras from Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632-1687) to today. This is an entertaining and comprehensive survey that starts with the introduction of kettle drums to the orchestra and progresses forward to contemporary works that include the finale to Benjamin Britten’s A Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra. Along the way, audiences are treated to Janissary music from Mozart, Beethoven’s Wellington’s Victory and the Nexus Drum Line playing field drum beatings from the 18th and 19th centuries,
(The Story of Percussion in the Orchestra) “connects young people with classical music and percussion instruments, lets them have some fun and learn about history all at the same time,” – The Rochester Democrat Chronicle
< Recorded by Nexus with The Rochester Philharmonic, Bill Moyers narrating, on Nexus Records >
4) “Percussion Alive”
A narrated one-hour program of 20th century music by Britten, Copland, Chavez, Kodaly, Reich, Cage, Cahn, Villa- Lobos and Adams that brings percussion to center stage and demonstrates why percussion instruments are becoming the “music makers” of the 20th and 21st centuries. Most of the major percussion instruments used by modern composers, such as shakers, rattles, chimes, xylophone, bells, timpani and drums, cymbals and wood blocks, are discussed and played alone or in context with orchestral music. Audiences are enchanted, as they are informed.