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OUS Performing Arts Series kicks off

IRONTON — Music affects everyone differently and Tuesday evening was no exception.

Some had their eyes closed while absorbing every note. Others had their eyes fixed on a specific instrument while even others kept a sharp eye on the movements of the conductor as he directed the production of melody.

But everyone came away with a smile as the Brass Band of the Tri-State made a return visit back to Ironton and Ohio University Southern for another outstanding show.

The show opened the university’s 2009-2010 Performing Arts Series.

Under the baton of conductor Chip Gue, the 22-member band that performed Tuesday in the Mains Rotunda took the more than 50 in attendance on a musical journey of marches, lullabies, jazz and even spiritual songs.

The hour-long performance spanned 11 numbers with “America the Beautiful” as the encore.

Gue, who set the tempo throughout the evening, took time between each number to introduce the next piece and how it was arraigned.

With “Amazing Grace,” Gue told the audience that the selection the band would be performing was a rendition done by the International Staff Band of the Salvation Army.

When performing “Deep River,” Gue said the song was chosen for a specific reason.

“This is a very rhythmic piece,” said Gue, while adding that the pieces that were performed showcased many of the instruments.

He also took time to stress the importance of being part of a group like the Tri-State Brass Band saying involvement in groups has many residual effects, including living longer.

“This is a very close knit group,” said Gue, when outlining the band’s once a week practice schedule for serious brass and percussion musicians.

Under the direction of Gary Clark, the Brass Band of the Tri-State derives its members from Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia and performs through the area year round.

Its members span the musical compass from music educators to high school and college students to professionals and retirees.

The group performs transcriptions for brass band including music from major works such as Stravinsky’s “Firebird Suite,” Shostakovich’s “Symphony No. Five,” music from Broadway, television and movies and the standard collection of great marches and popular music.

A small reception was held in the rotunda following the performance that garnered several standing ovations.