Friday, March 25, 2011

TOP STORY > >Classical music April 10 in Jacksonville

IBLA, an international classical music concert series, will take to the stage at 7 p.m. Sunday, April 10 at First United Methodist Church in Jacksonville.

The performers are winners of an international competition that is under way, so the playbill has not been determined. The musicians tour the country after performing at Carnegie Hall in New York, where tickets cost $200. The Jacksonville concert is free.

Concert organizers hope to fill the pews again this year. The church seats about 600 people.

An IBLA concert will be held in Little Rock the night before the Jacksonville show at 6:30 p.m. at St. Andrews Anglican Church, 8300 Kanis Road. It is also free.

“It is exciting to help bring this caliber of musical entertainment to our town and even more exciting for me to be part of the program and play with these incredible musicians,” said Dr. Alan Storeygard, the Jacksonville physician who organizes the event and will also perform.

The performers will stay in central Arkansas for about four days, visiting schools and teaching young people about music.

The Alan Storey-gard Trio will perform April 5 at Carnegie Hall. The group features Storeygard on piano, Dave Rogers on drums and Brian Wolverton on bass. They will perform two pieces, “The Star Spangled Banner” and “Wade in the Water.”

“In 2006,” Storey-gard recalled, “I was a judge in the IBLA Grand Prize Competition in Ragusa, Sicily. When I got there, before the competition started, Salvatore Moltisanti, the director of the competition who invited me to play in New York in 2003, asked me, ‘Alan, do you know how to play ‘The Star Spangled Banner?’”

“I said to him, ‘No, I’ve never played ‘The Star Spangled Banner,’ never had a reason to. I like to play jazz.’ He said to me, ‘Well, we need to have someone play it in three days in a concert here and no one has the music, and no one knows it, and most of the competitors are not from the United States. You’re from the United States, so do you know it?’

“I said again, ‘No I’ve never played it.’

“Then he said, ‘Well you’re a composer. Can you make up an arrangement of it and play it?’

“I got to a practice piano and made up an arrangement of it and played it for him two days later. He said, ‘I like it. Play it tomorrow night in the concert. I’ll have about a dozen of the competitors play their competition pieces.’

“The concert was called IBLA Africa — a fundraising concert for African famine relief. The piece went over very well.

“We are excited about playing in New York. Then we’ll come back to Arkansas with a number of the current IBLA winners from 2010 to play for four days in Arkansas,” Storeygard said.

It’s not the first time for Storeygard to perform there. In 2003, he was invited to perform his rendition of “Amazing Grace” after his first CD won best piano composition in the IBLA Grand Prize Competition in 2002 in Ragusa, Sicily, Little Rock’s sister city.

The performers will be announced soon. Most are expected to be from Europe.

Joan Zumwalt and Sherman Banks also help to organize the Jacksonville concert.

First United Methodist Church is at 200 W. Main St. Call 501-982-8176 for more information.