“'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free. 'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be," wrote Maine Shaker elder Joseph Brackett more than 160 years ago. The song endures. As does its meaning. It is evoked again in a concert by Nebraska Brass playing Aaron Copland’s famed setting. St Luke’s Lutheran Church of Omaha could be where you want to be, given that the event is full of American life.
You’ll be able to witness four samples from Charles Ives’ multitudinous songs likewise resonating with religious faith. You can clap your hands to the roots of New Orleans music in “Tiger Rag.” Or sway to the supple sweetness of Gershwin’s “Summertime.” Less familiar but highly popular is John Cheetham’s Scherzo from 1963. The New Mexican composer has written scores of scores reflecting the timbre of American life, full of singable melodies and accessible rhythms.
Even newer, from 2012, comes a piece by Vermont’s Gwyneth Walker’s. It’s “Fanfare Among Friends” commissioned by the Brass. Its among more than 300 commissioned pieces from her, for orchestra, chamber ensembles, chorus, and solo voice. She’s received several prestigious awards from her home state.
The performers are trombonist Mark Mendell, a music instructor in the Council Bluffs school system; tuba player Ken Kielniarz, who’s on the music faculty at Creighton U; trumpet players Dean Haist and Brad Obbink and french horn player Richard Ricker, all from Lincoln.
The concert is October 25 at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church of Omaha, 2315 L St. Sunday. 3 p.m. Tickets: $12-$15. Student admission: free. http://www.artsincorporated.org/nb/