Ventura Music Festival


7/20 at 8:00 pm

Click here for a video sample


“High Speed” Reeds                                  Friday, July 20 ~ 8:00 pm
Ventura College Performing Arts Center         ~ 4700 Loma Vista Road | Ventura

Tim Gocklin             │oboe
Kari Landry              │clarinet
Matt Landry             │saxophone
Ryan Reynolds          │bassoon
Andrew Koeppe        │bass clarinet

Prelude, Fugue, and Riffs (1949) arr. John Romano                                                            Leonard Bernstein
Look for Me (2015)                                                                                                      Nico Muhly
An American in Paris (1928) arr. Raaf Hekkema                                                                 George Gershwin


Point Blank (2018)                                                                                                       Logan Rutledge
Sorrow and Celebration for reed quintet and audience (2015)                                              John Steinmetz
The River: 9. The Neo-Hip-Hot Cool Kiddies Communities (1970) arr. Raaf Hekkema                Duke Ellington


Akropolis Reed Quintet “takes listeners on extra-ordinary musical adventures” performing “an innovative living repertoire with acclaimed precision.” Founded in 2009 at the University of Michigan, Akropolis has won 7 national chamber music prizes since 2011 and commissioned more than 30 works from composers in 7 countries. Its education tours and classes reach thousands of K-12 and college students. CDs include Unraveled; High Speed Reed; and The Space Between Us.

Akropolis celebrates the Legacy Of Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) on the eve of his 100th birthday through the lens of a collection of contemporary American composers. His Prelude, Fugue, and Riffs points to a unification of classical musical forms and Dixieland mash-up jazz improvisations.

Nico Muhly (b. 1981) buries the melody of the Appalachian folksong Mother in the Graveyard inside modern textures—as if music played from an original wax cylinder field recording warped by time is still luminous today.

An American in Paris by George Gershwin (1898-1937), brilliantly arranged by Dutch saxophonist Raaf Hekkema, allows Akropolis to convey a more outgoing and modern outlook as our American character in Paris takes in the sights and sounds of his new city, then grows homesick, only to be in love with a triumphant Paris by the end.

Logan Rutledge (b. 1993) dedicated his piece to Trayvon Martin, giving an aural representation of the injustice of gun violence and racism in America.

John Steinmetz (b. 1951) composed Sorrow and Celebration for reed quintet and audience as a work teeming with optimism even as it grieves. “The deaths of two young African American men, Michael Brown and Eric Garner, were on my mind. Sometimes sorrow, in bringing people together, can cut through the illusion of separateness, and that is cause for gratitude and celebration.”

Duke Ellington (1899-1974) composed the suite The River as joyous accompaniment to an Alvin Ailey ballet.

Sponsors:          Jordan Laby
                        Arianna Ashkar, Brett Ashkar, John Ashkar & Family
                        Halter-Encinas Enterprises