Mat-Su Concert Band Ushers In Brighter Days With Late-Winter Concert

Contributed by Zaz Hollander

Mat-Su Concert Band Symphonic Collage
3/4/2017 - 7:30PM
Mat-Su Concert Band
Glenn Massay Theater
8295 College Dr, Palmer
Tickets: $5 Students, $10 General, FREE Ages 0-5

Mat-Su Concert Band brings a symphonic collage to the stage of the Glenn Massay Theater at Mat-Su College with a concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 4th. 

The program features a contemporary piece from a new American composer, plus a vibrant combination of marches and dances and a toe-tapping arrangement of selections from the Disney classic “Mary Poppins”. 

The concerts have an intermission. Tickets are $10, $5 for students and children under 5 get in free. Tickets can be purchased online at

Perhaps the most unusual piece on the program is “Riften Wed” by Emmy-winning composer Julie Giroux, who has written for television and film including the “North and South” miniseries. This soaring composition premiered in 2013 and takes its material from the role-playing video game saga Skyrim. Riften Wed takes place in the lawless fantasy city of Riften, where marriage is permanent and often forged for survival as much as love. 

“Skyrim weddings are happening in the middle of a world full of violence, disease, war and death. Something Earth is all too familiar with.” Giroux writes in her own program notes, which she urges directors to read to performers before the piece is rehearsed. 

The familiar tunes of Mary Poppins are faithfully rendered in the Sherman brothers’ assortment of movie selections including “Feed the Birds” and “Chim Chim Cheree” and “A Spoonful of Sugar”. The brothers won two Academy Awards for the original score that’s still an audience favorite. 

A vibrant series of dances from around the world includes “Four Scottish Dances” by Malcolm Arnold and “Danzon no. 2” by Arturo Marquez. 

Marches round out the program. The first movement of “Second Suite in F for Military Band” by Gustav Holst is a march. The band will perform all four movements of this melodic suite based on English folk songs. Other marches to be performed are Sousa’s “The Free Lance March”, “Old Comrades (Alte Kameraden)” by Carl Telke and “Aces High March” by Ron Goodwin, in honor of a cherished band stalwart. 

The band got its start in 1984 as the Mat-Su Community Band, formed by Matanuska Music owner, Hank Hartman. Other directors have included Neil Long and Phil Munger. 

 Current director, Gleo Huyck, is a retired music educator and private instructor. Under Huyck’s baton, the band performs a wide-ranging selection of challenging music. The band this season numbers about 70 amateur musicians who assemble every Monday night for rehearsals at Teeland Middle School.