From Ayanna Jacobs-EL's Senior Recital, February 10, 2014 at the Alabama School of Fine Arts
Accompanied By: Yoon Kim
Fusion Suite..........................................................Catherine McMichael (1954- )
II. August Beguine
III. Cygnus and Aquila
Catherine McMichael was born in 1954. She is a pianist, composer, performer, arranger, and teacher in Saginaw, Michigan. McMichael is an alumna of the University of Michigan, on the faculty of Michigan's Saginaw Valley State University, directs the hand bell choir at First United Methodist Church in Saginaw, and is a popular clinician at workshops and institutes in North America, England, and Australia. She has been commissioned to write works from such diverse groups as The Canadian Brass, Ithaca College, New England Conservatory, University of Massachusetts, and the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Gallery and Museum.
The two movements of the Fusion Suite that I am playing contrast significantly. The first being a beguine that is a dance and music form, similar to a slow rumba, that was popular in the 1930s. August Beguine is a jazzy Latin Rhumba inspired piece in which the piano and saxophone join together and separate just like in a dance. This movement has a very romantic and intense nature that also showcases the beautiful low notes of the baritone saxophone. The second movement Cygnus and Aquila, Latin for the swan and the eagle, are both summer constellations. This is an ethereal and gorgeous piece that exploits the entire range of the saxophone and serves as a soundtrack for a warm evening, and the crystalline beauty of the star-filled sky.