Concert to feature Jazz artists, film music April 27

Jazz pianist and composer Steve Rudolph and saxophonist and composer Jonathan Ragonese will join the Shippensburg University-Community Orchestra to present a concert of music that draws on the American traditions of jazz and film music.

The free concert is at 3 p.m. April 27 in the H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center.

The orchestra will play pieces by Rudolph and Ragonese as well as one of John Williams’ best scores, the theme from E. T., Adventures on Earth. The orchestra will also perform the iconic Night on Bald Mountain, by Modest Mussorgsky, known by many for its inclusion in the Walt Disney film Fantasia and the classic overture from the opera, Russlan and Ludmilla, by Mikhail Glinka.

The jazz portion concert features Ragonese and Rudolph. Randolph, a Yamaha Keyboard Artist, Rudolphhas inspired audiences for more than 40 years as a professional musician, sharing the stage with many jazz masters. A winner of the Jazziz Piano Competition, he was also awarded two Jazz Composition Fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and recently the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Stuart Malina premiered his composition The Gift.

Ragonese first heard Rudolph play when he was 13 years old he contacted Rudolph to announce that he was ready to play with the veteran. Rudolph took him under his wing and the two played frequently together. He recently received a masters degree from the Manhattan School of Music where he studied with many jazz luminaries and has had his compositions premiered by The Vermont Mozart Festival Orchestra, the Harrisburg Symphony, the Solar Winds Quintet, and the Manhattan School of Music Jazz Orchestra.

RagoneseBoth will contribute to the concert as guest soloists and composer/arrangers. The pieces they will perform were arranged by Ragonese for this performance by the unity orchestra. Three of the pieces are orchestrations of pieces that appear on “Ardent Marigolds,” the recently released album that they recorded as a duo.

The film portion of the concert features pieces that represent the intersection of great films and great music. Even though it was composed in 1867, Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain became forever associated with film when it was used in Disney’s iconic film Fantasia, released in 1940

Williams has had a long and celebrated career as a film composer of the highest rank. His music from Spielberg’s hit movie E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is an example of music that brings out the magic of film and becomes a musical classic in it’s own right.