Benefit to feature renowned jazz pianist

music note stockThe Greenwich High School Band Benefit Concert will be jazzed up this year with Grammy award-winning Afro-Latin pianist, Arturo O’Farrill headlining the Nov. 2 event, to take place in the school’s auditorium at 7:30 p.m.

“Mr. O’Farrill is a world class jazz pianist and we are very excited about having his quintet join us at this year’s concert,” said John Yoon, director of the GHS band program.

In addition to Mr. O’Farrill’s quintet, other program highlights will include the GHS Wind Ensemble’s performance of four of the five movements from Of Sailors and Whales, a piece composed by renowned band composer and conductor, W. Francis McBeth.

The Wind Ensemble will also perform Gabriel Faure’s Pavane, a work originally composed in 1887 for piano and chorus, and arranged for band by Anne McGinty in 1945.

The GHS Jazz Ensemble will perform, among other pieces, two crowd pleasers — Cole Porter’s Anything Goes and George Gershwin’s Someone To Watch Over Me with GHS junior, Grace Barber singing on the Gershwin tune. Audience members will also hear the GHS Concert and Symphony Bands.

Proceeds from benefit concert will help provide scholarship funds for the band’s cultural exchange trip to Cuba planned for April 2014.

As Mr. Yoon put it, “These trips give the kids such an incredible cultural and musical enrichment experience — such as playing a joint concert with the Cuban National Band and visiting and playing a concert at a school for kids with special needs — but of course, they have a cost attached which we do try to keep as low as possible. We want every band member, regardless of financial circumstances, to be able to participate; it’s our version of no-child-left-behind.”

Part of the evening’s proceeds will also benefit Horns To Havana, a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization, founded by members of the Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra, whose mission is to provide music education and instruments to the children of Cuba.

As such, the GHS Band is also collecting used band instruments to send over through this program. Anyone interested in donating a band instrument may either bring it to the benefit concert or contact Mr. Yoon at 203-625-8025.

General admission tickets are $10 and may be purchased at the door. Refreshments will be available for sale before, during and after the concert.

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