Desert Echoes Flute Project Concert

December 9, 2023 Performing Arts Center All Ages Tickets start at $8.00 Music
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Performing Arts Center

1520 South Longmore
Mesa, AZ 85202


Tickets start at $8.00

About this event

Mesa Community College Music Department present Desert Echoes Flute Project Concert

Dec 9 at 7:30 pm , MCC Performing Arts Center

The flutists of Desert Echoes Flute Project will perform a variety of music in celebration of winter, numerical sequences, and the holiday season. The DEF Chamber Choir opens the program with the Concerto Grosso, Op. 3, No 10 by Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi from his L'Estro Armonico (The Harmonic Inspiration), a set of 12 concertos. No. 10 was originally scored for four solo violins, cello and strings and was arranged for flutes by Shaul Ben-Meir. Vivaldi scholar Michael Talbot described the set as "perhaps the most influential collection of instrumental music to appear during the whole of the eighteenth century".


DEF Community Flute Choir performs Christmas Fanfare arranged by Ryan Nowlin, a short, dramatic, and shimmering fanfare of favorite carols and transitions to the Slovenian Sonata, based on three of the most popular Slovenian folk songs beautifully arranged by Blaz Pucihar into one piece with some jazzy chords and fun extended techniques. The flutists celebrate winter next with Winter Passage by Gay Kahkonen creating images of falling snow and low slanting winter sunlight using crystalline, prismatic harmonies and Joseph A. Saenz’s Winter Dance, a “captivating piece that beautifully evokes the essence of winter, transforming it into a musical journey that transports listeners to a serene, snow-covered landscape, dappled with human activity and winter season joyfulness… The first movement transitions into a gentle flowing melody in the second movement introduced by a "dance" between the two alto flute parts that mimics the soft fall of snowflakes, setting a tranquil and peaceful mood. The main melody returns at the end, bringing back the whimsical dance feel for a powerful finish.” (from composer’s program notes) 

The original DEFproject opens with Iridescent Fanfare which was premiered in 2022 and “is an homage to love and the LGBTQIA+ community which I am a part of,” says composer Arturo Rodriguez. “Furthermore, it's an opportunity to highlight the different people who make up our community. I am hoping the work reflects the 'iridescent' nature of the music and the multitude of colors not only in the sound but the community itself. It's a celebration of life, love, and color." DEF is excited to then present the World Premiere of 12/13/14. Composer and conductor Quinn Mason is praised as “One of the most sought after young composers in the country.” (Texas Monthly) He wrote this piece on December 13, 2014 when he was 18 years old as a short celebratory work that commemorates the day. The date is auspicious as it is the last sequential date of the 21st century and the next numerical alignment won’t occur until 2103! 

Chacojqui by Ruben Flores is a brilliant and exciting Fantasy on themes from Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker" performed as you’ve never heard it before in the dance styles of the Merengue and Mambo! The program backs up a few centuries with a Renaissance Motet by Jakob Handl, an Austrian/Slovenian sixteenth century composer. He was a Cistercian monk who lived for some time at the ancient monastery at Melk in Austria and is recognized as a composer of the Venetian polychoral style who wrote numerous masses and motets. Rorate coeli desuper was composed for the introit for the fourth Sunday of Advent. The Rorate Mass originated in the Middle Ages as one of the popular Advent devotions in honor of the Virgin Mary for the season of Advent. It has a long tradition in the Catholic Church, especially in German-speaking areas. The Masses began early in the morning when it was still dark and were said by candlelight. In the Venetian tradition, it was considered appropriate for instruments to perform sacred choral pieces. 

Kinda Blue Xmas is Peter Senchuk's distinctly jazzy arrangement combining the classic cool jazz sounds of Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue album and the traditional carols, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen and We Three Kings. God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman is an English traditional Christmas carol for centuries before being published in Britain in 1833. It is also known as "Tidings of Comfort and Joy”. An early version of this carol is found in an anonymous manuscript, dating from the 1650s. The historic meaning of the phrase "God rest you merry" is 'may God grant you peace and happiness'. Arranger Michael Turner presents a thoughtfully-developed arrangement with both lovely and fun counter melodies interwoven within this well-known and popular Christmas tune. The program concludes with three lovely traditional French Christmas carols beautifully set in a collection, French Nativity Suite, arranged by Kelly Via. These pieces capture the magic of melody as well as the dance-like essence of this music:  Il Est Ne (he is born) was first published 1862; Un Flambeau, Jeannette Isabella (Bring a Torch, Jeannette Isabella) is a 16th century carol associated with  Provence; and Pat-a-Pan, a Burgundian carol telling the story of the birth of Jesus and told from the perspective of shepherds playing flutes and drums - "patapan" is meant to mimic the sound of the drum, and an accompanying lyric, "tu-re-lu-re-lu," the flute. 

A flute quartet will present a pre-concert performance in the lobby playing Cocktail Paradise by Satoshi Yagisawa with one movement devoted to each of four colorful cocktails: Cinderella, Cassis Orange, China Blue, and Grasshopper, followed by Go Tell It On The Mountain and Hark! The Herald Angels Sing both arranged by Catherine McMichael.

Accessible seats are in rows G and Q. Assigned seating event


General Public - 8.00

Military/Senior/Staff -7.00

Student - 6.00

Items not allowed

No flash photography, food or drink in the auditorium.

Directions and parking

The Performing Arts Center is located on the southeast side of campus just south of Southern Avenue on Longmore. Parking is free.

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Past dates

Saturday, December 9, 2023 7:30pm to 9:30pm