The Memorial Concert Band of Colonie is getting ready to kick off its summer schedule with a special guest for its annual pops concert.
Trumpeter Cathy Sheridan will be one of the highlights of the show at the Mark Cornell Auditorium at Central Colonie High School Wednesday, May 21, at 7:30 p.m.
“The idea of having a Pops concert is relatively new and came on when Doug Dougherty came on as the conductor. He dedicated the May concert as a pops concert. They draw on some of the lighter music and some of the Broadway shows. It’s stuff other than you would get from a traditional concert,” said president of the Memorial Concert Band David Knorr.
Dougherty has assembled a program ranging from light classical pieces by renowned band composer Clifton Williams to marches such as “Thunder and Blazes” and “American Patrol,” as well as music originating in radio, television and the movies. Those pieces include selections from the Walt Disney movie “Mary Poppins,” “A Symphony of Sit-Coms,” which will rekindle memories of classic TV, and an arrangement of the Beatles classic “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.”
Sheridan is a classical and commercial musician who has performed in Southeast Asia, Australia and North America, as well as renowned venues such as Lincoln Center and The Banff Centre.
Sheridan said she didn’t start out on trumpet as a child. It was actually her second choice, and she just kind of fell into it.
“I started on the saxophone in the third grade, but had a typical kid accident and broke my collarbone using a backyard gym set. With the injury, I couldn’t hold the instrument up any more, so my sax career was quickly derailed. The following year I saw this shiny instrument, which ended up being a trumpet. My mother wanted me to play the clarinet, but I couldn’t be persuaded, so trumpet it was,” said Sheridan.
Sheridan has performed with numerous national acts and highly acclaimed Broadway shows, most notably “Wicked.” She has appeared with artists including Sarah Chang, Kristin Chenoweth, Vincent Falcone, Aretha Franklin, The Irish Tenors, Johnny Mathis, Gunther Schuller and Elaine Stritch.
Although this is Sheridan’s first time playing with the Memorial Concert Band of Colonie ,she is familiar with many of the other musicians and also attended Colonie Central High School.
“I grew up in the South Colonie School District and attended Colonie Central High School, so I know many of the players. I also have ties to the memorial reference, having been a student of Mark Cornell, and also student and good friend of Paul Aldi. Paul was a huge influence on my decision to pursue music as a career. Hank Carr, the band’s conductor emeritus, and I also worked together regularly when he was in this area,” said Sheridan.
Having played such a variety of music in her career, Sheridan is looking forward to being able to add a few other songs to the list.
“Both pieces are a joy to perform. The Clifton Williams “Dramatic Essay” was originally written for trumpet and band, and has some very exciting sections but also some lyrical passages. I enjoy showcasing all the capabilities of the trumpet. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘The Music of the Night’ is an arrangement, which was originally written for the theater, but fits well with the pops theme of this concert,” said Sheridan.
She said she is looking forward to performance.
“I’m honored Doug Dougherty asked me to perform with the band for this concert. Having grown up in this area, it’s certainly nice to return to the stage where I have so many fond memories,” said Sheridan.
Now in its 15th season, the Memorial Band of Colonie is a 70-plus piece ensemble that is bigger than a traditional band of around 45 to 50 members and is sponsored by the Town of Colonie Parks and Recreation department. The members and the audience come from all over the Capital District.
“Even though we’re based in Colonie, we cover the Capital District. We have musicians from Johnstown and Stillwater down to Hudson,” said Knorr.
For more information, and to see a complete schedule of upcoming performances, go to www.colonietownband.org.