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Professor’s 'Tango Suite' taken to Grand Teton

Some of the best players from the country’s top orchestras -- including the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony and San Francisco Symphony among others -- will perform a piece arranged by William & Mary’s director of bands next month.

Paul Bhasin’s “Tango Suite” will be performed on Aug. 14 at the Grand Teton Music Festival, held in Jackson Hole, Wyo.

"The Grand Tetons Festival Orchestra is an ensemble I greatly admire,” said Bhasin, an assistant professor of music. “It's a great honor that an ensemble made up of many of the nation's best musicians has chosen to program my adaptation. In fact, I remember listening to the GTMF Orchestra's stunning recordings as a high school student. Those memories make this event even more exciting and humbling."

Bhasin’s piece is based on three tango compositions -- "Fugata," "Milonga del Angel," and "Libertango" -- by Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla. “Tango Suite” was published by Balquhidder Music and distributed by Carl Fischer Music.

The William & Mary professor made minor changes to the piece for the festival, allowing for their instrumentation, he said.

The suite will be performed at the festival during an “Inside the Music - Single's Night!” concert, which focuses on the works of single male classical composers.

Roger Oyster, principal trombonist for the Kansas City Symphony and one of the concert’s organizers, said that the festival seeks to “present some of the very best classical music performances that can be heard anywhere in the United States in the summer months.”

“In its 51st year, the festival presents not only orchestral concerts but also concerts of chamber music; these concerts feature the artistry of its resident musicians, which include many of the best players on their instruments anywhere,” he said.

During their Tuesday night “Inside the Music” series, the festival’s organizers present theme-based concerts, which showcase not only a variety of music but the talent of the performers.

“Paul Bhasin's terrific new arrangement of tangos for brass ensemble based on the music of Astor Piazzolla fits perfectly into our final ‘Inside the Music’ concert, entitled ‘Single's Night!’” said Oyster. “Even though Piazzolla was a married man, we think that no ‘singles night’ should go without a little tango!"

Unfortunately, because the concert date is so close to the beginning of the fall semester, Bhasin does not think he will be able to attend.

However, he has plenty of work to keep him busy – and that in addition to his regular duties as a professor and director of bands.

He currently is scoring 923 Film's “Hogtown,” which is described as “a feature-length, black and white, experimental dramatic film set in 1919 Chicago,” according to its website. Bhasin plans to record the score with William & Mary students later this year.

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