Tustin Ranch Spring Music Festival
Featuring soloists Sarah Koo and David Dunford
by Neil Smith –
A near capacity crown attended the annual spring festival at the Tustin Ranch Corps (Calif.), which this year featured the Tustin Ranch Band and some of the soloists from within the band.
After “The Star Spangled Banner,” Warren Johnson welcomed the crowd, outlined the band’s mission and shared prayer.
Bruce Freeman and David Hall played Peter Graham’s well known cornet duet “Quicksilver.” Following this was world premier performance of “Prelude on an Irish Tune,” written by a former member of the band, Major Ian Robinson, now serving in the United Kingdom. The cello soloist was Sarah Koo, a faculty member at Tustin’s Pioneer School of Music, and as always, her playing was spectacular. The unique sound of the cello blended well with the band and the piece was well received.
The band featured music by William Himes and Robert Redhead, and the trombone section played the music of Commissioner Dick Krommenhoek, “From that Sacred Hill.”
Other brass soloists were David Ferguson, “Journey into Peace,” and trumpet soloist David Hall, playing Handel’s “Suite in D,” with the orchestra parts having been transcribed for small brass ensemble by Justin Lansing, one of the band’s horn players.
The piano skills of David Dunford are well known to us and along with accompanying Koo, he was featured in “Presto from the Italian Concerto” and his own piece “Improvisations.” The piece was in the style of jazz pianist and virtuoso, Art Tatum. Art was virtually blind, and David performed the piece blindfolded. As always, a flawless and exciting performance was the end result.
After rounding off the concert with a stirring performance of Bizet’s “Farandole” the congregation was asked to participate in the final number, “O Boundless Salvation.”
Tustin Ranch Band achieved the goal of sharing great Salvation Army brass music with an appreciative audience.