From a Seattle Cascades' press release: The Seattle Cascades just concluded its most successful January camp ever. In addition to those returning from December camp, another 30 musicians and performers attended, making the final selection of corps members difficult in all captions. The level of talent has never been greater, increasing anticipation for the coming season. The corps was introduced to its new visual/marching caption head. Preston Howard Jr., who resides in Seattle, is active designing marching band and winter guard shows throughout the western states. His corps experience includes performing with the Seattle Imperials as a soloist from 1978 –82 and Blue Devils as a soloist from 1983-86, where he earned two "Most Outstanding Performer" Awards. He then joined the visual staff for the Blue Devils and the University of Nevada Las Vegas Marching Band. Since 1988 Howard has designed both band and guard shows for numerous band programs in central and northern California. He also is an experienced clinician and adjudicator. Currently, Howard plays principal trumpet with the Eastside Symphony Orchestra. He is the show designer for Mariner High School Marching Band and Color Guards, as well as Full Circle of the Sound Color Guards. Creating a vocabulary of marching and movement exercises that can be built into the show to enhance the overall visual presentation is one of Howard's many passions. The Cascades made great progress during the January 17-19 camp rehearsing the new music, which will evoke the passions, emotional range and fire in music written by four composers from the Americas. In the corps' tradition, the compositions are melodically accessible and will be presented visually in a highly entertaining Myron Rosander drill. Lewis Norfleet, Jeff Bush and Jim Wunderlich are writing the brass and percussion arrangements. The performance will open with the celebratory "Huapango," a joyful, polyrhythmic Latin folksong. The music of Alberto Ginastera, one of Argentina's most celebrated 20th Century composers, is featured in the first production. The minimalist approach used in the "Harp Concerto" will highlight the percussion section. Portuguese composer Astor Piazzolla provides the passions that will be expressed in the next two sections. "Oblivion," a love song with its film-score roots, will provide a balladic respite from the show's more driving, tension-filled moments. A Latin-themed show would not be complete without a tango, certainly one of the most sensuous and erotic of all dance forms. Piazzolla's "Libertango," is a kind of "hyper" tango that utilizes American jazz elements. It makes demands on every section of the corps. The show will conclude with "El Salon Mexico," written by Aaron Copland. The mixed-meter composition based on traditional Mexican melodies will be a fitting climax to the romantic traditions and images expressed in the featured compositions.
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