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Sometimes a fantasy

The magic wand of Tacoma Concert Band

Local trumpet prodigy Natalie Dungey will feature in Tacoma Concert Band’s presentation of Fantasia. Photo credit:

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In musical jargon, a fantasia is a freestyle composition, arrived at by improvising. We know it better as the title of Walt Disney's 1940s collection of animated classical music videos. Disney's mesmerizing cartoon, recorded in and presented via way-ahead-of-its-time multitrack sound, was nevertheless a financial failure till 1969. (Audiences of that era were, shall we say, better prepared for the psychedelic visuals on display.) After dozens of additions, deletions and embellishments, it's been decades since kids' first exposure to Ponchielli's Dance of the Hours lacked the terpsichorean stylings of one Hyacinth Hippo.

Tacoma Concert Band's clearly aware of the definitions and connotations of its upcoming program title, Fantasia; and yes, that show does include music made familiar by the animated film. The band will also perform a recent piece, "Andromeda," by Spanish composer Saul Gomez Soler. The orchestra we like to call TCB, baby, knows it well, having played the piece in Valencia, Spain, over their summer tour. With sweeping, Iberian additions to their repertoire, band members came home boasting more than T-shirts and tapas bellies. You may find yourself clacking imaginary castanets.

The most fantastic element in Fantasia, however, is Issaquah's trumpet wunderkind, Natalie Dungey. At a mere 16 years of age, Ms. Dungey has already taken YouTube by storm, soloed on NPR and in concert venues around the world, and played the grand Benaroya Hall premiere of "Calling the Calvary." (That's only fair, given the piece was created for her by Juno and August: Osage County soundtrack composer Mateo Messina.) As befits TCB's current program, she'll offer her take on Jules Levy's Grand Russian Fantasia. A noted cornetist in his own right, Levy bequeathed the world a blaring reverie evocative of circuses, bullfights and adventure on the high seas. Dungey makes the piece her own by playing it in triple-tongue style, aka making it all but breakdance. Wizard Yen Sid from "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" would have to doff his pointed cap at that one.

Fantasia, 7:30 p.m. Sat., Oct. 10, Rialto Theater, 310 S. 9th St., Tacoma, $18-$36, 253.591.5890

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