Remnants of the orchestra classic Boléro by Maurice Ravel have wandered in and out of my life through a variety of avenues. I learned during a fascinating music history course in college that another of my all-time favorite songs, Jefferson Airplane’s White Rabbit, was strongly influenced by Boléro—a one-movement orchestra piece originally written for a ballet and based on the Spanish dance of the same. Songs by Deep Purple and Frank Zappa were also influenced by aspects of this composition.
Bits and pieces of this classic have been heard over time in variant plays, television commercials and films, including the 1979 hit starring Dudley Moore and Bo Derek called 10 (one of my father’s favorites). I remember Boléro playing during a seduction scene, and in fact, the classic beauty Derek actually ended up starring in a risqué film called Bolero.
Also, my mother—a figure skating enthusiast—would point out the composition over the years while we watched the Olympics or national competitions. If I could dance on ice, I would move to Boléro.
Flutist Peggy Schecter is among a collection of talented musicians who will be featured in the Maui Pops “Famous Orchestra Solos” concert on Sunday, March 21, at 3:30 p.m. at the MACC.
The Maui Pops Orchestra will celebrate timeless and versatile compositions such as this during its “Famous Orchestra Solos” concert on Sunday, March 21, at 3:30 p.m. at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center (MACC).
Music Director James Durham will lead the orchestra’s talented principal musicians as they perform works showcasing exceptional instrumental solos, including the violin, cello, harp, piano, bassoon and trombone. The two major featured works will be Boléro by Ravel and Capriccio Espagnol by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, which is based on Spanish folk tunes, with several difficult instrumental solos and a fiery whirlwind ending.
Maui Pops is made up of Maui-based musicians—although a few O‘ahu artists still come to join the fun each concert—who range from professionals who have played since their youth to an increasing number of teenagers beginning their musical careers upon the MACC’s Castle Theater stage.
The March program is “wonderful but demanding,” according to flutist Peggy Schecter, who will solo in both Boléro and Capriccio Espagnol. The principal flutist for the orchestra, Schecter has played flute since the age of 12 and performed professionally along the East Coast before moving to Maui with her husband, Ron, a cellist with the Maui Pops.
She and Ron also perform chamber music, weddings and conventions as well as teach. Peggy teaches flute to high school student Shaunessy Nascimento, who will play second clarinet in the upcoming concert.
Another soloist, Jerry Eisenberg, has performed with the Maui Pops since its inception and with predecessor orchestras that have presented classical music on Maui for over two decades. He will solo in both of the featured pieces as well on March 21.
The Overture from Carmen by Bizet, the Nocturne from A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Felix Mendelssohn and Oklahoma by Richard Rodgers will also be featured in the Maui Pops concert.
Peggy praised the selections by Durham. “I have the greatest admiration for him and for the program for this concert,” she said. “It’s challenging, musically and technically, for everybody involved, soloist or not.”
Come out and enjoy the magic of classical composition on Sunday, March 21, during the Maui Pops “Famous Orchestra Solos” concert.