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Victoria ears will be hit with music (Video)

By by jessica rodrigo/jrodrigo@vicad.com
Jan. 16, 2013 at 2:04 p.m.
Updated Jan. 16, 2013 at 7:17 p.m.

Igudesman & Joo

Music of ABBA

Pull up a copy of "Mamma Mia!" on Netflix or grab a copy at the nearest Redbox and get in the mood for some smooth melodies with the Victoria Symphony's presentation of "Arrival from Sweden: Music of ABBA" at the Victoria Fine Arts Center on Saturday.

Victoria Symphony Executive Director Michelle Hall may not have grown up with sounds from the popular '70s group stuck in her head, but she does know the tunes of "Dancing Queen" and a few others.

"Everyone knows that song," she said.

The show, she said, has a broad appeal for music lovers of all ages, from those that grew up with ABBA or those who rediscovered it through the movie "Mamma Mia!"

The director said the show will be a two-part presentation. The first half will be music performed by the orchestra only, including pieces from Mozart, "World of Warcraft" and "Raiders of the Lost Ark." The second half will include songs by ABBA.

"It's a huge production in addition to the band and the four performances. It's going to be a big fun, show," she said.

• WHAT: "Arrival from Sweden: Music of ABBA."

• WHERE: Victoria Fine Arts Center, 1002 Sam Houston Drive

• WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday

• For tickets or information: Visit victoriasymphony.com or call 361-576-4500.

Gateway Brass

Finish the weekend with a return to the Welder Center for an afternoon show with Gateway Brass, a unit of the United States Air Force Band of the West.

Sue Prudhomme, director of cultural affairs at Victoria College, said the group of six will perform traditional military and patriotic songs and more popular tunes. Gateway Brass, stationed in San Antonio, includes two trumpet players, a French horn, trombone, tuba and percussion.

"They're amazing to see and a crowd pleaser," Prudhomme, who has seen a larger portion of the ensemble perform at VC, said. "They're always fabulous."

The band performs a free show for all ages for military and civilian audiences throughout Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and Louisiana. Seating is limited, and she encourages everyone to come out and enjoy the show.

"I know that they won't disappoint," she said.

• WHAT: United States Air Force Band of the West Gateway Brass

• WHERE: Leo J. Welder Center, 214 N. Main St.

• WHEN: 2:30 p.m. Sunday

• COST: Free admission, but tickets are required and available from the Welder Center Box Office. Limit 6 per order.

• FOR INFORMATION: Visit weldercenter.org or call 361-582-2436.

If you go

• WHAT: Ingudesman & Joo "A Little Nightmare Music"

• WHERE: Leo J. Welder Center, 214 N. Main St., Victoria

• WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Thursday

• COST: $20 for adults, $10 for students, tickets available online at, weldercenter.org or through Victoria Bach Festival.

• FOR MORE ON IGUDESMAN & JOO: Visit igudesmanandjoo.com or youtube.com/user/igudesmanandjoo.

Prepare for a weekend of musical proportions as the Crossroads is hit with a wave of talent starting with a theatrical performance from Igudesman & Joo leading to the gentle vibes of ABBA and ending with the sharp sounds of U.S. Air Force Gateway Brass Band of the West.

There will be memorable performances, dancing and laughs.

Igudesman and Joo, a duo from across the pond made up of violinist Aleksey Igudesman and pianist Hyung-ki Joo, will kick off their "A Little Nightmare Music" U.S. tour in Victoria on Thursday at the Leo J. Welder Center with laughs and gasps from members of the audience. They aren't the typical musicians who sit on stage in front of the audience playing their instruments, they have their own style of performing as well.

Their show, a rendition of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "A Little Night Music," will include a mix of classical music and popular songs like "I Will Survive" - with a little something extra.

"For the older generation, it's Mozart meets 'Monty Python,'" Igudesman said, describing the show.

"And for the younger generation, it's 'South Park' meets Bach," Joo interjected.

The quirky pair, who "are not yet 40 but are not 30 anymore" and have performed in such places as Carnegie Hall and the Hollywood Bowl, said they were bringing their party hats to Victoria for their first visit. Guests can expect to hear some beautiful music with a slight hint of improv. Though the two are dedicated to putting on a good show, their show isn't exactly like others hosted at the Welder Center.

"We love things going wrong. That's certainly a big inspiration for us," Joo explained. "Especially in the world of classical music, there is so much pressure for perfection. We find that perfection kills the freshest of the music."

So, if a cellphone rings during a show or a light goes out while they're on stage, "that's something exciting and natural," he said. They even admitted to making mistakes during their show that conjure laughs in the audience.

When asked about what guests can expect from the show, Igudesman offered this: "The show involves a lot of comedy and a lot of different music."

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