‘Music Through Time’ shows musical connections

By Mary Therese Biebel - [email protected]
Artist-in-residence John Maurer will present an educational concert called ‘Music Through Time’ at Misericorida University next month. Submitted photo Artist-in-residence John Maurer will present an educational concert called ‘Music Through Time’ at Misericorida University next month. - Submitted photo
Artist-in-residence John Maurer has been playing the trumpet since he chose it in fourth-grade as the instrument he wanted to learn. Submitted photo Artist-in-residence John Maurer has been playing the trumpet since he chose it in fourth-grade as the instrument he wanted to learn. - Submitted photo

Trumpet player John Maurer can trace his love for music to a bittersweet beginning, when he lost his mother to cancer.

“I was 8 years old,” he remembered. “I needed an outlet so I started to listen to music a lot and zone the world away and express myself through listening, listening to Johnny Cash and Led Zeppelin and Glenn Miller — my Dad loved Glenn Miller and Metallica.”

By the time you can count how many different types of music that represents, Maurer will tell you genres that seem different have more in common than you might think.

“Here’s Bach from the Baroque Period. We compare (his rhythm and beat) to Duke Ellington. Everything is connected,” said Maurer, who will present a musical journey called “Music Through Time” on April 26 at Misericordia University, where he is artist-in-residence.

The concert, set to begin at 6 p.m. in Lemmond Theater in Walsh Hall, will feature Maurer performing with pianist Nate Petley. “He actually played for my wedding,” Maurer said. “That’s how close we are.”

As for the trumpet player, who chose that instrument as a fourth-grader, he expects to start the concert playing baroque pieces on a piccolo trumpet, then switch to a B flat trumpet, which he described as “the typical trumpet you see in school bands,” followed by a flugelhorn for some of the jazzy pieces.

The free event is presented as part of the Back Mountain Jazz Series, and will showcase not only baroque and jazz but classical, modern, blues, jazz, rock, pop, music of the cinema and more.

“Students are sometimes afraid of what they don’t understand,” Maurer said, explaining he wants to help audience members lose that fear — perhaps by learning how one style borrowed from another.

“Hip hop and rock actually formed from the blues,” he said. “Look at the Beatles and the other musicians that came over from the U.K. They amped up what they heard from the American blues musicians. And the blues developed through slavery, when slaves were communicating to each other on cotton fields and vegetable farms.”

As a performer, Maurer’s experiences have been as diverse as playing a fanfare with about 20 musicians in Alberta, Canada, for an audience that included Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, who is the youngest child of Queen Elizabeth II, as well as playing the national anthem before a Philadelphia Phillies game.

“I brought my dad as well as a friend, a huge Phillies fan,” Maurer said. “While we were doing a sound check the players were warming up for 20 or 30 minutes. They were right there. It was amazing. I thought, ‘oh, man, I wish I could stay and hang out,’ but I had gigs afterward.”

In addition to his role at Misericordia University, Maurer serves as the teaching artist at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts and as head of the brass and woodwind studio at the Black Bear Conservatory of Music. In 2018 he released his debut album, “Songs for My Son,’’ in honor of his son, Patrick, who was born in February 2017.

“I wanted to give him something. He can listen and see my life and understand what a child goes through. There are 14 tracks, each loosely based off my life and each represents a memory or emotion,” Maurer said, noting that a sonata by Corelli represents his schooling and “Someone to Watch Over Me” represents the way his father became his best friend and played the role of two parents after his mother died.

Artist-in-residence John Maurer will present an educational concert called ‘Music Through Time’ at Misericorida University next month.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/web1_trumpet.player.jpgArtist-in-residence John Maurer will present an educational concert called ‘Music Through Time’ at Misericorida University next month. Submitted photo

Artist-in-residence John Maurer has been playing the trumpet since he chose it in fourth-grade as the instrument he wanted to learn.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/web1_artist.residence.maurer.jpgArtist-in-residence John Maurer has been playing the trumpet since he chose it in fourth-grade as the instrument he wanted to learn. Submitted photo
Misericordia artist-in-residence John Maurer to perform

By Mary Therese Biebel

[email protected]

IF YOU GO

What: ‘Music Through Time’

Who: Trumpeter John Maurer and pianist Nate Petley

When: 6 p.m. April 26

Where: Walsh Hall, Misericordia University Campus

Admission: Free