Cuivre! Returns to Play Oktoberfest!

For the third year in a row, Cuivre! returned to the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church to be a part of their Oktoberfest celebration. Affectionately labeled the ‘French Horn Playing Trombone Band’, a quartet comprised of Adrienne Lopes, BJ Humpel, Kathie Mackie and Ken Mackie played a rousing set of drinking songs. Ken performed a set of Alphorn calls.

This year, Ach! Du Lieber Augustine took on a different flavor by adding Kathie playing lead on the clarinet. She also played lead in Beer Barrel Polka while Ken played the bass line on trombone and the crowd joined in singing the chorus. A good time, and good brats, was had by all!

First Annual Concert

Cuivre! gave its first concert at the Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church in Merced on June 24, 2017. Here’s the program:

Fanfare from Rondeau by Mouret……. Jean-Joseph Mouret, 1729
Arranged by Ken Mackie

The Suite of Symphonies for brass, strings & timpani No. 1 was written by Jean-Joseph Mouret, in the baroque era of music. The first movement of this piece, the rondeau, is widely known and commonly used in weddings, and notably on the PBS program Masterpiece Theater.

La Dampière………………………… Marquis de Dampierre

Fanfare for three hunting horns

Marc-Antoine de Dampierre was a master of the hunt, the horn and composer. He inspired the horn in D, the predecessor to the hunting horn. He was nicknamed the “Father of the Hunting Bands.” This well-known hunting fanfare bears his name: “La Dampière”.

Canzon Seconda a Quattro……… Giovanni Gabrieli (1557-1613)
Transcribed by Ken Mackie

Giovanni Gabrieli was an Italian composer and organist. Canzon Seconda a Quattro simply describes the Second Song for Four instruments of a series of Songs. In this piece Gabrieli introduces a short tune or motif that is then tossed about the group. He introduces motif after motif, all of which go from one player to another before finally returning to the opining motif, signaling an end to the Canzon.

Brich an, o schones Morngenlicht…………………………………….. J.S. Bach

Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light                                                                           Transcribed by Ken Mackie

This hymn for the Epiphany season is unusual in that the harmonizer of the melody, usually considered the least important part of a hymn, is the most prominent contributor of all those associated with this composition. The melody was composed by Johann Schop, and the harmonization of the melody was composed by Johann Sebastian Bach.

The Magic Flute…………………….. W. A. Mozart
Arranged by Ken Mackie


                Queen of the Night

                Papageno Papagena

The Magic Flute (German: Die Zauberflöte), is an opera in two acts by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to a German libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder. The work is in the form of a Singspiel, a popular form that included both singing and spoken dialogue.

America the Beautiful……………………… Samuel A. Ward
Arranged by Kathie Mackie

“America the Beautiful” is an American patriotic song. The lyrics were written by Katharine Lee Bates, and the music was composed by church organist and choirmaster Samuel A. Ward. This arrangement was composed by our very own composer in residence, Kathie Mackie.


Echo-Rufe 2……………………………. Hans-Jurg Sommer

Literally “Echo Call”. A call and answer piece for two Alphorns.

Alphornjagd…………………………. Englebert Aschaber

This is a hunting song for Alphorns. Note the difference between this, and La Dampière.

All is Well in the Valley……………… Traditional
Arranged by Ken Mackie

Since ancient times the Alphorn has sounded as a part of the daily activities of the shepherds and cowherds of these mountain people. It was the twilight signal for the flocks of sheep to settle in for the night as the shepherds exchanged rustic melodies across the valleys. Tunes such as “All is Well in the Valley” were passed down through countless generations, from shepherd father to shepherd son.


Coney Island Babe……………………. Les Applegate
Transcribed by Ken Mackie

“Goodbye, My Coney Island Baby” is a popular barbershop song composed in 1924 by Les Applegate. The lyrics are not related to Coney Island directly, but are about a man abandoning his lover (whom he apparently met at Coney Island) to avoid marriage, the drudgery of which is lamented in the middle section.

Come Again: Sweet Love Doeth Now Invite……… John Dowland
Transcribed by Ken Mackie

In the days before television and social media, friends would gather together to sing motets and madrigals. This one, by John Dowland, is a bittersweet love song.

“Come again, sweet love doth now invite; Thy graces that refrain to do me due delight; To see, to hear, to touch, to kiss, to die; With thee again in sweetest sympathy.”

Hymn to the night…………………….. L. Beethoven
Transcribed by Bernard Dewagtere

This is a beautiful transcription of Beethoven’s Hymn to the Night: “Holy night, O you heavens pour peace in this heart, Bring the poor pilgrims repose, sweet solace his pain! Hell already glows, the stars greet from the blue distance: Would like so much to be with you flying skyward.”

Shenandoah………………………. American folk tune
Arranged by Ken Mackie

Shenandoah is said to have originated with French voyageurs traveling down the Missouri River. The lyrics tell the story of a trader who fell in love with the daughter of an Algonquian chief, Shenandoah.

Fantasia on My Father’s World……. Arranged by Ken Mackie

“This is My Father’s World” is a well-known hymn written by Maltbie Davenport Babcock. The poem was set to music in 1915 by Franklin L. Sheppard, a close friend of Babcock. Most sources state that Sheppard adapted the music from a traditional English melody that he learned from his mother as a child. If you listen closely, you’ll notice that the tune was adapted to represent the Hobbit’s Shire in the Lord of the Rings movies.

Jerico………………………. Traditional Spiritual
Arranged by Ken Mackie

The song is believed to have been composed by slaves in the first half of the 19th century. Some references suggest that it was copyrighted by Jay Roberts in 1865. The lyrics allude to the biblical story of the Battle of Jericho, where the sound of trumpets caused the walls to come a-tumblin’ down.

Cuivre! Members, in alphabetical order: John Gottschalk, B. J. Humpel, Adrienne Lopes, Kathie Mackie, Ken Mackie, and Jill Rowney.

Cuivre! Performs at the Kamanger Theater

On October 8, 2016, Cuivre! performed as part of the Merced’s Got Talent program at the Art Kamanger Theater


Cuivre! members, from left to right: Ken Mackie, Marion Knight, Kathie Mackie, Jill Rowney, John Gottschalk

The program included a selection of the choir’s favorites: Fanfare from Rondeau by Moure; Canzon Seconda a Quattro, by Giovanni Gabrieli; Fughetta, by G. F. Handel; Fantasia on My Father’s World, Arranged by Ken Mackie; America the Beautiful, by Samuel A. Ward, Arranged by Kathie Mackie; and Jerico, Traditional Spiritual, Arranged by Ken Mackie.

Afterwards Merced’s foremost Alphornists John Gottschalk and Ken Mackie performed Echo-Rufe 1, by Hans-Jurg Sommer; Echo-Rufe 2, by Hans-Jurg Sommer; Alphornjagd, by Englebert Aschaber; and All is Well in the Valley, Traditional, Arranged by Ken Mackie.


Alphornists John Gottschalk, left, and Ken Mackie, right, playing “Echo Rufe 1” on 12′ long Alphorns at the Art Kumanger Center in Merced, California.


Merced’s premier Alphornists performing “Echo Rufe 2.”

A Fun Night at the Merced Street Fair

On July 21, 2016 a quartet from Cuivre! had some fun playing at the newly revived Merced Street Faire. The group played a set of pop tunes, including: Daisey Bell (A Bicycle Built for Two), Funiculi-Funicula, Give My Regards to Broadway, Hello! Ma Baby, Take Me Out to the Ball Game, The Band Played On, Yankee Doodle Boy, You’re a Grand Old Flag, and an arrangement of America the Beautiful by member Kathie Mackie.


Cuivre! quartet, from left to right: John Gottschalk, BJ Humpel, Kathie Mackie, Ken Mackie



Ok, John, here’s one you haven’t seen.


Ever the professional, Kathie studies her part while Ken cracks jokes.


Um, guys, this is not supposed to be a solo piece.


That’s better.

To paraphrase Starman:


Green light: play.


Red light: stop.


Yellow light: play very fast.

With the setting sun and the last note played, it’s time to take a bow. But, wait a minute!



Finally, to thunderous applause:


Curtain call.


Next up: Cuivre! will perform at the Art Kamangar Center at the Merced Theater on Saturday, October 8, 2016 at 5:30 p.m., followed by John and Ken on the Alphorns at 6:30.

And Cuivre! will be returning to play Oom-Pah music for the Octoberfest dinner at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Turlock on October 30, 2016.