BR Concert Band goes 'Out of this World'

It all began with Mars.

Not the planet, but the movement from Gustav Holst’s 1914 composition, “The Planets.”

It had always been in the Baton Rouge Concert Band’s music library, but the band had never performed it. And Ellen Bordelon thought it was about time.

She’s the band’s librarian, and she chose the music for its concert, “Out of this World,” to be performed at 3 p.m. Sunday at First Presbyterian Church, 763 North Blvd. Admission is free.

Bordelon also plays French horn in the band.

“And I wanted to play ‘Mars,’” she says. “So, I started thinking about putting together a program around it. I thought about outer space, but that was too limiting. There wasn’t enough music about outer space to fill a program.”

But “Out of this World” had lots of possibilities, a theme that explores stepping outside the world through the supernatural, spiritual, science fiction, fantasy and, yes, outer space.

In the program’s lineup are David Maslanka’s “Mother Earth,” Jacques Offenbach’s “Orpheus,” Johann Strauss’ “Unter Donner/Blitz,” Harold Arlen’s music from “The Wizard of Oz,” “Jump in Line” from the comedy film “Beetlejuice,” Richard Strauss’ “Also Sprach Zarathustra,” Johann Strauss’ “Blue Danube,” Robert Sheldon’s “In the Shining of the Stars,” R.W. Smith’s “The Ascension,” and, of course, Holst’s “Mars.”

“People will recognize ‘Also Sprach Zarathustra’ as the theme to ‘2001: A Space Odyssey,’” Bordelon says. “We’ll be playing only the fanfare and following it with the ‘Blue Danube,’ which was also used in ‘2001.’ Actually, I think everyone will recognize most of these songs.”

And they’ll all rotate around “Mars” for an out-of-this-world experience.