RED BANK: WITH MALLETS AFORETHOUGHT

Greg_512Marimba master Greg Giannascoli returns to the Basie stage this Saturday, as the Monmouth Symphony Orchestra mark its 66th anniversary with Fanfare and the Fourth.

Long before Red Bank was looked upon as a center for culture and the arts; decades prior to the rebranding of the venerable Carlton vaudeville house as the Count Basie Theatre, there was the Monmouth Symphony Orchestra — and the organization now under the baton of conductor Roy D. Gussman is still going strong in the new century, celebrating 66 years as a community treasure and getting ready to embark upon an all new season with a Saturday night concert on November 1.

For this momentous occasion, Gussman and the MSO put out the call to an engaging instrumentalist whose 2010 solo spot with the orchestra has become the stuff of legend — classical marimbist Greg Giannascoli. A member of the Juilliard School faculty and a virtuoso of the melodically malleted, harmonically hammered percussion instrument (still something of a novelty on symphony stages), Giannascoli returns to Red Bank for a program that promises to bring the Tchaikovsky, the Copland…and the Ewazen?

That’s Eric Ewazen, contemporary American composer (and “MSO friend”), whose Marimba Concerto serves as the centerpiece of an evening that’s called to order in stirring style by Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man.” Also on hand — and keynoting a year-long tribute to Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky — is the Russian master’s Symphony No. 4. The music starts at 8 pm — but arrive early if you can, for a 7:15 pre-show featuring Giannascoli interviewed by MSO’s bass trombonist and program annotator Tom Avakian.

Reserve tickets ($35; seniors $30) right here.