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Program Notes

Progarm Notes by Millie Fryman

Punchinello     (composed in 1973)

The “Punch and Judy” puppet show tradition has its roots in 16th-century Italy. In its earliest days, the puppet figure which became known first as “Punchinello” and later as just plain “Punch” portrayed a character type familiar to the Renaissance public as "the Trickster”. A “Punch and Judy” show usually consists of several short scenes, each depicting an interaction between two characters, most typically Punch and one other puppet such as his wife Judy, the couple’s baby, a hungry crocodile, a clown, or an officious policeman. All can expect to fall victim to Punch's slap stick routines.

Composer Alfred Reed (1921-2005) added a subtitle to this piece - Overture to a Romantic Comedy – and left us these comments about his work.

“This brilliant [bright and glittering] work, combining elements of the symphonic variation form with those of the large theater pit orchestra styling, was written for the Western Illinois Symphonic Wind Ensemble. … The music is in the traditional three-part overture form (fast-slow-fast) with a warm lyrical middle section set off by a brilliant opening and closing group of themes that are constantly developed with all of the resources of the modern integrated wind ensembles. Some listeners might just perhaps find a touch of nostalgia in the long, singing line of the middle section, or in the exciting theater two-step rhythms in the final portion. The only real clue as to what the music is about may be found in its subtitle: and the elements of both romance and comedy have indeed always remained the same, and, hopefully, will continue to be so.”

Born into a family that cherished music, Alfred Reed (1921-2005) began his musical studies at age ten. During World War II, he served as musician and arranger in the 529th Army Air Force Band, for which he created more than 100 works. Following the war, he became a student first at the Juilliard School of Music and then at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. During his years at Baylor, he became interested in the problems of educational music at all levels and especially in the development of repertoire materials for school bands, orchestras, and choruses. This led to his accepting the post of editor at a music publishing company in 1955. In 1966, he left that post to join the faculty of the School of Music at the University of Miami; after his retirement in 1993, he continued to compose and appear as a guest conductor. With over 250 published works for concert band, wind ensemble, orchestra, chorus, and various smaller chamber music groups, Mr. Reed was one of the nation’s most prolific and frequently performed composers.

Colonial Song      (composed in 1911)

Percy Aldrich Grainger (1882-1961) often stated that he wanted to become the first important Australian composer. Although he lived most of his life in other countries, he kept his focus on his homeland. An accomplished piano prodigy who studied composition as a youth, he began both his public concert career and his composition career in London after he and his mother moved to England in 1902. Shortly after the outbreak of World War I in 1914, he and his mother moved to the United States, where he lived for the rest of his life, becoming a U.S. citizen in 1918.

Colonial Song first appeared as a composition for harp, full orchestra and two voices (soprano and tenor who were asked to vocalize rather than sing words – there were no lyrics) completed in 1911 “as a Yule gift for mother”. As often happened with Grainger’s compositions, he contrived to get a lot of mileage out of this work. The next year, his mother received for Christmas an arrangement of the same work for violin, cello, and piano; in 1914, he created a piano solo version. Tonight’s version first appeared in 1918 with the following dedication note: “this military band dish-up [arrangement] a s Loving Yule-Gift to Mumsie, Yule, 1918.” Music historians speculate that Percy Grainger’s enlistment as a saxophonist in the U.S. Army 15th Coastal Artillery Corps Band at the end of World War I inspired him to create this l arrangement, the one which will be played tonight. Unlike the vast majority of Grainger's works, Colonial Song features an entirely original melody by the composer as opposed to his usual collection of folk melodies. He wrote a short program note stating that in this piece he “wished to express feelings aroused by thoughts of the scenery and people of my native land, (Australia), and also to voice a certain kind of emotion that seems to me not untypical of native-born Colonials in general.” As you will hear, there is an atmosphere of yearning created by Colonial Song.

Lauds     (composed in 1992 )

Lauds, described by composer Ron Nelson as an “exuberant, colorful work intended to express feelings of praise and glorification”, was named for one of the seven canonical hours that were selected by St. Benedict as the times the monks would observe the daily offices of the Catholic church. Lauds occurs at sunrise, when one encounters the glory and excitement of a new day. This piece received its world premiere when the U.S. Air Force Band played it at the joint College Band Directors National Association and National Band Association Conference in 1992. The enthusiasm and color exhibited by Lauds are conveyed through texture, rhythms, and instrumentation. For example, the opening tremolos (rapid succession between two notes) heard in the upper woodwinds, piano, and mallet percussion epitomize enthusiasm and celebration. Mr. Nelson instructs musicians to play this piece “joyfully” and provides strong staccato rhythms to lend energy to the piece. Some sections are intended to be played “fortissimo” (very loudly) in contrast with other lyrical sections marked to be played “sweetly.

A native of Joliet, Illinois, Ron Nelson (1929- ). He received 3 degrees in composition at the Eastman School of Music. In 1956, Dr. Nelson joined the faculty of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, and retired from the same institution as Professor Emeritus in 1993. Still active as a composer, he introduced a new work just last year. In a radio interview in 1997, Dr. Nelson said

“I will confess to your listeners that I’m a closet orchestral composer. The orchestra is my true love, but the world I found [when I embarked on my career as a composer] was not waiting for another Nelson [orchestral] piece. I was not getting commissions for orchestral pieces. On the other hand, the band world, having [at the time] such a small history of literature, really [was] looking for new music. They’re accustomed to new things, whereas the orchestral people are not. Orchestral audiences, as you well know, are quite happy to hear the same thing over and over and over. But in the band field, they’re hungry for new works. I would have conductors call me up and ask if [I had anything new in the works.] You have no idea what that does to a composer, to be wanted.”

Der VogelhÄndler     (composed in 1890 )

The word “operetta” often refers to a romantic comic opera in which the story line is advanced by spoken dialogue interspersed with songs and dancing. By the mid-1800s, the popularity of this new music genre led to the development of many national styles of operetta (ex: Gilbert and Sullivan in England). In Austria, Johann Strauss II - “the Waltz King”- was recruited from the dance hall to the operetta world where he introduced a distinct Viennese style which other Austrian composers followed. Carl Zeller (1842-1898), who possessed a gift for melodic invention, has been called “perhaps the most remarkable of all the 19th-century Viennese operetta composers”.

As a boy, Carl Zeller exhibited an excellent soprano voice and became a member of still-renown Vienna Boys' Choir. He also displayed exceptional aptitude on several instruments and, after his voice broke, he studied composition while also studying law at Vienna University. However, he did not follow a career in music but instead chose a civil service career as an administrator at the Austrian Imperial Ministry of Arts and Education. Composition remained an avocation to which he devoted as much time as he could spare; at first, he wrote songs and choral works which helped prepare him for later, more ambitious projects such as operettas. But because of the demands of his “day job”, Carl Zeller was able to compose only 7 operettas over a period of 22 years. Herr Zeller died at the age of 56.

Tonight you will hear selections from Der Vogelhändler rather than an overture to that work. Carl Zeller once was well known for his marches; two of those stirring tunes begin and end this arrangement. Arranger Eiji Suzuki chose to present his selections in three parts, each of which ends with a rather lengthy pause as once was typical in song “collections” such as this. There is no attempt to which connect the various sections with modulation or bridging. Just wait – the band will play on!

Florentiner March      (composed in 1907 )

Julius Fučík (1872-1916) - pronounced “foot-chic” - grew up in Prague, then the capital of the Kingdom of Bohemia. At the age of 13, he enrolled at the Prague Conservatory of Music, where he studied bassoon, violin, and percussion. Shortly before his graduation 6 years later, he was able to study composition in a newly established department headed by none other than Antonin Dvořák. He entered military service with the Austro-Hungarian Empire army, playing bassoon and percussion in an infantry band. A few years later, he began his career as a military bandmaster.

Marches of every dimension and purpose were the popular music of the day and composing them became a popular second profession among bandmasters. Fučík enthusiastically followed this trend; one of his earlier compositions, Entry of the Gladiators, became a world famous circus march. His Florentiner March met with great public acclaim when it was published in 1907. Retiring as bandmaster in 1913, Fučík moved to Berlin to start a music publishing business, but the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 caused his new enterprise to falter. His health subsequently declined and he soon died at the age of 44. He produced over 400 works including operettas, chamber music, masses, marches and a symphonic suite. Today his marches are still played as patriotic music in the Czech Republic.

The length and content of this march have led music historians to suspect that, like Sousa with his Free Lance March, Fučik probably attempted to condense the most important ideas he had for an operetta into Florentiner March. The work opens with two short bugle fanfare and then launches into a strain of rapidly repeated notes which someone suggested depicts a flighty young lady from Florence chattering away to her gentleman friend who struggles to get a word in sideways. Two notes played by the lower brass at the end of each fluttery phrase seem to insert a very quick “yes, dear”. The work continues with another fanfare, a light and beautiful trio melody, and an interlude suggesting another operetta scene before ending with a triumphant repeat which includes a challenging piccolo part.

INCANTATION AND DANCE      (composed in 1960 )

Texan John Barnes Chance (1932-1972) received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in composition from the University of Texas at Austin. After serving with the Fourth and Eighth U.S. Army Bands during the Korean War, he obtained a grant from the Ford Foundation’s Young Composers Project allowing him to serve as resident composer in the Greensboro, North Carolina public schools. Here he produced seven works for school ensembles, including his classic Incantation and Dance. In 1966, Mr. Chance joined the music faculty at the University of Kentucky. Professor Chance lost his life in a backyard accident while living in Lexington, bringing his promising career to a tragic end at the age of 39.

Incantation and Dance features a wealth of melodic and rhythmic inventiveness, as well as innovative-for-1960 use of percussion in wind band scoring. This piece came into being during Chance’s residency at Greensboro. North Carolina and became his first published piece for band. The incantation – chanting which purports to have magical power – played by flutes using the lowest register of that instrument is mystical indeed and introduces most of the melodic material of the entire piece. The dance section begins tentatively. Over a long, sustained chord, percussion instruments enter one by one, establishing the rhythmic framework of the dance to come. A whip crack startles the brass into furious outbursts. When the dance proper finally arrives, the rhythm remains asymmetrical as if struggling to escape the constriction of regular, repetitious beats. Incantation and Dance has been extremely popular with wind bands ever since it was written.

Toccata Marziale      (composed in 1924 )

Toccata Marziale first made its mark on the music world when it was selected to be played at a massed bands concert (600+ bandsmen!) at the grand opening of the 1924 Wembley British Empire Exhibition. This major exhibition promoted international trade and portrayed the wide British Empire as strong and healthy; the grand opening took place in a purpose-built stadium included in extensive exhibition grounds. Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) had been active as a composer for some years prior to 1924 but previously had not written any music for military band. He decided to turn the first movement of an unpublished piece for two pianos and orchestra on which he was working at the time - a Bach-inspired toccata – into Toccata Marziale, his creation for the Wembley performance. “Toccata”, a 16th century music composition genre, originally was intended as vehicle for a keyboard instrumentalists to exhibit their virtuosic touch and technique. In Toccata Marziale, Vaughan Williams created long melodic lines with a martial (marziale) tempo and stately character, dialogues between the woodwind and brass sections, and a shifting texture.

Probably because Vaughan Williams produced this piece in some haste, the original published edition included many notation errors. An “errata” list generated in the mid 1970’s by the famous wind band conductor Frederic Fennell provided much-needed assistance, but it was only in 2005 that a new and error-free edition of Toccata Marziale by Frank Battisti of the New England Conservatory of Music appeared on the scene.

TICO-TICO NO FUBÁ      (composed in 1917)

José Gomes de Abreu (1880-1935), better known by his nickname of Zequinha or “Little Joe”, was a well-known Brazilian musician and composer. By the age of five, Zequinha already demonstrated a strong interest in music, but his mother enrolled him in a seminary so he could become a priest. One day, having decided he just had to be a musician, he ran away from the seminary and went back home to fulfill his own dream. De Abreu often wrote songs in a style popular in his day called choro (cry or lament), an instrumental Brazilian music genre which originated in 19th century Rio de Janeiro. Despite its name, choro songs often feature a fast and happy rhythm and are characterized by virtuosity and lots of syncopation. Considered the first characteristically Brazilian genre of urban popular music, choro sprang from influences of musical styles and rhythms coming from Europe and Africa. Much of the mainstream success of this style of music came from the early days of radio, when bands performed live on the air. By the 1950s and 1960s, the choro was replaced on the airwaves by the newer urban samba genre.

Some years after De Abreu composed the choro he called Tico-Tico no Fubá, another Brazilian wrote some lyrics which provide a story about a type of sparrow commonly called “Tico-Tico” in Brazil, which was eating cornmeal (fubá) stored in a backyard granary. It doesn’t take much imagination to visualize what the tune suggests: a nervous, chattering little bird treating someone’s cornmeal supply as a banquet table. Here is a rough translation of some of those lyrics:

That tico-tico’s here, it is here again, that tico-tico’s eating all my cornmeal. If that tico-tico wants to feed itself, it should go eat fruit worms in the orchard. That tico-tico’s here, it is here again, that tico-tico’s eating all my cornmeal. I know it wants to live in my backyard and pretend that it is a canary.
In the U.S., after de Abreu’s death, Tico-Tico no Fubá was recorded often in the 1940s and 1950s, a period when Hollywood movies featured Latin orchestras and singers such as Xavier Cugat, Carmen Miranda, and Desi Arnaz. It stayed in the public ear well into the 1960s, thanks to performers such as Liberace and Henry Mancini. This catchy tune has maintained a place on the international music scene

TEMPERED STEEL      (composed in 1997 )

In the fall of 1993, the same year in which he completed his doctorate at the University of Michigan, aspiring composer Charles Rochester Young (1965- ) lost the use of his hands and arms due to the onset of a sudden, undiagnosed neuromuscular condition. Over the next 4 years, he faced many challenges and hardships as he worked to regain control of the affected extremities. With intense fight determination, he made a full recovery. The composition Tempered Steel commemorates his success.

In the sphere of metallurgy, tempering is a process of heat treating used to increase the toughness of iron-based alloys by decreasing its hardness. Toughness often increases as strength decreases, because a material that bends is less likely to break. Charles Young believes that as people “grow stronger and more resilient through hardship, we become ‘tempered.’ Tempered Steel is a celebration of our triumph over these unavoidable hardships and obstacles that we regularly face. It rejoices in the tenacious and unrelenting resolve that is part of us all. In this piece, Dr. Young often utilized a musical scale of six notes rather than the more familiar seven note scale and relied on a percussion-heavy instrumentation. The resulting edginess depicts the stresses and struggles which often demand our attention in daily life. The calmer passages interspersed throughout the work are interrupted by short and edgy outbursts, reminding the listener that thoughts of life’s difficulties often lurk just below the surface of our minds. The closing passages of the work resolve the musical tensions just enough to suggest that it is possible to survive life’s toughest moment.

Dr. Young, a native Texan who graduated from Baylor University and later from the University of Michigan, is not only a composer but also a saxophonist who writes extensively for that instrument. Currently, he serves as Associate Dean of the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music. Tempered Steel was "forged" in 1997 as the first work to be commissioned by the Big 12 Band Directors Association.

CULLODEN      (composed in 2000)

Entire bookcases could be filled with volumes describing the long trail of events which led to the Battle of Culloden (pronounced cuh-LAH-den) fought in 1746 in the Scottish Highlands near Inverness. “Bloody Culloden”, still considered one of the most significant battles in history, was the unsuccessful climax of an attempt to reinstate a Scottish monarch from the Stuart family on the throne of England at the hands of an English army. This small, doomed rebellion made an enormous and lasting psychological impact upon the Scots.

The severe civil penalties on the Scots imposed after the battle by the English have been described as cultural vandalism: the destruction of a way of life that many found meaningful and which provided a sense of identity and kinship. For example, it became a criminal offense to wear clan-associated tartan plaid clothing. Following the battle, the English continued to hunt down and murder wounded and unwounded alike for years afterwards; any possible threats to the English were dealt with harshly. This period is referred to as "The Clearances." Torture, death, imprisonment, relocation, and the shipping of prisoners as indentured slaves to foreign countries continued.

The English burned all sheet music reflecting the Highland cause and culture that they could find in the aftermath of the battle. Composer Julie Giroux immersed herself in the task of locating this lost music. She describes her

“attempt to present the folk & Gaelic … music from the 1745-6 period of Scotland in my own way, without losing its original charm and flavor. … The melodies were originally for bagpipe, fiddle or voice, and had either no accompaniment or only a drone. The hundreds of hours of research alone would have prompted me to compile them into a work of some kind, but after immersing myself in the history, the music and overall "flavor" of the period, I became extremely fond of these tunes and my desire to see them breathe the air of the 21st century became overwhelming.”
The result was a three- movement symphony entitled Culloden, the first movement of which you will hear tonight.

Ms. Giroux entitled that first movement “Heilan Lochs, Bairns & Heather” or “Highland Lakes, Children, Heather”. She characterizes the melodic themes in this movement as

“… songs about love, war, whiskey, and women …. Here, they have been brought back to life in a depth and understanding that they must have had all along. These melodies sprangonto my score pages decked in full regalia, wearing the plaids of their ancestors. Simple they may be, but pull on your heart strings they will, for they pulled on mine something fierce. For the most part, I let them be.”
Julie Giroux was born in 1961 in Massachusetts and attended Louisiana State University and Boston University. She studied composition with John Williams and others. Her very successful career as a composer has focused on music for television and films.

OCTOBER      (composed in 2000)

Composer Eric Whitacre described his inspiration for this work with clarity. “October is my favorite month. Something about the crisp autumn air and the subtle change in light always makes me a little sentimental, and as I started to sketch I felt that same quiet beauty in the writing. The simple, pastoral melodies and subsequent harmonies are inspired by the great English Romantics (Ralph Williams, Edward Elgar) as I felt that this style was also perfectly suited to capture the natural and pastoral soul of the season.” He also described how the commission for this piece fell into place. “October began at a restaurant in Chicago, when I was first introduced to Brian Anderson, a high school band director from Fremont, Nebraska [who] knew my work and wanted to commission me, but couldn’t find the finances. … I didn’t immediately hear back from him, and I just assumed the gig would never materialize. About a year later I get this phone call from him and he says that he has put together a commissioning consortium of 30 high school bands from Nebraska [Nebraska Wind Consortium]. 30 bands! I’ve dealt with institutional bureaucracy for a while now and I can’t possibly imagine how he brought all of those people together, let alone get them to agree on a commission.”

October moves back and forth between thinly orchestrated sections (usually a small group of woodwinds) and full- throated ensemble playing. This progression creates the serene yet expressive mood that Whitacre wanted October to exhibit. “I'm happy with the end result”, he wrote, “especially because I feel there just isn't enough lush, beautiful music written for winds.” After spending a term at Cambridge University‘s Sidney Sussex College singing with in the College’s Chapel Choir, Mr. Whitacre decided in 2010 to write a choral piece for that group which he entitled Alleluia. The lyrics consists of the repetition of the word Alleluia set to the music of his prior work October. The result is stunning.

One of the most-performed composers of his generation, Eric Whitacre (1970 - ) was born in Reno, Nevada. Though he showed interest in music in his youth, he did not begin music studies until he entered the University of Nevada. He then earned his master's degree at Juilliard. By the mid-'90s, Whitacre's choral music was already drawing attention; his first recordings appeared in the late '90s and by the turn-of-the-century, Whitacre was internationally recognized as among the most important American composers both for chorus and wind band. Footnote: In 2004, the Tallahassee Winds performed several Eric Whitacre works including October under his baton at the Sydney Opera House.

FAIREST OF THE FAIR      (composed in 1908 )

John Philip Sousa created his march The Fairest of the Fair with the intention of introducing it to the public at the annual Boston Food Fair in the fall of 1908. It is the only work of any kind that he composed that year and one of only a handful of compositions that he wrote between 1906 and 1910. The title “Fairest at the Fair” might have been more appropriate. The Boston Food Fair was an annual exposition and music jubilee held by the Boston Retail Grocers’ Association. The Sousa Band filled the role of main musical attraction for several seasons, so the creation of a new march honoring the sponsors of the 1908 Boston Food Fair was the natural outgrowth of a pleasant business relationship. At earlier fairs, Sousa noticed a beautiful and charming young woman who was the center of attention at the food displays where she worked. Although he never met the girl, Sousa made a mental note that, someday, he would write music describing the impression she had made upon him. When the invitation came for the Sousa Band to play a 20-day engagement in 1908, the comely young woman became his muse for his new march The Fairest of the Fair.

Because of an oversight, The Fairest of the Fair almost missed its premiere. A few months before the 1908 food fair, Sousa sent a sketch of his new march to his publisher and also created a full conductor’s score from which the individual band parts were to be extracted and copied. On a train headed to Boston the night before the fair’s opening, Louis Morris, the band’s copyist, discovered that musicians’ parts for the new march had not yet been prepared. Considerable advance publicity had been given to the new march, and fair patrons would be expecting to hear it. In addition, the piano version already had been published and free copies had been promised to the first 500 ladies to enter the gates of the fair. Morris rose to the occasion; he worked all night and almost had finished copying the parts when dawn broke. While taking his usual early morning walk, Sousa stopped by Morris’s compartment to chat only to discover frenzied activity. When he learned what had happened, Sousa demonstrated customary benevolence. He told Morris to complete his work and then take a well- deserved rest. So Louis Morris was asleep when Sousa’s Band played The Fairest of the Fair for the first time. He found an extra $50 in his next pay envelope — the equivalent of 2 weeks' salary.

The Fairest of the Fair is regarded as being among the very best of Sousa's pieces revealing not only his melodic gift but also genuine craftsmanship in its composition. More melodic and less military than many other of his marches, it features toe-tapping tunes interrupted by sonorous and expansive trio passages.

See Rock City      (composed in 2011)

Rock City is a tourist attraction on Lookout Mountain in north Georgia very near Chattanooga created on property owned by Frieda and Garnet Carter. Mrs. Carter wanted to develop their property into one big rock garden; using rolls of string, she marked a trail that wound its way around the many giant rock formations on their land and ended at a large overlook rock jutting out from the mountain side called Lover's Leap. She also planted wildflowers and other plants along her trails and imported German gnome statues and famous fairytale characters to set up at spots along the walks. Mr. Carter realized that his wife had created something which all sorts of people would be willing to pay to see, so he opened Rock City as a public attraction in the spring of 1932. Their attraction began to gain prominence 3 years later after the Carters hired a man to paint "See Rock City" advertisements on barns throughout the Southeast and Midwest United States. By 1969, that gentleman had painted over 900 barn roofs and walls in 19 states.

Composer Brent Karrick wrote See Rock City to satisfy a commission from the Kentucky Music Educators Association for a piece to be played by a Kentucky All-District band. He described it as “a fun rock jam session for concert band. Fusing elements of rock, jazz and funk styles, all sections of the band contribute familiar riffs, grooves and melodies weaved throughout the three-part form: fast-funk-fun! Partly inspired by driving through the southeastern part of the United States, it is hard to miss the words painted on barns, birdhouses and billboards -- "See Rock City!” The attraction displays the region's quirky sense of humor [and] its breathtaking beauty. Whether looking at seven states, standing under a waterfall, or walking through a cavern full of glowing gnomes, Rock City, like this namesake piece, is just pure, simple, fun.”

Brant Karrick, Director of Bands at Northern Kentucky University since 2003, received music education degrees from Kentucky universities before receiving his Ph.D. in Music Education and Conducting from LSU in 1994. He first joined the music faculty at the University of Toledo before returning to his home state in 2003 to serve as Director of Bands at Northern Kentucky University, a position he still holds.

FARANDOLE      (arranged in 2019)

Georges Bizet (1838-1875) composed L'Arlésienne (The Girl/Woman from Arles, a city in Provence, France) as incidental music for a play of the same name; it was first performed in 1872, only 3 years before his opera Carmen appeared and his subsequent untimely death. The play was a failure, closing after only 21 performances. Bizet had written over 20 numbers for voice, chorus, and small orchestra, ranging from short solos to longer pieces to be played between the acts of the play. The playwright later admitted that Bizet’s music was much better than the play itself. That music survived and flourished; it is most often heard in the form of two suites for orchestra, but also has been recorded complete.

Bizet arranged the First Suite himself, but the Second was compiled after his death by his longtime friend Ernest Guiraud. The composer had used most of his best music in the First Suite, so for the Second Suite Guiraud had only leftovers to work with. He compensated by pulling in music from other sources and composing new music based upon themes from the incidental score. The Second Suite (published in 1879) ends with the Farandole, a hectic, pipe-and- drum-driven Provençal “chain dance”. Bizet himself had used a simple form of this tune for the play, but Guiraud added to it a folk music tune which had previously inspired other composers and come to be known as “The March of the Kings”. In its 15th century version, the words of this song spoke of “Three great kings … with all their retinue [and] valiant warriors to guard the royal treasure with gifts of gold brought from far away their shields all shining in their bright array.” The kings in this version are thought to be Crusaders marching to the Holy Land. Later version left the military connotation behind and turned the kings into three unaccompanied monarchs mounted on camels who were searching for the baby Jesus.

Tonight, the Winds will play a transcription of Farandole created and directed by Dr. Patrick Dunnigan. Dr. Dunnigan has chosen to make this cheerful and stirring music available to symphonic bands. While not yet published, tonight’s performance is not a premiere public appearance. A composer or transcriber needs to hear his or her work played in case the score needs to be “tweaked” before it is sent out into the world as a new publication. Nevertheless, tonight’s audience members can count themselves among the first to hear what Dr. Dunnigan has created.

RUSSIAN SAILORS’ DANCE      (composed in 1927)

The Red Poppy is a ballet in three acts with music by Reinhold Glière (1875-1956) created in 1927 as the first Soviet ballet with a modern revolutionary theme. Possibly the most famous dance from this ballet is the “Sailors’ Dance”, often referred to as the "Russian Sailors’ Dance”. In the ballet, ships carrying sailors from many lands including the Soviet Union dock in a Chinese seaport. The captain of the Soviet vessel notices a group of stevedores being brutally driven to work even harder by a cruel harbormaster. One night, while dancing for the sailors aboard the ship, a beautiful local woman sees the Soviet captain attempt to rescue poor laborers from a cruel harbormaster. Impressed by the captain's act of kindness, she gives him a red poppy as a symbol of her love. The rest of the ballet presents the conflict between the dancer, her Chinese boss, and the Soviet captain. It ends as the dancer sacrifices her life for the captain by throwing herself in front of him when her boss tries to shoot him.

At the end of the first act of this ballet, a spontaneous “battle of the dancers” occurs. First a group of Chinese men and then a cadre of dockworkers each show their dancing skills. Not to be outdone, members of the Soviet ship’s crew come ashore and perform The Russian Sailors’ Dance. Reinhold Glière chose an example of a genre of humorous, up tempo Russian folk songs called chastúshka for their exhibition. Each verse consists of a four line rhyming poem full of humor, satire, or irony (often using lewd and vulgar language). The particular chastúshka he selected is a tune called "Yablochko” (Little Apple") which traditionally is presented as a sailors' dance. There was not any one song by this name; many versions appeared which shared only the tune and the use of the words “Hey! Little Apple” at the beginning of their lyrics. Actually, these songs had nothing to do with apples; they reflected the political issues of their time.

Reinhold Glière’s career as a composer began under the tsarist Russian Empire and continued through the Russian Revolution into the era of the Soviet Union. Glière concentrated primarily on composing monumental operas, ballets, and cantatas; his symphonic music contained rich, colorful harmony and perfect traditional forms. This approach secured his acceptance by both Tsarist and Soviet authorities but many composers such as Prokofiev and Shostakovitch who suffered intensely under the Soviet regime came to resent Glière bitterly.

A HYMN FOR PEACE      (composed in 2017)

Kevin Alexander Day (1996 - ), an American composer, conductor, multi-instrumentalist, and native of Texas, currently is pursuing a Master of Music in Music Composition degree at the University of Georgia. Mr. Day earned his Bachelor of Music Degree in Instrumental Performance from Texas Christian University. Euphonium and tuba are his principal instruments, but he also plays jazz piano, bass guitar, and drums.

This young composer has overcome much adversity to get to this point. For three years while attending TCU, he battled depression and anxiety and openly discusses his struggles during that time. A Hymn for Peace resulted from his journey through despair. Kevin Day writes that the piece you will hear tonight “is based on my piano composition, Breathe. I wrote [A Hymn for Peace] during a very difficult time in my life. I was battling severe mental health issues, was struggling in university, and at that time, my life seemed like it had no direction, and I was losing myself. However, two individuals who were there to give me hope were Debbie and Mark Alenius. Through many different instances, they helped me gain a sense of belonging and hope, and truly have been a blessing to me. This is why I have chosen to dedicate the piece to them. A Hymn for Peace is literally what the title portrays. For anyone going through a difficult time, I hope that this work gives you the strength to continue and ultimately, give you peace. There is light at the end of the tunnel.” Debbie Alenius served as administrative assistant for the TCU Band Department from 2012-2017. She and her husband continue to attend a range of music ensemble performances and student recitals at the university and doubtless still support students who need help.

TRANSCENDENT JOURNEY      (composed in 2008)

Anyone listening to this piece for the first time probably will say to themselves “this sounds like music from a film score but I don’t remember a movie with that title”. Such a remark would be right on target. Composer Rossano Galante (1967- ) provides this explanation. “I am inspired by the epic sound of a film score. Film scores can be very emotional and powerful. I want to create that with my band music. … With the first sounds of Transcendent Journey, I wanted to create a big, powerful, exhilarating chord that would grab the listener right away. The introduction is the beginning our "journey" and gives a melodic hint, stated by horns, to the heroic main theme. The main theme should evoke not only the heroic quality of the melody, but also its beauty. This was suited perfectly for the trumpets. The listener should feel as though they can accomplish anything, no matter how challenging. … We finally complete our journey with a slower, grand statement of the main theme performed by trumpets and trombones. The piece ends with tutti ensemble bringing the "transcendent journey" to an end.”

Born and raised in Buffalo, New York, Rossano Galante received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in trumpet performance from SUNY at Buffalo in 1992. He was accepted into the University of Southern California's Film Scoring Program in 1999 to study with the late Oscar winning composer Jerry Goldsmith. Inspired by John Williams score for the 1982 movie “E.T.”, he began to dream of pursuing a career in film score composition; Mr. Galante wrote that “I tried it for a while and realized I didn’t enjoy the process and the intense stress. I’m more of a film score fan. Film composing is for a specific type of musician who can handle composing music very fast and very good as well.”

He further explained himself in this way. “There is a huge difference between a film composer and film orchestrator. A film composer actually meets with the director of the movie and they both decide when the music starts and stops. They also decide what type of music should be written for each scene. The composer goes to his studio and creates the music for the orchestra. The orchestrator prepares the conductor score based on the [work] of the composer. … Orchestrators will handle voicing, dynamics and sometimes [will augment the instrumentation].”

THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO OVERTURE      (composed in 1786)

The Marriage of Figaro, an opera buffa (comic opera) in four acts by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), premiered in Vienna in 1786. Mozart’s collaborator Lorenzo Da Ponte provided the opera's libretto, which was based on a stage comedy by Pierre Beaumarchais first performed in France two years earlier. Beaumarchais wrote his Figaro plays – “The Barber of Seville” and “The Marriage of Figaro” - as satires on the aristocracy of his day; naturally, royal censors frowned upon them and actually delayed the public performance of latter in France for 3 years. That play also was banned in Vienna, where Mozart lived; when Da Ponte was asked by the composer to create an opera libretto, he rewrote “The Marriage of Figaro” in poetic Italian and removed all of the original play’s political references in order to satisfy the censors. For example, Da Ponte replaced Figaro's climactic speech against inherited nobility with an equally angry aria against unfaithful wives. The libretto was approved by authorities before Mozart wrote a note of music.

The opera tells the story of how the servants Figaro and Susanna succeed in getting married, foiling the efforts of their philandering employer Count Almaviva to seduce Susanna, and teaching him a lesson in fidelity. The overture is self- contained, which is to say that it does not quote themes from the opera proper nor does its ending fade into the opening measures of the opera. However, The Marriage of Figaro overture provide a delectable foretaste of the mood this fast-paced and witty opera. It begins with a busy whispering and buzzing in the woodwinds. Then comes a tutti section with trumpets and drums; throughout the work, the music is driven by scampering woodwind passages which follow each other in hectic succession. The result is four minutes of swirling music.

It is worth noting that, with the exception of marches, the literature performed by wind band in the first half of the 20th century consisted almost exclusively of transcriptions, primarily of orchestral works. In 1956, a music publication began a column series entitled "The Best in Band Music". As later as 1958, the year that Earl Slocum prepared the band arrangement of The Marriage of Figaro overture that you will hear tonight, 118 works were selected as being the best band music available that year. More than 66% of those titles were transcriptions. Earl Slocum was well known for his transcriptions of orchestral symphonic music for concert.

A HYMN FOR PEACE      (composed in 2017)

Kevin Alexander Day (1996 - ), an American composer, conductor, multi-instrumentalist, and native of Texas, currently is pursuing a Master of Music in Music Composition degree at the University of Georgia. Mr. Day earned his Bachelor of Music Degree in Instrumental Performance from Texas Christian University. Euphonium and tuba are his principal instruments, but he also plays jazz piano, bass guitar, and drums.

This young composer has overcome much adversity to get to this point. For three years while attending TCU, he battled depression and anxiety and openly discusses his struggles during that time. A Hymn for Peace resulted from his journey through despair. Kevin Day writes that the piece you will hear tonight “is based on my piano composition, Breathe. I wrote [A Hymn for Peace] during a very difficult time in my life. I was battling severe mental health issues, was struggling in university, and at that time, my life seemed like it had no direction, and I was losing myself. However, two individuals who were there to give me hope were Debbie and Mark Alenius. Through many different instances, they helped me gain a sense of belonging and hope, and truly have been a blessing to me. This is why I have chosen to dedicate the piece to them. A Hymn for Peace is literally what the title portrays. For anyone going through a difficult time, I hope that this work gives you the strength to continue and ultimately, give you peace. There is light at the end of the tunnel.” Debbie Alenius served as administrative assistant for the TCU Band Department from 2012-2017. She and her husband continue to attend a range of music ensemble performances and student recitals at the university and doubtless still support students who need help.

TRANSCENDENT JOURNEY      (composed in 2008)

Anyone listening to this piece for the first time probably will say to themselves “this sounds like music from a film score but I don’t remember a movie with that title”. Such a remark would be right on target. Composer Rossano Galante (1967- ) provides this explanation. “I am inspired by the epic sound of a film score. Film scores can be very emotional and powerful. I want to create that with my band music. … With the first sounds of Transcendent Journey, I wanted to create a big, powerful, exhilarating chord that would grab the listener right away. The introduction is the beginning our "journey" and gives a melodic hint, stated by horns, to the heroic main theme. The main theme should evoke not only the heroic quality of the melody, but also its beauty. This was suited perfectly for the trumpets. The listener should feel as though they can accomplish anything, no matter how challenging. … We finally complete our journey with a slower, grand statement of the main theme performed by trumpets and trombones. The piece ends with tutti ensemble bringing the "transcendent journey" to an end.”

Born and raised in Buffalo, New York, Rossano Galante received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in trumpet performance from SUNY at Buffalo in 1992. He was accepted into the University of Southern California's Film Scoring Program in 1999 to study with the late Oscar winning composer Jerry Goldsmith. Inspired by John Williams score for the 1982 movie “E.T.”, he began to dream of pursuing a career in film score composition; Mr. Galante wrote that “I tried it for a while and realized I didn’t enjoy the process and the intense stress. I’m more of a film score fan. Film composing is for a specific type of musician who can handle composing music very fast and very good as well.”

He further explained himself in this way. “There is a huge difference between a film composer and film orchestrator. A film composer actually meets with the director of the movie and they both decide when the music starts and stops. They also decide what type of music should be written for each scene. The composer goes to his studio and creates the music for the orchestra. The orchestrator prepares the conductor score based on the [work] of the composer. … Orchestrators will handle voicing, dynamics and sometimes [will augment the instrumentation].”

Bayou Breakdown      (composed in 2003)

Brant Karrick composed Bayou Breakdown for the University of Toledo Wind Ensemble just before leaving his position as its director. This piece could be considered as Dr. Karrick’s musical biography. A native Kentuckian, he completed a B.A. and an M.A. in music education from universities in his home state and then taught in high school music programs in central and northern Kentucky for 7 years. He joined the music faculty at the University of Toledo after receiving his Ph.D. in Music Education and Conducting from Louisiana State University in 1994. Bayou Breakdown is dedicated to a long time LSU director of bands. In the fall of 2003, Dr. Karrick returned to his home state to serve as Director of Bands at Northern Kentucky University, a position he still holds.

As the composer states, “the melodic material [for Bayou Breakdown] is drawn from a style of jazz heard in and around the Mississippi Delta”, Cajun music from the bayous which Dr. Karrick had plentiful opportunities to hear during his years in Baton Rouge. The word “breakdown” refers to part of a song in which various instruments have solo parts called “breaks” which can be played by one soloist or a group of instruments playing together. Bluegrass music, cherished by Kentuckians, often features breakdowns; some well-known bluegrass pieces use that term in the song title.

But Dr. Karrick had more in mind than just a musical trip down memory lane. His main intention in writing this piece was to create a fugue in the style of Johann Sebastian Bach. The main fugue theme is introduced by the woodwinds, followed by a second statement of the fugue by the brass. Next comes a brief folk song-like lyrical theme based on a five-note (pentatonic) scale. The main melody attempts to reappear but is swept away by a descending chromatic chords. After a complete stop, the fugue returns and the piece ends with a flurry of sound from the full band. As one reviewer of the piece commented, in Bayou Breakdown, Dr. Karrick has cooked up a “palate-pleasing musical gumbo!”

RIKUDIM (FOUR ISRAELI FOLK DANCES)      (composed in 1986)

Belgian composer Jan Van der Roost (1956- ) wrote a suite in four movements named Rikudim (which means “dances” in Hebrew) for performance by concert band. This piece consists of Van der Roost’s original compositions meant to be in the style of Jewish dances. Through the use of Middle Eastern sounding intervals and irregular tempos, he succeeded in adding a touch of melancholy and characteristic flavor to the music. Tonight you will hear an arrangement for clarinet quartet created by Belgian clarinetist and clarinet choir director Maarten Jense in 1992. The four short dances included in this piece have no individual titles. The 1st and 3rd dances are relaxed (the musicians are instructed to play the 3rd movement “lightly in a slow, gentle tempo”) and the 2nd and 4th movements are lively; in fact, the composer wants the last dance to start out with “the movement of fire” and end with “fiery heat and force.”

Jan Van der Roost was born in Duffel, Belgium, in 1956. As a child, he heard performances by concert bands, fanfare bands (the European equivalent of competitive drum and bugle corps), and brass bands which inspired him to become a composer himself. He studied trombone, music history, music education, conducting, and composition.at the Royal Conservatoires of Ghent and Antwerp. Jan Van der Roost has taught at the Lemmensinstituut in Leuven, Belgium and had been a special visiting professor at the Shobi Institute of Music in Tokyo, guest professor at the Nagoya University of Art and Senzoku Gakuen College of Music in Kawasaki. Among his many works, he has composed at least eight other sets of dances in the style of countries around the western world from Scotland to Russia, in each case using his own melodies while adopting the dance music style of the region.

NITRO      (composed in 2006)

Frank Ticheli (b. 1958) is an American composer of orchestral, choral, chamber, and concert band works. After completing a doctoral degree at the University of Michigan, Dr. Ticheli soon established himself as one of the premiere composers of wind band works. From 1991 to the present, he has served as Professor of Composition at the Thornton School of Music at the University of California. Nitro, an energy-charged three-minute fanfare for band, was commissioned by the Northshore Concert Band, Mallory Thompson, music director, in celebration of their 50th anniversary season, and received its premiere performance by them on April 9th, 2006. Northshore Concert Band, located in Evanston, Illinois near Chicago, is internationally known and respected for its musical excellence, leadership in community music, and commitment to music education.

No one can describe a piece of music and the ideas which led to its creation better than its composer. “Nitrogen is the most abundant component of the Earth’s atmosphere (78 per cent by volume) and is present in the tissues of every living thing. It is the fifth most abundant element in the universe, created by the fusion deep within stars; it has recently been detected in interstellar space. The sheer prevalence of nitrogen in all of nature, and the infinite range of compounds it is part of — life-giving, energizing, healing, cleansing, explosive — all appealed to me, and served as the inspiration for my music. The main musical idea for Nitro is a powerful, angular theme, first announced by the trombones and horns, and then imitated in the trumpets. Trumpet fanfare calls and a busy and relentless chattering in the woodwinds enhance the bright, festive mood. The middle section is based on a woodwind theme that is partly fanfare-like, partly dance-like. This contrasting theme is built from intervals occurring in the natural overtone series (octave and twelfth), giving it an expansive, open-air quality. The main theme reappears, growing in power and density all the while, building to a thunderous conclusion.” Frank Ticheli

Resplendent with unyielding drive and forward motion, Nitro is a celebration of sound. Enjoy!

O NATA LUX      (composed in 2006)

Since the 9th century A.D., the Feast (festival) honoring an event in the life of Jesus called the Transfiguration has been celebrated in Catholic churches on August 6th of each year. In New Testament accounts, Jesus and three of his apostles went up a mountain (traditionally thought to be Mount Tabor located near the Sea of Galilee) to pray. Once on the mountain, Jesus reportedly began to shine with bright rays of light. Then the prophets Moses and Elijah appeared next to him and spoke with him, after which a voice from the sky called Jesus "Son".

The origin of the words to O nato lux de lumine, the hymn to be sung at the Lauds (early morning) service on August 6 in honor of the transfiguration of Jesus, remains a mystery, but the same ones have been sung to different tunes over many centuries. Here are the words in English: O Light born of Light, Jesus, redeemer of the world, with loving-kindness deign to receive suppliant praise and prayer. Thou who once deigned to be clothed in flesh for the sake of the lost, grant us to be members of thy blessed body.

Not unexpectedly then, the original version of O Nato Lux performed tonight first appeared as a choral work by Dr. Guy Forbes, longtime conductor the Millikin University Chamber Choral. A Florida native, he received his Master of Music degree from Florida State University, his doctorate from the University of Florida, and taught in Florida for 15 years. Dr. Forbes wrote: “when I decided to set the O Nata Lux text to music, … I focused on the idea of "light born of light" rather than something more akin to the "mystery of birth." The opening material of the piece is therefore, in a sense, a depiction of light breaking upon the world in a vibrant, visible way. The following section … has the melodic material divided between several parts. … The picture, if you will, is of a group standing before God with each individually making his/her request, but with all echoing the thoughts and prayers of the others.”

Filled with vibrant instrumental colors and full, lush chords, this piece expands to a climax followed by a serene closing passage. Preston Hazzard, a composer and music educator, preserved the choral qualities of O Nato Lux when he created this arrangement for wind band.

LOL (LAUGH OUT LOUD)      (composed in 2015)

Robert Buckley (1946 - ) enjoys a diverse career as a composer, arranger, performer, producer, recording artist, and conductor. In the pop world, he has created several albums and hit songs; the number one single “Letting Go” won him a gold record in 1982. He has conducted and arranged for major artists such as Michael Bublé, Celine Dion, and Aerosmith, to name a few. In the film and television world, he has scored numerous award-winning shows for Disney, Alliance, ABC, FOX, CBS, PBS, CBC and the Cartoon Network. In the live stage world, he has composed music for contemporary dance, musicals, and large-scale worldwide television events such as the Calgary Olympics, the Vancouver Olympics, and the FIFA World Cup Opening Ceremony with Cirque Du Soleil. In the concert world, he has composed and conducted for major symphony orchestras and his symphonic wind band compositions have been performed worldwide. Plaudits from associates make it clear that he is highly valued. “It’s rare for a composer to get it so right, so often.” “Robert Buckley’s compositional genius is a special gift. His creativity, artistry and ability to write in so many styles and genres continues to amaze. I am grateful that he continues to share his talents with the wind band world.” As for Mr. Buckley, he simply says “I’ve been composing since I was a little kid and I love what I do”.

Born in England, Mr. Buckley moved to Canada at the age of nine. His musical career started when his older brother began taking piano lessons. Young Bob Buckley would sit outside the lesson listening intently; he would play through his brother’s lesson material at home. He began writing melodies soon thereafter. Through his school years, he learned to play several woodwind instruments. He played in school wind bands and jazz band and often arranged pieces for his classmates to play for fun and wrote his first work for concert band at the age of fourteen. Mr. Buckley went on to study composition, conducting, and arranging at the University of Washington and later continued his education by studying electronic music at the University of British Columbia while working as a performing musician.

A frequently commissioned composer, Robert Buckley looks for interesting new ways to express his music. LOL was commissioned by the Naden Band of the Royal Canadian Navy in celebration of their 75th anniversary in 2015; Mr. Buckley saw this as an opportunity to display that group’s dazzling technical facility and sense of humor. LOL is a wacky, fast-and-furious barn-burner reminiscent of the time of circus march known as a “screamer.” Cartoon-like trombone glissandi, flying woodwinds, dizzying brass, and laughing rhythms create a zany and thrilling if somewhat “off the wall” musical treat. Feel free to “laugh out loud”!

PAS REDOUBLÉ     (composed in 1887)

Throughout the 19th century, the idea of “touring” gained popularity in Western Europe as economic prosperity spread to wider segments of people. Better and more numerous roads appeared, the construction of railroads advanced, and the availability of speedy steamships such as those of the famous Cunard Line increased. Organized group holidays offering an all-inclusive price that reduced the travelers' costs were an innovation dating from 1840s in Europe. Governments began to establish departments aimed at capitalizing on this new movement by advertising the home-grown attractions available to visitors. Tourism was well on its way to becoming an industry in Europe by the 1880s.

In keeping with the times, an official tourist office in the South of France decided to hold an international music competition in Marseilles in 1887 as a way to entice travelers to visit their area. They invited the well-established French composer Camille Saint-Saens (1835-1921) to create a work to be played by the contestants. He composed a double time quick march entitled Pas Redoublé (steps redoubled). There are three basic styles of French marches; the “pas redoublé” style is presented only on concert programs. Given the fast tempos at which such marches usually are played, actually marching along to the music would be challenging at best. Notations on the initial manuscript sketch of this piece (e.g. cornets and bugles) indicate that the composer intended the work to be played by a brass band, a genre of musical organizations which was well established in Europe by the late 1880’s. But there are other indications suggesting that he first wrote it for piano and four hands. Regardless, between 1887 and 1891, both a band and a piano arrangement were published; the band arrangement you will hear tonight dates from the 1970s.

Factoid: Camille Saint-Saëns was a keen traveler. From the 1870s until the end of his life, he made 179 trips to 27 countries.

VESUVIUS      (composed in 1999)

Composer Frank Ticheli (b.1958) provided his own program notes for Vesuvius, a work commissioned by the Revelli Foundation, later renamed The Music for All Foundation. “Mount Vesuvius, the volcano that destroyed Pompeii in A.D. 79, is an icon of power and energy in this work. Originally I had in mind a wild and passionate dance such as might have been performed at an ancient Roman Bacchanalia. During the compositional process, I began to envision something more explosive and fiery. With its driving rhythms … and quotations from the “Dies Irae” [day of wrath and doom impending] melody from the medieval Requiem Mass, it became evident that the Bacchanalia I was writing could represent a dance from the final days of the doomed city of Pompeii.”

The pulsating, syncopated rhythms which capture attention from the outset of this piece create a fidgety, anxious feeling for the listener; we know what is coming even if the residents of Pompeii are still unaware of impending doom. As the Bacchanalian dance Dr. Ticheli mentions reaches a climax, a calmer interlude tries to establish itself, but ominous mutterings and rumblings continue to occur. The wild and passionate dance begins again, accompanied by more uneasiness followed by more abortive attempts to overcome the worried mood. The closing moments of the piece reveal the horrible truth: the eruption the power and fury of Mount Vesuvius is at hand.

Frank Ticheli is an American composer of orchestral, choral, chamber, and concert band works. After completing a doctoral degree at the University of Michigan, Dr. Ticheli soon established himself as one of the premiere composers of wind band works. From 1991 to 1998, he served as Professor of Composition at the Thornton School of Music at the University of California and currently holds the position of professor of composition at the University of Southern California.

JUPITER    The Bringer of Jollity      (composed 1914-1916)

Gustav Holst, composer of choral works, song cycles, operas, pieces for small orchestras and chamber groups, gained his great fame for one of his few compositions for large orchestras: The Planets. Seven movements named for a selection of planets make up this long work. Jupiter the Bringer of Jollity appears in the middle of the array. The concept of the work is astrological rather than astronomical (which is why Earth is not included). Each movement is intended to convey ideas and emotions associated with the influence of the planets on the psyche rather than on the Roman deities for whom the planets are named. Holst’s interest in astrology surfaced through the influence of a friend only the year before he decided to express his ideas about the planets through music. He initially scored the work for four hands, two pianos, except for Neptune, which he gave to a single organ. After completing that task, he created his enormously popular orchestral version. Tonight’s version of Jupiter for wind band is an orchestral transcription prepared in 1990.

One person describes Jupiter in terms that cannot be improved upon, so why try? “Coruscating textures disgorge luxuriant themes of cholesterol-packed bonhomie.” Coruscating, it turns out, means “sparkling, shining, bright, brilliant, gleaming, glittering, twinkling, scintillating, flashing, shimmering”. In the midst of all that coruscation, Holst provided a majestic interlude suggesting the influence on all things good and noble in life which astrologists assign to Jupiter the Planet.

In 1921, Gustave Holst agreed to adapt that interlude melody to fit a patriotic poem "I Vow to Thee, My Country" written in the year after the end of World War I. He later harmonized the tune so it could be sung by a choir as a hymn, a version first included in a hymnal in 1926. Also known as “Thaxted” (the name of the village where Holst lived for much of his life), this song continues to be sung in England on Armistice Day and at other solemn public events such as weddings and funerals. Americans may remember hearing it during U.S. Senator John McCain's televised funeral service at the Washington National Cathedral on Sep 1, 2018.

HANDS ACROSS THE SEA      (composed in 1899)

John Philip Sousa - the March King - produced several works which expressed his nationalistic and patriotic ties to the United States from an idealistic point of view. The legendary bandmaster took a broader view when he composed his march Hands across the Sea in 1899: he intended to offer support for America's role in maintaining world peace in the wake of the recent Spanish-American War. Sousa wrote at the time that he "addressed [the march] to no particular nation, but to all of America's friends aboard." Some twenty years later, he explained that “after the Spanish war there was some feeling in Europe … regarding this war. Some of the nations … thought we were not justified while others gave us credit for the honesty of our purpose. One night I was reading an old play and I came across this line, ‘A sudden thought strikes me – let us swear an eternal friendship.’ That almost immediately suggested the title ‘Hands across the Sea’ for that composition and within a few weeks that now famous march became a living fact.” The inspirational quote from the play even appears on the title page of the first published version of this march. To help make his point, Sousa included Hands across the Sea on the program during the European tours of his band in 1900, 1901, 1903 and 1905 and its 1910 world tour.

One reviewer describes the march this way: "Hands across the Sea opens with a jaunty, carefree theme .... An equally attractive march appears midway through, its manner initially mellow and nonchalant. It gradually turns more animated and colorful, the piccolo dancing merrily above suave wind sonorities. The work closes with this spirited theme playing proudly, the brass flamboyant, the cymbals crashing, and the whole brimming with festivity and vivid color.” At its premier the same year, the audience loved the piece so much that the band had to repeat it three times.

CONCORD      (composed in 1987)

Most Americans will recognize the “Battles of Lexington and Concord” as the initial military events of the Revolutionary War or at least will remember Paul Revere’s ride to warn colonists that “the British are coming”. The first shots were fired at Lexington, Massachusetts. The outnumbered colonial militia, fell back; the British soldiers then proceeded on to Concord. At the North Bridge in Concord, approximately 500 militiamen fought and defeated three companies of the King's troops. Ralph Waldo Emerson, in his poem "Concord Hymn", described the first shot fired by the Patriots at the North Bridge as the "shot heard round the world”.

Commissioned by the United State Marine Band for its appearance at the 1987 World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles Conference, Concord features inventive settings of three tunes familiar to colonial New Englanders. First, one hears “The White Cockade”, a mid-1600s tune which became a popular anti-British song in Scotland and also was played by fifes and drums as a military marching song. Then comes a hymn tune called “America” published in1770 by William Billings (1746-1800), who is regarded as the first American choral composer. This is not “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” but another tune no longer familiar to the ear. The third song, “Yankee Doodle “, was sung by British military officers to mock the colonists with whom they served in the French and Indian War (1754-1763). Though the song held them up to ridicule, the colonials adopted it as their own. In fact, when the British surrendered their forces at Yorktown to end the Revolutionary War, their band played "The World Turned Upside Down." The Americans played "Yankee Doodle."

Clare Grundman (1913-1996) was an important composer for symphonic bands and wind ensembles through much of the 20th century He received a bachelor’s degree in Music Education (1934) and a master’s degree (1940) from Ohio State University. His works include scores for radio, films, and television and orchestrations for Broadway musicals. However, he is best known for his more than 70 works for symphonic band; many of his band pieces are rhapsodies or fantasies on folk tunes.

CACCIA AND CHORALE      (composed in 1976)

When Clifton Williams (1923-1976) began composing Caccia and Chorale in 1973, he had recently received a cancer diagnosis and knew that he was gravely ill. He wanted to create music which would reflect his concern about the preoccupation with a constant pursuit of materialism shared by many people of his time. “Caccia” in Italian means hunt or chase. Williams introduces us to the frenzy accompanying the chase after worldly goods in the opening measures. It isn’t long before one hears sounds of hunting calls. Frenzy remains the major attribute of the Caccia as Williams uses musical devices such as the use of multiple changes in meter to heighten the emotions. When Mr. Williams adds an urgently repeated rhythmic pattern in the higher voices, he bases that rhythm on three letters of Morse Code. He selected the initials of the director of the group which would premier this piece – Donald E. Green – to produce the pattern “Dah Dit Dit” or D, “Dit” or E, “Dah Dah Dit” or G.

When Mr. Williams began work on this piece, he intended to write only the Caccia because he feared he would not survive an impending operation. But the outcome of the surgery gave him renewed hope, so he added the Chorale, which has been characterized as a personal prayer of thanksgiving for having lived through the surgery along with a sincere plea for ethical regeneration by all mankind. Aware of his own mortality and the health struggles which lay ahead, Mr. Williams created in the Chorale a somewhat unresolved, restless feeling which continues until the very final chord gives us resolution. He died from the effects of cancer in 1976.

Clifton Williams, attended Louisiana State University for his Bachelor’s in Music degree and Eastman School of Music for Master’s degree. Williams decided to study composition for wind band ensembles after being counseled that his compositions thus would attract larger audiences and enable a wider range of ensembles to perform (and purchase) his works. Immediately after leaving Eastman, Williams accepted a post in the composition department at the University of Texas. In 1966, he became head of the composition department at the University of Miami, a position he held until his death.

MARCHE SLAVE      (composed in 1876)

During the 5 days (!!) in which Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) composed this piece, he referred to it as “my Serbo-Russian March”. Written in 1876, it was not published until it first appeared in 1879 as Slavonic March, a work for piano-four hands. The Russian publisher added a French translation of the title - Marche Slave - to the cover page. Later, it became popularly known by that French title or by its English title, March Slav.

In any language, this work celebrates Russian participation in the Serbian-Turkish Wars (1876-1878), Serbia’s successful attempt at gaining independence after four centuries of often ruthless oppression by the Ottoman Empire. The Tsarist Russian government did not officially send military assistance on the behalf of the Serbs, but it did lend support to the formation of a wholly volunteer army which soon marched off to Serbia to aid fellow Slavs and Orthodox Christians in fighting the Muslim Turks. In 1876, The Russian Musical Society commissioned from Tchaikovsky to compose an orchestral piece to be played at a concert to be held to raise funds for the Russian Red Cross Society (established in 1863) to benefit of wounded Serbian and Russian soldiers. He chose to write a programmatic piece describing the plight of the Serbs, the hope for relief brought by the actions of the Russian volunteers who were joining the Serbs in fighting for a better life, and the victory which surely would occur. Tchaikovsky perused a recently published collection of Serbian folk music to select tunes for use in his work.

Marche Slave begins with a description of the oppression of the Serbs by the Turks using melodies from two Serbian folk songs. Very shortly after the piece begins, one hears the plaintive, mournful tune of “Bright sun, you do not shine equally upon the Serbs” which references the sad plight of Serbians under Turkish rule. It is augmented by short militant quotations taken from the song “Gladly does the Serb become a soldier” which describes the willingness of Serbian men to fight to the death for their cause. Tchaikovsky then captures the sense of constantly rising enthusiasm in support of the Serbs. Trumpet calls introduce a depiction of that growing energy as the Russians rally to help the Serbs. More brass fanfares and shrill fifes set the mood, martial passages interject themselves, and various sections of the band take turns raising the mood to a high level. This burst of enthusiasm yields to the Russian national anthem "God Save the Tsar" which Tchaikovsky used again in his 1812 Overture. Russian volunteers parade by as they march off to assist the Serbs. The piece ends with another rendition of "God Save the Tsar" and the sounds of the triumph sure to come. At the premiere on November 17, 1876, the audience went wild and the work had to be repeated.