Mark Donellan is a professional musician, soloist, conductor, and teacher. As a
freelance oboist, Mr. Donellan has performed throughout the metropolitan area in
various symphonies, bands and ensembles. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from
the College of New Jersey and has been Director of Bands at Paramus High School
since 2001, his alma mater. His bands have consistently won high honors at festivals
and competitions for both concert and marching programs throughout the east coast.
Mr. Donellan has served on the Executive Boards for both Music Educators of Bergen
County and the North Jersey Band Festival. He has conducted the Bergen County High
School Band as well as the All North Jersey Region I Woodwind Ensemble. Mr. Donellan
was named one of the Top Ten Outstanding Educators in NJ in 2007 and Teacher of
the Year for Paramus High School in 2008.
Robert Gray is a concert bassoonist, freelance musician, and music educator. He
attended the Boston Conservatory of Music on a performance scholarship to study
with Richard Plaster of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He received his Bachelor
Degree in Music Education from the Boston Conservatory of Music and his Master Degree
in Music Education from William Paterson University. He served as the principal
bassoonist with the United States Coast Guard Band from 1974-1978 touring throughout
the United States. As a freelance musician Mr. Gray has performed with numerous
orchestras, bands and ensembles throughout the area. Recently retired as a long
time adjunct professor at William Paterson University where he was the Bassoon and
Double Reeds instructor, Mr. Gray is currently teaching at McNair Academic High
School in Jersey City.
John Palatucci is a professional musician, conductor, educator, and adjudicator.
As an inaugural member of the Ridgewood Concert Band, Mr. Palatucci has performed
the roles of principal euphonium, associate conductor and featured soloist. He holds
both a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Music Education from Montclair State
College. Currently teaching instrumental music in the Livingston Public Schools,
he has served New Jersey’s public and private students from elementary through graduate
levels for more than thirty-five years. Among his many achievements, he was principal
euphonium, conductor, and business manager for the famous Goldman Memorial Band
of NYC from 1986-2005. He also has been music director of the Orpheus Club Men’s
Chorus of Ridgewood, NJ since 1990.
Kristin Bacchiocchi-Stewart is a principal flutist, dedicated teacher, chamber musician
and an enthusiastic advocate for contemporary music. As the owner and founder of
The Flute Academy in Bergen County NJ, she is teaching aspiring young musicians
through private lessons, chamber ensemble coaching and in the classroom. Dr. Bacchiocchi-Stewart
holds a Bachelor of Music from Ithaca College, a Master of Music from the University
of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and a Doctoral of Musical Arts from
the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Bacchiocchi-Stewart has
served on the faculties of several prestigious colleges and universities in the
U.S. including Union College, Ithaca College, and the Peabody Institute to name
a few. She has given concerts, lectures, workshops, and master classes throughout
the United States and has performed in several groups throughout Europe and Japan.
Jason Stier is a concert bassoonist, freelance musician, and music educator. He
holds both a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Music Education from Montclair
State University. Mr. Stier studied bassoon with Jane Taylor, the founding member
of the Dorian Wind Quintet as well as freelance bassoonist Harry Searing. He also
studied music in Salzburg, Austria and Lucerne, Switzerland. Mr. Stier has been
a music teacher with the Pompton Lakes Public School District for the last fifteen
years as the Band Director at Lakeside Middle School where he teaches instrumental
lessons, band classes and general music to grades 6-8. His bands have consistently
received both Excellent and Superior ratings for their performances in the High
Note Music Festival held annually in Allentown, PA. Mr. Stier is principal bassoonist
with the Ridgewood Concert Band and is an active private teacher and freelance musician
in the metropolitan area.
Richard Summers is a music educator, performer, conductor, arranger and composer.
Originally from Wheeling West Virginia, Mr. Summers arrived in our metropolitan
area when he was appointed to the United States Military Academy Band at West Point
from 1972-1975. Following his military career, he attended the Juilliard School,
where he received both his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in performance.
Recently retired as a public school instrumental music teacher for thirty-two years
Mr. Summers served students in both the Kinnelon and Pequannock School Districts.
He has also served as an adjunct professor at William Paterson University. Most
recently he has entered the field of composition and has had several of his works
put into publication. A long time member of the Ridgewood Concert Band, Mr. Summers
serves as principal clarinet and associate conductor.
Lois Hicks-Wozniak is a concert saxophonist, vocal soloist, and teacher in the New
York Metropolitan and the Hudson Valley Region. She has studied at the Interlochen
Arts Academy, The University of North Texas, and the Florida State University. Among
her many awards is the Special Presentation Winners Recital Series. As her prize
she performed her New York Recital Debut at Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall.
From 1996-2004 she served active duty in the U.S. Army as a saxophonist with the
Unites States Military Academy Band at West Point and with the West Point Saxophone
Quartet. Mrs. Hicks-Wozniak has performed with numerous orchestras and wind symphonies
often as a saxophone soloist. She is currently on the faculty at the New England
Music Camp and is an adjunct professor at Marist College and the State University
of New York. She maintains a private piano and saxophone studio.
The opera Samson and Delilah tells the Biblically-based
story of Israelite leader and hero Samson who has been betrayed by the seductive
Philistine beauty Delilah. He is blinded and then chained to the pillars of the
temple of Dagon as the Philistines celebrate their victory over his people. Bacchanale (found in Act III of the opera) begins softly,
reprising a "song to spring" heard in Act 1. The music then becomes fast-paced and
exotic to act as the musical accompaniment to the wild revelry taking place just
before Samson, calling upon the Lord for one last burst of strength, brings down
the mighty pillars and tumbles the temple roof, destroying his enemies and himself.
Program notes compiled by Beth Seavers.
Sousa prefaced the sheet music's score for this march with a quotation from the
English diplomat John Hookham Frere: "A sudden thought strikes me; let us swear
eternal friendship." Though Sousa does not indicate a particular nation the march
was composed for, it certainly represents the goodwill that the Sousa Band brought
with them on their world tours. Composed in the wake of the Spanish-American War,
this march is idealistic, in addition to patriotic, in nature. When it was premiered
in 1899 the audience insisted it be repeated three times.
Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.
This piece was written by Saint-Saëns for the Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco
in 1915. Originally scored for full orchestra, organ and supplemental wind band
of 60 members, the performance at the Exposition included a full orchestra (reportedly
the Boston Symphony Orchestra), an organ soloist, and the Sousa Band. It was a tribute
to Franco-American relations entering a critical phase as World War I unfolded.
The piece was important enough to have been mentioned in Saint-Saëns' obituary in
the New York Times but disappeared into virtual obscurity until now.
Arranger Peter Stanley Martin found the score at the Sibley Music Library at the
Eastman School of Music and carefully arranged the work for concert band in a Centennial
Performing Edition. This proud finale combines the melodies of
La Marseillaise (the national anthem of France) with the
Star Spangled Banner in a dramatic and triumphal finish to the grand
cantata that was performed 100 years ago in San Francisco and never again until
last season by the Ridgewood Concert Band.
Paprikash is a popular dish of Hungarian origin whose name is derived from the ample
use of paprika. It is a dish prepared by people in Jewish, Greek, Hungarian, Arabic,
and Russian cultures. Giroux utilized the dish’s name for the title of this piece
as it draws heavily on the Phrygian Dominant Scale, which is used in the music of
these cultures. Listeners will easily hear this “flavor” in the melodies, harmonies
and overall energy. This piece was composed for the Saitama Sakae Wind Orchestra
(Japan) and premiered by the ensemble in December 2014 at the Midwest Clinic, an
international band and orchestra conference in Chicago, Illinois.
In 1990, James Barnes (b. 1949) was commissioned to compose a work to help celebrate
the 250th Anniversary of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Realizing that Bethlehem was in
the very center of the many settlements of Moravian Baptists who founded the city,
Barnes searched for some sort of musical identity that would be appropriate for
this commission. He found it in an obscure but very beautiful Moravian hymn entitled
Morning Star, O Cheering Sight. Instead of composing
the normal "theme and variations" based on this hymn, Barnes opted to save the tune
in its entirety until the very end of the work, so it essentially became a variations
and theme. After a lengthy introduction featuring the percussion seection and three
extensive variants, the hymn tune is finally presented in its entirety by a trombone
choir. Barnes chose this instrumentation because the Moravians are most famous for
their wonderful trombone choirs accompanying the singing in their church services.
The full band then plays the hymn and the work ends in a Vivace tempo derived from
the music at the very beginning of the piece.
Finale, Symphony No. 3 – Camille Saint-Saens (1835-1921)
is generally referred to as the "Organ Symphony" and the last major effort by the
composer in symphonic form. The piece was dedicated to his friend and fellow composer
Franz Liszt upon his death. Although the symphony is still performed in the symphonic
world, the Finale is the most memorable movement and has been transcribed for wind
symphony. The sustained organ chord announcing the Finale is testimony to the grandeur
of the piece and the movement contains considerable artistic variety. It includes
a massive climax with a show of musical alliance between the winds and the organ.
The final sustained organ chord is reflected with the winds that will leave the
listener breathless in the dramatic conclusion.
Taps - Eternal Father – Daniel Butterfield (1831-1901) and
John B. Dykes (1823-1806) Arranged by Capt. Kenneth R. Force, USMS. The
familiar melody of Taps is credited to Union General Daniel Butterfield during the
Civil War. The melody was made the official Army bugle call after the war, but was
not given the name "Taps" until 1874. The first time "Taps" was played at a military
funeral may have been in Virginia, soon after Butterfield composed it. This has
become a tradition that continues at military funerals in the present day. Eternal
Father Strong to Save is known to United States Navy men and women as the “Navy
Hymn”. It is a musical benediction that has had a long and special appeal to seafaring
men and women. This arrangement of these two moving melodies places a lone bugler
away from the band. The two echo each other back and forth, finally fading away
into the night, just as Taps does each evening at sundown. This reverent music is
an emotional ride.
The Stars and Stripes Forever – John Philip Sousa (1854-1932)
is considered the finest march ever written, and one of the most patriotic ever
conceived. The march was not so well received at first, yet its popularity grew
as Sousa used it during the Spanish-American War as a concert closer. Audiences
would rise from their chairs when the march was played. Sousa added to the entertainment
value of the march by having the piccolo up in front of the band for the final trio,
and then added the brass section to join on the final repeat of the strain. The
march was performed on almost all of Sousa's concerts and always drew an emotional
response from the audience. In 1987 President Ronald Reagan signed a bill into law
that designated the Stars and Stripes as the official march of the United States
of America. This march continues in the present day to stir patriotic emotion from
audiences both home and abroad.
Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.