Artistry From Within

« 2016 - 2017 Ridgewood Concert Band Season

Friday, March 31, 2017
8:00PM
West Side Presbyterian Church
Ridgewood, New Jersey

Featured Soloists

Kristin Bacchiocchi-Stewart - Flute
Mark Donellan - Oboe
Robert Gray - Bassoon
John Palatucci - Euphonium
Jason Stier - Bassoon
Richard Summers - Clarinet
Lois Hicks-Wozniak - Saxophone

Mark Donellan - Oboe

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 - Bassoon

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 - Euphonium

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 - Flute

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 - Bassoon

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 - Clarinet

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-Wozniack

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.

Program Highlights

Autumn Soliloquy - James Barnes

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.

Angel of Mercy - David Maslanka

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.

Viktor's Tale - John Williams arr.Paul Lavender

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.

Program notes compiled by Beth Seavers.

William Tell Overture - Gioachino Rossini arr. Leidzen

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.

Program notes compiled by Beth Seavers.

Scherzo for Concert Band and Two Solo Bassoons - Jeffery Kaufman

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.

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

Concerto For Soprano Saxophone - John Mackey

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.

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

Vignettes - Patrick Burns

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.

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

Night Soliloquy - Ken Kennan

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.