Annual Generations Concert

« 2016 - 2017 Ridgewood Concert Band Season

Friday, May 12, 2017
8:00PM
West Side Presbyterian Church
Ridgewood, New Jersey

Featured Soloist

2016 - 2017 Youth Soloist Competition Winner

Side By Side Concert

Featuring the areas finest High School musicians

Program Highlights

Angles in the Architecture - Frank Tichelis

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.

Overture La Belle Helene - Jacques Offenbach arr. Odom

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.

Music from Harry Potter - John Williams

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.