Ridgewood Concert Band 2014 - 2015 Season

Guest Performing Ensembles
The Orpheus Club Men’s Chorus
Ramapo College Chorale

Featured Soloists
John Palatucci - Euphonium
Dr. Catherine Rodland - Organ
Richard Summers - Clarinet
Winner of the 2014 - 2015 Youth Soloist Competition

Guest Conducting Appearances
Richard Floyd
Col. Arnald Gabriel
Seventh Annual Side By Side Concert
Top area high school musicians join the Ridgewood Concert Band for our Season Finale

Honoring the Legacy of John R. Rodland

Friday, October 17, 2014
8:00 PM
West Side Presbyterian Church
Ridgewood, New Jersey
Featured Guest Soloist
Dr. Catherine Rodland
Professor of Organ, St. Olaf College
Prelude Performance
Montclair State University Wind Ensemble, Dr. Thomas McCauley Director
Program Highlights
Kammermusk No. 7 For Organ and Chamber Ensemble- Paul Hindemith
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Paul Hindemith (1895-1963) was a theorist, teacher, violist, and composer who is regarded by many as the foremost German composer of his generation and one of the most central figures in music between the First and Second World Wars. The chamber music works are among Hindemith's most successful instrumental works of the 1920s. But the title is misleading. The individual pieces actually have concertante soloistic features instead of submitting to chamber music traditions and some of them are unusual. Kammermusik #7 focuses on the organ and is in of itself more of a concerto. Throughout the work the listener experiences incisive rhythmic articulation and clear delineation of line that allows the music's essential vitality to come through with the greatest possible impact. Hindemith’s organ writing is altogether a splendid continuation of tradition though his bracing combination of organ and chamber ensemble retains its novelty.

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

Polka and Fugue - Jaromir Weinberger arr. by Glen Cliffe Bainum Learn more   ►

Jaromir Weinberger (1896-1967) is an American composer of Czech birth. Born in Prague, Weinberger’s life was steeped in musicand folk traditions that influenced his lifetime. He studied at both the Prague and Leipzig Conservatories before fleeing to New York to avoid the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1939. Although it was a sensation throughout Europe after its introduction in 1927, Weinberger's opera Schwanda, the Bagpiper is seldom performed today. What has endured is Polka and Fugue, a concert piece derived from the score that is a perennial favorite in the repertoire of orchestras and bands alike. Combining tuneful Czech folk songs with complex rhythms and countermelodies, it is no less than a joyous, exuberant musical adventure.

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

Crown Imperial March - William Walton Learn more   ►

Crown Imperial a Coronation March – William Walton (1902-1983) was first performed at the coronation of England’s King George VI in 1937 and subsequently performed at the coronation of the current reigning monarch Elizabeth II in 1953. Most recently it was performed as the recessional offering to the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton in April 2011. Considered one of the most popular of William Walton’s compositions, the march has become well known to audiences around the world. Many listeners feel this work is reminiscent of the sounds of another famous English composer, Edward Elgar. Rhythmic vitality, sweeping romantic melody and sharp, sometimes dissonant harmonies are the styles heard here in this majestic musical opus.

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

Chorale Prelude: So Pure the Star - Vincent Persichetti Learn more   ►

There have been few more universally admired twentieth-century American composers than Vincent Persichetti (1915-1987). His contrributions have enriched the entire musical literature and his influence as a performer and teacher is immeasurable. He is still revered as a teacher par excellence and a highly lucid theorist. In both capacities his great artistry was ever clear and impressive, providing an example of dynamic leadership for those who encountered his genius. Written in 1963, this rather brief work is one of Persichetti’s more obscure pieces. Originally commissioned by the Duke University Band, it treats an original chorale melody with contemporary harmonies resulting in a hauntingly beautiful, lyrical piece.

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

Variants On a Moravian Hymn - James Barnes Learn more   ►

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 arr. by Earl Slocum Learn more   ►

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.

Chorale and Shaker Dance - John Zdechlik

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.

Salute to Our Nation's Veterans

Friday, November 14, 2014
8:00 PM
West Side Presbyterian Church
Ridgewood, New Jersey
Guest Conducting Appearance
Colonel Arnald Gabriel
Featured Soloist
Richard Summers - Clarinet
Prelude Performance
Mahwah High School Band, Jeffrey Bittner, Director
Program Highlights
Hymn to the Fallen - John Williams transcribed by Paul Lavender
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There is little doubt of the impact of John Williams’ music on the entertainment world. His film music, including a more than 20-year collaboration with director Steven Spielberg, has been an integral part of some of the film industry’s finest achievements. John William’s unique talent and respected artistry have made his film scores a significant and vital part of our American culture. "Saving Private Ryan" is certainly one of this collaboration’s most powerful efforts. The cumulative effect of great photography and splendid performances contained in the film combine to produce a jolting emotional impact, particularly in the closing moments of the movie. The Hymn to the Fallen is John Williams' expression of that impact and is heard only over the closing credits of the film. The quiet, simply placed melody takes the audience to the depths of emotion when respecting

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

Chorale and Shaker Dance - John P. Zdechlik Learn more   ►

Chorale and Shaker Dance is a composition that combines a simple chorale theme, introduced by the woodwinds, with variations of the well known Shaker hymn "Simple Gifts." There is a progression of instrumental timbres and chord textures as the themes alternate and commingle. The brass and woodwinds exchange the themes as time signatures cause an increase in both tempo and intensity. Sustained brass sections play the chorale with woodwinds performing a fiery obbligato based on the Shaker hymn as the development peaks. A demanding timpani part punctuates the dramatic ending.

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

Gallant Seventh - John Philip Sousa Learn more   ►

The Gallant Seventh was Sousa's one hundred first march, and he premiered it at a gala concert at the old New York Hippodrome (predecessor of today’s Radio City Music Hall) in 1922. Sousa augmented his band at this first performance by adding the band of the Seventh Regiment of NY, and featured their field music unit in the regimental strains of the march as well. The Seventh Regiment of NY has long been known for its gallantry in the service of our country, and Sousa's contribution to this recognition produced one of his very best works in the march form. This is the March King at his regimental best, in a style he frequently displayed from Semper Fideles onward.

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

Winding Up/Winding Down - Michael Gandolfi Learn more   ►

Winding Up/Winding Down is a serenade for clarinet and wind ensemble in a single, ten-minute movement. The opening musical announcement is a transcription of an audio crosswalk signal that the composer encountered as an inspiration for the work’s theme. The different sections of the serenade feature the solo clarinet in virtuosic as well as lyrical guises that call on the clarinetist to display his varied talents. The changing tempos throughout the piece underscore the title. There are moments of intense action and moments of quieting down with the final "winding down" left to the soloist alone at the end. The Ridgewood Concert Band is honored to be offering the world premiere of this exciting new work to the wind band literature at this evening's performance.

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

Finale to Hail! California - Camille Saint-Saëns arr Peter Stanley Martin Learn more   ►

Finale to Hail! California is the last of only four original works the composer wrote for band. It was the triumphant conclusion to a grand cantata, which he had composed for the Panama Pacific Exposition held in San Francisco in 1915. It was a tribute to Franco-American relations entering a critical phase as World War I unfolded. The premier at the world exposition was performed by the prestigious Sousa Military Band and conducted by Saint-Saëns himself at the age of 80. This proud finale combines the La Marseillaise 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 disappeared into virtual obscurity until now. The Ridgewood Concert Band is very proud to present this piece for the very first time in 100 years.

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

Three Characteristic Waltzes - Michael Valenti Learn more   ►

Three Characteristic Waltzes is a new work by a contemporary American composer of wind music. The setting is of three distinct pieces written in ¾ time. The first waltz entitled Trapeze is written for a trapeze act in "The Big Apple Circus." The playful musical dialogue offers a whimsical circus picture. The second waltz Americana puts the listener into a more nostalgic mood of American landscape. The final waltz Gremlins was originally written by the composer for the NDI Dance Company and is wonderfully extended here to bring the collection to its finale.

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

Sabre and Spurs - John Philip Sousa Learn more   ►

It was in 1917, at the age of 62, and with his country embroiled in World War I, that Sousa joined the Naval Reserve and was given the rank of lieutenant. It was during this time that Sousa turned out this patriotic march, Sabre and Spurs, dedicated to the 311th Cavalry of the United States Army. The work opens with a jaunty march tune whose brightly lit manner is highlighted by Sousa's characteristic upper-range sonorities. The music is joyous, giving no hint of war and no sign of strife in its bouncy gait. A variant of the main theme appears midway through, bringing with it a mellower, more subdued character. Gradually, however, the music grows bigger and more festive, as the work triumphantly ends.

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

Bullets and Bayonets - John Philip Sousa Learn more   ►

Sousa marches often bear a dedication to people, places, or events. This march is no exception and bears the dedication "To the officers and men of the U.S. Infantry." When written in 1918, the subjects of the title, Bullets and Bayonets, were a frightening reality to his soldiercountrymen then engaged in the struggle raging on the western front in World War I. Frederick Fennell's editing has preserved the scoring of the original, with its musical ideas, deceivingly simple yet solid and immediately rewarding to the performer and listener. Sousa's fondness for the sound of drum sticks "on the hoop" of wooden snare and field drums is preserved within the trio.

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

Heavenly Bands

Friday, December 5, 2014
8:00 PM
West Side Presbyterian Church
Ridgewood, New Jersey
Guest Conducting Appearance
Richard Floyd
Music Director - Austin Symphonic Band


Featured Soloist
John Palatucci - Euphonium
Prelude Performance
The Morristown High School Wind Ensemble
Michael Russo, Director
Program Highlights
Spangled Heavens - Donald Grantham
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Spangled Heavens is one in a series of the composer's works using melodies from the shape note tradition of 19th century hymns. Shape notes are a musical notation designed to facilitate congregational and community singing. Shape note songs are hearty, simple, rhythmic and consequently easy to sing. The notation, introduced in 1801, became a popular teaching device in American singing schools. Here is a three movement presentation of a rich musical offering, which at times is jubilant, sad, and joyful. The hymns Holy Manna, Restoration, and Sweet Canaan joined with Saints Bound for Heaven are skillfully crafted with the composer's original work to make a wonderful wind symphony treat.

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

Lux Aurumque - Eric Whitacre Learn more   ►

Lux Aurumque is a beautiful musical setting based on the Latin translation of an English poem by Edward Esch. "Light, warm and heavy as pure gold, and the angels sing softly to a newborn baby." Originally written as an acapella choral work, the composer adapted it for symphonic winds when commissioned by the Texas Music Educators Association and a consortium of bands. This sweet lullaby has often been performed at Christmas time with its softly spoken, deeply harmonic melody bringing a peaceful reverie to the listener.

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

San Antonio Dances - Frank Ticheli Learn more   ►

San Antonio Dances was written as a tribute by the composer toa special American city that sees a vast number of yearly visitors for its alluring culturally historic Texas charm. The first movement begins with a depiction of the seductively serene Alamo Gardens, which gently move to the tango mood and lazily winding lines that ultimately give way to a brief but powerful climax portraying the Alamo itself. The second movement's lighthearted and joyous music celebrates San Antonio's famous "Riverwalk" that has become lovingly known as the "Venice of America." The festive flavor of this beautiful two and a half mile riverfront urban park is perfectly set in the composer's musical portrait.

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

Terpsichore - Bob Margolis Learn more   ►

Terpsichore is drawn from dances of the Court of Henry IV of France. The four-movement suite contains subparts that contrast admirably. The overall effect suggests the comparably brilliant and effective arrangements of dances and "ancient airs" by Respighi, who was one of the 20th century's great orchestrators. The suite offers a variety of musical settings, giving the listener an opportunity to hear the different voices of the various musical ensembles residing within the larger wind symphony.

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

The Sussex Mummers' Christmas Carol - Percy Grainger arr. D. Stotter Learn more   ►

Performance of folk plays by Mummers has a strong history and presence in the region of Sussex, England, even today. The word "Mummer" is derived from the Greek Mommo, meaning a mask. The wearing of masks became fashionable in the 14th century court, with the eventual migration to all night revelers wearing them to protect their identity. Masks were also common in tthe plays. The plays would end with the singing of songs, most popularly a carol. The people of the day were not bothered by the incongruity of the solemnity of the carol juxtaposed against the costumes of colored calico, chimney pot hats trimmed with shreds of ribbons, and wooden swords. This work is a transcription from Grainger's 1911 piano setting of the piece. Richard Franko Goldman encouraged Grainger to arrange the Sussex Mummers' Christmas Carol for band and it was Goldman who undertook the completion and scoring of the work in progress at the time of Grainger's death in 1961. This arrangement was written by Dr. Douglas Stotter, Director of Bands, Associate Professor of Music and Coordinator of the Wind and Percussion Division at the University of Texas-Arlington.

Tent Meeting Revival - Bruce Broughton Learn more   ►

Tent Meeting Revival is a dramatic portrayal of a revivalist tent meeting, with the soloist taking the part of the pastor calling and cajoling his congregation to prayer, praise, and salvation. After much emotion, fervor, and earnest supplication, the evangelical service concludes with an ecstatic and exultant "hallelujah wind-up." Tent Meeting Revival was commissioned by the Euphonium Foundation and written for euphonium soloist, Adam Frey. Bruce Broughton is an American composer who has written in every medium from theatrical releases and TV feature films to the concert stage and computer games. His first major film score for the Lawrence Kasdan western Silverado, brought him an Oscar nomination.

A Hanukkah Festival - Traditional arr. Chris M. Bernotas

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Jingle Bells - Morton Gould

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Christmas Festival - Leroy Anderson

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The Lincoln Legacy

Sunday, March 8, 2015
7:00 PM
West Side Presbyterian Church
Ridgewood, New Jersey
Special Guest
Ramapo College Chorale - Dr. Lisa Lutter, Director

Soloist
Diana Powers Rettie - Flute


Diana Powers Rettie  
Program Highlights
American Hymnsong Suite - Dwayne Milburn
Learn more   ►

Major Dwayne S. Milburn is a native of Baltimore, Maryland. In 1986 he graduated from UCLA with a BFA in Music and received a Masters of Music in Orchestral Conducting from the Cleveland Institute of Music in 1992. In 1993 he became the Director of Cadet Music for the Unites States Army Military Academy at West Point. He received his Ph.D. in Music from UCLA in 2009 and is in great demand as a conductor, composer, arranger and clinician. Milburn notes that "American Hymnsong Suite is firmly rooted in [his] family history as church musicians." He grew up singing and playing many different hymns, including the four hymns featured in this work: Prelude on "Wondrous Love" ("What Wondrous Love Is This"), Ballad on "Balm in Gilead," Scherzo on "Nettleton," and March on "Wilson." Milburn says that "whilst many audience members will certainly make various religious connections to the piece, the ongoing goal is to introduce all listeners to the richness of our American musical heritage."

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

Lincoln Portrait - Aaron Copland Learn more   ►

Lincoln Portrait was commissioned by Andre Kostelanetz for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in early 1942. Copland initially chose Walt Whitman as his subject, but immediately picked Lincoln instead when Kostelanetz suggested a historical government figure. For the narration, which occurs only in the Portrait's third and final section, Copland used Lincoln's words, adding his own brief descriptions of the former president. Characteristic of Copland's populist and patriotic music, Lincoln Portrait quotes traditional popular tunes: "Springfield Mountain" and Stephen Foster's "Camptown Races," while the largest portion of the musical work is Copland's own genius.

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

Battle Hymn of the Republic- Peter Wilhousky Learn more   ►

Battle Hymn of the Republic originated when Julia Ward Howe, the wife of a prominent Boston abolitionist, visited a Union army camp in Virginia during the Civil War. There she heard soldiers singing "John Brown's Body" to a tune attributed to William Steffe, a Philadelphia insurance salesman, and probably composed in 1855 or 18566. Howe decided to write new verses more fitting to the conflict between the North and theSouth. Her "Battle Hymn" was published in The Atlantic Monthly in February 1862 and has expressed America's resolve during every conflict since. The arrangement heard here was prepared by Mr. Wilhousky, a New York-based chorus master. This setting has become the definitive rendition of the work as it never fails to stir the emotion of its audience.

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

Washington Greys - Claudio Grafulla/L. Schissel Learn more   ►

This classic march is Grafulla's most widely known composition, and it has been arranged and rearranged for countless contemporary bands. Research indicates that The Washington Greys were the 8th Regiment of New York, based at Kingsbridge Armory in the Bronx. Their name is chiseled in stone in the Armory entranceway. The 8th became the 258th Field Artillery and is still part of the 42nd InfantryDivision (Rainbow) of the Army National Guard. Prior to the Civil War, gray was a standard color for military uniforms; it was not until the development of the Confederacy that the Union uniform color became blue. The Washington Greys were the original honor guard for George Washington when he was welcomed back to New York City after the British evacuated in 1783. The Washington Greys March is Grafulla's most famous work because of the way the march is constructed. It is musically cohesive, with its running sixteenth notes and a responding rich bass voice making a magnificent counterpoint. This very spirited march demands virtuosity from its performers.

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

Marching through Georgia - John Philip Sousa/Brion Learn more   ►

Sousa marches often bear a dedication to people, places, or events. Marching Through Georgia is a powerfully inventive patrol setting of Henry Clay Work's immensely popular 1865 civil war song. It was written to commemorate William Tecumseh Sherman's famed and decisive Union Army "March to the Sea" which historically broke the backbone of the rebellious Confederacy. The patrol setting gives the listener the aural view of the band approaching from the distance, sounding full as it passes, and fading in its retreat.

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

Spring Song - Jean Sibelius arr. Patrick Burns Learn more   ►

Sibelius wrote extensivelyand wonderfully for orchestra, yet relatively few of his tone poems are performed regularly in this country, apart from Finlandia, and the Swan of Tuonela. Spring Song is a hymn to nature tinged with a hint of the wintry melancholy that can linger into the sub-arctic spring of Sibelius's beloved Finnish homeland. Mr. Burns has honored both the composer and the Ridgewood Concert Band with his concert band arrangement of this Sibelius jewel composed originally in 1894. Although gentle and wistful in its opening, the work also contains some lovely and memorable melodies that will now be available to performers and audiences alike in this delightful new setting, as the Ridgewood Concert Band premiers this new arangement.

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

Precious Metal - D.J. Sparr Learn more   ►

Precious Metal is a concerto for flute and winds and is based on the three metals of which the flute is made. Each metal is a descriptive title that influenced the construction and materials of each movement of the work. In the first movement, Silver Strettos, the flute is heard as bright and pristine within the simple and pure melodic material and the call and response canonic orchestration. In the second movement, Platinum Sheen does not have the glimmer of silver, so the orchestration in this movement is not as flashy as in the first movement, but as with platinum, the orchestration is strong and durable – using the low instruments of the ensemble for a strong foundation. Gold Rush begins with a solo flute motive based on material from the first movement but now in a minor key. The ensemble interrupts with a pulsating crescendo that leads to a virtuosic flute cadenza. The middle section of this movement features a long accelerando with a soaring flute melody that ultimately leads to a musical accompaniment to a westward bound journey into the sunset, a search for gold and riches.

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

The Annual Generations Concert

Friday, May 8, 2015
8:00 PM
West Side Presbyterian Church
Ridgewood, New Jersey
Featured Guest Soloist
Stephanie Pizza - Flute
Winer of the Youth Soloist Competition
Featured Guest Artists
The Orpheus Club Men’s Chorus
John Palatucci, Director
Also presenting the Seventh Annual Side-by-Side Concert
with the finest High School musicians from the area
Prelude Performance
Westfield New Jersey Community Band
Dr. Thomas Connors, Director
Stephanie Pizza
Program Highlights
The Beatles Medley from Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band - David Avshalomov
Learn more   ►

The impact of the Beatles has often been noted but cannot be overstated. The "Fab Four" from Liverpool, England, startled the ears and energized the lives of virtually all who heard them. Landing on American shores in February of 1964, they literally stood the world of pop culture on its head. The Beatles' success can be attributed to a combination of factors, including John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s songwriting genius, George Harrison’s guitar playing prowess, Ringo Starr’s artful simplicity as a drummer, and the solid group harmonies that were a hallmark of their recordings. It was after they retired from touring and became a group performing only in the studio that they created the artistic Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album that many would cite as the ultimate creative standard for Rock and Roll. David Avshalomov has transcribed this medley for male chorus and band allowing us to go back in time and enjoy melodies and harmonies that have become timeless. Listening to this medley lets us understand why the Beatles remain the most enduring phenomenon in the history of popular music.

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

Italian in Algiers - Gioachino Antonio Rossini Learn more   ►

Gioacchino Rossini was born into a musical Italian family and composed more than thirty operas. Curiously, though he lived to be 76, he ceased writing opera at age 37. Although Rossini composed his first comic opera at age 18, it is this one, written three years later, that is considered his first mature work in the genre. Rumored to have been written in only two and a half weeks, it was his first work to gain him international recognition. The bubbly music of the overture hints of the fun to come when the curtain would rise on the comic opera. Although the composer's William Tell Overture is more widely known, this is also a favorite, for it holds the distinct Rossini style that is so exciting to the listener.

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

The Invincible Eagle March - John Philip Sousa Learn more   ►

John Philip Sousa composed this march for his band's performance at the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, New York, in 1901. He considered naming it "The Spirit of Niagara" in recognition of the exposition, but decided not to localize it because he thought his new march might eventually rival The Stars and Stripes Forever. Soon after its premiere, Sousa described the conviction and spirit, which compelled him to compose this march in his own words, "It is what I call one of my sunshine marches. Some of my heavy marches are intended to convey the impression of the stir and strife of warfare, but The Invincible Eagle shows the military spirit at its lightest and brightest – the parade spirit . . . with the bravery of uniform, the sheen of silken stands, and the gleam of polished steel."

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

Bonnie Annie Laurie - John Philip Sousa Learn more   ►

According to the Sousa scholar, Paul Bierley, Sousa often remarked that the old Scottish ballad "Annie Laurie" was the most beautiful of all folk songs. In 1883 he wrote the march Bonnie Annie Laurie, based on this favored melody. It begins with two strains of original Sousa materials. At the trio of this da capo march he introduces a delightful original tune that later turns out to be a counterpoint to Annie Laurie. Sousa was to use this charming compositional device again whenever his later marchhes were about to introduce well-known melodies.

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

Shenandoah - Frank Ticheli (b.1958) Learn more   ►

Frank Ticheli (b.1958) is an American composer of orchestral, choral, chamber, and concert band works. He lives in Los Angeles, California, where he is Professor of Composition at the University of Southern California. He is the recipient of numerous awards and has an extensive library of publications. A number of his works are particularly notable, as they have become standards in the concert band repertoire. The composer describes this piece in his own words:, "In my setting of Shenandoah I was inspired by the freedom and beauty of the folk melody and by the natural images evoked by the words, especially the image of a river. I was less concerned with the sound of a rolling river than with its life-affirming energy – its timelessness. Sometimes the accompaniment flows quietly under the melody; other times it breathes alongside it. The work’s mood ranges from quiet reflection, through growing optimism, to profound exultation."

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

Flute Concerto No. 2 in D - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) Learn more   ►

History records that the flute was not Mozart's favorite instrument, yet his flute concerti are ranked exceptionally high in the music world. Due to a time constraint, Mozart actually borrowed from his own Oboe Concerto in C and composed this Flute Concerto No. 2 in D. To the benefit of the flute repertoire, the translation of the oboe concerto is not an exact copy and is able to show off both the virtuosic technicality of the soloist along with the beautiful finesse the flute can bring to the piece. Mozart recreated a concerto that is exposing and challenging, yet lying perfectly within the range of the instrument. It has proven to be an excellent showpiece for the most virtuosic soloists.

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.