Ridgewood Concert Band 2015 - 2016 Season

A Season of Classics

 
Sunday, October 18, 2015
7:00 PM
West Side Presbyterian Church
Ridgewood, New Jersey


Featured Classic
Bacchanale from "Samson and Delilah"
Camille Saint-Saëns

Featured Guest Ensemble
L'Harmonie La Croix Valmer
Jean-Luc Wastable, Conductor

L'Harmonie La Croix Valmer

Pre-Concert Talk
6:00 PM
Hail! California: Bringing A Classic Back To Life
with composer/arranger Peter Stanley Martin

Come hear the arranger speak about how he brought this original work for wind band by a French master composer back to life. Hail! California will be performed at the concert following the lecture.

Learn More

Peter Stanley Martin

Program Highlights
Bacchanale from Samson and Delilah - Camille Saint-Saëns
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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.

Hands Across the Sea - John Philip Sousa Learn more   ►

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.

Hail California - Camille Saint-Saëns Learn more   ►

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 - Julie Giroux Learn more   ►

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.

 
Friday, December 4, 2015
8:00 PM
West Side Presbyterian Church
Ridgewood, New Jersey


Prelude Concert - 7:30 PM
Mendham High School Wind Ensemble
Timothy Beadle, Conductor

Featured Classic
Festive Overture
Dmitri Shostakovich
Guest Conducting Appearance
Colonel Arnald Gabriel

Arnald Gabriel

Program Highlights
Festive Overture - Dmitri Shostakovitch, arranged by Don Patterson
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Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) is widely regarded as the leading Soviet composer. Along with Serge Prokofiev and Aram Khachaturian, Shostakovich completes the "Big Three" composers of the Soviet era. Alternately hailed and reviled by the ruling communist party, Shostakovich consistently answered his critics with his music. Festive Overture as transcribed by Donald Hunsberger, is a bright, bravura work for band that requires a great deal of control from all sections. Its challenging score seeks mature responses across the ensemble. The piece contains one of Shostakovich’s greatest attributes and that is the ability to write a long, sustained melodic line combined with a pulsating rhythmic drive. In addition to the flowing melodic passages, there are also examples of staccato rhythmic sections which set off the flowing lines and the variant fanfares. It is truly a "festive" overture

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

Eagle Squadron March – Kenneth J. Alford Learn more   ►

Kenneth J. Alford (1881-1945) pseudonym of Major Fredrick Joseph Ricketts, was born in London and by the time he was fourteen had lost both of his parents. Yearning for a career in military music, he lied about his age to join the Royal Irish Regiment in 1895 and remained in the Army until 1927 when he was commissioned into the Royal Marines as a Director of Music. After a total of almost fifty years of service to the Crown, he retired in 1944 in rather poor health and died in the following year. During his long military career, he wrote 18 marches that were best described as dignified and restrained "poetic" marches. He was as famous in England for his marches as Sousa was in the United States with the most well known being the famous Colonel Bogey March featured in the 1958 film The Bridge on the River Kwai. The Eagle Squadron March was the last march Alford wrote in 1942 as a tribute to the American Airmen who joined their efforts with the Royal Air Force during World War II. Featured in this march are cleverly woven excerpts of The Star Spangled Banner, Rule Britannia, and the Royal Air Force March.

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

La Forza Del Destino – Giuseppe Verdi Learn more   ►

From the first brassy notes of this overture it is clear that this music is about destiny. It should come as no surprise, then, to learn that the opera itself is reputedly cursed. The stories of strange happenings associated with productions of La Forza del Destino began soon after the premiere and continue to the present. While most tales involve mysterious power outages and scenery accidents, the story of American baritone Leonard Warren is much more convincing. In 1960, as the forty-eight-year-old baritone was about to sing his aria, he pitched forward on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera and died of a cerebral hemorrhage. While many singers have dismissed the curse and happily taken a role in the opera, others such as the superstitious Luciano Pavarotti avoided it. This well known beloved overture has become a staple of concert halls around the world, both in its original instrumentation for orchestra as well as a number of transcriptions. It contains all that the world loves about Verdi's operatic works, intense drama, driving rhythms, and hauntingly beautiful melodies

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

Liturgy of Fire - Paul Mealor Learn more   ►

Paul Mealor (b.1975) best describes this composition in his own words: "My Liturgy (or ceremony) of Fire is an imaginary one. It is the concept of ceremony (or procession) that particularly interests me, and the importance of fire and fire worship, particularly in early cultures. Therefore, one can imagine this piece as music to accompany an early ritual celebrating the immense power and unpredictability of fire. My work begins dramatically and aggressively with the percussion section presenting the main driving-force behind this imaginary ritual; however, the music slows down and a calm elegy is presented. This offers solo passages for Tuba, Euphonium and Oboe, before the energy of the opening returns and takes the listener, with blistering ferocity, to the work's conclusion. Liturgy of Fire was written for the NYU Wind Ensemble and received its first performance on December 6, 2006 under the baton of Dr. Christian Wilhjelm."

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

The Shadow of Thy Cross – Paul Mealor Learn more   ►

Paul Mealor (b.1975) was commissioned to write a hymn for the Glasgow Cathedral service commemorating the centenary of the First World War. The lyrics of the hymn speak of love and sacrifice. In this setting for band, the intensity of emotion is no less without the text. There is great solemnity in the chordal texture and their dramatic resolutions let the audience feel the composer's reverent intention. This lovely sacred work delivers an aura of comfort for all listeners.

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

America the Beautiful – Samuel Augustus Ward Learn more   ►

Teacher Katherine Bates wrote the original words to America, the Beautiful in 1893 after a trip to 14,000-foot-high Pikes Peak. She revised the now familiar words twice. More than 60 different musical settings have been written for Bates's words, but this one by Samuel Augustus Ward is the most popular. The arrangement is by Carmen Dragon, an Oscar- and Emmy-award-winning composer and orchestrator known for his rich, lush arrangements that convey the emotion of the music to audiences. His rendition of America the Beautiful is simply the very best ever written: simple, direct, and perfect.

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

Festival March – Victor Herbert Learn more   ►

Victor Herbert (1859-1924) was an Irish-born American composer, cellist and conductor. Although he enjoyed important careers as a cello soloist and conductor, he is best known for composing many successful operettas that premiered on Broadway from the 1890s to WWI. In 1898 Herbert became the principal conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony, a position he held until 1904. Under his leadership, the orchestra became a major American ensemble and was favorably compared by music critics with ensembles like the N.Y. Philharmonic and Boston Symphony. The orchestra toured several major cities and notably premiered his Festival March for the twelfth anniversary of Chicago's Auditorium Theater in 1901. The march contains the style of Herbert and includes the familiar melody of Auld Lang Syne. This instrumental work has remained within orchestral programming through the years. The transcription for band presented this evening is the result of the capable hand of our very own composer, arranger-in-residence, Richard Summers. By transcribing this grand march for band, Mr. Summers is offering Victor Herbert's Festival March to a future generation of musical performance and audience enjoyment.

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

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.

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Friday, February 26, 2016
8:00 PM
West Side Presbyterian Church
Ridgewood, New Jersey


Prelude Concert - 7:30 PM
Waldwick High School Concert Band
Lynne Montella, Director

Featured Classic
March from "Symphonic Metamorphosis"
Paul Hindemith
Guest Conducting Appearance
Lewis Buckley

Lewis Buckley

Program Highlights
March from Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by C.M. von Weber - Paul Hindemith (1857-1951)
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Paul Hindemith collaborated with choreographer Leonid Massine on a ballet utilizing music of Carl Maria von Weber. The project was eventually scrapped due to artistic differences between the two men. Hindemith felt he was just being used as an arranger, while Massine found the music too complex to set to dance. The musical ideas were salvaged three years later, when Hindemith completed his Symphonic Metamorphosis in 1943. The work was originally written for orchestra, but the composer believed it should also be available for band. Hindemith asked his Yale colleague Keith Wilson to create the transcription heard here, which was completed in 1961. The March is the fourth and final movement of the composition and is based on a piano duet by Weber. The two bar opening statement by the brass is heard in several forms throughout the movement. The woodwinds underscore the sonorous melodies of the brass with a driving rhythm and articulation that carries the movement to its finale.

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

The Bride-Elect March – John Philip Sousa (1854-1932) Learn more   ►

John Philip Sousa is best known for his marches but always had a passion for writing in the "legitimate" genre. The Bride-Elect operetta that he composed in 1898 stood alone as the only operetta he solely wrote, including the libretto. Although the work was charming and well-received, it was soon overshadowed by the more popular Sousa operetta El Capitan. The Bride-Elect March concluded the second act and was often used in Sousa's touring programs around the country. Typically, as in many of Sousa's treatments of his operetta marches, it changes rhythm from triple to duple meter at the midpoint for an interesting effect.

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

Selections from The Music Man – Meredith Willson (1902-1984) Arr. Lewis J. Buckley Learn more   ►

Meredith Willson was born and raised in Mason City, Iowa. He left for New York City in 1920 where he studied at the Institute of Musical Art, now the Julliard School, before he toured with the famous Sousa Band. In 1924 he became the first flutist with the New York Philharmonic under Arturo Toscanini. After serving in the military during World War II he returned to work in radio and television and started composing as well. In his three capacities as composer, lyricist and librettist, Willson evoked a small-town America that no longer existed in the mid-1950's but was still part of the childhood memories of some Americans and in the fantasies of others. This was particularly true of his musical The Music Man that featured brass bands and barbershop harmonies. Lewis J. Buckley has made a wonderful band arrangement of Willson's score that brings the audience back to a picture of America that still lives in the hearts of us all.

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

La Mezquita de Cordoba - Julie Giroux (b.1961) Learn more   ►

In 169 B.C. the Romans founded Cordoba, Spain. After the fall of Rome, it existed under the rule of the Visigoths and became the capital of Al Andalus, Muslim Spain, in 716 A.D. When the Moors conquered Cordoba, they found a Visigoth cathedral, promptly pulled it down and built a mosque complex, the wall of which enclosed about four acres. Over the centuries, the Moors roofed over and developed more and more within this complex. Muslim, Christian, and Jewish faiths alike were practiced within its walls, an unprecedented feat that would be unheard of today. When the Christians once again conquered Cordoba in 1236, the new rulers were so awed by its beauty that they left it standing, building their cathedral in the midst of its rows of arches and columns and thus it is preserved to the present day. Julie Giroux's La Mezquita de Cordoba opens with the destruction of the original Christian church in 716 A.D. and proceeds as a musical celebration of its multi-cultural, religious, and artistic accomplishments. The music at times is calm and contemplative before it soars to dizzying rhythmic heights taking the listener on a musical journey through centuries of Spanish history.

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

March Columbia – Giuseppi Creatore (1871-1952) Learn more   ►

Giuseppi Creatore enjoyed a fame which rivaled that of his contemporary, John Philip Sousa, during the first two decades of the 1900's. By combining showmanship with musicianship, he and his concert band performed to huge and enthusiastic audiences in the United States, Canada, and England. Creatore emigrated from his native Italy to the United States in 1899, playing trombone in a touring Italian band and became an overnight celebrity when he filled in for the conductor who had fallen ill. Within two years he established his own band, performed at the Steel Pier in Atlantic City in 1901 from February through July and concluded that season with a 5,000 mile tour that was received with rave reviews. Creatore arranged numerous Italian operatic selections for band, most of which are still in manuscript form. His original March Columbia is a classic style march that echoes true Italian musical flair.

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

Dance of the Jesters – Peter I. Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) Arr. Ray Cramer Learn more   ►

Upon meeting Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov in 1868, Tchaikovsky renewed his keen sense of musical nationalism. Inspired by the master composer, Tchaikovsky's compositional style would forever capture the color and zest of Russian folk dance and music. Dance of the Jesters is one of the more commonly performed works from the ballet The Snow Maiden, often used as an encore in orchestral settings. Ray Cramer's transcription is a highly energetic work with intermittent brass fanfares and rapid, technical woodwind passages. The flurry, energetic drive, and playful melodies associated with Tchaikovsky’s ballet scores are all heard in this rare and invigorating music.

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

O Magnum Mysterium – Morten Lauridsen (b.1943) Transcribed by Robert Reynolds Learn more   ►

Morten Lauridsen is an American composer of principally choral music. He is best known for his six vocal cycles and his setting of O Magnum Mysterium. He is a three time Grammy nominee and the recipient of numerous awards. O Magnum Mysterium has received thousands of performances and at least one hundred professional recordings since its 1994 premier, making it one of the most performed compositions of the last twenty years in its original setting. The wind band arrangement by Robert Reynolds, retired director of the University of Michigan Bands, can claim similar accolades within wind band circles. This celebrated setting, through a quiet song, provides a profound peace for the listener’s spirit.

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

Con Sabor Español - Lewis J. Buckley (b.1947) Learn more   ►

Lewis J. Buckley served as Conductor and Music Director of the U.S. Coast Guard Band in New London, Connecticut for 29 years, and now serves as Music Director of the Metropolitan Wind Symphony. When auditions were held to choose Captain Buckley's successor as Conductor of the Coast Guard Band, part of the conducting audition was a sight-reading session. Since most of the candidates were members of the band, it was virtually impossible to find anything in the band library that was unknown to all of them. Thus Captain Buckley wrote a conducting exercise for the audition. To provide a challenge he included conducting obstacles he had confronted over the years, including mixed meter, tempo changes, instrumental cadenzas, and fermatas in different places. Eventually Captain Buckley expanded the work into Con Sabor Español that the band is performing tonight.

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

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

Frank Ticheli was commissioned to write this piece in memory of the mother of his friend and mentor H. Robert Reynolds, who requested the composition not be an elegy commemorating his mother’s death, but rather an energetic piece celebrating her life. Therefore the piece is reflective of her character – vibrant, whimsical, and succinct. The composition was premiered by the University of Michigan Symphony Band on April 17, 1992 and has received numerous performances by college bands throughout the United States. Mr. Ticheli, a University of Michigan graduate, is Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Southern California and composer-in-residence with the Pacific Symphony Orchestra.

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

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Friday, April 8, 2016
8:00 PM
West Side Presbyterian Church
Ridgewood, New Jersey


Pre-Concert Talk
7:00 PM
Guest Narrator, Robert Sherman

Prelude Concert - 7:30 PM
Hackensack High School Band
Lisa MacVicar, Director

Featured Classic
Elsa's Procession to the Cathedral
Richard Wagner

Guest Appearance Guest Soloist
Robert Sherman Narrator Scott Hartman Trombone
Program Highlights
Luminosity - Joseph Schwantner (b.1943)
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Joseph Schwantner offers this ambitious musical work as his latest publication for wind orchestra. Luminosity, an astronomical term for the total amount of energy and brightness radiated by a celestial object, serves as the title and metaphor for a palette of rich and vibrant instrumental colors explored here. Many of the work's musical ideas are framed by and are associated with specific individual instrumental groups each having their own unique and individual timbre and articulate identities. In Movement I the percussion presents a series of forceful and propulsive figures immediately followed by a second layer of rhythmically animated woodwind motives. A third texture stated by muted trumpets and stopped horns complete the presentation of the full ensemble framing this initial opening section. Movement II is a slow movement for solo clarinet and ensemble. It engages the clarinet's wide ranging voice from low whispered and darkly-hued phrases in the haunting chalumeau register to intense and sweeping arch-like gestures in its brilliant upper range. Movement III draws from a variety of diverse and distinct musical elements that appear earlier in both Movements I and II. A kind of kaleidoscopic quality emerges as the stratified and layered ensemble textures move toward a final forceful conclusion.

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

Galop From "Dance of the Hours" – Amilcare Ponchielli Learn more   ►

A galop is a lively, playful social dance, possibly of Hungarian origin, that was popular as a ballroom dance in 19th century England and France. It bore similarities to both the polka and the waltz and often served as the last dance in a ball. Its spirited rhythm occurs in the third act of Ponchielli's opera La Giaconda where guests are dancing at a lavish party. It is one of the most parodied musical pieces in opera. Anyone who has seen Walt Disney’'s ostriches and hippos performing to this music in Fantasia, or who has heard Allan Sherman’s Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh lyrics will probably be unable to listen to this music without remembering them.

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

Trombonico – Gregory Fritze (b.1954) Learn more   ►

Gregory Fritze is a prize-winning composer and Fulbright Scholar, as well as an active performer, conductor and educator. He is Professor of Composition and Tuba and Composition Chair Emeritus at the Berklee College of Music. He has written over sixty compositions for various ensembles and has won over thirty composition awards both nationally and internationally. His compositions have been performed extensively throughout the world. He is recorded on several CD labels. Trombonico subtitled Moods for Trombone and Concert Band is a concerto for trombone in 3 movements. It was premiered on July 9, 2015 at the International Trombone Association Conference in Valencia, Spain and composed for and performed by Scott Hartman. It was at Hartman's request that the composer included a tribute in the second movement to some of the great trombonists of the past, namely Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller. The concerto highlights the trombone's versatility and the soloist’s virtuosity.

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

A Lincoln Address - Vincent Persichetti (1915-1987) Learn more   ►

Vincent Persichetti was a prolific American composer, educator, theorist, pianist and conductor. During a career that spanned half a century, Mr. Persichetti wrote nine symphonies, chamber compositions for many different combinations of instruments, more than a dozen sonatas for piano and harpsichord, songs and choral works, an opera and an enormous quantity of music for wind band. Persichetti's Lincoln Address for Narrator and Band was commissioned for Richard Nixon's second inauguration. He chose Lincoln's most famous second inaugural address for his text. Apparently, the words of the greatest Republican President embarrassed the Nixon administration, which at the time was embroiled in the Vietnam War. Persichetti was told to excise certain passages. He agreed to some and refused others. Ten days before the event, the Inaugural Committee withdrew the commission. A front-page story in the New York Times raised the work's profile by highlighting the controversy and orchestras around the country gave more performances of the score than would have occurred had the Inaugural Committee not acted with such shortsightedness.

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

Elsa's Procession to the Cathedral – Richard Wagner (1813-1833) transcribed for band by Lucien Calliet Learn more   ►

This highly popular selection is from the German romantic opera Lohengrin which premiered in Germany in 1850. The occasion for the procession in the opera is the imminent betrothal of heroine Elsa to Lohengrin, mystic Knight of the Holy Grail, come to deliver the people of Brabant (Antwerp) from Hungarian invaders. In the operatic presentation, a large double chorus adds its song of solemn praise to that of the orchestra. In this transcription for band by Lucien Cailliet, the instrumental solo voices of the original are paralleled and the choral voices are deftly absorbed in the rich instrumental texture, recreating all the luxuriant Wagnerian color, drama, pageantry, power and mysticism of the original.

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

Imperial Edward March – John Philip Sousa (1854-1932) Arr. Loras Schissel Learn more   ►

John Philip Sousa was best known for composing one hundred sixteen patriotic marches that glorified liberty and freedom. Among all these there is only one written to honor a king: King Edward VII of England. The king had honored Sousa with the Royal Victorian Medal for conducting a private birthday concert for Queen Alexandra in 1901. One year later the composer penned this march in appreciation to the king. It is said Sousa did not feel this was one of his better works and did not program it very often in his many appearances around the United States. Sousa may have been too self-critical as the work offers us a different characterization of a composer we know well. It is more reminiscent of a stately English march and lacks the American flare that we more commonly associate with our beloved Sousa.

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

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Friday, May 13, 2016
8:00 PM
West Side Presbyterian Church
Ridgewood, New Jersey


Featured Classic
Jupiter from "The Planets"
Gustav Holst arr. Merlin Patterson

Prelude Concert - 7:30 PM
Bloomfield Youth Band
Patrick Burns, Conductor

Featured Soloists
2015 - 2016 Youth Soloist Competition Winner
Timothy Ruszala - Bassoon
Richard Summers - Clarinet


Timothy Ruszalla Richard Summers

Also presenting the Eight Annual Side-by-Side Concert with the finest High School musicians from the area
Program Highlights
March to the Scaffold Movement IV from Symphonie Fantastique - Hector Berlioz (1803-1869) Arr. R. Mark Rogers
Learn more   ►

Symphonie Fantastique is a piece of program music which tells the story of an artist gifted with a lively imagination who has poisoned himself with opium in the depths of despair because of a hopeless love. In the fourth movement, the dose of the narcotic, while too weak to cause his death, plunges the artist into a heavy sleep accompanied by the strangest of visions. He dreams he has killed his beloved, that he is condemned, led to the scaffold and is witnessing his own execution. The procession advances to the sound of a march that is sometimes somber and wild, and sometimes brilliant and solemn, in which a dull sound of heavy footsteps follows without transition the loudest outbursts. At the end of the march, the audience can envision the fall of the guillotine providing the fatal blow.

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity from The Planets – Gustav Holst (1874-1934) Arr. Merlin Patterson Learn more   ►

Gustav Holst played a major role in re-energizing English concert music by injecting it with the spirit and, at times, the letter of the country’s folk music. He created music in a more cosmopolitan style, such as his immensely popular original orchestral suite The Planets. It took Holst more than two years to complete The Planets, which is composed in seven parts, each one for the seven planets. Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity is the fourth planet musically described. The exuberance of this movement shows itself not only in its tempo and rhythm but also in the multiplicity of subjects. Jupiter might well be designated as "the English movement" because it shows how Holst was profoundly influenced by the folk music of his country. Certainly this is rustic English composition, music for a fair with crowds of people in it and infinite good spirits. The grand tune that ends the parade of themes has become the setting for a patriotic hymn with the words “I vow to thee my country.”

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

The Pathfinder of Panama – John Philip Sousa (1854-1932) Learn more   ►

More than anyone else, Sousa is responsible for bringing the United States Marine Band to the level of excellence upheld today. As a composer, he wrote the best known and most beloved marches in the repertoire and as the band’s director, he was an innovator who shaped the future of the Marine Band. Shortly after the completion of the Panama Canal in1914, the Sousa Band was invited to perform at the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition, held in San Francisco. At the request of Walter Anthony, a reporter for the San Francisco Call, Sousa composed "The Pathfinder of Panama" march to commemorate the opening of the Panama Canal and dedicated it to the exposition as well. The "Pathfinder" in the title of the march refers not to an individual, but to the Panama Canal itself, an engineering marvel that shortened the ocean voyage between San Francisco and New York by approximately 8,000 miles and continues to have an incalculable impact on the shipping of goods and passengers worldwide.

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

Star Wars – The Marches – John Williams (b. 1932) Learn more   ►

There is little doubt of the impact of John William's 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 these film scores a significant and vital part of our American culture. Williams's score to Star Wars recreates in a science fiction world the same musical effects of Wagnerian music-dramas. The music for the Star Wars franchise has become so deeply engrained in our minds that to hear but a few seconds, or even an opening chord, is to be immediately transported into that world and its entire engaging narrative. This collection of marches from several of the films was arranged here by Jerry Brubaker and promises to take you to “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.”

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

Loch Lomond – Frank Ticheli (b.1958) Learn more   ►

The Scottish folk song Loch Lomond dates back to the late 18th century and the defeat of Bonnie Prince Charlie at the Battle of Culloden Moor in 1746. Loch Lomond tells the story of two prisoners, one to soon be executed and the other to be set free.

Oh! ye’ll tak' the high road and
I’ll tak' the low road,
An’ I'll be in Scotland afore ye',
But me and my true love will never meet again
On the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond

It's said that the spirits of those that died in foreign lands will take the "low road" home to Scotland to arrive well before their still living comrades who had to make the long journey home on foot. Ticheli has tried to "preserve the folksong's simple charm, while also suggesting a sense of hope and the resilience of the human spirit." The final statement of the Scottish melody is artfully combined with the well-known Irish folksong Danny Boy. Together they reach an inspiring crescendo before fading out to the last strains of the song "On the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond."

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

Triumphal March from Aida – Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) Learn more   ►

The Triumphal March is the centerpiece of Act II of Verdi's acclaimed opera Aida. In Scene 2 the people of Egypt welcome a victorious leader of the Egyptian Army Radames and his men. They watch as Ethiopian captives are paraded before them. This sequence has traditionally been the occasion for the most spectacular staging that any opera house can manage, involving multiple choruses, on stage bands, a large ballet corps, and sometimes trained horses (the premiere in Cairo in 1870 reportedly used elephants.) From the opening trumpet fanfare the music grips the audience with its profound pomp and pageantry. Many opera critics have noted this scene to be the most popular in all of operatic literature and the Triumphal March its cornerstone.

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

Hungarian Fantasy – Carl Maria von Weber (1786-1826) Learn more   ►

Carl Maria von Weber was best known as a composer of opera and came to be known as the founder of German romantic opera. As a gesture of friendship, he composed a work for solo clarinet and was immediately confronted by Georg Brandt, a colleague of the clarinetist, to write a solo for bassoon. The result was his first concerto for Bassoon in F. Brandt so loved the work, he asked von Weber to do another and Hungarian Fantasy was born. To get it done quickly von Weber rewrote a viola work he had previously written for his brother Fritz. This solo has become much more popular with bassoonists today and can be heard in many auditions and performances. The rondo's rhythms emphasize the Hungarian flavor of the music. Weber’s writing of the work fully exploits the facility of the bassoon, its agility over a wide range of notes, tonal quality, and its lyrical as well as comical elements. All of these factors give our young soloist an opportunity to showcase his most capable flare and virtuosity.

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

Rhapsody for Solo Clarinet and Band - Patrick J. Burns (b.1969) Learn more   ►

Patrick J. Burns best describes this piece in his own words, "The work consists of one large movement with three contiguous sections following a brief introduction: Comodo – Lirico – Meccanico. The character of each section is quite different, one from another, but so is the compositional style and harmonic vocabulary. Each movement explores various traits of the clarinet's "personality," if you will – and affords the soloist ample opportunity to be expressive in both highly technical and sweepingly lyric passages throughout virtually the entire range of the instrument. The ensemble itself maintains a very active role throughout, and is often on equal footing with the soloist in terms of the evolution of the piece."

Program notes compiled by Marcie Phelan.

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