CURRENT NEWS                   


Abram's Pursuit - by David R. Holsinger: In the fourteenth chapter of Genesis there is a story of a rebellion led by Chedorlaomer, the King of Elam. Chedorlaomer and three other Kings joined together to ravage and conquer everything that lay in their path. They were met in battle at the Valley of Siddim (the Salt Sea) by an army mustered from the forces of the King of Sodom, the King of Gommorrah (pre-destruction days, of course . . .), the King of Admah, the King of Zebolim, and the King of Bela. Unfortunately this opposition army was not a match for Chedorlaomer and each of these city kingdoms, including Sodom and Gomorrah, were overrun. Chedorlaomer's forces, as was the custom, pillaged and fled with all the goods and provisions of the cities. Unfortunately for Chedorlaomer, his men also kidnapped Lot, Abram's brother's son. This of course, is the same Abram who later became Abraham, Father of the Jewish Nation, and a very close friend of GOD. (In retrospect, this was probably Chedorlaomer's "not-so-bright-decision-of-the-campaign"!) When Abram heard that Lot was taken captive, he armed three hundred and eighteen trained servants who were born in his house and went in pursuit of the invaders. With this small contingent, he divided his forces against the kings, attacked, and routed Chedorlaomer's entire army, recovering Lot and his goods, as well as all the women and people who had been kidnapped during the conquest!


Amazing Grace - by Frank Tichelli: "I wanted my setting of "Amazing Grace" to reflect the powerful simplicity of the words and melody - to be sincere, direct, to be honest and not through the use of novel harmonies and clever tricks, but by traveling traditional paths in search of truth and authenticity." These are the words of composer and arranger Frank Tichelli. "Amazing Grace" was written by slaveship Captain John Newton, who, according to music historians, suddenly saw through divine grace, the evilness of his acts. First published in 1835, it has become one of America's most beloved spirituals.


America The Beautiful - arr. Claude T. Smith:  In 1893, Katharine Lee Bates, an English professor at Wellesley College had taken a train trip to Colorado Springs to teach a short summer school session at Colorado College. Several of the sights on her trip found their way into her poem “America The Beautiful” such as The World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, the "White City" with its promise of the future contained within its alabaster buildings, the wheat fields of Kansas through which her train was riding on July 4th and the majestic view of the Great Plains from atop Pikes Peak.

On that mountain, the words of the poem started to come to her and she wrote them down upon returning to her hotel room at the original Antlers Hotel. The poem was initially published two years later in The Congregationalist, to commemorate the Fourth of July. It quickly caught the public's fancy and amended versions were published in 1904 and 1913. Several existing pieces of music were adapted to the poem. The Hymn tune “Materna” composed in 1882 by Samuel A. Ward was generally considered the best music as early as 1910 and is still the popular tune today. Ward had been similarly inspired. The tune came to him while he was on a ferryboat trip from Coney Island back to his home in New York City after a leisurely summer day and he immediately wrote it down. Ward died in 1903 not knowing the national stature his music would attain. Bates was more fortunate as the song's popularity was well established by her death in 1929.

 


America Exultant March - by Henry Fillmore / arr. Glover: Henry Fillmore was the most colorful bandman of his time. That era stretched across 50 vibrant years during which time he probably wrote, arranged, and edited more band music than any other composer/bandmaster in history. 

A list of Henry Fillmore’s music covers 96 double-spaced pages!  His background in his family’s publishing house in Cincinnati led him down a variety of productive paths as composer, including those of the hymn, popular overture, fox-trot, waltz, and his particularly lucrative specialty (for his own instrument) – the trombone novelty.


American Civil War Fantasy - by Jerry Bilik: The "American Civil War Fantasy" is a tone poem that musically portrays the mood, music and events leading to the Civil War. The piece features many traditional tunes depicting daily life in both the North and the South during that time period such as "Listen To The Mocking Bird", "Dixieland" and "Camptown Races". Then the rumblings of marching drums are heard and rallying songs fill the air in such pieces as "Maryland", "My Maryland" and "The Yellow Rose of Texas". Following a meditative refection, the sounds of battle describe the conflict as heard in "The Battle Hymn of the Republic". After the tumult, a new hope for a perpetually United America arises from the ashes.


An American Elegy - Frank Ticheli: "An American Elegy" is, above all, an expression of hope, according to its composer, Frank Ticheli. It was commissioned and composed in memory of those who lost their lives at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999, and to honor the survivors. It is offered as a tribute to their great strength and courage in the face of a terrible tragedy. When asked his thoughts on the piece; Ticheli said, "I was moved and honored by this commission invitation and deeply inspired by the circumstances surrounding it. Rarely has a work revealed itself to me with such powerful speed and clarity. I hope the work serves as a reminder of how fragile and precious life is and how intimately connected we all are as human beings."


Americans We - by Henry Fillmore / edited by Frederick Fennell: Henry Fillmore was a truly American bandmaster and composer. His many marches, gallops, instrumental novelties and instrumental music accompanied many a circus presentation. "Americans We" is one of Fillmore's most famous compositions. It borrows from a sentimental British tune called "Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms" which was originally attributed to Irish and Scottish heritage. The song soon became part of America's musical heritage.


Amparito Roca - Jaime Texidor / arr. Aubrey Winter: Jaime Texidor was a composer, conductor and publisher who lived most of his life in Baracaldo, a picturesque city in northern Spain. Early in his life he played saxophone in a military band. For many years, from 1928 until his death in 1957, he directed the Baracaldo Municipal Band. Though best known for “Amparito Roca”, Texidor was a prolific composer of music for band. His compositions became so numerous, eventually totaling over 500 that he decided to start his own publishing company. “Amparito Roca” is one of the band world's most popular Pasodobles. The Pasodoble is a typical Spanish march-like musical style as well as the corresponding dance style danced by a couple. It is the type of music typically played in bullfights during the bullfighters' entrance to the ring or during the passes just before the kill. It corresponds to the Pasodoble dance (traditional and ballroom). A Boosey and Hawkes advertisement in 1936 included the work as “Amparito Roca: The Sheltered Cliff". However the director of the Baracaldo Band once directed by Texidor contends that Texidor dedicated the work to a girl of the same name who lived in that area.


Selections from "Annie" - by Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin / arr. Philip J. Lang: The idea of creating a musical based on Harold Gray's "Little Orphan Annie" comic strip originated with lyricist/director Martin Charnin. Playwright Thomas Meehan and composer Charles Strouse were initially skeptical of the idea, but Charnin quickly won them over with his enthusiasm for the project. The story revolves around Annie, an 11-year-old orphan who longs for her parents to rescue her from the Municipal Orphanage and its mean-spirited matron, Agatha Hannigan. When billionaire Oliver Warbucks stumbles upon the little orphan and decides to adopt her, he must first deal with Miss Hannigan's opportunistic schemes. Annie opened at the Alvin Theatre on April 21, 1977. The New York production ran for 2,377 performances, making it the third longest running musical of the 1970s. In 1982, the movie version was released starring Albert Finney, Aileen Quinn, Ann Reinking, and Carol Burnett. 


Armed Forces Salute - arr. Bob Lowden: Each of our military services is saluted in this medley. The Army leads off with The Caisson Song, followed by Semper Paratus (Always Ready), the marching song for the Coast Guard. The honorees of the The Marines’ Hymn and The U.S. Air Force are obvious and equally recognizable is the Navy’s Anchors Aweigh. Lowden has skillfully woven patriotic phrases as the transitions between the major melodies. Can you recognize them?

Robert Lowden (1920 - 1999) was a prolific composer and arranger whose music reached far beyond the borders of his native New Jersey. He penned over 400 advertising jingles in his long career, but orchestras and bands know him for his many arrangements of popular and show tunes. Lowden studied at Temple University to be a music educator. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Army Band. He returned to his birthplace, Camden, New Jersey, to teach during the 1950s. He wrote for the Somerset label and its feature group, 101 Strings. He served as the lead arranger for the Philadelphia Pops and often took a bow at performances of his works by the Ocean City Pops at the Music Pier.


Barber of Seville Overture - by Gioacchino Rossini / arr. by M.L. Lake: The complete title is: "The Barber of Seville" or "The Useless Precaution". It is a comic opera in two acts by Gioacchino Rossini. The libretto was written in 1755 and is a mixture of spoken play with music. The premiere (under the title "Almaviva") took place on February 20, 1816 in Rome. It was one of the earliest Italian operas to be performed in America and premiered at the Park Theater in New York City in November of 1825. Rossini's "Barber of Seville" has proven to be one of the greatest masterpieces of comedy within music.

Rossini was well known for being remarkably productive, completing an average of two operas per year for 19 years, and in some years writing as much as four. Musicologists believe that, true to form, the music for this opera was composed in just under three weeks, although some of the themes were actually borrowed from two earlier Rossini operas.


The Battle Hymn of the Republic - by William Steffe / arr. Carmen Dragon:  A man from Vermont named Thomas Bishop joined the Massachusetts Infantry before the outbreak of war and wrote a popular set of lyrics titled "John Brown's Body" (after the radical abolitionist) which became one of his unit's walking songs. Bishop's battalion was dispatched to Washington, D.C., in 1862. Returning from a public review of the troops Julia Ward Howe sang with them. Her companion, the Reverend James Clarke, suggested to Howe that she write new words for the fighting men's song and the current version of "Battle Hymn of the Republic" was born.

However, according to writer Irwin Silber (who has written a book about Civil War folksongs), the song Mrs. Howe heard was not about John Brown the abolitionist but a Scotsman, also named John Brown, who was a member of the 12th Massachusetts Regiment. An article by writer Mark Steyn provides some background behind the story. Apparently, the men of John Brown's unit had made up a song poking fun at him. It was this song they sang when Mrs. Howe passed by. Mrs. Howe, and everyone else who heard it, assumed (not unreasonably) that song was about John Brown the abolitionist.

Howe's "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" was first published on the front page of The Atlantic Monthly of February 1862. The sixth verse written by Howe, which is less commonly sung, was not published at that time.


The Blue and the Gray: Civil War Suite - Clare Grundman: "The Blue and the Gray: Civil Was Suite" was composed in 1961 by Clare Grundman for the centennial observation of the American Civil War. Nearly all of the selections in this suite were composed during war years except for "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" which was written a few years before. "The Battle Cry for Freedom" and "Marching Through Georgia" were popular tunes in the North while "Dixie", "The Bonnie Blue Flag" and "The Yellow Rose of Texas" were popular with the Confederates. The songs "Kingdom Coming", "Tenting Tonight" and "Aura Lee" were sung and loved by both sides. The treatment of these well-known melodies effectively portrays the emotions of a divided nation.


"Camelot" Highlights - by Alan J. Lerner & Frederick Loewe / arr. Paul Yoder: The collaborative team of Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe dominated the Broadway stage and American Musical Theatre from 1947 into the 1960's and their most popular musicals "Brigadoon", "My Fair Lady" and "Camelot" still live on in revival performances and in their film versions. Lerner was the playwright and lyricist, while Loewe composed the music. Their last Broadway hit was "Camelot" which opened at the Majestic Theatre in New York City on December 3, 1960 and ran for 873 performances. Although this is the legendary musical of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, in many minds it will always be linked with the brief presidency of John F. Kennedy.   


Overture to “Candide” - by Leonard Bernstein / arr. Clare Grundman: Leonard Bernstein is probably one of America’s foremost musical geniuses. Bernstein was born in nearby Lawrence, Massachusetts and attended the Boston Latin School and Harvard University. Equally adept in the various activities of musical performance, composition and analysis, he has done more than anyone else to make the listening of music exciting and knowledgeable to the layman. “Candide”, the comic operetta based on Voltaire’s work, had an unfortunate musical life on Broadway in 1956. However, the “Overture to Candide” had its premiere by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of the composer in 1957 and has become a favorite in the concert repertoire of both orchestras and bands. The work is very rhythmic, combining the classical and popular styles into a clever and modern composition.


Caravan - by Duke Ellington / Arr. by Richard Saucedo: One of the 20th century's best-known artists, Duke Ellington was known in his life as one of the most influential figures in jazz, if not in all American music. Ellington called his music "American Music" rather than jazz, and liked to describe those who impressed him as "beyond category". These included many of the musicians who served with his orchestra, some of whom were considered among the giants of jazz and performed with Ellington's orchestra for decades. While many were noteworthy in their own right, it was Ellington who melded them into one of the most well-known orchestral units in the history of jazz. He often composed specifically for the style and skills of these individuals, such as Johnny Hodges and Tricky Sam Nanton. He also recorded songs written by his bandsmen, such as Juan Tizol's "Caravan" and "Perdido" which brought the "Spanish Tinge" to big-band jazz. After 1941, he frequently collaborated with composer-arranger Billy Strayhorn, whom he called his alter-ego.


Casey at the Bat - by Randol Alan Bass: "Casey at the Bat" is based on the well-known poem of the same title, first published in San Fransisco during the late 1800's by Ernest L. Thayer. This musical version of the famous story was commissioned by the Dallas Symphony and was given its first performance by that ensemble in April of 2001, with Pat Sajak serving as narrator. The composer subsequently arranged the work for wind ensemble at the request of Col. Micheal Colburn, director of the "President's Own" Marine Band in Washington, D.C.


Catch Me If You Can - by John Williams / arr Jay Bocook: Concluding a busy year for the maestro, John Williams completed his twentieth collaboration with director/producer Steven Spielberg for the crime thriller Catch Me If You Can. Williams has soared across the stars, into a future with pre-crime, and back to Hogwarts all in an eight month span, and Catch Me If You Can proves Williams' knack for diversity more than any of his others this year, or in recent times. The Spielberg film chronicles the true to life adventure of master criminal Frank Abagnale Jr., a man whose skill in disguise and fraud catapulted him to the FBI's 10 Most Wanted list at a very young age. Set in the 1960's, the film is a chase thriller with style as the FBI agent assigned to the case spends the duration of the movie chasing Abagnale through every conceivable location. The choice of music use for the film mirrored the choices of past films that have dealt with pop 1960's culture. In this case, that meant the fusion of several older generation songs with a similarly older style jazz. It had been many years since Williams had returned to his talents with the jazz genre, and even longer since he combined that sound with intrigue and more serious drama. His most recent jazzy score was the remake of Sabrina in 1995, but Catch Me If You Can takes a much darker avenue of introspection and sophistication.


Selections for "Chicago" - by John Kander & Fred Ebb / arr. Ted Ricketts: Velma Kelly is a nightclub star whose celebrity is only increased by her double murder of her adulterous husband and her sister. Roxie Hart is a nobody who dreams of the fame and wealth of a singing career. When she shoots her abusive lover, who lied about his ability to get her a job as a performer, she is sent to murderess' row. There she meets Velma Kelly. Facing death row, Roxie hires Billy Flynn, Chicago's most famous defense attorney, who promises to turn her case into a celebrity murder trial and get her acquitted. Flynn and Roxie manipulate the press and the public and Roxie becomes famous. When Billy recognizes Roxie's potential, Roxie and Velma become locked in a rivalry to outdo each other in stardom.

This arrangement is a collection of John Kander and Fred Ebb songs from the 2002 film which is based on the musical "Chicago", the original Broadway production of which (in 1975) had not been especially well-received by audiences due to the show's cynical tone. The minimalist 1996 revival enjoyed a great deal more success, however, and the influences of both productions can be seen in the film version. The original production's musical numbers were staged as vaudeville acts, which presented some problems when transferring from stage to screen. The movie version allowed the vaudeville scenes to happen by transferring the musical numbers to an imaginary stage in Roxie's fantasies, while keeping the pared-down flavor of the revival production. This well-scored arrangement opens with a bluesy trumpet solo and includes feature spots for all sections of the band as it winds through hits from the show such as "And All That Jazz", "Cell Block Tango", "Roxie" and "They Both Reached For The Gun".


The Chronicles of Narnia (The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe) - by Harry Gregson-Williams / arr. Paul Murtha: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a 2005 fantasy film directed by Andrew Adamson based on The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the first published novel in C. S. Lewis's children's fantasy series The Chronicles of Narnia. It was produced by Walden Media and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures. Four British children are evacuated during the Blitz to the countryside, and find a wardrobe that leads to the fantasy world of Narnia, where they ally with the Lion Aslan against the forces of the White Witch. It was released on December 9, 2005 in both Europe and North America to positive reviews and was highly successful at the box office. It won the 2005 Academy Award for Best Make Up and various other awards, and is the first of what will be a series of films based on the books. The music for the film was composed by Harry Gregson-Williams who is both a Golden Globe and Grammy-nominated British film score composer, conductor and music producer.


Clarinet Candy - by Leroy Anderson: Leroy Anderson was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts and attended Harvard University where he played trombone, double bass, accordion and pipe organ. He believed that music, like the movies, represents motion through time. The most popular movies are nearly always chase movies and some of Anderson's most popular tunes are about motion such as "The Horse and Buggy", "Sleigh Ride" and "The Phantom Regiment". Anderson's music is almost always in dance rhythm. "The Belle of the Ball" is a waltz, the bugler's dance the polka on "Bugler's Holiday" and "The Sandpaper Ballet" is a soft-shoe routine. This composition, called "Clarinet Candy" is a lively example of Anderson's musical sense of humor.


A Copland Tribute - adapted by Clare Grundman: A Copland Tribute is a collage of passages from the works of Aron Copeland and was created in 1985 to honor the eminent Brooklyn-born composer on his 85th birthday. The piece begins with a statement of 'Fanfare for the Common Man', which was originally a work for brass and percussion, honoring the role of the common man during World War II. Following this brief statement come several passages from Appalachian Spring, a ballet composed for Martha Graham and commissioned the by Elizabeth Coolidge Foundation. The piece concludes with music from two dance episodes from the ballet Rodeo; Buckaroo Holiday and Hoe-down. Originally titled The Courting at Burnt Ranch, Rodeo was created in collabration with choreographer Agnes de Mille. This arrangement by Clare Grundman provides short glimpses of Copland's music.


The Crosley March - by Henry Fillmore: Henry Fillmore was the most colorful bandman of his time. That era stretched across 50 vibrant years during which time he probably wrote, arranged, and edited more band music than any other composer/bandmaster in history. A list of Fillmore’s music covers 96 double-spaced pages! His background in his family’s publishing house in Cincinnati led him down a variety of productive paths as composer, including those of the hymn, popular overture, fox-trot, and waltz. Powell Crosley was the owner of radio station WLW in Cincinnati. In 1928, the Fillmore band was presenting concerts over that station and Mr. Crosley became a personal friend of Bandmaster Fillmore, and it was he for whom this march was written.  Listen now to the Crosley March by Henry Fillmore.


English Folk Song Suite - by Ralph Vaughan Williams: Ralph Vaughan Williams, one of the most eminent of contemporary English composers, is known throughout the world for his choral and orchestral works. Like many British composers, he found great inspiration in the study of Folk Music and in the work of early British masters such as Purcell. He made his own the modal harmonies and striking rhythms found in the traditional folk songs of Norfolk and Somerset, England, but formed an entirely individual style out of these elements. This suite was originally written for band and includes three movements. The first is a march entitled "Seventeen Come Sunday", the second "Intermezzo: My Bonnie Boy" and the third is a march called "Somerset".


Esprit de Corps - by Robert Jager: Robert Jager was arranger/composer for the U.S. Navy Armed Forces School of Music from 1962 to 1965. He completed his studies and graduated from the University of Michigan in 1968. He then went on to be the lecturer in composition and directing at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. In 1971, he became a professor at Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, Tennessee.

"Morale", also known as "esprit de corps" when discussing the morale of a group, is an intangible term used for the capacity of people to maintain belief in an institution or a goal, or even in oneself and others. The term applies particularly to military personnel and to members of sports teams, but is also applicable in business and in any other organizational context, particularly in times of stress or controversy.

In his career, Jager has received numerous honors for his works, including being the only three-time winner of the American Bandmasters Association. His experiences include being a guest conductor and teacher in various countries such as Canada, Japan, England, France, Germany, and in many cities within the United States.


Selections from “E.T.” - John Williams / arr. John Cacavas: Composer John Williams has written music for about 250 films and television programs in his career. Among his titles are the themes of “Star Wars”, “Superman”, “Jurassic Park”, “1941” and “Saving Private Ryan”, to name a few. The selection you are about to hear is a fine example of the Williams’ style. The piece is dynamic and forceful as well as melodic and flowing. It is also the theme to his film about a popular extra-terrestrial.


The Fairest of the Fair March - by John Philip Sousa / edited by Frederick Fennell: One of Sousa's favorite sayings was "A horse, a dog, a gun, a girl, and music on the side. That is my idea of heaven." When all of his march titles are examined, Sousa's appreciation of the fairer sex is obvious. In this instance, the subject was a pretty girl who worked at the annual Boston Food Fair. Even though the March King never met the young lady, her memory inspired this title when he was preparing a new march for the food fair in 1908. It was the only march that Sousa composed that year, but it is generally regarded as one of his most melodic and best-written marches, with its light, bouncy opening and harmonic Trio ending.


Symphonic Suite from “Far and Away” - John Williams / adapted by Paul Lavender: This suite is derived from the summary music played during the roll of the end credits of the 1992 movie "Far and Away" starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. The strong Irish ethnicity of the opening location in County Galway introduces the composition. The conflicts of commoners and gentry come forth as the lead characters form a pact to emi­grate to the freedom of America. Williams’ music takes the action and adventures through Boston and on to the land rush of the Oklahoma Territory. The rough life of the frontier and its settlers is contrasted with the pas­toral scenes of the prairie. The music and the film conclude on a distinctly upbeat theme for a bright future.


Festive Overture  (Opus 96) - Dimitri Shostakovich / transcriber by Donald Hunsberger: Dmitri Shostakovich (1906 - 1975) studied at the Leningrad Conservatory under Glazunov, among others. International fame came to Shostakovich at the age of nineteen when his powerful and mature First Symphony was performed in Leningrad, and later in Moscow. Following this success, his next works were disappointing and attacked by the Soviet press as a product of “bourgeois decadence.” Like many Soviet composers, Shostakovich found himself constantly under pressure from restrictions imposed by the Soviet musical world with its concern for the moral and social, rather than the purely aesthetic aspects of music. The musical style of Shostakovich remains unbalanced with works containing crude parodies, programmatic devices and conventional simplicity countered by works of originality, distinction, and significance.

The story behind the creation of the Festive Overture is one of those fantastic tales which reveals the true nature of a composer’s genius, leaving all of the eye-witnesses shaking their heads in wonder. Shostakovich’s friend Lev Lebedinsky related the story of how one time, when he was hanging out at the composer’s apartment one day in the fall of 1954, they were visited by a conductor from the Bolshoi Theater Orchestra. Due to mysterious political maneuverings and bureaucratic snafus, the orchestra needed a new work to celebrate the October Revolution, and the concert was in three days.
 
Shostakovich had his friend Lebedinsky sit down next to him and began to compose. Lebedinsky relates:
 
“The speed with which he wrote was truly astounding. Moreover, when he wrote light music he was able to talk, make jokes and compose simultaneously, like the legendary Mozart. He laughed and chuckled, and in the meanwhile work was under way and the music was being written down.”
 
There is not a trace of haste or carelessness in the vibrant Festive Overture. Shostakovich always composed at a fast pace, writing down the notes with superhuman facility. We will never know whether or not he employed musical ideas which were already lurking in his imagination, or whether the entire work was simply an instantaneous flash of inspiration. It is amusing however to think of Shostakovich “laughing and chuckling” as he composed, for it is easy to imagine the pervasiveness of the composer’s good humor driving this energetic, truly festive work.


Fight With Might - by Joseph Souto: Joseph Souto is a life-long Bristolian. He is a well-known musician at the professional and amateur levels. Joseph also has a knock for music composition. He has composed the Mt. Hope High School Alma Mater, church music in both English, Portuguese and Latin as well as several marches. His march "Fight With Might" is written in honor of all American Soldiers (past, present and future) who have chose and will choose to defend our freedom. The march opens with a conflict in time signature, representing two sides conflicting in one world. The second section represents the war itself depicted in the battle between the woodwind and brass sections of the ensemble. The third section begins with a lull in the fighting, a recall of the battle and finally the unification of both sides proclaiming victory for freedom.


Finale from Symphony No. 5 - by Dimitri Shostakovich / Transcribed by Charles B. Righter: Dimitri Shostakovich had a complex relationship with the Soviet government, suffering two official denunciations of his music, first in 1936 and then in 1948, as well as the periodic banning of his work. At the same time, he received a number of accolades and state awards and served in the highest legislative body, The Supreme Soviet. Despite the official controversy, he remained the most popular Soviet composer of his generation drawing upon the influence of composers such as Prokofiev, Stravinsky and Mahler.

Charles Righter's transcription of the finale to Dmitri Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5 has become a staple of the transcribed literature for band. Characterized by a melodic theme of great strength and power, the finale presents a long and skillfully drawn accelerando, reaching a brilliant, extended dramatic gesture at the end of the piece.

Shostakovich was forced to "voluntarily" withdraw his fourth symphony by the Soviet authorities after a single rehearsal; the fifth symphony was the composer's response to that act, a work that—on the surface—told the authorities what they wanted to hear. It opens with an arresting dotted rhythm that will pervade the first movement, which unfolds as a series of interrelated episodes that alternate tragedy and anguish with moments of serene beauty. The third movement has a similar plan, so between the two Shostakovich inserts a scherzo that is equal parts Cossack dance and Mahlerian ländler, with biting harmonies and grotesque humor emphasized by the occasional insertion of an extra beat into the 3/4 meter.

After the slow third movement dispenses with the brass entirely, emphasizing strings (the violins divided into three sections instead of the usual two) and episodes for solo woodwinds and harp, the brass come roaring back in the finale, a D minor march that begins slowly but soon accelerates. After a slower central episode, timpani leads into a reprise of the march theme, resulting in a D major finale that was for many years believed to be a conclusion of genuine celebration. But in his 1979 memoir, Testament, Shostakovich relates that the rejoicing is forced, "as if someone is beating you with a stick and saying, "Your business is rejoicing, your business is rejoicing.'"


First Suite in Eb for Military Band - by Gustav Holst: The "First Suite in Eb Major for Military Band" is a cornerstone in the concert band repertoire. This piece was written by the prominent British composer Gustav Holst. First Suite, as it is informally called, was written for a full military band in 1909. During this time of band music, the repertoire was almost exclusively transcriptions from orchestral works. The First Suite has three movements, each with its own character and form. The first movement, "Chaconne", is based upon an 8 measure melody initiated by low brass. The second movement, "Intermezzo", is devoted almost completely to a rhythmic and well-articulated oboe, clarinet, and cornet soli. The third movement, "March", opens with a bass drum solo, one of the few in the band literature. Holst was an English composer and was a music teacher for nearly 20 years. He is most famous for his orchestral suite "The Planets". Having Studied at the Royal College of Music in London, his early work was influenced by Grieg, Wagner, Richard Strauss, and fellow student Ralph Vaughan Williams. Holst is well known for his unconventional use of meter and haunting melodies.


Florentiner March - by Julius Fucik / arr. Frederick Fennel: Born in 1872, Julius Fucik was to become one of the most prolific European composers of his time. Fucik composed more than 400 works including operettas, chamber music, masses, marches and a symphonic suite. Of his more than 100 marches, “Entry of the Gladiators March” (also known as “Thunder and Blazes”), “Children of the Regiment” and this march, “Florentiner” are probably the best known. In a short brilliant career as bandmaster to the 86th Hungarian Infantry Regiment, he developed his own wide-ranging style of writing marches, which was a popular duel profession among bandmasters during the on-going Nationalism then flourishing in Europe. Thus it is not surprising to find a Hungarian writing an Italian Grand March and out-doing many Italians!


Folk Dances - by Dimitri Shostakovich / arr. by Frank Erickson: Dimitri Shostakovich was born near St. Petersburg, Russia, the second of three children. He was a child prodigy as both a pianist and composer, his talent becoming apparent after he began piano lessons with his mother at the age of eight. On several occasions, he displayed a remarkable ability to remember what his mother had played at the previous lesson, and would get "caught in the act" so to speak, of pretending to read by playing the previous lesson's music when different music was placed in front of him. His unmistakable style began to develop after he entered the Petrograd Conservatory. This unique hybrid style led to economical and well-projected orchestrations, on which he prided himself.

Russian composer Lev Lebedinsky once said of his friend Dimitri Shostakovich, "...the speed at which he wrote music was truly astounding. Moreover, when he wrote light music, he was able to talk, make jokes, and compose simultaneously, like Mozart. He laughed and chuckled, and in the meanwhile, work was underway and the music was being written down." Shostakovich composed at a fast pace, and we will never know if he employed musical ideas which were already lurking in his imagination, or whether the entire work in progress was simply a flash of inspiration.


The Gallant Seventh March - by John Philip Sousa: The commanding officer of the 7th Regiment, 107th Infantry, of the New York National Guard, Colonel Wade Hughes, wrote a letter to Sousa on May 23, 1922 requesting that Sousa compose a march honoring the 7th regiment. Within two months "The Gallant Seventh" was in print. The march was formally dedicated "To the Officers and Men of the Seventh Regiment, New York National Guard, New York City." For his work, Sousa was made an honorary officer in the regiment. Approximately 80 percent of the Regimental Band, which performed with the Sousa Band on the dedication concert, had also been members of the Sousa Band at one point in their careers. In fact, the bandmaster of the Regimental Band was Major Francis Sutherland, a former cornetist in the Sousa Band, who had left that lucrative situation to join the military when the United States entered World War I.


The Genius of Ray Charles - arr. Michael Brown: The amazing life story of Ray Charles is featured in the movie Ray starring Jamie Foxx. Ray's unique style and passion for music is forever etched in our country's cultural fabric. Michael Brown gives us a masterful blend of the unforgettable hits "Georgia On My Mind", "I Can't Stop Loving You", "What'd I Say", "Hallelujah I Love Her So" and "Let the Good Times Roll".


Girl Crazy - by George Gershwin / arr. James Barnes: Composer George Gershwin occupies a unique place in history of American Music. A gifted writer of popular songs, musical comedies and other music, he was able to combine the styles of "Tin Pan Alley" and "Carnegie Hall" music in a way which seemed perfectly clear to him, but was never quite right with many music critics. When Al Jolson began singing "Swanee" (which Gershwin wrote in 15 minutes) his fame and fortune began to soar almost overnight. In 1930, George and his brother Ira wrote one of their most beloved musicals. It featured the tunes "I Got Rhythm", "But Not For Me", "Bidin' My Time" and "Embraceable You".


God Bless America - words and music by Irving Berlin / choral arrangement by Keith Christopher / band arrangement by John Moss & God Bless America - by Irving Berlin / arr. Michael Galib: America's unofficial national anthem was composed by an immigrant who left his home in Siberia for America when he was just five years old. Irving Berlin wrote the original version of "God Bless America" in 1918 for a Ziegfeld-style musical revue. However, Berlin decided that the solemn tone of "God Bless America" was out of keeping with the comedic elements of the show and set the song aside. In the fall of 1938, as war was again threatening Europe, Berlin decided to write a "peace" song.  He revised his "God Bless America" from twenty years earlier to reflect the different state of the world. Singer Kate Smith introduced the revised "God Bless America" during her radio broadcast on Armistice Day in 1938. The song was an immediate sensation. In 2002, the East Bay Summer Wind Ensemble's own Michael Galib, a member of our trumpet section, provided us with a stirring arrangement of Berlin’s peace song that weaves in subtle hints from two other great American composers; Aaron Copeland’s "Fanfare for the Common Man" and John Philip Sousa’s "The Stars and Stripes Forever".


The Good Old USA - arr. James Christensen: This arrangement is a lively medley of recognizable tunes from not so long ago including "A Bicycle Built for Two" by Harry Dacre, "The Surrey with the Fringe on Top" by Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein, "In My Merry Oldsmobile" by Vincent P. Bryan and Gus Edwards, "Seventy-Six Trombones" by Meredith Willson, "Mary's a Grand Old Name" by George M. Cohan, "This Land is Your Land" by Woody Guthrie, "When the Saints Go Marching In" by James Milton Black and Katharine Purvis and Cohans's "You're a Grand Old Flag".

For twelve of his 37-plus years with Walt Disney Productions, James Christensen served as music director for both Disneyland and Walt Disney World He also  conducted the All-American Marching Band at the grand opening of Euro-Disneyland in Paris on April 12, 1992. A prolific composer and arranger with over 400 published works to his credit, Christensen has also appeared as guest conductor with the symphonic orchestras of Houston, San Diego, Winnipeg Honolulu, New Orleans Pops, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the Radio City Music Hall Orchestra, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and many others. Among his current activities, he is a trombone clinician for UMI-Conn and is a member of the American Bandmasters Association as well as serves on the advisory board of the Association of Concert Bands. Christensen's arrangements are currently heard at theme parks around the world including all the Disney parks, Knott’s Berry Farm, Canada’s Wonderland, Hershey Park, Lotte World (Korea), Everland and Movie World in Germany. He has also arranged and orchestrated music for the Boston Pops, the London Philharmonic, several Super Bowls and MENC’s World Largest Concert. He continues to guest conduct for high school, college and community bands as well as for the Community Band of America (Band at Sea) since 1994.


Graysondance - by David R. Holsinger: Under the auspices of a commission by Director Scott Guidry's Lafayette High School Symphonic Band of Lafayette, Louisiana, David Holsinger has completed Graysondance, his third and final installment of the "children's dances" -compositions that pay tribute to the diverse personalities of his offspring. Like its predecessors, Havendance and Nilesdance, we find in this composition, the exuberant rhythms and mixed metered enthusiasm we expect, but fused with a vigorous allusion to "big band jazz"! Graysondance seems to ride forward on splashy riffs, driving bass lines, and punchy spikes of harmony! And does this fit the kid? Well, Grayson started clarinet this year in beginning band and wears out the family's ears playing Benny Goodman albums. His Dad is not going to complain, however. It could be a whole lot worse! What if he listened to something called "Convoluted Twisted Head-lice Mongers"?!?!?


Hands Across the Sea - by John Philip Sousa: This march was composed in 1899 and premiered at the Philadelphia Academy of Music that same year. The origin of the title is uncertain. It is certainly representative of the good will that the Sousa Band evoked on its multiple European and World tours. Sousa biographer Paul Bierley believes that Sousa discussed the justification of the Spanish-American War in a conversation using John Hookham Frere’s line “A sudden thought strikes me -- let us swear an eternal friendship.” The vision of Hands Across The Sea came to Sousa as an enactment of that concept.


Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - John Williams / arr. Robert W. Smith: The combination of award-winning composer John Williams and the talents of Robert W. Smith make for exquisite results in this stunning medley of the four most revered themes from the epic film score. The arrangement begins with the familiar "Prologue: Book II". Next is the aggressive theme from "The Chamber of Secrets", followed by "Fawkes the Phoenix" and finally the theme used in both of the first two films, "Harry's Wondrous World". It is a truly, vivid and dynamic portrayal of the movie!


Havendance - by David R. Holsinger: This was the first of his works titled for the first of his children, Haven. It is built on an unrelenting rhythmic ostinato and variations. This has been one of our best sellers and is on many contest lists. We have an excellent recording of this on our cassette #7 by the West Texas State University Band.


His Honor March - by Henry Fillmore: Henry Fillmore was the most colorful bandmaster of his time and that era stretched across fifty vibrant years during which he probably wrote more band music than any other composer or bandmaster in history. As a conductor, he was a supreme showman, able not only to control any musical forces in front of him, but to also reach and thrill audiences which always responded enthusiastically to whatever he did. As a composer, his irrepressible talent for marches produced a string of masterpieces uniquely of his own flavor and among the most outstanding of them is the “His Honor” March. Fillmore dedicated it to Mayor Russell Wilson of Cincinnati and it was probably performed for the first time by the Fillmore Band during their concerts at the Cincinnati Zoological Gardens in August of 1933.  It was then copywrited by The Fillmore Brothers Company on January 22, 1934. Most likely, Fillmore never performed “His Honor” or any of his music exactly as he had approved them for publication as this would have been too confining for his imaginative and expansive musical personality.


The Homefront: Musical Memories from World War II - arr. James Christensen: This medley of selections features many outstanding popular songs that kept up America's hope throughout World War II including "It's Been a Long, Long Time" by Sammy Kahn, "Thanks for the Memory" by Leo Robin, "Bell Bottom Trousers" by Moe Jaffe, "The White Cliffs of Dover" by Nat Burton, " I'll Be Seeing You" by Irving Kahal, "Don't Sit Under The Apple Tree" by Lew Brown and "Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition!" by Frank Loesser.


On a Hymnsong of Lowell Mason - by David R. Holsinger: In the early 19th century, the leading composer of hymn tunes was Lowell Mason (1792-1872), whose main activities centered in Boston and New York City. Mason is particularly renowned for having pioneered the introduction of music instruction on a regular basis into the Boston public schools in 1827. He composed or arranged some 1600 hymn tunes and compiled some eighty collections of music. Among the best known of his surviving are ANTIOCH (Joy to the World), AZMON (O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing), BETHANY (Nearer My God to Thee), HAMBURG (When I Survey the Wondrous Cross), and the tune on which this composition is based, the 1832 OLIVET (My Faith Looks Up To Thee).


On a Hymnsong of Philip Bliss - by David R. Holsinger: "On a Hymnsong of Philip Bliss" is a radical departure of style of the composer. The frantic tempos, the ebullient rhythms we associate with Holsinger are replaced with a restful, gentle, and reflective composition based on the 1876 Philip Bliss - Horatio Spafford hymn, "It is Well with my Soul". Written to honor the retiring Principal of Shady Grove Christian Academy, "On a Hymnsong of Philip Bliss" was presented as a gift from the Shady Grove Christian Academy Concert Band to Rev. Steve Edel in May of 1989.


Il Re Pastore (The Shepard King) - by W. A. Mozart: At the age of three, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart showed a remarkable interest in music. He would listen to his sister Marianne's lessons and later would improvise similar tunes and chords. At the age of twelve he composed an opera "La Finta Semplice" at the order of the Austrian Emperor. In his adult life, he wrote some of the world's greatest masterpieces which included operas, concerti, symphonies as well as other choral and ensemble works.


Ireland: Of Legend and Lore - by Robert W. Smith: "Ireland: Of Legend and Lore" by Robert W. Smith is an original composition for wind band, which draws upon the vast riches of traditional Irish melodies.  The composer has chosen several castles and/or colorful characters from Irish history and folklore and put their legendary deeds to music.  Included in the composition are "Brian Boru’s March", "Grace O’Malley", "Sing Ah", "Courtly Dance" and "Battle of Cahir Castle".


JFK: In Memoriam - by James Curnow: This selection is a memorial tribute to John Fitzgerald Kennedy. On November 22, 1963, our nation was stunned by the assassination of our 35th President. This selection entitled “JFK: In Memoriam” by James Curnow is a dramatic piece that includes excerpts from several Kennedy speeches, thusly paying homage to his life and times through both words and music.


John Williams: Fantasy of Flight - by John Williams / arr. Robert W. Smith:  Composer John Williams has written music for about 250 films and television programs in his career. Among his titles are the themes of “Star Wars”, “Superman”, “Jurassic Park”, “1941” and “Saving Private Ryan”, to name a few. The selection you are about to hear is a fine example of the Williams’ style. The piece is dynamic and forceful as well as melodic and flowing. Robert W. Smith has chosen four exciting John Williams melodies that are reminiscent of flight. Included are excerpts from "Adventures on Earth" from E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, "Hedwig's Flight" from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, "Duel of the Fates" from Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace and the "Star Wars Main Title". 


Lassus Trombone - by Henry Fillmore / arr. Loras Schissel: Henry Fillmore was the most colorful bandman of his time. That era stretched across 50 vibrant years during which time he probably wrote, arranged and edited more band music than any other composer/bandmaster in history. A list of Henry Fillmore’s music covers 96 double-spaced pages!  His background in his family’s publishing house in Cincinnati led him down a variety of productive paths as composer, including those of the hymn, popular overture, fox-trot, waltz and his particularly lucrative specialty (for his own instrument) – the trombone novelty, with titles such as "Lassus Trombone", "Bones Trombone" and "Shoutin’ Liza Trombone". This arrangement of "Lassus Trombone" was dedicated to Paul E. Bierley.


Selections from "Les Misérables" - arr. Warren Barker: On October 8, 1985 Les Misérables opened at the Barbican Theatre in London and musical theatre history was made. It then moved to the Palace Theatre on December 4 of the same year and on March 12, 1987, the American version opened at the Broadway Theatre in New York City. Since then, Les Misérables by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg, with lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer has traveled the globe and won many major awards throughout the world, including eight Tony awards such as Best Musical of the Year. Les Misérables has touched the heart of its international audience as few shows in history have ever done. This power derives both from the enormous strength of the theatrical adaptation and from the timeless reality of the titanic novel of the same name by Victor Hugo upon which the show is based. More than 130 years later, "huge sores" still litter the world and Hugo's words still describe the undying message of his novel. Les Misérables reminds us that we are each part of the same human family and that whatever our outward differences may be; our longings for individual liberty and peace are the same. Around the world, performers and audience members alike have been deeply moved by their exposure to Les Misérables. That is why after over 21 years, with each new cast and each new audience, the power and the magic of the show continues to grow.


Loch Lomond - Frank Ticheli: Frank Ticheli was born in 1958 in Monroe, Louisiana. He received his Bachelor of Music in Composition from Southern Methodist University and Masters Degree in Composition and Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Michigan. He is Associate Professor of Music at the University of Southern California and is the Composer-in-Residence of the Pacific Symphony Orchestra. He has composed works for bands, wind ensemble, orchestra, chamber ensembles, and the theatre. His music has garnered many prestigious awards including the Goddard Lieberson fellowship and Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters; the 1989 Walter Beeler memorial Composition Prize; the Ross Lee Finney Award; and first prize in the 11th annual Symposium for New Band Music in Virginia. The New York Times has described his music as “lean and muscular and above all, active, in motion.”

At the time in Scottish history when "Loch Lomond" was a new song, the United Kingdom (which united Scotland, England, and Wales) had already been formed. But the Highland Scots wanted a Scottish, not an English King to rule. Led by their Bonnie Prince Charlie (Prince Charles Edward Stuart) they attempted unsuccessfully to depose Britain's King George II. An army of 7,000 Highlanders were defeated on April 16, 1746 at the famous Battle of Culloden Moor.

It is this same battle that indirectly gives rise to this beautiful song. After the battle, many Scottish soldiers were imprisoned within England's Carlisle Castle, near the border of Scotland. "Loch Lomond" tells the story of two Scottish soldiers who were so imprisoned. One of them was to be executed, while the other was to be set free. According to Celtic legend if someone dies in a foreign land, his spirit will travel to his homeland by "the low road" - the route for the souls of the dead. In the song, the spirit of the dead soldier shall arrive first, while the living soldier will take the "high road" over the mountains, to arrive afterwards.

The song is from the point of view of the soldier who will be executed: When he sings, "ye'll tak' the high road and I'll tak' the low road" in effect he is saying that you will return alive, and I will return in spirit. He remembers his happy past, "By yon bonnie banks ... where me and my true love were ever wont to gae [accustomed to go]" and sadly accepts his death "the broken heart it ken nae [knows no] second Spring again."

The original folksong uses a six note scale; the seventh scale degree is absent from the melody. The lyric intertwines the sadness of the soldier's plight with images of Loch Lomond's stunning natural beauty.


Excerpts from Symphony No. 1 "Lord of The Rings" - Johan de Meij / arr. by Paul Lavender: Johan de Meij’s first symphony “The Lord of the Rings” is based on the trilogy of the same name by J.R.R Tolkien, now more popularly known in its theatrical movie-telling of the original novel. The book has fascinated many millions of readers since its publication in 1955. The Symphony consists of five separate movements, each illustrating a personage or an important episode from the book. The symphony was written in the period between March of 1984 and December of 1987. It had its premiere in Brussels on March 15, 1989. It was awarded a first prize award in the Sudler International Wind Band Composition Competition in Chicago and a year later, the symphony was awarded the Dutch Composers Fund. In this edition, Paul Lavender has masterfully condensed and arranged the symphony into a practical version, written at a level and instrumentation to fit most of today’s advanced high school bands. The arrangement includes selections from Movement 1 - Gandalf: The Wizard, Movement 2 - Lothlorien (The Elvenwood) and Movement 5 - The Hobbits. Allow us now to bring you to the world of Middle Earth where the fight to destroy the Ring in order to save the planet from the evil Lord Sauron lies in the hands of a helpless Hobbit in the J.R.R. Tolkien’s inspired, premiere symphony from composer Johan de Meij.


Marche Slave - by P. I. Tchaikowsky / arr. by L. P. Laurendeau: In June of 1876, following incidents in which Turkish soldiers killed a large number of Christian Slavs who rebelled against the Ottoman Empire, Serbia declared war on Turkey. Many Russians sympathized with those they considered to be their fellow Slavs and sent volunteer soldiers and aid to assist the Kingdom of Serbia. In the ensuing struggle, the Serbian army was quickly defeated by the Turks.

Nikolai Rubinstein, a close friend of Tchaikovsky, asked him to compose a piece for a concert benefiting the wounded Russian volunteers. In a burst of patriotism, Tchaikovsky composed what was first known as the "Serbo-Russian March" (later to be known as "Marche Slave") in only five days.

The first section of the piece describes the oppression of the Serbians by the Turkish. It uses two Serbian folk songs. The first "Come my dearest, why so sad this morning?" is played at the outset, as Tchaikovsky directs, "at the speed of a funeral march". The second folk song is more optimistic in character. An episode follows, describing the atrocities in the Balkans, in which Tchaikovsky uses his mastery of the orchestra to build a tremendous climax, at the height of which the first folk song returns, fortissimo on the trumpets like a desperate cry for help. The tempestuous mood subsides giving way to the second section which describes the Russians rallying to help the Serbs. This is based on a simple melody with the character of a rustic dance which is passed around the orchestra until finally it gives way to a solemn statement of the Russian national anthem "God Save the Tsar". The third section of the piece is a repeat of Tchaikovsky's furious orchestral climax, reiterating the Serbian cry for help. The final section describes the Russian volunteers marching to assist the Serbians. Is uses a Russian tune, and includes another blazing rendition of "God Save the Tsar." prophesying the triumph of the Slavonic people over tyranny.

The piece shares a few refrains with the "1812 Overture", which it is frequently paired with in performance.


March: Grandioso - by Roland Forrest Sietz / arr. Andrew Glover: Composer Roland Forrest Sietz was born in 1867 in Shrewsbury Township, Pennsylvania. He began his career in music with The Glen Rock Band as a Euphonium Player. After graduating from Ohio's Youngstown University, he returned to The Glen Rock Band. Under his direction, the band remarkable progress and in 1901, was selected to perform alongside such greats as John Philip Sousa and Edwin Franko Goldman at the Pan-American Expo in Buffalo, New York, the same site infamously known for the September assassination of the 25th President of the United States, William McKinley by Leon Czolgosz. "March: Grandioso" opens with a theme from Franz Liszt's "Hungarian Rhapsody No. 14". Seitz composed this march with a minimum of simultaneous melodic lines. As a result, when this practically unison march is played by marching bands of 200 or 300, it can be heard at a considerable distance. This arrangement is dedicated to Col. Arnold D. Gabriel, USAF (Ret.).


Mars : The Bringer of War from "The Planets" - by Gustav Holst: Gustav Holst was one of England's most prominent composers. He played trombone and was a teacher of composition and organ. His most popular work is an orchestral piece entitled "The Planets", which is a suite of seven tone poems; each symbolically describing a different planet in our solar system. His depiction of Mars is dominated by a relentless hammering out of a 5/4 rhythm, which suggests the relentless destruction of war. The opposition of harmony and rhythm is skillfully used to produce a startling and emotional effect.


Merry-Go-Round - by Philip Sparke: British composer Philip Sparke was born in London in 1951. His interest in bands arose while he was a student at the Royal College of Music where he studied trumpet and piano. He played in the college wind band and formed a brass band, writing several works for both ensembles. At that time, his first published works appears including "Concert Prelude" for brass band and "Gaudium" for wind band. Sparke has since written for brass band championships in New Zealand, Switzerland, Australia and in the United Kingdom. This composition, "Merry-Go-Round" was commissioned for the city of Lesquin, France.


Medley from "Miss Saigon" - music by Claude-Michel Schonberg / lyrics by Richard Maltby, Jr. & Alain Boublil / arr. by Warren Barker: The story of the musical "Miss Saigon" is loosely based on Puccini's opera "Madame Butterfly", and similarly tells the tragic tale of a doomed romance involving an Asian woman abandoned by her American lover. The setting of the plot is relocated to 1970's Saigon during the Vietnam War, and "Madame Butterfly's" American Lieutenant and Japanese geisha paring is replaced by a romance between an American GI and a Vietnamese bar girl. The musical's inspiration was reportedly a photograph, inadvertently found by composer Claude-Michel Schonberg in a magazine. The photo showed a Vietnamese mother leaving her child at a departure gate at Tan Son Nhat Air Base to board a plane headed for the United States where her father, an ex-GI, would be in a position to provide a much better life for the child. Schonberg considered this mother's actions for her child to be "The Ultimate Sacrifice", an idea central to the plot of "Miss Saigon". Highlights of the show include the evacuation of the last Americans in Saigon from the Embassy roof by helicopter while a crowd of abandoned Vietnamese scream in despair, the victory parade of the new communist regime and the frenzied night club scene at the time of defeat. It premiered in London on September 20, 1989, closing after 4,264 performances. It opened in the US at the Broadway Theatre in New York City in 1991.


Nearer My God To Thee - adapted for band by Calvin Custer: This Canadian Brass favorite was carefully scored for full band by Calvin Custer. It begins with a slow 3/4 version, in a New Orleans 'street band' style and then kicks into snazzy Dixieland, with small band features and roaring full band sections. Another classic from the masters of showmanship.


October - Eric Whitacre: About the composition, Whitacre stated: "October began at a restaurant in Chicago, when I was first introduced to Brian Anderson. Brian, a high school band director from Fremont, Nebraska, knew my work and wanted to commission me, but couldn't find the finances. If I remember correctly, I didn't immediately hear back from him and I just assumed the gig would never materialize. About a year later I get this phone call from him and he says that he has put together a commissioning consortium of 30 high school bands from Nebraska. 30 bands! I've dealt with institutional beauracracy for a while now and I can't possibly imagine how he brought all of those people together, let alone get them to agree on a commission. Writing a grade three work was an entirely different challenge. It's easy to write your way out of a difficult corner with flashy, virtuosic material, but with 'easier' music your solutions must be simple, elegant and functional. I worked hard to create a piece that could be successfully performed by all of the high schools in the consortium, yet never compromised its musical integrity. Frankly, writing 'easy' music is one of the hardest things I've ever done. I'm quite happy with the end result, especially because I feel there just isn't enough lush, beautiful music written for winds.

October is my favorite month. Something about the crisp autumn air and the subtle change in light always make me a little sentimental, and as I started to sketch I felt that same quiet beauty in the writing. The simple, pastoral melodies and subsequent harmonies are inspired by the great English Romantics (Vaughan Williams and Elgar) as I felt that this style was also perfectly suited to capture the natural and pastoral soul of the season. "

October was premiered on May 14, 2000  and is dedicated to Brian Anderson, the man who brought it all together.


Pageant - by Vincent Persichetti: Vincent Persichetti composed "Pageant" in 1953, as something of a sequel to his "Psalm" written the previous year. Edwin Franko Goldman was responsible for its commissioning from the American Bandmasters Association. A solo French horn begins with a three note motive that becomes the basis for the entire work. A clarinet choir develops the theme as other instruments are introduced to exploit their tonal colors. The tempo becomes faster for the second section, as the brass and woodwinds take turns with the theme. "Pageant" is an accessible, warmly exuberant work whose simple directness conceals a formal sophistication that lends the music strength and durability.


Parade of the Tall Ships - by Jay Chattaway: In 1976, our country celebrated two hundred years of independence. That same year the United States recognized the many nations that have contributed to our freedom and independence by inviting tall ships from around the world to visit ports of calls in the United States. Newport, RI was fortunate to be one of those ports of call. This gathering of tall ships was called Operation Sail 1976 and "Parade of the Tall Ships" was written to commemorate the event which was the world's largest gathering of tall sailing ships. The march is dedicated to Commander Ned Muffley and the United States Navy Band, which premiered the piece as part of the Operation Sail festivities.


The Perfect Storm - by James Horner / arr. Ralph Ford: James Horner began studying piano at the age of five and trained at the Royal College of Music in London, England, before moving to California in the 1970s. After receiving a bachelor's degree in music at USC, a master's degree at UCLA and a Ph.D. in Music Composition and Theory at UCLA, Horner began scoring student films for the American Film Institute in the late 1970s, which paved the way for scoring assignments on a number of small-scale films. His first large, high-profile project was composing music for “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” in 1982, which would lead to numerous other film offers and opportunities to work with world-class performers such as the London Symphony Orchestra. Currently, with over 75 projects to his name and work with people such as George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Oliver Stone and Ron Howard; Horner has firmly established himself as a strong voice in the world of film scoring. In 2000, he composed a score to a movie based on true-life events with local ties called “The Perfect Storm”.

In the Fall of 1991, the sword-fishing-boat "Andrea Gale" left Gloucester, Massachusetts and headed for the fishing grounds of the North Atlantic. Two weeks later, an event took place that had never occurred in recorded history, a confluence of weather conditions combined to form a killer storm in the North Atlantic. Caught in the storm was the sword-fishing boat fated to be lost and its crew to become victims of the sea. Magnificent foreshadowing, anticipation, excitement and exquisite themes fill this intense score with the juxtaposition of the human element and ferocity of Mother Nature! We next present themes from the epic Horner score, “The Perfect Storm”!


Pirates of the Caribbean Symphonic Suite - by Klaus Badelt / arr. John Wasson: The pirates of the Black Pearl capture the beautiful Elizabeth Swann, as they believe her blood will set them free of their curse; by day they appear normal, but by moonlight they are revealed as skeletal zombies. Will Turner sets off to rescue her, enlisting the help of pirate Jack Sparrow, who has his own agenda after being overthrown as captain of the Pearl by the mutinous Captain Barbossa. Walt Disney’s "Pirates of the Caribbean Symphonic Suite", by Klaus Badelt includes themes from the songs "The Medallion Calls", "The Black Pearl", "To the Pirates Cave", "One Last Shot" and "He’s a Pirate".


Porgy and Bess - George Gershwin, Du Bose, Dorothy Heyward and Ira Gershwin / arr. James Barnes: George Gershwin's folk opera "Porgy and Bess" was first performed in Boston and New York by the Theatre Guild in 1935 with an all-African-American cast featuring Todd Duncan and Anne Brown.  The opera ran for 124 performances which is a flop by Broadway standards.  In 1942 it was revived and became one of the longest-running revivals in Broadway history.  This folk opera has been criticized as being between serious opera and musical comedy, but with the beauty of the music and the expressive content which Gershwin felt is so right for the occasion, it has an immediate appeal to the audience which overshadows any criticism.  This arrangement by James Barnes features the tunes "I Got Plenty o’ Nuttin'", "It Ain’t Necessarily So", "Summertime", "Crab Man" and "Bess, You is my Woman Now". 


Procession of Nobles "Cortege" from the opera "Mlada" - by Nicholas Rimsky-Korsakov / arr. Erik W.G. Leidzen: Nicholas Rimsky-Korsakov was born in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1844. Due to his family's status in high aristocracy, he enrolled in the Naval College of St. Petersburg, but was allowed to study piano and violoncello during his regular studies. A compulsory three-year cruise abroad in connection with his naval studies did not dampen his love of music. It was during this trip and under great difficulty that he wrote his first symphony, which was debuted in December of 1865. Between 1868 and 1870, he wrote his elaborate opera-ballet "Mlada", which was based on a subject taken from Slavonic Mythology. Sometime after its production, he arranged a suite of five selections from the opera. The last selection from this suite is entitled "Cortege" and presented in this arrangement as "Procession of Nobles".


Reliance - by Roger Cichy: American Composer Roger Cichy has had a diverse experience in his music career as both a composer, arranger and music educator. As a freelance composer and arranger, Mr. Cichy writes for high school concert bands, professional orchestra and commercial media. His composition "Reliance" musically depicts the epic tale of the America's Cup Yacht Reliance from its precise development and construction, to its journeys sailing the open seas as well as to its challenging races and glorious wins over its competitors. Mr. Cichy chose to write about this subject after being influenced by the significance of Bristol's Herreshoff Manufacturing Company's production of this and other fine yachts as well as yacht buildings place in the heritage of the town of Bristol, Rhode Island. The piece was commissioned in 2004 by the Mt. Hope High School Symphonic Band - Bristol, Rhode Island - Mr. Robert J. Arsenault, Director.


Rhosymedre (Prelude on a Welsh Hymn Tune) - by Ralph Vaughan Williams: In 1920 Ralph Vaughan Williams composed three preludes for organ based on Welsh hymn tunes, a set that quickly established itself in organ repertoire. Of the three, Rhosymedre, sometimes known as “Lovely”, has become the most popular. The hymn tune used in this prelude was written by a 19th century Welsh composer, J.D. Edwards and is a very simple melody made up almost entirely of scale tones and upbeat skips of a fourth. Yet, around this modest tune Vaughan Williams has constructed a piece of grand proportions, with a broad arc that soars with the gradual rise of the tune itself.

The Hymn tune in long values is surrounded by a moving bass line and a treble obbligato in faster notes often characterized by descending sixths. Vaughan Williams has joined together hymn tune, bass and obbligato in such a way as to create an exceedingly fresh and ingratiating tonal language, which seems all the more remarkable when one discovers from the score that there is scarcely an accidental in the entire piece!


Ringling Bros. Grand Entry March - Al Sweet / arr. by Andrew Glover: Ringling Bros. Grand Entry was probably composed around 1909 while Sweet served as conductor and music director for the Ringling Bros. Circus. It was published in 1911 by Will Rossiter Music Company of Chicago. Rossiter (1867-1954) operated one of many smaller publishing houses which supplied America with sheet music, songs and other works through the early years of the twentieth century.


Selections from “Rocky” - Bill Conti, Carol Connors & Ayn Robbins: Bill Conti, born on April 13, 1942 in Providence, Rhode Island, is an Italian American film music composer who is frequently the conductor at the Academy Awards ceremony. He is a graduate of Louisiana State University but also studied at the Juilliard School of Music. He is a past winner of the Silver Knight Award presented by the Miami Herald. His big break into celebrity came in 1976, when he was hired to compose the music for a small United Artists film called "Rocky". The film became a phenomenon and Conti's training montage tune, "Gonna Fly Now" topped the Billboard singles chart in 1977. He also composed music for the sequels "Rocky II" (1979), "Rocky III" (1982), "Rocky V" (1990) and "Rocky Balboa" (2006). Songs included in this medley from the original film are "Gonna Fly Now", "Going The Distance", "Philadelphia Morning", "You Take My Heart Away" and "Fanfare from Rocky".


Salute to American Jazz - arr. Sammy Nestico: Samuel Louis "Sammy" Nestico was a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, attending high school there and playing trombone in the school band. He received a degree in music education from Duquesne University in 1946. For 15 years, he was a staff arranger for the USAF Band in Washington, D.C. and for five years, the U.S. Marines Band. He made tours with the Woody Herman and Tommy Dorsey bands as well as performed with the Boston Pops. His arrangements and compostitions have been a part of over 60 television programs including "M*A*S*H*" and "The Love Boat".

"Salute to American Jazz" incorporates four classic jazz standards, "A Night in Tunisia", "St. Louis Blues", "It Don't Mean a Thing" and "Birdland" into one interesting and challenging piece of music. The piece is a great introduction to jazz history, the only true American art form.


Satiric Dances - by Norman Dello Joio: Satiric Dances was commissioned by the Concord Band of Massachusetts to commemorate the Bicentennial of April 19th, 1775, the day that launched the American War for Independence or “the shot heard ‘round the world.” Composer Norman Dello Joio, who in 1975 was the Dean of Boston University’s School for the Arts, was commissioned to write this piece, but stipulated it would be based on a piece he had used as background music for a comedy by Aristophanes. The plays of Aristophanes commented on the political and social issues of fifth century Athens and frequently employed satire.


Theme from "Schindler's List" - by John Williams / arr. Calvin Custer: “Schindler’s List” is Steven Spielberg’s 1993 black-and-white film based on the true story of Oskar Schindler, a Nazi Czech businessman, who used Jewish labor to start a factory in occupied Poland. As World War II progressed and the fate of the Jews became apparent, Schindler’s motivations switched from profit to human sympathy. Assisted by his accountant, Itzhak Stern, Schindler devised a plan to employ concentration camp workers in his Czech factory, saving over 1,100 Jews from death in the gas chambers of Auschwitz. The theme from the movie is performed by the solo flute, accompanied by the ensemble. The melody evokes the emotions of grief and despair, but finds sufficient hope to fulfill the desire for survival. The Motion Picture Academy awarded John Williams an Oscar for the best original score for the music he composed for the film.

John Williams (b. 1932) studied composition at UCLA with Mario Castelnueovo-Tedesco and later attended the Juilliard School. In 1956, he started working as a session pianist in film orchestras. He has composed the music and served as music director for over 70 films, including Jaws, E.T., Star Wars, Superman, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Williams has been awarded two Emmys, five Oscars, and 17 Grammy Awards, as well as several gold and platinum records. From 1980 to 1993, Williams served as conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra. He has written many concert pieces and is also known for his themes and fanfares written for the 1984, 1988, 1996, and 2002 Olympics.


Sea Songs - by Ralph Vaughan Williams: Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) is known to fans of band and wind ensemble music as one of the important figures of the so-called "English School" of band composition, and is joined in that group by the likes of Gustav Holst, Percy Grainger, and Gordon Jacob. Originally the second movement of Ralph Vaughan Williams' "English Folk Song Suite" of 1923, our next selection is a spirited composition that uses three march tunes taken from the English sailing songs "Princess Royal", “Admiral Benbow" and "Portsmouth" entitled “Sea Songs”.


Second Suite in F for Military Band Op. 28, No. 2 - by Gustav Holst: It was 1911 when Holst decided to write another military band suite based on English folk songs. In fact, in this piece, he uses seven Hampshire songs, ranging from "Greensleeves" to "I'll Love My Love." He starts the Suite No.2 in F off with a march, where the baritone melody is the folk song, "Swansea Town." In the second movement, the main song is "I'll Love My Love." The third movement actually gives us a glimpse of a later Holst, with the use of open fourths and fifths as a sparse accompaniment to "The Song of the Blacksmith." But it is in the last movement where Holst shows how easy it had become for him to combine melodies seamlessly. He uses a catchy six eight tune that is woven throughout all the instruments, including a duet between the piccolo and tuba, and combines it with the familiar "Greensleeves." It is this wistful ending that is just right for the suite. In fact, he liked it so much that he used the finale as the conclusion to his St. Paul's Suite for strings.


Semper Fidelis March - by John Philip Sousa: Composed in 1888, this march by John Philip Sousa takes its title from the U.S. Marine Corps motto meaning “always faithful”.  It has been the Marine Corps’ official march for many years and was regarded by Sousa as his most musical march. It has long been one of his most popular works, yet publisher Harry Coleman purchased it for just $35!  Part of the trio of "Semper Fidelis" was taken from Sousa’s first published book (1886) titled "Trumpet and Drum". 


 

Seventy-Six Trombones - Leroy Anderson / arr. by Jay Bocook: "Seventy Six Trombones" is the signature song from the 1957 musical play "The Music Man", written by Meredith Willson. The song also appeared in the 1962 film and 2003 TV movie adaptations.

Seventy Six trombones led the big parade
With a hundred and ten cornets close at hand ...

One of Willson's arrangements of the song seamlessly integrates other popular marches at the time, such as "Stars and Stripes Forever", and "The Washington Post" by John Philip Sousa (in whose band Willson played), "The National Emblem" by Edwin Eugene Bagley, Swedish "Under the Blue and Yellow Flag" by Viktor Widqvist and "Second Regiment, Connecticut National Guard" by D.W. Reeves. "Professor" Harold Hill uses the song to help the townspeople of the fictional River City, Iowa visualize their children playing in an enormous marching band. An average-sized high-school marching band might have 10 musicians playing the trombone, and a large university band seldom has more than 30. The band that Harold is describing includes 76 trombones, 110 cornets, "over a thousand reeds," and "fifty mounted cannon" (actually quite popular in bands of the time); if such a band actually existed, it would be at least a tenth of a mile long. The love ballad "Goodnight My Someone," which immediately precedes "Seventy Six Trombones" in the musical, has the exact same tune but is in 3/4 meter with a much slower tempo. In Willson's hometown of Mason City, Iowa, they honor this song (and the rest of The Music Man) in a building called Music Man Square, located next to Wilson's boyhood home. In one room they have 76 donated trombones hanging from the ceiling.

 


 

Shenandoah's Simple Gifts - arr. by Larry Clark: Composer Larry Clark arranged this piece to honor Dr. Pat Rooney, Director of Bands at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia upon his retirement. Dr. Rooney had a profound effect on Clark as a musician. Clark felt it was fitting to combine two songs closely associated with Harrisonburg and James Madison University; those songs being the folk songs "Shenandoah" and "Simple Gifts". The hauntingly beautiful "Shenandoah" is believed to have originated in Virginia and is named for the Shenandoah River. "Simple Gifts" is associated with the Appalachian region and was written by Shaker Elder Joseph Brackett. The piece begins with the sounds of calm still waters with light ripples as stated by a solo clarinet, and then begins to move as the first fragment of "Simple Gifts" is played by a solo flute. The work concludes with a return of the solo clarinet, the flowing river, and a short quote from the fight song of James Madison University to honor Dr. Rooney for his prestigious career.

 


Sleigh Ride - by Leroy Anderson:  Leroy Anderson was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts and attended Harvard University where he played trombone, double bass, accordion and pipe organ. He believed that music, like the movies, represents motion through time. The most popular movies are nearly always chase movies and some of Anderson's most popular tunes are about motion such as "The Horse and Buggy" and "The Phantom Regiment". Anderson's music is almost always in dance rhythm. "The Belle of the Ball" is a waltz, the bugler's dance the polka on "Bugler's Holiday" and "The Sandpaper Ballet" is a soft-shoe routine. Ironically, Anderson composed this immortal classic that captures the joy shared by family and friends during this winter holiday season during a July heatwave.


The Star Spangled Banner - Francis Scott Key & John Stafford Smith / arr. Paul M. Bowser for The East Bay Summer Wind Ensemble: Mr. Paul M. Bowser began performing with The East Bay Summer Wind Ensemble in 1978 on trumpet and continued with the group throughout his high school and college years.  Mr. Bowser is currently the Director of Bands at North Cumberland Middle School in Cumberland, RI and has been for almost 20 years. He is a graduate of Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois with a Bachelors of Music Education and the University of Rhode Island with a Masters Degree in Music Education with an emphasis in Composition. Mr. Bowser has composed numerous works, including pieces for concert band, percussion ensemble, brass ensemble, assorted chamber ensembles, handbells, mixed chorus and symphony orchestra. Mr. Bowser led the ensemble during the 1987 and 1988 seasons, even continuing the ensemble outside of the summer months for a time. On July 2, 2008 this longtime member and former Director of the East Bay Summer Wind Ensemble, Mr. Bowser, arranged this version of The Star Spangled Banner for the ensemble under Mr. David M. Marshall's direction. As decided by both Mr. Bowser and Mr. Marshall, the world-premiere performance of the arrangement took place on Thursday, August 7, 2008 at the Rhode Island Veterans' Home for their annual performance for our brave men and women who fought for our county's freedom.

The Star Spangled Banner - by Francis Scott Key & John Stafford Smith / arr. Johnnie Vinson: It was the valiant defense of Fort McHenry by American forces during the British attack on September 13, 1814 that inspired 35-year old, poet-lawyer Francis Scott Key to write the poem which was to become our national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner." The poem was written to match the meter of the English song, "To Anacreon in Heaven." In 1931 the Congress of The United States of America enacted legislation that made "The Star-Spangled Banner" the official national anthem.


Star-Spangled Salute! - George M. Cohan / arr. James Barnes: Born in Providence, RI on July 3, 1878, he was America's first superstar, known coast to coast as a successful actor, singer, dancer, playwright, composer, librettist, director and producer. George M Cohan was, as one of his plays put it, "The Man Who Owned Broadway." Cohan's first successful Broadway production was "Little Johnny Jones", produced in 1904. The show was bursting with the patriotic tunes that would make Cohan famous. This arrangement features some of those tunes such as, "Give My Regards to Broadway" "Harrigan", "All in the Wearing", "Over There", "Yankee Doodle Boy" and "You're a Grand Old Flag". 


The Star and Stripes Forever March - by John Philip Sousa: It is arguably the most famous march in the world and it's certainly one of the best!  It is recognized by the U.S. government as the official march of the United States (U.S. Code, Title 36, Section 304 ). With crashing cymbals, bombastic brass and chirping piccolos, "The Stars and Stripes Forever!" gets millions of people on their feet, clapping and cheering. In late 1896, Sousa and his wife took a much-deserved vacation to Europe.  While there, Sousa received word that the manager of the Sousa Band, David Blakely, had died suddenly.  The band was scheduled to begin another cross-country tour soon, and Sousa knew he must return to America at once to take over the band's business affairs.  Sousa tells the rest of the story in his autobiography "Marching Along":

"Here came one of the most vivid incidents of my career. As the vessel (the Teutonic) steamed out of the harbor I was pacing on the deck, absorbed in thoughts of my manager's death and the many duties and decisions which awaited me in New York. Suddenly, I began to sense a rhythmic beat of a band playing within my brain. Throughout the whole tense voyage, that imaginary band continued to unfold the same themes, echoing and re-echoing the most distinct melody. I did not transfer a note of that music to paper while I was on the steamer, but when we reached shore, I set down the measures that my brain-band had been playing for me, and not a note of it has ever changed."

The march was an immediate success - Sousa's Band played it at almost every concert until his death over 25 years later.  Sousa even set words to it:

Let martial note in triumph float
And liberty extend its mighty hand
A flag appears 'mid thunderous cheers,
The banner of the Western land.
The emblem of the brave and true
Its folds protect no tyrant crew;
The red and white and starry blue
Is freedom's shield and hope.

Other nations may deem their flags the best
And cheer them with fervid elation
But the flag of the North and South and West
Is the flag of flags, the flag of Freedom's nation.

Hurrah for the flag of the free!
May it wave as our standard forever,
The gem of the land and the sea,
The banner of the right.
Let despots remember the day
When our fathers with mighty endeavor
Proclaimed as they marched to the fray
That by their might and by their right
It waves forever.

Let eagle shriek from lofty peak
The never-ending watchword of our land;
Let summer breeze waft through the trees
The echo of the chorus grand.
Sing out for liberty and light,
Sing out for freedom and the right.
Sing out for Union and its might,
O patriotic sons.

Other nations may deem their flags the best
And cheer them with fervid elation,
But the flag of the North and South and West
Is the flag of flags, the flag of Freedom's nation.

Hurrah for the flag of the free.
May it wave as our standard forever
The gem of the land and the sea,
The banner of the right.
Let despots remember the day
When our fathers with might endeavor
Proclaimed as they marched to the fray,
That by their might and by their right
It waves forever.


Symphonic Suite from "Star Trek" - by Michael Giacchino, Alexander Courage & Gene Roddenberry / arr. by Jay Bocook: Michael Giacchino is an Italian-American composer who has composed scores for movies, television series and video games. Some of his most notable works include the scores to television series such as "Lost" and "Alias", video games such as the "Medal of Honor" and "Call of Duty" series, and films such as "Mission Impossible III", "The Incredibles", and "Star Trek". Giacchino has received numerous awards for his work, including an Emmy Awards, multiple Grammy Awards, and an Academy Award.

Alexander Courage, Jr. was an American orchestrator, arranger, and composer of music, primarily for television and film. Courage began as an orchestrator and arranger at MGM studios, which included work in such films as "Show Boat", "The Band Wagon", and "Gigi", but he is probably best known for composing the theme for this selection.


Suite Francaise - by Darius Milhaud: French composer Darius Milhaud, who was originally commissioned to write this work for American concert bands in war-torn 1945, employed folk tunes from the French provinces, in hopes of sharing some of the rich culture with the Americans who so valiantly defended his native land from the Nazis. The five parts of this suite are named after the French provinces of Normandy, Brittany, Ile-de-France, Alsace-Lorraine and Provence. These are the very areas in which the American and Allied Forces fought together with the French underground for the liberation of France.


Superman Returns - by John Williams & John Ottman / Arr. by Victor Lopez: From an early age in San Jose, California, John Ottman began writing and recording radio plays on cassette tapes. John would perform many characters with his voice, and called upon his neighborhood friends as extra cast members. Film music would always play a dominating role in the stories, many of them written to accommodate his favorite scores. By the fourth grade, John was playing the clarinet and continued doing so throughout high school. He attended the University of Southern California film school where, after already having been a veteran of numerous Super-8 films, he excelled. Ottman received accolades for how well he worked with actors and for how masterfully he edited their performances. It was in a directing course that a graduate filmmaker recognized John's talent as filmmaker and composer. Ottman has since worked on such films as "The Usual Suspects", "The Cable Guy", "Hide and Seek", and the hit 2006 film "Superman Returns".


The Symphonic Gershwin - by George Gershwin / arr. Warren Barker: Composer George Gershwin occupies a unique place in history of American Music. A gifted writer of popular songs, musical comedies and other music, he was able to combine the styles of "Tin Pan Alley" and "Carnegie Hall" music in a way which seemed perfectly clear to him, but was never quite right with many music critics. When Al Jolson began singing "Swanee" (which Gershwin wrote in 15 minutes) his fame and fortune began to soar almost overnight. This arrangement by Warren Barker features the blending of three well-known Gershwin works: "An American in Paris", "Cuban Overture" and "Rhapsody in Blue".


Thunder and Blazes (Entry of the Gladiators March) - by Julius Fucik / arr. Bill Holcombe: Born in 1872, Julius Fucik was to become one of the most prolific European composers of his time. Fucik composed more than 400 works including operettas, chamber music, masses, marches and a symphonic suite. Of his more than 100 marches, “Entry of the Gladiators March” (also known as “Thunder and Blazes”) is probably the best known. When Fucik wrote this march, he may have been thinking of the Roman Gladiators of long ago, but in America, the word "Gladiator" can refer to the heroes and heroines under the circus big top, the daring riders at the rodeo or even the players on the gridiron. Regardless of the association, no one knows better that the band members that it takes an extremely agile musician to play this march up to tempo!


Tritch-Tratch Polka - by Johann Stauss / arr. Alfred Reed: Johann Strauss was not permitted by his father, Johann the elder, to study music and after receiving a basic education, he became a bank clerk. Johann's mother, on the other hand, had him take music lessons in secret and after the parents separated, young Johann began studying music in earnest. At the age of 19, he formed an orchestra and presented concepts that rivaled that of his famous father. The younger Johann became known as "The Waltz King". Among his most notable works is "Die Fledermaus", "Tales from the Vienna Woods", "The Blue Danube Waltz" and this piece, "Tritch-Tratch Polka".


Twentiana - by Irving Caesar and Vincent Youmans / arr. Hawley Ades: "Twentiana" weaves seven of the best of the tunes from the twenties into a nostalgic montage which provides a glorious impression of golden age in American popular music and made the Charleston famous. Included in the medley are "I Want to be Happy", "I'm Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover", "Carolina in the Morning", "Bye, Bye Blackbird", "Charleston", "Tea for Two" and "Hallelujah!"


The Typewriter - Leroy Anderson / transcribed by Floyd E. Werle: In this age of computers and the Internet, a piece of music paying tribute to the typewriter, which in 1950 was still an important piece of technology, might seem a bit quaint. But even computers have keyboards and it is the sound of a typewriter's keyboard that is central to this piece of music in its color and humor. Leroy Anderson was known to use a variety of objects in his scores -- like sandpaper and wood in the Sandpaper Ballet -- and thus his use of a typewriter here is hardly unusual. The work opens with a brief introduction, after which the strings present the busy, graceful main theme accompanied by the rapid, rhythmic strokes of the typewriter's keyboard. But the typist is also heard swinging the bail of the machine back to the left extreme, which, to those who remember, resulted in the sounding of a bell, a sound heard quite often throughout this two-minute piece. In the middle section, both the music and typewriter's strokes slow down a bit and turn playful. The main theme returns with the busy typewriter accompaniment to close out this delightful work.


 

Variations on a Korean Folk Song - John Barnes Chance: John Barnes Chance (November 20, 1932–August 16, 1972) was a composer, born in Beaumont, Texas. Chance studied composition with Clifton Williams at the University of Texas, Austin, and is best known for his concert band works, which include "Variations on a Korean Folk Song" "Incantation and Dance" and "Blue Lake Overture". Many of his works are written for young musicians, particularly those written between 1960 and 1962, when he was composer-in-residence in the Greensboro, North Carolina public school system--specifically at Greensboro Senior High School (now Grimsley Senior High School) under the supervision of Herbert Hazelman--as part of the Ford Foundation Young Composers Project.

Before he became a full-time composer, Chance played timpani with the Austin Symphony and later was an arranger for the Fourth and Eighth U.S. Army bands. Chance taught at the University of Kentucky from 1966 until his death in 1972. On August 16th, Chance was airing a tent in his garden when a metal pole contacted an electrified fence used to confine his dogs. Chance was electrocuted and died at 12:40pm at Central Baptist Hospital from cardiac arrest.

While serving with the U. S. Army in Korea, Chance heard the folk song “Arirang” and in 1965 decided to compose a set of five variations for concert band based upon the tune. Chance also employed several oriental percussion sounds such as muffled timpani — to imitate Taiko drums — temple blocks and various pitched gongs. “Variations on a Korean Folk Song” has become a regular part of the concert band repertoire and receives many performances across the nation each year.


Victory at Sea - by Richard Rodgers:  This “symphonic scenerio” is a distillation of the sound track for the 26 half-hour television programs describing the naval action of World War II. It presents an integrated pictorial and musical history of the epochal events pertaining to the life and death of those engaged in those events. The symphonic sweep and depth of the score captures the moods and variations of the panoramic war at sea, all of its terror and beauty, all of its exaltation and despair. The music describes the rolling of the boundless waters and the resolution of the lonely ships that dare to sail upon them. A prowling U-boat finds its target. Beneath the Southern Cross, the war in the South Atlantic is denoted by a sweeping tango, the tune of which Rodgers adapted to the song No Other Love. The strength of a handful of Marines holding back the enemy on Guadalcanal is honored by a rousing march. Hard work and horseplay are characterized as the GIs carry on life in the vast Pacific. A carrier fleet steams toward the many islands of Micronesia. The fury and violence of the assault strikes at the senses. The battle done, the stricken planes limp back to their carriers. A solo trumpet symbolizes a funeral at sea and the tragedy that often accompanies a conquest. A hymn of victory begins to swell and hope for an end of the conflict grows into a jubilation for the final victory at sea and the profound thanksgiving of the sailors returning home.

Richard Rodgers (1902 - 1979) was born on Long Island, New York, the son of a physician. A precocious child, he began picking out tunes on the piano at four and published his first song at 15. Rodgers credits his parents, both Broadway musical buffs, for his ability to thrive in the midst of a hectic show business career. Following the death of his first collaborator, Lorenz Hart, Rodgers teamed with Oscar Hammerstein II to produce nine Broadway shows, including Oklahoma. Many memorable songs, from the over 800 that Rodgers composed, have come from Carousel, South Pacific, Pal Joey, The King and I, Flower Drum Song, The Sound of Music, and the film State Fair.


"West Side Story" Selection - by Leonard Bernstein / arr. W.J. Duthoit: “West Side Story” debuted on Broadway at the Winter Garden Theater on September 26, 1957 and played for 732 performances before going on tour, which was a very successful run for the time. It was nominated for Best Musical in 1957, but lost out on the Tony Award to Meredith Willson's “The Music Man”.

Set in Manhattan's upper-west side the story explores the hostility between two rival gangs of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. It is based loosely on Shakespeare's “Romeo and Juliet”. The innocent young protagonist, Tony, who belongs to an established local gang, the Jets, falls in love with Maria, the sister of the leader of the rival gang, the Sharks. The dark theme, sophisticated music and focus on social problems marked a turning point in American musical theater, which had leaned previously toward light themes. Leonard Bernstein's score for the musical has become the quintessential template for merging symphonic and contemporary literature. Included in this medley of songs from “West Side Story” are "Something's Coming", "Maria", "America", "Tonight", "I Feel Pretty", "One Hand, One Heart" and "Cool".


What a Wonderful World - by George David Weiss & Bob Thiele / arr. Richard Saucedo: "What a Wonderful World" was one of the last hits jazz musician Louis Armstrong (1901-1971) performed. Originally a trumpeter, Armstrong was also versatile and well-recognized as a vocalist. Although "What a Wonderful World" reached #1 in the United Kingdom, it wasn't until 1988 when the American cinema brought the song to the forefront in the movie "Good Morning, Vietnam". Contemporary saxophonist Kenny G released a recording of himself and Louis Armstrong on his album "Classics in the Key of G" in 1999. This arrangement is based on that release of the song featuring the alto saxophone.


With Pleasure (Dance Hilarious) - by John Philip Sousa: In the late1800’s a new form of American music was emerging and with its clever syncopated style, it immediately caught the fancy of the American public. It was an early form of Jazz called Ragtime! John Philip Sousa is credited with introducing Jazz to Europe when he included it in the programs of the famous Sousa Band’s first concert tour of Europe in 1900. The crowds in Paris were enthusiastic about the new Ragtime music the band performed there and soon, as a result of Sousa’s presentations on that tour, Europe had embraced this new form of American music. It became the hot new popular music on the continent.

Over the next 12 years, Sousa had become the most popular bandleader in the world having amazed crowds on every continent with the high level of the band’s performances and with his astute programming and conducting. In 1912 Sousa wrote his first, and one of his few, compositions in the new Ragtime style. It was dedicated to the members of the “Huntingdon Valley Country Club” of which he was a member. Several years later he used it as one movement of a suite, which he called, “The American Girl”. Later when Sousa would program this work, he would sometimes list it by its subtitle “Dance Hilarious”. This fun, entertaining, pleasant venture into Ragtime has entertained audiences at band concerts for over 80 years, but this new edition entitled “With Pleasure” and edited by Robert E. Foster is the first publication of this historic work since the original was published in Cincinnati in 1912, making it once again available to bands everywhere.

 


William Byrd Suite - by Gordon Jacob: Gordon Jacob overcame early personal setbacks to become one of the most respected British composers of the 20th Century. Despite the tragedy of bereavement and the trauma of frontline war action, he retained his optimism, humor, love of life and desire to create music throughout his life. His insatiable curiosity that took in so much of life was particularly focused on all aspects of his "craft", down to the details of each instrument's strengths and foibles: this produced work with a close fit to the instruments written for, and widely admired expertise in achieving desired texture and atmosphere. In this suite, Jacob arranges six British Folk Songs: "The Earle of Oxford's Marche", "Pavana", "John Come Kiss Me Now", "The Mayden's Song", "Wolsey's Wilde" and "The Bells".


William Tell Overture - Gioacchino Antonio Rossini / arr. by Erik W.G. Leidzén: The famous overture is a veritable tone poem, beginning with a description of a Swiss dawn. A mountain storm gathers to the sounds of distant thunder, finally erupting in its full fury. With its passing, the skies clear and raindrops fall from the branches. Birds sing their songs in the fresh air of a mountain meadow. This pastoral scene is interrupted by the trumpet fanfare to a vigorous march. The finale is readily recognized by fans of The Lone Ranger.

William Tell was a legendary hero of Switzerland. His story, though not verified by history, represents the spirit of the Swiss movement for independence from the Austrian Hapsburgs in the 1300's. According to legend, Tell was a man of tremendous strength and the most skilled marksman in the whole canton (state) of Uri. The Austrian governor, Gessler, had ordered all Swiss to bow to a hat he had set up on a pole in the main square of Altdorf. When Tell refused to bow, he was arrested. Gessler knew of Tell's skill with the crossbow and promised to let him go free if Tell could shoot an apple off his own son's head. Tell hit the apple and then bitterly informed the governor that if his son had been hurt, he would have sent a second arrow into Gessler's heart. Gessler had him seized and chained. While Tell was being taken across a lake in Gessler's boat, a storm broke loose. Gessler ordered Tell untied to help steer the boat safely to shore. Escaping to shore, Tell shot an arrow through the tyrant's heart. This act led to a revolt by the Swiss, in which Tell played a leading role.


Within These Hallowed Halls - setting by James Swearingen: This stirring arrangement of beloved hymns set for concert band, is enhanced with a narration featuring inspirational words from the Declaration of Independence and of Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy. This glorious setting of Amazing Grace and The Battle Hymn of the Republic was dedicated to The Grove City Community Winds and The Grove City Chamber Singers on the occasion of the 2nd annual SWCS Educational Foundation benefit concert. Its premiere performance was on November 13, 2003 in Grove City, Ohio.


Ye Banks and Braes O' Bonnie Doon - Percy Aldridge Grainger: Composer Percy Aldridge Grainger was born in Australia on July 8, 1882. He studied in Frankfurt before beginning a successful career as a pianist in England at the turn of the century. Grainger had a musical mind of unusual breadth and vision, with interests spanning the ages from Medieval Music to the latest Twentieth Century developments. As a composer, Percy Grainger was remarkably innovative, using irregular rhythms before his peers, pioneering in Folk Music collections and experimenting with electronic music.  Grainger's arrangement of the Scottish song "The Caledonian Hunt's Delight" became "Ye Banks and Braes O' Bonnie Doon". This setting is written in an elastic scoring fashion, allowing it to be played by various combinations of Wind Instruments.         


Back to the Top of the Page