UH Concert Band
Fanfare for Tokyo (Philip Sparke)
Philip Sparke was born in London and studied composition, trumpet and piano at the Royal College of Music, where he gained an ARCM.
It was at the College that his interest in bands arose. He played in the College wind orchestra and also formed a brass band among the students, writing several works for both ensembles.
His conducting and adjudicating activities have taken him to most European countries, Scandinavia, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Canada and the USA. In May 2000, he took the major step of becoming a full-time composer by founding his own publishing company, Anglo Music Press. The company is devoted to publishing his brass band, concert band, fanfare band and instrumental publications as well as recordings dedicated to his latest works.
Fanfare for Tokyo was commissioned by the Tokyo Wind Symphony Orchestra to commemorate its 50th anniversary in 2013. It premiered at their special anniversary concert in October that year,conducted by Maestro Yasuhiko Shiozawa.
Fanfare for Tokyo is a flamboyant and extroverted concert opener designed to celebrate the virtuosic character of the talented Tokyo Wind Symphony Orchestra. A central theme over persistent percussion is first given by bassoons and taken up by the full ensemble. Either side of this are horns and euphoniums who lead an acrobatic fanfare under woodwind flourishes.
Sinfonia Nobilissima (Robert Jager)
Robert Jager (b. 25 August 1939, Binghamton, New York) is an American composer, conductor, arranger and educator. He studied at the University of Michigan with William Revelli and Elizabeth Green before joining the U.S. Navy, where for four years he served as the Staff Arranger at the Armed Forces School of Music. Jager taught at Old Dominion University and Tennessee Tech University, where he was Professor of Music and Director of Theory and Composition. He retired from Tennessee Tech in May 2001 as professor emeritus.
This overture is a work in the neo-romantic style and is in three sections. After a short introduction, a dramatic and syncopated fast section begins. After several false climaxes, as well as a brief fugue, the slow, more emotional middle section begins. In the final section of the work, a fast, syncopated style abruptly returns and the overture ends with several deceptive, then complete chords.”
Bambuco (Victoriano Valencia)
“Victoriano Valencia is a composer and musical educator focused on composition and arrangements for band, choir, symphony orchestra, popular orchestra and other formats, musical theater, musical and educational management, university teaching and the design of pedagogical materials. He has been an advisor to the Ministry of Culture of Colombia, the Network of Music Schools of Medellín and various national institutions of higher education.
In this piece “Bambuco”, featuring a solo clarinet, the mountains of the Colombian Andes are in dialogue with the Pacific coast. The beautiful and relaxing melody, extremely expressive and with an orchestration derived from the style of the student girls from the center of the country, is contrasted with a solo in the style of the currulao of the Afro-influenced communities of western Colombia. Listen for his use of 2 against 3 rhythmic patterns as the basis for creating the driving feel of this piece.”
Solas Ane (Samuel Hazo)
Samuel R. Hazo (b. 1966, Pittsburgh, Penn.) is an American composer. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Duquesne University where he served on the Board of Governors and was awarded as Duquesne’s Outstanding Graduate in Music Education. He resides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with his wife and children. Mr. Hazo has been a music teacher at every educational grade level from kindergarten through college, including tenure as a high school and university director. Mr. Hazo was twice named “Teacher of Distinction” by the Southwestern Pennsylvania Teachers’ Excellence Foundation. Mr. Hazo serves as a guest conductor and is a clinician for Hal Leonard Corporation. He is also sponsored by Sibelius Music Software. Recordings of his compositions appear on Klavier Records and Mark Records.
Solas Ane comes from two Gaelic words meaning Joy (Solas) and Yesterday/Yesteryear (Ane). All of the themes in the piece are original. With a unique blend of flowing lines and lush textures coupled with dynamic Celtic drumming, this musical creation is a very stylized and effective setting for wind band. Interspersed are quiet moments with soloistic woodwind lines that contrast nicely with the emotional full-band passages.
Night On Fire (John Mackey)
John Mackey (b. 1 October 1973, New Philadelphia, Ohio) is an American composer.
Mackey holds a Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School and a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied with John Corigliano and Donald Erb, respectively. Mr. Mackey particularly enjoys writing music for dance and for symphonic winds, and he has focused on those media for the past few years.
Night on Fire is the second movement of a piece titled The Soul Has Many Motions, which was commissioned by student music groups at the University of Texas at Austin to honor the retirement of former director, Richard Floyd. Night on Fire is a full-throated shout of collective expression. Its pace is frantic from the outset, with the unique kind of energy that comes only from groups engaged in choreography that is at once carefully planned and seemingly spontaneous. The relentless drive of Night on Fire matches that same quality in his character that has brought so many musical possibilities to life.
With Heart and Voice (David Gillingham)
David R. Gillingham (b. 20 October 1947, Waukesha, Wisc.) is an American composer.
Dr. Gillingham earned Bachelor and Master Degrees in Instrumental Music Education from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and the Ph.D. in Music Theory/Composition from Michigan State University. His works are regularly performed by nationally recognized ensembles.
With Heart and Voice was commissioned by Apple Valley High School Bands to commemorate the 25th year of existence of this high school. Apple Valley High School’s strong commitment to the arts was a major factor in the composer’s decision to take on this commission. After visiting the school in December of 2000 and meeting many of the students, faculty, and administrators, the composer was very impressed.
Thematically, the work is based on the Apple Valley High School Alma Mater, an old Spanish Hymn which has made its way into most church hymnals under the name of “Come, Christians, Join to Sing.” Christian Henry Bateman wrote the words for the hymn in 1843 and the first verse contains the line, “Let all, with heart and voice, before his throne rejoice.” Hence the title, With Heart and Voice. What better way to celebrate 25 years of this great high school that with our “hearts” and “voices”. The “voice” in this case is the music and the “heart” is the emotion that the music renders in celebration.
Tonight’s program is entitled “Scenes” and features music written about the composers remembrances, feelings, and impressions of places of importance to them from around the world.
Festal Scenes (Yasuhide Ito)
Yasuhide Ito was born in Hamamatsu City, Shizuoka Prefecture of Tokyo in Japan. He is an award-winning composer, conductor and educator, teaching at all levels of music throughout Japan. Festal Scenes utilizes four Japanese folk songs from the Aomori Prefecture:: Jongara-jamisen, Hohai-bushi, Tsugaru-aiya-bushi and Nebuta-festival. Ito was inspired to compose the piece after receiving a letter from a philosopher friend who wrote, “everything seems like Paradise blooming all together. Life is a festival, indeed.” The work uses a traditional fast-slow-fast form, and features representations of traditional Japanese drumming, folk songs, and other memories from the festivals of his youth.
Neys (Cait Nishimura)
Cait Nishimura is a Japanese Canadian composer living in Waterloo, Ontario. She has established herself as a voice in the concert band community, and is passionate about empowering others
through art. She is an Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Center, holds degrees in music and education from the University of Toronto, and has won numerous awards including the Canadian Band Associations Composition Prize.
Neys is the fourth movement from Nishimura’s larger work, Lake Superior Suite. The composer writes of the work: “Neys Provincial Park, a former WWII prisoner of war camp and processing camp for interned Japanese-Canadians, has a somewhat dark history. Much of the natural growth forest was cut down to build the POW camp, and trees were later re-planted in rows. Slow and steady melodic fragments represent the solemn voices of this beautiful but remote location, while the gradual build toward the climax evokes feelings of destruction, anguish, and yearning for peace.” Neys is dedicated with love to the composer’s grandparents.
San Antonio Dances (Frank Ticheli)
Frank Ticheli is one of the band medium’s most prolific modern composers. He holds degrees in Music and Composition from the University of Michigan, and currently serves as a professor of composition at the University of Southern California. His list of awards and commissions is extensive, and he is in high demand as a clinician, speaker, and guest conductor around the world.
TIcheli writes of the piece: “San Antonio Dances was composed as a tribute to a special city, whose captivating blend of Texan and Hispanic cultural influences enriched my life during my three years as a young music professor at Trinity University. It has been 20 years since I lived in San Antonio, but the city still tugs at my heartstrings and lives in this music.
The first movement depicts the seductively serene Alamo Gardens and its beautiful live oak trees that provide welcome shade from the hot Texas sun. A tango mood and lazily winding lines give way to a brief but powerful climax depicting the Alamo itself.
The second movement’s lighthearted and joyous music celebrates San Antonio’s famous Riverwalk. Inspired by the streets and canals of Venice, Italy, architect Robert Hugman proposed his idea of converting the San Antonio riverfront into a beautiful urban park back in the 1920s. It took decades to complete, but the Riverwalk eventually became a reality — a 2-1/2 mile stretch of stunningly landscaped waterfront lined with hotels, restaurants, night clubs and shops.
Picture a group of friends seated at an outdoor patio of one of the Riverwalk’s many Tex-Mex restaurants, enjoying the scenery, the food, the company. In time, the evening settles in, the air cools, the mood brightens, the crowd picks up, and music is heard from every direction. Before you know it, the whole place is one giant fiesta that could go on forever.
Viva San Antonio!”
A Little Night and Day Music (Samuel Adler)
Samuel Adler was born in 1928 in Mannheim, Germany, and moved to the United States in 1939. His catalog of music compositions spans over 400 works from operas and orchestral pieces, to works for winds, chamber music and choral music. He studied music at Boston University and
Harvard, with primary teachers including Aaron Copland, Walter Piston, Paul Hindemtih and
Randall Thompson. He served on the faculties at the University of North Texas, the Eastman School of Music, and the Juilliard School. His significant list of awards includes induction in the American Academy of Arts of Letters, the Charles Ives Award, ASCAP’s Aaron Copland Award in Composition and Teaching, and the Deems Taylor Award for his textbook The Study of Orchestration.
A Little Night and Day Music was commissioned by the Carl Fischer Publishing company in 1976. It is in two movements, performed without break. The piece features biting harmony, atmospheric moments utilizing a variety of aleatoric techniques, and a relentless drive. The work is inspired by Adler’s feelings encountered while living in large, urban environments. It remains an important contribution to the wind repertoire from one of history’s most important, but often forgotten composers.
Scenes from “The Louvre” (Norman Dello Joio)
Norman Dello Joio was born in New York City to Italian immigrant parents. His father was a well known musician and educator, coaching several major vocalists at the Metropolitan Opera. Dello Joio began his music career as a choral director and organist at the young age of 14. His musical training began at the Juilliard School, also studying at Yale University under the guidance of Paul Hinemith. His prolific output includes works in nearly all musical forms and genres, from opera and ballet, to modern dance, symphonic works, and TV and film scores. He is the winner of the many prodigious awards including the Pulitzer Prize, New York Music Critics Circle Award, and an Emmy..
Scenes from “The Louvre” is an adaptation for wind band by the composer from his Emmy Award winning original film score to a 1964 television documentary produced by NBC News called, A Golden Prison: The Louvre. The documentary details the history of the Louvre Museum and its world famous collection of art.
Dello Joio chose five highlights from the Emmy-winning original score for the suite in 1965. The work employs musical themes, styles, and genres from the Renaissance period, honoring the era in which the museum was constructed. The first movement, Portals, is the title music from the documentary, and consists entirely of original music from Dello Joio. Beginning with a low brass chorale and including 20th century harmony, the movement depicts the sense of grandeur often experienced entering the museum. The second movement, Children’s Gallery, is a light and playful take on Tielman Susato’s Ronde et Saltarelle. The music was composed for the film score, but did not actually appear in the documentary. The third movement, The Kings of France, draws on themes from Jean Baptiste Lully, famous court composer for King Louis XIV, envisioning the state banquets and courtly dances of the time. Movement four, Nativity Paintings, presents a religious overtone through the use of the medieval era melody, In Dulci Jubilo. The source material for the fifth and final movement of the suite is composer Vincenzo Albrici’s Cestiliche Sonata. Dello Joio rounds out the suite by recalling the first movement, setting the themes with his own 20th century harmonic tendencies, and a climatic final passage, bringing the work to a noble conclusion, befitting of the Louvre’s importance and grandeur.
anti-FANFARE (2019) – Andrew Blair
Andrew Blair is a conductor, percussionist, and composer from Charlotte, NC. Andrew graduated with Honors as a NC Teaching Fellow, Sudler Trophy winner, and Instrumental Performer of the Year from Western Carolina University in 2010 with a BSEd in Music Education, and is currently a graduate student at the University of Georgia. As a performer, Andrew has most recently held positions as a section percussionist in the Union Symphony Orchestra (NC), as well as principal percussionist of the Carolinas Wind Orchestra (SC). As an arranger and sound designer, Andrew’s music for high school and collegiate marching band has been performed across the United States.
The composer writes, “The inspiration for anti-FANFARE came during a lesson with Cynthia Johnston Turner where we were studying works for winds and percussion with atypical instrumentation. At the end of the lesson, we concluded that there was a gap in the repertoire for a short, exciting concert opener for woodwinds and percussion. I was particularly inspired by her “commission” that day: “You should write one, you know, an anti-fanfare.”
“anti-FANFARE opens with a typical fanfare motive, but listeners will notice that the similarities end there. The piece employs the full complement of the woodwind and percussion sections (plus piano) in contrast to centuries of brass/orchestral fanfares. The typical stately cadence has been replaced by a quick ¾ meter, with the language of the piece inspired by the composer’s forays into contemporary jazz fusion and electronica. All of this, while giving the brass a well-deserved break.”
Overture to Dancer in the Dark (2000) – Björk Guðmundsdóttir
The Icelandic singer, songwriter and composer Björk Guðmundsdóttir (more popularly known as Björk) is an international recording star, celebrated for her eclectic popular musical style, profound lyrics, distinctive orchestrations, and unique voice.
In 1999 the famed director Lars von Trier asked Björk to write the score for his film Dancer in the Dark, the story of Selma, a Czech immigrant in America struggling to both hide her degenerative blindness and pay for an operation to prevent her son from also going blind. Von Trier convinced Björk to play the character herself, a performance which earned her a Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival. While much of the score captures the machinery of the factory in which Selma works, the Overture is a slow brass fanfare, possibly reflecting her inner life, or visions.
From the Delta (1945) – William Grant Still
William Grant Still was an American composer. Still was an African-American classical composer who wrote more than 150 compositions. His parents were of Negro, Indian, Spanish, Irish and Scotch bloods. When William was only a few months old, his father died and his mother took him to Little Rock, Arkansas, where she taught English in the high school. There his musical education began–with violin lessons from a private teacher, and with later inspiration from the Red Seal
operatic recordings bought for him by his stepfather. He then attended Wilberforce University, founded as an African-American school, in Ohio. He conducted the university band, learned to play various instruments and started to compose and to do orchestrations. He also studied with Friedrich Lehmann at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music on scholarship. He later studied with George Chadwick at the New England Conservatory again on scholarship, and then with the ultra-modern composer, Edgard Varese. Still initially composed in the modernist style but later merged musical aspects of his African-American heritage with traditional European classical forms to form a unique style.
Still’s first work for band was an arrangement of Old California, which was performed by the Goldman Band many times in the early 1940s. In response to Goldman’s request for original music for band and a commission from the Leeds Music Corporation, Still composed From the Delta in 1945. It was premiered by the Goldman Band in 1947, and quickly received many performances around the country.
In his dissertation on concert band music by African-American composers, Myron Moss states that with From the Delta, “Still has done what his compositional philosophy would suggest, [presenting] music whose melody is its main attraction and whose expressive folk style is its main source of interest. As a nationalistic composer, Still [put] folk music in an appropriate art-music frame, and [this] piece fills a niche in a band repertoire which already [included] nationalistic pieces evoking Great Britain, France, and “White” America.”
With melodies that could pass as actual folk songs, a variety of color, texture and sound, and music that evokes in a direct way the titles of the movements, From the Delta is an important work in the history of the concert band.
– Program note by Steven Ward
Saxophone Concerto (1949) – Ingolf Dahl
Ingolf Dahl was an American composer, conductor, and pianist of Swedish-German parentage. Dahl began his formal education in Germany and continued his studies in Switzerland after fleeing the Nazi regime. He married Etta Gornick Linick, who worked with Dahl to keep his homosexuality hidden from the world. Ingolf Dahl was a versatile and proficient pianist, conductor, composer and teacher of music subjects. For many years, Dahl taught composition at the University of Southern California; his students included Michael Tilson Thomas and Morton Lauridsen. Long identified with the promotion and performance of contemporary music, Dahl’s works for wind band have had a wide appeal for audiences, conductors and performers.
Dahl’s saxophone concerto was written for Sigurd Rascher in 1949 and revised four years later. It is both a large-scale and an important work, but, because of the difficulty of the solo, as well as the accompaniment, has not been performed often. The scoring of the piece is specifically for “wind orchestra,” therefore implying a one-on-a-part performance.
The concerto is tonally somewhat traditional, but the treatment of rhythm is not, revealing much inspiration from jazz and the works of Igor Stravinsky — with whom Dahl sometimes worked during this period. Dahl proves himself and his style capable of both melancholy and passionate expression in the first two movements, followed by carefree wit (the kind of abandon which Beethoven call “unbuttoned”) in the last. Both kinds of writing are well suited to the unique tone of the saxophone.
– Program note from Norman E. Smith, Program Notes for Band
Come Sunday (2018) – Omar Thomas
Described as “elegant, beautiful, sophisticated, intense, and crystal clear in emotional intent,” the music of Omar Thomas continues to move listeners everywhere it is performed. Born to Guyanese parents in Brooklyn, New York in 1984, Omar moved to Boston in 2006 to pursue a Master of Music in Jazz Composition at the New England Conservatory of Music after studying Music Education at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. He is the protégé of lauded composers and educators Ken Schaphorst and Frank Carlberg, and has studied under multiple Grammy-winning composer and bandleader Maria Schneider.
Hailed by Herbie Hancock as showing “great promise as a new voice in the further development of jazz in the future,” educator, arranger, and award-winning composer Omar Thomas has created music extensively in the contemporary jazz ensemble idiom. It was while completing his Master of Music Degree that he was appointed the position of Assistant Professor of Harmony at Berklee College of Music at the surprisingly young age of 23. He was awarded the ASCAP Young Jazz Composers Award in 2008, and invited by the ASCAP Association to perform his music in their highly exclusive JaZzCap Showcase, held in New York City. In 2012, Omar was named the Boston Music Award’s “Jazz Artist of the Year.” Following his Berklee tenure, he served on faculty of the Music Theory department at The Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Now a Yamaha Master Educator, he is currently an Assistant Professor of Composition and Jazz Studies at The University of Texas at Austin.
The composer writes, “I played trombone in wind ensembles from the 4th grade through college. This experience has contributed significantly to the life I lead now. I had the pleasure of being exposed to sounds, colors, moods, rhythms, and melodies from all over the world. Curiously absent, however, was music told authentically from the African-American experience. In particular, I couldn’t understand how it was that no composer ever thought to tell the story of a black worship experience through the lens of a wind ensemble. I realize now that a big part of this was an issue of representation. One of the joys and honors of writing music for wind ensemble is that I get to write music that I wish had existed when I was playing in these groups — music that told the story of the black experience via black composers. I am so grateful to Dr. Tony Marinello and the Illinois State University Wind Symphony for leading an incredible consortium that brought this piece to life.”
“Come Sunday is a two-movement tribute to the Hammond organ’s central role in black worship services. The first movement, Testimony, follows the Hammond organ as it readies the congregation’s hearts, minds, and spirits to receive The Word via a magical union of Bach, blues, jazz, and R&B. The second movement, Shout!, is a virtuosic celebration — the frenzied and joyous climactic moment(s) when The Spirit has taken over the service. The title is a direct nod to Duke Ellington, who held an inspired love for classical music and allowed it to influence his own work in a multitude of ways. To all the black musicians in wind ensemble who were given opportunity after opportunity to celebrate everyone else’s music but our own — I see you and I am you. This one’s for the culture!”