The Hornell Area Wind Ensemble’s:
FALL FESTIVAL OF SOUND
Saturday, October 19th, 7:30 PM
Hornell High School Auditorium
This 2019-2020 season marks our 33rd consecutive season. Please join us for a varied selection of concert pieces. Here are a few tidbits about the musical pieces the concert band will be performing. Thank you to Rex Wiggers for researching and providing the concert notes.
Pop and Rock Legends: Music of the Beatles arranged by Michael Sweeney
What famous Pop Rock group was previously named, the Blackjacks, The Quarrymen, The Rainbows, Johnny and the Moondogs, and The Nerk Twins? (Answer: the Beatles).
The Beatles’ band name (spelled with an ‘a’) reputedly came about in 1960 by John Lennon and his best friend at art college, Stu Sutcliffe. The story goes that the band loved Buddy Holly and his group The Crickets. So, John and Stu went through several insect names and finally arrived on the Beetles (spelled with two “e”s). Luckily Tarantula, Dung Beetle, and Bottlenose Blow Fly were not chosen.
How did the spelling change to B-E-A-T-L-E-S? John Lennon took credit for this when he wrote a 1961 article for a local paper about how he came up with the name B-E-A-T-L-E-S. He jokingly said, “It came in a vision - a man appeared on a flaming pie and said unto them 'from this day on you are Beatles with an ‘a’.”
Regardless of the spelling, the Beatles became an international phenomenon and societal influence, especially in the Soviet Union. A Soviet Studies Professor claimed, “The Beatles had this tremendous impact on Soviet kids. The Soviet authorities thought of The Beatles as a secret Cold War weapon. The kids lost their interest in all Soviet unshakeable dogmas and ideals, and stopped thinking of an English-speaking person as an enemy...” The former President of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev stated, “More than any ideology, more than any religion, more than Vietnam or any war or nuclear bomb, the single most important reason for the easing of the Cold War was … the Beatles.” The medley to be played by the concert band includes: All My Lovin', A Hard Day's Night, Ticket to Ride, Yesterday, Norwegian Wood, Got to Get You into My Life, Here, There and Everywhere, The Fool On The Hill, Penny Lane, Maxwell's Silver Hammer, Lady Madonna, and Something.
Freedom by Michael W Smith arranged by Jay Bocook
This inspirational patriotic piece is an arrangement of the title tune of Michael W Smith’s fifteenth album - and his first all instrumental composition. The song is a stirring work that conveys a sense of dignity, pride, and inspiration accomplished with a contemporary flair.
Michael Whitaker Smith is an American musician, who has composed pieces in both contemporary Christian and mainstream charts. Over the course of his career, he has sold more than 18 million albums including 31 No. 1 Hit songs, fourteen gold albums, and five platinum albums. Smith is a three-time Grammy Award winner, an American Music Award recipient, and has earned 45 Dove Awards for outstanding achievements in Christian and Gospel Music. In 1999, ASCAP awarded him with the "Golden Note" Award for lifetime achievement in songwriting. Besides music, Smith has also starred in two films and published 14 books on various topics.
Prior to his success, Smith’s early career in music had a difficult, inauspicious beginning. After graduating from high school, he gravitated toward alcohol and drugs. He attended Marshall University to develop his songwriting skills but dropped out after one semester. He then played with various local bands around Huntington, West Virginia, eventually moving to Nashville, Tennessee, To support himself, Smith took a job as a Nashville landscaper and played keyboard at night with several local bands. During this time, he struggled with substance abuse. In November 1979, Smith suffered a nervous breakdown that led to his recommitment to Christianity. Later that month, he auditioned for a new contemporary Christian music group, Higher Ground, as a keyboardist and got the job. It was on his first tour with Higher Ground, playing mostly in churches, that Smith was finally able to put the drugs and alcohol behind him. By the late 1980s Smith was touring with Amy Grant becoming Grant's opening act. Soon after, Smith recorded his first Grammy nominated album and his musical career blossomed.
The Quilting Party March by John Philip Sousa Composed by Sousa in 1889, The Quilting Party March, unlike most of his marches, tells a story. In this musical story a young man goes to Aunt Dinah’s quilting party to woo Nellie, his lady friend. He dances with her there and afterward sees her home. Sousa’s Quilting Party March is based on two songs popular in the late 1880s. The beginning of the march is reminiscent of the song, When a Wooer Goes a-Wooing, from Gilbert and Sullivan’s musical, The Yeomen of the Guard. Sousa then based the rest of his march on another popular ditty called, Aunt Dinah’s Quilting Party. Sousa, ever up to date, was apparently not averse to use tunes in this march that his audience would recognize. (Today we call this Cover Songs) Regardless, the result is a stirring piece of Music, part Sousa, and part not Sousa.
The Southerner by Russell Alexander (A Circus Bandwagon March)
Circus marches are called "screamers" because they are traditionally so high, loud and fast. The Circus Band members are often called "windjammers" because they jam so much wind into their instruments in the process of playing these “screamers”. Playing circus music requires incredible endurance and virtuosic skills. Circus windjammers play almost non-stop and much of the music is really, really, difficult!
In the "old days," being a circus musician was one of the most strenuous jobs a musician could have. In the days before musicians' unions, the windjammer would be expected to play for the circus parade, play a free pre-show concert for the townspeople, ballyhoo around the circus grounds before the big top show, play the show itself (nonstop for two or three hours!), play post show concerts on the grounds or play sideshows. Then, after everyone left, they helped take down the tents or do other chores around the grounds. It was a busy day and the pay was not very good, but it was an exciting life with lots of great music, and many musicians loved it! The Southerner march, by Russell Alexander is a “screamer” and one of Alexander's most popular works. A strong introduction, interesting melodies and countermelodies, exciting modulations, and dynamic changes intended to lift the listener out of his seat are the features of this stirring march.
Russell Alexander, born in 1877, was an entertainer and composer, primarily with vaudeville shows and musical comedy organizations.
Her was born in Nevada, Missouri, and became a euphonium virtuoso who joined the circus band of Belford's Carnival at the age of 18. At 20, he became arranger and euphonium soloist with the Barnum & Bailey Circus Band and toured Europe from 1897 to 1902. Following his tour with Barnum & Bailey, Russell Alexander worked in a novelty musical vaudeville act with his brothers. Although his compositional output was relatively small, he is considered a great composer of marches. He wrote 33 marches, 6 galops, and several overtures, novelties, and other works. For part of his career he worked in acts with his brothers, Newton and Woodruff.
For information on windjammers and circus music:
In 1978, Russell Alexander was inducted into the Windjammers, Unlimited “Hall of Fame.”
Tijuana Brass in Concert arranged by Ted Ricketts This piece is a marvelous throw-back to the campy yet delightful music of the 60's, courtesy of Herb Alpert and his south-of-the-border hit makers. Although primarily a feature for the trumpet section, the woodwinds have their fair share of feature spots as well. Who doesn't remember songs like: “Spanish Flea,” “Whipped Cream,” “The Lonely Bull” and “Tijuana Taxi”? Although the Tijuana Brass had a definite Mexican sound, Alpert told his audiences that his group’s ethnical makeup consisted of "Four lasagnas, two bagels, and an American cheese" This only enforces the belief that music is truly an international language.
Herb Alpert was born in 1935. He is an American jazz musician most associated with the group variously known as Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, Herb Alpert's Tijuana Brass, or TJB. Alpert is also a recording industry executive.
Alpert's musical accomplishments include five No. 1 albums and 28 albums total on the Billboard Album chart, nine Grammy Awards, fourteen platinum albums, and fifteen gold albums that sold 72 million records worldwide. Alpert is the only recording artist to hit No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 pop chart as both a vocalist with "This Guy's in Love with You", 1968 and as an instrumentalist in "Rise", 1979.
Herb Alpert was born and raised in the Boyle Heights section of Eastside Los Angeles, California, the son of Tillie Goldberg and Louis Leib Alpert. His parents were Jewish immigrants to the U.S. from Radomyshl (in present-day Ukraine) and Romania.
Born into a family of musicians, his father, although a tailor by trade, was also a talented mandolin player. His mother taught violin at a young age, and his older brother David was a talented young drummer. Herb began trumpet lessons at the age of eight and played at dances as a teenager. After graduating from Fairfax High School in 1952, he joined the United States Army and frequently performed at military ceremonies. After his service in the Army, Alpert tried his hand at acting, but eventually settled on pursuing a career in music.
Emerald Suite by Dwayne S Milburn Each of the three movements of this work uses a particular section of the North Texas State Alma Mater as inspirational material, since it was commissioned in honor of the internationally known, conductor, arranger and consultant, Dennis Fisher, and Fisher’s 25 years of service to the North Texas State University. The first movement, Rondo, is highly energetic, though it ends quietly. The second movement has an appropriate title called, Air, as the piece starts as a gentle breeze lyrically building to a powerful gust before dying away with a whisper. The last movement, the March provides a perfect musical balance to the previous two movements.
Major Dwayne S. Milburn was born in 1963 in Baltimore, Maryland. He is an American composer, conductor, adjudicator, arranger and military officer.
In 1986, Dr. Milburn graduated from UCLA with a BFA in music and received a Master of Music in orchestral conducting from the Cleveland Institute of Music in 1992. He received his Ph.D. in music from UCLA in 2009.
During his undergraduate career, Maj. Milburn was an arranger for the UCLA band and choral programs, as well as the Special Projects Division of ABC-TV. Upon graduation, he became the director of cadet music for the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York, serving as the conductor for the internationally renowned West Point Glee Club. During graduate studies in Cleveland, he contributed several arrangements to the Cleveland Orchestra. He has received commissions from the instrumental programs at UCLA, the University of North Texas, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Among his military honors are the President Benjamin Harrison Award, the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, and the NATO Medal.
He has arranged many works for wind orchestra and choir, for example, the Cuban Overture by George Gershwin and the Festival Overture on the American National Air " The Star-Spangled Banner " by Dudley Buck. In addition, Milburn also wrote his own works for these media. From 2005-2009 he was house composer of the Music Guild of St. Matthew's Episcopal Church at Pacific Palisades and wrote three major works for St. Matthew's Chamber Orchestra.
Lincolnshire Posy by Percy Aldridge Grainger
Lincolnshire Posy was conceived and scored solely for wind band in 1937. The piece is a collection of six English folksongs – as Percy Grainger called it six “musical wildflowers” (hence the title) -- based on tunes collected in Lincolnshire, England mainly during the years 1905 to 1906.
Grainger wrote that, “Each number is intended to be a kind of musical portrait of the singer’s personality and habits of song, - his regular or irregular wonts of rhythm, his preference for gaunt or ornately arabesqued delivery, his contrasts of legato and staccato, his tendency toward breadth or delicacy of tone”. In other words, Grainger made the music of Lincolnshire Posy to reflect each singer’s particular singing idiosyncrasies-whether for good, or for bad. Thus, style plays a big role in each movement of the piece. Grainger uses every compositional device at his disposal to great effect: harmonies move unpredictably, meter is unstable or absent, countermelodies creep in and out of prominence, melodies go willfully in and out of phase, all done to imitate the singer’s interpretation of each folk tune.
Percy Grainger born in1882 was a piano prodigy turned composer who was known for his strange personal habits, his colorful prose, and his equally unusual music – his many admirers today still recognize that he possessed “the supreme virtue of never being dull.”
Born in Australia, he began studying piano at an early age. He came to the United States at the outbreak of World War I and enlisted as an Army bandsman, becoming an American citizen in 1918. He went on to explore the frontiers of music with his idiosyncratic folk song settings, his lifelong advocacy for the saxophone, and his ‘Free Music Machines’ which predated electronic synthesizers. His many masterworks for winds include Irish Tune from County Derry, Children’s March, Molly on the Shore, and the piece to be played by the band, Lincolnshire Posy.
As for his strange personal habits, Grainer designed bizarre clothes – made from multi-colored terry cloth towels. When in public dressed in his creations he was often mistaken for a vagrant. One time, Grainger put on as many layers of clothing as possible and the climbed into a shower to wash his clothes - one layer at a time.
Clothing was not the limit of his unusual habits. Grainger had an affinity for whips, which he claimed increased his artistic creativity. He had a collection of at least 80 whips, some made from recycled conductors’ batons. Grainger also became a die-hard vegetarian, but he didn’t like vegetables, eating instead fruit pies, boiled rice, ice cream, oranges and cream cakes. To his credit, Grainger never drank alcohol.
To further his legacy (and to insure he would not be forgotten) Grainger founded and funded a museum to himself donating more than 40,000 items of correspondence to his museum, as well as shopping lists, vegetarian recipes (and his collection of whips). His wish for his skeleton to be placed in the museum was refused on grounds of public decency. He truly had the virtue of “never being dull”.
Sea Songs by Ralph Vaughan Williams
British composer Ralph Vaughan Williams was encouraged from an early age to study music and learned the piano, violin, and viola while also expressing an early interest in composing. In 1897 he studied composition in Berlin and in 1908, in Paris. National pride led him to take an interest in the folk songs of England, and along with composers such as Gustav Holst and Percy Grainger, Vaughan Williams began transcribing English folk songs that he later used as the basis for many of his compositions.
Sea Songs is a march medley composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams that was inspired by three popular shanty tunes - shanties being songs that were sung on ships to keep sailors entertained while they worked. The three shanty tunes in Williams’s composition being, Princess Royal, Admiral Benbow, and Portsmouth.
Characteristics of sea shanty music include repetition and ‘call-and-response’. Shanties were oftentimes sung out by a soloist and then the rest of the group would repeat it or sing the chorus. Listen for this “call-and-response” as an instrument plays a little melody and then a larger section repeats it. So, weigh anchor, put three sheets to the wind, and sail away with the sounds of Sea Songs.