The Hornell Area Wind Ensemble’s:
SUNDAY FEBRUARY 3RD 3:00 PM
Hornell High School Auditorium
The Lizard and the Frog
By Theo F Morse, arranged by L P Laurendeau
Our next song, The Lizard and the Frog was written by Theodore F Morse, a Tin Pan Alley rag-time song composer.
As a boy, Morse studied both the piano and violin. At the age of fourteen Morse left, or rather quit, the Maryland Military and Naval Academy and went to New York City. As a fourteen-year-old teenager, Morse found work at several New York City music shops during which time he learned about composing music. At age twenty-four, Morse’s first song, a march titled The Broadway was published. That same year Morse composed another song titled, The Meeting of the Blue and the Grey, a march tune that was quickly taken up and played exclusively by John Philip Sousa’s band. More successful Morse tunes followed, and he became known as an up-and-coming star of rag time music.
As Morse’s gift of composing became widely known, he often collaborated with Tin Pan Alley lyricists. One particular lyricist caught his eye and on March 7,1907, Morse married songwriter/lyricist Theodora Strandberg. The team of Theodore and Theodora Morse made numerous rag-time melodies becoming one, if not the first married couple composing successful Tin Pan Alley songs.
For those in the audience who have never heard of Theodore Morse, you most likely have heard one of his songs - Hail, Hail, the Gang’s All Here.
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Tin Pan Alley is the name given to a collection of music publishers and songwriters in New York City who dominated the popular music of the United States in the later 19th century and early 20th century. Tin Pan Alley was a specific place in New York on West 28th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. A plaque on the sidewalk on 28th Street commemorates the site today.
Blue Ridge Reel
By Brian Balmages
An homage to the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Blue Ridge Reel was inspired when composer and band director, Brian Balmages, visited Ashville, North Carolina for a National Convention of American Band Directors. Mr. Balmages was extremely taken with the fun ‘vibe’ of the town of Ashville and the scenic vistas of the mountains of North Carolina.
Balmages felt the rich cultural heritage of English, Irish, Scottish, and Welsh settlers influenced the local music of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and this in turn influenced Balmages when writing the Blue Ridge Reel.
Written in the style of an Irish folk dance, Balmage’s Blue Ridge Reel reflects influences of bluegrass and even New Orleans march style music. The fusion of those influences culminates in a spirited ‘groove’ we hope you will enjoy. Get out the washboards and the musical spoons and prepare to have a great time!
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Brian Balmages (b. 1975) is an award-winning composer and conductor. His music has been performed throughout the world with commissions ranging from elementary schools to professional orchestras. World premieres include prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. His music was also performed as part of the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Prayer Service, which was attended by both President Obama and Vice President Biden. He is a recipient of the A. Austin Harding Award from the American School Band Directors Association, won the 2020 NBA William D. Revelli Composition Contest with his work Love and Light, and was awarded the inaugural James Madison University Distinguished Alumni Award from the School of Visual and Performing Arts. In the same year, he was commissioned by his other alma mater, the University of Miami, to compose music for the inauguration of the institution’s sixth president, Dr. Julio Frenk.
As a conductor, Mr. Balmages enjoys regular engagements with all-state and region bands and orchestras, as well as university and professional ensembles throughout the world. Notable guest conducting appearances have included the Midwest Clinic, Western International Band Clinic, College Band Directors Conference, American School Band Directors Association National Conference, numerous state ASTA conferences and others. Additional conducting appearances have included the Kennedy Center and Meyerhoff Symphony Hall as well as band and orchestra engagements in Australia, Canada, and Italy. Currently, he is Director of Instrumental Publications for The FJH Music Company and Assistant Director of Bands and Orchestras at Towson University.
Hymn to Yerevan
By Alan Hovhaness, Op. 83
The ancient city of Yerevan, one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cites, is the capital and largest city of Armenia, a landlocked mountainous country bordering Turkey. The city of Yerevan, located at the foot of majestic, towering Mount Ararat, is home to Armenians who found refuge there from massacres and persecution. Composer Alan Hovhaness’ Hymn to Yerevan is an intensely spiritual tribute to the ancient Armenian capital.
The Hymn to Yerevan is composed in the Armenian style. The music evokes mystery, sorrow, strength, and spiritual resurrection. The first part of the composition ushers-in the ‘hymn’ that sets the mystical, spiritual tone. The middle part is a free, rhythmless chaotic section of bells, tympani and roaring trombones that invokes a dauntless defiance of the Armenian people’s tragic past. Finally, in the last section, the hymn returns, spiritual, heroic, and triumphal.
(Paraphrased from composer’s program notes)
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Alan Hovhaness (/hoʊˈvɑːnɪs/; March 8, 1911 – June 21, 2000) was an American-Armenian composer. He was one of the most prolific 20th-century composers, with his official catalog comprising sixty-seven numbered symphonies (surviving manuscripts indicate over 70) and 434 opus numbers. The true tally is well over five hundred surviving works, since many opus numbers comprise two or more distinct works.
The Boston Globe music critic Richard Buell wrote: "Although he has been stereotyped as a self-consciously Armenian composer (rather as Ernest Bloch is seen as a Jewish composer), his output assimilates the music of many cultures. What may be most American about all of it is the way it turns its materials into a kind of exoticism. The atmosphere is hushed, reverential, mystical, nostalgic."
Destruction of early works
During the 1930s and 1940s, Hovhaness famously destroyed many of his early works. He later claimed that he had burned at least 1,000 different pieces, a process that took at least two weeks; elsewhere he claimed to have destroyed around 500 scores totaling as many as a thousand pages.] In an interview with Richard Howard, he stated that the decision was based primarily on criticism of his works of that period, and that he wanted to make a new start in composition.
By Pascual Marquina Narro, arranged by John Mos
España Cañí, our next musical selection, means ‘Gypsy Spain’ in Spanish. España Cañí is a famous instrumental piece of a quick, light march, called ‘Paso Doble’ in Spain. Often played at bullfights, España Cañí’s main refrain is arguably the best-known snippet of Spanish music.
España Cañí was written around 1921 by Pascual Marquina Narro while he was on a train ride to Madrid. While on the train, Pascual became inspired to compose España Cañí after listening to the rattle of the train, and the clickety-clack of the rails – which implies that creative inspiration can come from anything, anywhere, at any time!
Besides its traditional use as background music in bullfights in Spain and elsewhere, España Cañí is sometimes played to arouse local crowds in baseball games in the United States. A little-known fact is the pop music group, the Beatles, before they became famous, played España Cañí in their early club days in Liverpool, England.
(Excerpts paraphrased from Program Note from Wikipedia)
First Suite in Eb for Military Band
By Gustav Holst
In England during the early 1900s military concert bands played marches or transcriptions of symphonic music written primarily for string instruments. At that time there was no music written expressly for a ‘concert wind band’ such as The Hornell Area Wind Ensemble. Gustav Holst changed this in 1909 by writing one of the first pieces of music expressly for wind concert band instruments, namely, The First Suite in E♭ for Military Band. The three-part First Suite has since become a staple in the repertoire for concert bands.
Although Holst wrote wrote almost 200 cataloged compositions, including orchestral suites, operas, ballets, concertos, choral hymns, and songs, his relatively small number of ‘concert band’ compositions places him as one of the founding fathers of concert band music.
Man of La Mancha
Mitch Leigh, arranged by James Ployhar
The next piece to be performed has selections from the well-known musical, Man of La Mancha. Man of La Mancha started as a non-musical teleplay written by Dale Wasserman for CBS's DuPont Show of the Month program. The non-musical play was called, I, Don Quixote. Years after this television broadcast and after the original teleplay had been unsuccessfully optioned as a non-musical Broadway play, a Broadway director suggested to Wasserman that he turn his play into a musical. Wasserman took-up the suggestion and selected Mitch Leigh as music composer.
Changing the name of the play from I, Don Quixote to Man of La Mancha and selecting Leigh as composer was providential. Man of La Mancha has played in countries around the world, with productions in Dutch, French, German, Hebrew, Irish, Estonian, Japanese, Korean, Bengali, Gujarati /ˌɡo͝ojəˈrädē/, Uzbek Bulgarian, Hungarian, Serbian, Slovenian, Swahili, Finnish, Chinese, Ukrainian, Turkish and nine distinctly different dialects of the Spanish language.
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The musical Man of La Mancha is based on Wasserman’s non-musical television play, I, Don Quixote which in turn was based on a 16th century novel by Miguel de Cervantes. It has been said that it was continued bad luck that turned Miguel de Cervantes to writing.
Miguel de Cervantes was born in 1547 to a poor family in a Castilian city northeast of Madrid, Spain. Much of his birth, and life in general is not known. It is known, however, that he loved the theatre. He was a soldier, spent five years as a slave in Africa, and served terms in prison. In 1597 he was excommunicated for “offenses against His Majesty’s Most Catholic Church.”
Like most authors of his day, he was unable to support himself by writing, and he wrote Don Quixote to try to make money. He died in April of 1616, within days of the death of his contemporary William Shakespeare. Miguel de Cervantes literary work remained obscure until he was rediscovered by English writers in the mid-18th century. Since then, Don Quixote has been translated into all major languages, in seven hundred editions.
Don Quixote is a beloved classic and established Miguel de Cervantes as one of Spain’s most treasured writers.
Esprit de Corps
By John Philip Sousa
‘Esprit de Corps’ means “a feeling of pride, fellowship, and common loyalty shared by the members of a particular group.”
The Inspiration for Sousa’s composition of Esprit de Corps would be obvious had Sousa composed it while he was in Marine Corps service, but he was not. Sousa had resigned as Marine Band musician in 1875 and wrote Esprit de Corps a year later. (Sousa would later rejoin the Marine Band as its Director five years later, in1880.)
The inspiration for Sousa’s march, Esprit de Corps, was a Civil War Medal of Honor winner, Wilson J. Vance. Besides publishing several books about his war-time experiences, Vance worked with Sousa on the operetta The Smugglers, for which Vance composed the dialogue and lyrics. Sousa’s dedication of Esprit de Corps reads, “To my old friend Wilson J. Vance of Ohio.”
This rediscovered Sousa march gives us a glimpse of Sousa’s emerging talent as a twenty-two-year-old, young, aspiring composer.