Thursday, September 25, 2014

MONUMENTS

The Concord Band Begins its 56th Season
Saturday, October 25th

K2, earth's second-highest summit, is the inspiration
for Julie Giroux's composition, K2: The Savage Mountain.
Join the Concord Band as we celebrate our 56th year of wonderful music-making, embarking on a season-long exploration of some of the great works for symphonic concert band. Our Fall Concert, MONUMENTS, will be presented at the Performing Arts Center at 51 Walden Street in Concord, on Saturday, October 25, 2014, at 8:00 PM. The concert features music with programmatic undertones penned by American and international composers, and represents a wide variety of musical styles and genres.
Douglas E. Wagner’s scoring of Themes from Grand Canyon Suite is a superb and accessible concert band arrangement of Ferde Grofe’s wide-ranging orchestral composition. Included are four movements—Sunrise, On the Trail, Sunset, and Cloudburst. Wagner’s arrangement captures all aspects of the original score, preserving the rich instrumental sonorities and orchestration highlights.

British composer Philip Sparke is one of the most prolific and commissioned composers “across the pond”. He won the prestigious Sudler Prize in 1997 for Dance Movements, commissioned the previous year by the US Air Force Band. Spirit of the Sequoia, commissioned for a Swiss wind ensemble and first performed in 2003, depicts the grandeur and magnificence of one< of the tallest of all trees, the Sequoia. Sparke states “the work is also inspired by man’s ability to overcome personal tragedy, and draws the analogy of these amazing living giants ability to create new life despite great odds by dropping their seedlings following intense natural wildfires to germinate and flourish creating new life.”

From the NBC Television Production “Victory at Sea” comes the music composed by Richard Rodgers and arranged by fellow collaborator and influential arranger for symphonic band, Robert Russell Bennett. This expansive symphonic scenario for concert band, was described by the New Yorker as “a seemingly endless creation, now martial, now tremendously moving”. Cited by Norman Smith and Albert Stoutamire in their research publication Band Music Notes, “it is almost impossible to overestimate the importance of Robert Russell Bennett to the musical scene, particularly the American musical theater”. Bennett’s artful arrangements and compositions are credited with having created the “Broadway sound” with over 200 arrangements for the stage.

Threnos (A Song of Lamentation based on the Gettysburg Address) by Daniel Bukvich is a powerful and moving work that contains aleatoric (chance) performance techniques. The composer writes “A fascinating recent study examines the rhythm and words that Lincoln used, researching the drama and implications of their rhythmic content. These rhythmic implications are the basis of the effective and dramatic work, beginning, appropriately enough, with Four Score and Seven”.

Eiffel Tower Polka comes from the one act Ballet, The Wedding Party on the Eiffel Tower, with music composed by five members of Les Six—Georges Auric, Arthur Honegger, Darius Milhaud, Francis Poulenc and Germaine Tailleferre. This arrangement by Poulenc for two cornets and concert band is a delightful and light rendering of the traditional Polka style.

The dictionary defines the word “monument” as “something designed and built as a lasting public tribute to a person, a group of people, or an event. A site or structure that is preserved because of its historical, cultural, or aesthetic importance.” Robert W. Smith composed Monument with these definitions in mind, and writes in the published score “inspired by the poem 'Spirit that Form’d this Scene' from Walt Whitman’s The Leaves of Grass.” Whitman wrote this beautiful prose as he overlooked the panoramic landscape in Platte Canyon, Colorado. Bringing to mind images of Colorado’s awe-inspiring state parks, this colorful and moving work contains four distinct movements— "To Touch the Sky," "Cloud Dances," "Colorado Dreams," and "Pioneer Spirit and Celebration."

Unique among many American composers, Karl L. King penned over 300 works, including his 188 famous marches. Known for his love of melodies, King made sure that many of his best melodies were written in the low brass section (King was a euphonium player). While Barnum and Bailey’s Favorite (a wildly fast circus march) is his best-known composition, his 1943 Bunker Hill March remains a favorite of march fans.

The music of Massachusetts native and Emmy-award-winning composer, Julie Ann Giroux, has become a favorite of the Concord Band. Her Boston Liberties was commissioned by the Band in 2002. Giroux’s compositions span a wide range of difficulty, from pieces intended for beginning bands to those that assume the skill level of professional wind ensembles and military bands. In the program notes for K2: The Savage Mountain Giroux writes “K2 is massive, beautiful, and literally, can take your breath away. It calls to mountain climbers around the world with the song of a deadly siren. Most heed its warning, but few will not be thwarted. Seventy-three percent will make it to the top and will come down changed forever.”


Music Director
James O'Dell
James O’Dell, who became the third Music Director of the Concord Band after the Band’s 50th Anniversary concert in March 2009, has been professionally active in instrumental music and music education since 1980. Mr. O’Dell holds a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Southern Oregon University and a Master of Music in Tuba, Euphonium, and Bass Trombone Performance from the University of Oregon. His graduate work also included residency at Arizona State University in the DMA program.

Mr. O’Dell is currently the Associate Dean of the Boston Conservatory, a post he assumed after serving as Director of the Conservatory’s Music Division and most recently Dean ad interim. He is Associate and Principal Guest Conductor of the Metropolitan Wind Symphony and past Music Director of the Middlesex Concert Band and the Southeastern MA Community Concert Band. Mr. O’Dell has served as Director of Bands at Boston University and Mansfield University (PA). He is founder of the New England Collegiate Jazz Festival, Boston Tuba Christmas, and cofounder of the Boston Tuba Quartet and The Brass Consortium.



















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