Saturday, October 27, 2012


Chester is the third of the three movements from William Schuman’s New England Triptych, written in 1956. The tune is based on a famous American Revolutionary hymn and marching song by early American composer William Billings. In the first section Schuman introduces the first tune in the woodwinds and then in the brasses. In the next section the melody is given a more contemporary setting with mid-twentieth century rhythmic and harmonic devices utilized to sustain interest. The closing section brings back the hymnlike treatment of the theme and the work is brought to a dramatic close. (Band Music Notes, Norman Smith and Albert Stoutamire)