Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Review: Fall Concert, 26 October 2013

Dr. Chi-Sun Chan
tuba soloist
The Concord Band’s Fall Concert performed last Saturday night was thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish. The program consisted in an eclectic mix of pieces selected from a list of those requested by Band members.  Among the pieces were several composed in the 21st century. These included October composed by Eric Whitacre in 2000, Capriccio for Tuba and Wind Band in 2005 by Rodney Newton, and Quartets by Roger Cichy in 2006. Every one of these is a piece of contemporary music that, after hearing for the first time, you will surely want to hear again. The rest of the program was composed of selections that have justifiably earned their place as part of the standard band repertoire.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

2013 Fall Concert

By Request

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Concord Band

James O’Dell, Music Director
Steven Barbas, Assistant Conductor
Chi-Sun Chan, Tuba Soloist


James O’Dell conducting
Esprit de CorpsRobert Jager
An Original SuiteGordon Jacob
  1. March
  2. Intermezzo
  3. Finale
Capriccio for Solo Tuba and Wind BandRodney Newton
Chi-Sun Chan, tuba
“Gandalf” from Symphony Nr. 1, “The Lord of the Rings”Johan de Meij
Nobles of the Mystic ShrineJohn Philip Sousa


QuartetsRoger Cichy
OctoberEric Whitacre
Symphonic Dance No. 3, “Fiesta”Clifton Williams

Read all notes for this program...

An Original Suite

British composer Gordon Jacob holds a unique and special place among early writers for wind band, and was one of the foremost contributors to the expanding repertoire of original works for this ensemble. An Original Suite was his first composition for band, completed in 1928. The three-movement suite (March, Intermezzo, Finale) draws on original folk-song material and is specifically written for military band, an instrumental distinction separating the concert band from the traditional and ever-popular British brass band. (Source: Band Music Notes, Norman Smith and Albert Stoutamire.)

Esprit de Corps

Esprit de Corps by Robert Jager was commissioned by the United States Marine Corps Band, Colonel John R. Bourgeois, conductor. The march is based on “The Marines Hymn” and is a tribute to the Marine Band and the Corps. It is a lively and superbly crafted march: dramatic, solemn, inspirational and fast (“tempo di Bourgeois”). About this piece, Jager writes: “The composer intends that this work should display the fervor and virtuosity of the Marine Band and the musical spirit and integrity of their conductor.” (Source: JRO and published score.)

Capriccio for Solo Tuba and Wind Band

Composer Rodney Newton has scored music for films and TV, and was Music Consultant to the London Film School for 21 years. His Capriccio for Solo Tuba and Wind Band is a lush composition in the Romantic style, featuring the lyrical and technical virtuosity of the tuba. The instrument was a late arrival to the symphony orchestra and familiar solo repertoire (i.e. solos for violin, clarinet, cello, etc.). The work is scored in the tuba’s tenor range and is punctuated with rapid rhythms and soaring melodies that capture the beautiful voice and timbre of the instrument. (Source: James R. O'Dell.)

Symphony Nr. 1, “The Lord of the Rings”

Johan de Meij’s five-movement Symphony Nr. 1, “The Lord of the Rings”, won first-prize in the 1989 Sudler International Composition Competition. The first movement is a portrait of the wizard Gandalf, one of the principal characters of the literary trilogy. His wise and noble personality is expressed by a stately motif. The piece begins with a slow Maestoso; the sudden Allegro Vivace is indicative of the unpredictability of the grey wizard, followed by a wild ride on his beautiful horse Shadowfax. (Source: published score.)

Nobles of the Mystic Shrine

Unique among the many marches penned by John Philip Sousa, his 1923 Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (his only march with a part for harp) also features the triangle and tambourine. It was written at the request of his nephew and sponsor, A. R. Varela, immediately after Sousa became a member of the Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. Sousa was named the first honorary director of the Almas Temple Shrine Band in Washington during the same period. (Source: Band Music Notes, Norman Smith and Albert Stoutamire.)


The music of New England-based composer and University of Rhode Island professor, Roger Cichy, has become a favorite of the Concord Band. Among his many compositions for band, Cichy describes Quartets as “a unique work exposing a multitude of quartets that exist within the full ensemble.” During the use of the transparent and exposed textures utilized in many compositions, composers tend to use combinations of instrumental colors that seem fitting and appropriate for the desired texture. In Quartets, Cichy relies on traditional quartets to fulfill the instrumental colors during those times when the musical textures become transparent and exposed. Cichy was able to make use of fourteen different quartets within the composition. This work contains a total of twenty episodes, sometimes brief, where one or another of these quartets is used. (Source: JRO and published score.)


Eric Whitacre is an accomplished composer and major figure in contemporary music, having received awards from ASCAP and the American Choral Directors Association, and honored with a Grammy nomination in the contemporary classical composer category. October was commissioned by the Nebraska Wind Consortium, consisting of more than twenty-five high schools, colleges and universities throughout the midwest. The work captures the essence and mood of a crisp October day, with its beautifully natural harmonic language and flavor of the changing season. Whitacre writes: “The simple, pastoral melodies and subsequent harmonies are inspired by the great English Romantics (Vaughan Williams and Elgar), as I felt that this style was also perfectly suited to capture the natural and pastoral soul of the season.” (Source: JRO and published score.)

Symphonic Dance No. 3 “Fiesta”

Symphonic Dance No. 3 “Fiesta” by Clifton Williams depicts the pageantry of Latin American celebrations—street bands, bull fights, bright costumes. It is one of a group of five pieces originally commissioned for the twenty-fifth anniversary of the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra. It was later re-scored for band and first performed in March, 1967, by the University of Miami Band, under the composer’s direction. (Source: Band Music Notes, Norman Smith and Albert Stoutamire.)

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Cichy Commission Published

Composer Roger Cichy and Music Director James O'Dell
Composer-conductor Roger Cichy presented Music Director James O'Dell with a published copy of Flowing Pens From Concord, commissioned by the Concord Band in 2008 to commemorate our 50th Anniversary Season. The work recently became available from Ludwig Masters Publications. Until now the Band used an unpublished manuscript.

Cichy graciously conducted a clinic with the Band on his piece, Quartets, which will be performed at our Fall Concert on October 26th, with the musical theme, "By Request."