Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Concord Band “Flights of Fancy” Honors Women in the Air Force

The Concord Band’s March 8, 2014 Winter Concert theme is Flights of Fancy, but it could just as well be “award-winning.”

In January 2014, the Concord Band received a national award for community bands, the Sudler Silver Scroll Award, presented each year by the John Philip Sousa Foundation to one or two bands in North America that have “demonstrated particularly high standards of excellence in music presentation, and have played a significant and leading role in the cultural and musical environment in their respective communities."  One of the pieces Music Director Jim O’Dell has chosen is Aerial Fantasy by the contemporary Maryland composer Michael Mogensen who was nominated for a 2007 Pulitzer Prize for that composition.  Rhode Island composer and Concord Band favorite Roger Cichy wrote Wings Across America in honor of the World War II era Women Airforce Service Pilots or WASPs. The WASPs received the 2010 Air Force Association Lifetime Achievement Award, although an award they never received was GI benefits and they were not even acknowledged as Veterans until 1977. Whether ferrying military from one location to another, test flying aircraft, flight instructing or towing target for artillery practice, the women of the WASPs carried out their assigned duties with courage, guts, and skill and served as role model for later women astronauts and USAF pilots.

Guest Artist Lewis Buckley
Lewis Buckley, retired conductor of the US Coast Guard Band, is a composer and trumpet soloist while he conducts the Metropolitan Wind Symphony.  Lew arranged Dixieland Live! on commission from the Concord Band and played the trumpet part in the Concord Band’s Dixieland ensemble that was featured at the Concord Band’s 50th anniversary concert in 2009.  He returns as trumpet soloist on March 8 to perform two of his own compositions for trumpet.  Originally called Bell-Flight, Buckley renamed his 1980s composition A Tribute to Doc in honor of trumpeter and band leader Doc Severinsen.  Buckley wrote it for a Coast Guard Band trumpet soloist and said that he renamed it, “because it was Doc’s great playing that inspired my younger years and the style of the piece.” Buckley’s Yellow Rose of Texas Variations were also written for a Coast Guard Band soloist, this time a euphonium player.  Following the form of the famous Carnival of Venice variations, the piece is designed to display the soloist’s virtuosity.  Because the piece is so popular, Buckley has arranged it for various other soloists including trumpet, which will give Buckley a second opportunity to demonstrate his virtuosity to the appreciative Concord Band audience.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

"Flights of Fancy" Program

The Concord Band continues its 55th season with Flights of Fancy, featuring trumpet soloist Lewis Buckley, at the Performing Arts Center, 51 Walden Street, Concord, at 8:00 PM on Saturday, March 8, 2014.

The program opens with the dramatic Beyond the Horizon by Rosanno Galante. This majestic and sweeping work is based on two themes that represent the magnificence of the earth’s horizon.

John Philip Sousa is widely known for his marches, but he also wrote many other works, including a number of suites. People Who Live In Glass Houses is a unique and lively four-movement suite composed one year before the world tour of the Sousa Band in 1910. Each movement is a musical representation of the country or region where a particular type of drink originated: “The Champaignes”, “The Rhine Wines”, “The Whiskeys”, and “The Convention of the Cordials”.