Loading

university band thursday, october 7, 2021

resumption march (1879)

John Philip Sousa (1854–1932)

John Philip Sousa is one of the most well-known American composers and bandmasters. Sousa was originally a violinist who played in various bands and theatre orchestras from a young age before becoming the conductor of The United States Marine Band, “The President’s Own.” After leaving the Marine Band, he formed his own professional ensemble, The Sousa Band, and toured around the world performing thousands of concerts.

Sousa is best known for the 136 military marches he composed and is often referred to as “The March King.” Resumption March (1879) was written early in his career and celebrated the return of gold and silver coins into the southern states after their use had been suspended during the United States Civil War. Resumption March begins with a standard march form including three phrases, or “strains,” and a quieter section in the middle referred to as a trio. The expected end of the march is foiled with a return to the introduction and a replaying of the first two strains. This repeat creates a “da capo march” which was inspired by many of the arias that were performed alongside these marches to create an ABA structure. The lesser used de capo structure could perhaps have been chosen as a play on the title of the march.

Moon by night (2001)

Jonathan Newman (b. 1972)

Moon by Night was premiered on June 27, 2001 by the Sterling Municipal Symphony Band and selected as the winner of the 2003 National Band Association Merrill Jones Young Band Composition Contest. While the composition is based on the text of Psalm 121 (I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help), Newman writes, “The theme of the work is not sacred, however; it should be more like a hymn-like tone poem; a simple, straightforward chorale with long unending lines, where the text (Psalm 121) serves only to create an evocative mood.”

Newman received degrees from The Juilliard School and Boston University. He currently serves on the faculty of Shenandoah Conservatory in Virginia where he is director of composition and coordinator of new music.

Into the light (1995)

Jay Bocook (b. 1953)

Into the Light was commissioned by the Verona High School Wind Ensemble (New Jersey) in loving memory of Catherine Bell, a clarinetist in the band. It premiered in December, 1995. Into the Light is comprised of two sections: lyrical melody reminiscent of a ballad or song, followed by an energetic transition that pushes the music into the second section that is filled with rhythmic variety and colorful chord progressions. The piece closes “... in celebration and a feeling of transcendence.”

Bocook received degrees from Northeast Louisiana University and Furman University. In 1982, he was appointed as the director of bands at Furman and director of athletic bands in 2000. He also serves as a lecturer of music, composition, and orchestration.

ballad for aisha (2006)

Kimberly Archer (b. 1973)

Ballad for Aisha was commissioned for Linda and Tom Dvorak to honor their niece Aisha Greene. It is a slow, lyrical work featuring percussion and celesta. The commissioners note, "In addressing the musical fabric of the piece, we asked the composer to write music with a gentle flow, with singing lyricism. filled with the soft timbres of keyboard mallet instruments, and intermingled with musical climaxes as one might experience in musicals, all mirroring Aisha's gentle and warm personality, and her love for singing and listening to Broadway shows, especially Annie. "

Ballad for Aisha was premiered by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Youth Wind Ensemble I on May 7, 2006.

Symphony no. 1, "The Lord of the rings"(1987)

Johan de Meij (b. 1953)

Johan de Meij, a popular Dutch composer, is best known for his Symphony No. 1, The Lord of the Rings. This five movement work uses thematic motives to depict characters and events from the trilogy of books by J.R.R. Tolkien. Tonight’s performance features the final movement, “Hobbits.” The composer includes the following program note about the movement:

The fifth movement expresses the carefree and optimistic character of the hobbits in a happy folk dance; the hymn that follows emanates the determination and noblesse of the hobbit folk. The symphony does not end on an exuberant note, but is concluded peacefully and resigned, in keeping with the symbolic mood of the last chapter, “The Grey Havens,” in which Frodo and Gandalf sail away in a white ship and disappear slowly beyond the horizon.

In the symphony, de Meij uses motives similar to Richard Wagner’s leitmotifs to express characters and places, many of which appear in the final movement to complete the composition. The central theme of the movement expresses the carefree hobbits and is heard first in the trumpets. This theme is dancelike during the early fast section of the work and becomes songlike during the slower portion of the movement. The end of the work marks a return of the opening processional fanfare motive, but fades as the chords become simpler and more consonant. Brief glimpses of earlier motives can be heard in the long decrescendo as the hobbits remember the other characters they encountered along their adventure.

Fortaleza (2012)

Andrés Álvarez

Fortaleza was composed in 2013 by Andrés Álvarez, a Spanish composer who studied trumpet and composition at the Vigo Conservatory of Music where he studied with Óscar Navarro and Ferrer Ferrán. He specializes in compositions for band and audiovisual mediums. In addition to regularly composing, Álvarez is the artistic director of the Chapela Music Band in Galicia.

Fortaleza was commissioned by the Spanish town of Tomiño in celebration of San Lourenzo Castle’s restoration and was premiered by the local school band, the Goián Band. Fortaleza was inspired by legends and lore of the Spanish Castle, as well as the American film starring Robert Redford, The Last Castle. The composer summarizes the opening scene from The Last Castle by identifying four aspects of a castle that never change; the location, the walls, the guard, and the flag. In Fortaleza, this is portrayed by a theme that is always recognizable even as tempo, texture, and orchestration change.

The work begins with percussion in a march-like procession before introducing the thematic material in a chorale performed by a saxophone quartet. The middle of the piece is marked by an unmeasured section of music which highlights a variety of solos. The tempo and intensity builds for the remainder of the composition towards a mixture of battle and celebration. A final reimagining of the melody races to a victorious close.

Cole Hairston

Cole Hairston is a North Carolina native currently pursuing the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he studies with Dr. Kevin Geraldi and Dr. Jonathan Caldwell. He taught public school in North Carolina for five years. During this time he taught band, chorus, music specialization, and math. In his fourth year of teaching he was awarded Teacher of the Year for his school and was a top 5 finalist for Teacher of the Year in Gaston County.

Cole earned his Masters degree in conducting from the University of Wisconsin at Madison where he studied conducting with Scott Teeple. In Wisconsin, Cole was the head conductor of niversity Band while guest conducting with the Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, and Wisconsin Marching Band. He also had the opportunity to guest conduct local music programs and chamber ensembles. In addition to conducting, Cole also studied clarinet with Alicia Lee and performed in the Wind Ensemble. He was accepted to play clarinet with the World Youth Wind Orchestra Project in Austria during the summer of 2018. Cole earned the Bachelor of Music Education degree from UNC Greensboro.

Jennifer Stewart Walter

Dr. Jennifer S. Walter is currently Professor of Music Education at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, specializing in instrumental music education. Dr. Walter taught elementary, middle, and high school band in North Carolina and Tennessee, and she is an experienced clinician. She is also active in the field of music education research and has presented her research at state, regional, national and international conferences. Dr. Walter’s current research involves the level of noise exposure experienced by music teachers and students, and also how to develop pre-service teachers’ knowledge, skills, and dispositions toward successful and ethical teaching. Dr. Walter lives in the Greensboro area with husband Donny and daughter Charlie.

Kristin Arp

Kristin Arp is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with Dr. Kevin Geraldi and Dr. Jonathan Caldwell. Before coming to UNCG, Kristin taught high school and middle school band in the Knox County, Tennessee public schools.

Kristin holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Music Education and Instrumental Conducting from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville where she studied with Dr. Donald Ryder and Dr. David Royse. At UT, she frequently conducted the University of Tennessee Concert Band, Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, and Trumpet Ensemble. As a graduate assistant for the Pride of the Southland Marching Band, Kristin’s responsibilities included teaching drill, music, and the supervision of Volleyball and Basketball Pep Bands. She also has extensive experience with Drum Corp International and performed with 2009 DCI World Championship Finalists, the Troopers Drum & Bugle Corps from Casper, Wyoming.