Symphonic Band - Light It Up!
From Bryan Mitschell
UCO Symphonic Band
Dr. Brian Lamb, conductor
Spring ’23 “Festival of Light”
Light it Up!
With Alumnus Guest Composer and Conductor:
Am’re Ford (Class of 2014)
and Student Conductors:
Frank Ticheli (b. 1958)
Ryan Holcomb, Student Conductor
James M. Stephenson (b. 1969)
Kayla Factor, Student Conductor
Zero Quarter (2022)
Am’re Ford (b. 1990)
Am’re Ford, Alumnus Guest Composer and Conductor
Crescent Moon (2010)
Yosuke Fukuda (b. 1975)
Zach Kimber, Student Conductor
Havana Nights (2020)
Randall Standridge (b. 1976)
Frank Ticheli (b. 21 January 1958, Monroe, La.) is an American composer and conductor.
Ticheli joined the faculty of the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music in 1991, where he is Professor of Composition. From 1991 to 1998, Ticheli was Composer in Residence of the Pacific Symphony, and he still enjoys a close working relationship with that orchestra and their music director, Carl St. Clair.
Ticheli is well known for his works for concert band, many of which have become standards in the repertoire. In addition to composing, he has appeared as guest conductor of his music at Carnegie Hall, at many American universities and music festivals, and in cities throughout the world, including Schladming, Austria, at the Mid-Europe Music Festival; London and Manchester, England, with the Meadows Wind Ensemble; Singapore, with the Singapore Armed Forces Central Band; and numerous cities in Japan, with the Bands of America National Honor Band.
Frank Ticheli is the winner of the 2006 NBA/William D. Revelli Memorial Band Composition Contest for his Symphony No. 2. Other awards for his music include the Charles Ives and the Goddard Lieberson Awards, both from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Walter Beeler Memorial Prize, and First Prize awards in the Texas Sesquicentennial Orchestral Composition Competition, Britten-on-the-Bay Choral Composition Contest, and Virginia CBDNA Symposium for New Band Music.
Dr. Ticheli received his doctoral and master’s degrees in composition from The University of Michigan. His works are published by Manhattan Beach, Southern, Hinshaw, and Encore Music, and are recorded on the labels of Albany, Chandos, Clarion, Klavier, Koch International, and Mark Records.
Vesuvius, the volcano that destroyed Pompeii in A.D. 79, is an icon of power and energy in this work. Originally I had in mind a wild and passionate dance such as might have been performed at an ancient Roman bacchanalia. During the compositional process, I began to envision something more explosive and fiery. With its driving rhythms, exotic modes, and quotations from the Dies Irae from the medieval Requiem Mass, it became evident that the bacchanalia I was writing could represent a dance from the final days of the doomed city of Pompeii.
– Program Notes by composer
James Stephenson (b. 1969, Illinois) is an American composer.
Mr. Stephenson came late to his full-time composing career, having performed 17 seasons as a trumpeter in the Naples Philharmonic in Florida, a position he won immediately upon graduating from the New England Conservatory of Music. As such, he is largely self-taught as a composer. Colleagues and friends encouraged his earliest efforts and enthusiasm followed from all directions.
His works have been performed by leading American orchestras and hailed by critics as having “straightforward, unabashedly beautiful sounds” and “Stephenson deserves to be heard again and again!” (Boston Herald). His music incorporates a fresh and energizing soundscape that delights the audience while maintaining integrity and worthwhile challenges for the performing musicians. This rare combination has rewarded Stephenson with a host of ongoing commissions and projects.
Recent collaborations include a concerto for Branford Marsalis with Rodney Mack; an exuberant fanfare for the Houston Symphony; and a concerto for the Philadelphia Orchestra’s principal trombonist, Nitzan Haroz. In 2010 and 2011, Stephenson premieres included a trumpet concerto in Sydney, Australia, (with repeats in Brazil, Sweden and the UK), as well as concertos for flute and clarinet in Florida and Ohio (Cleveland), respectively.
Stephenson is also active in the concert band world, with premieres occurring at major venues such as the 2010 Midwest Clinic, and the 2011 ABA (American Bandmasters Association) convention with the US “President’s Own” Marine Band.
His landmark educational work, Compose Yourself!, has now been performed over 300 times since its creation in 2002. Also active as a highly sought-after arranger, Stephenson’s arrangements have been performed/recorded/broadcast by virtually every major orchestra in the country, including the Boston Pops, Cincinnati Pops, New York Pops and more.
Stephenson is currently enjoying a position of Composer-in-Residence with the Lake Forest Symphony (Illinois), Alan Heatherington, Music Director.
Reflections was originally written as a trumpet etude, in 2010. I was on vacation in N.Y., sitting in an apartment, and began improvising on the piano. I started reflecting on how my father would often play the piano when I was growing up, and therefore I endeavored to create a melody in the style in which he might have played. He especially loved show tunes and jazz ballads.
I also subsequently rewrote Reflections as a solo piece for every wind instrument, to be accompanied by piano. This version of Reflections is for three-part band, with optional percussion. It could be played by as few as three instruments, or up to as many as desired. It is meant to focus on melodic interpretation and phrasing, and of course, unison playing with other section and band-mates.
– Program Notes by composer
Am’re Ford is a native of Oklahoma City, OK. He holds a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance from the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) and a Master of Music in Music Composition from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). While attending UCO, Am’re was a member of a number of large ensembles and chamber ensembles, all while being the director of the UCO Ebony Gospel Choir. It was at UCO that Am’re discovered his gift of writing music.
In March of 2014, Am’re debuted a song cycle, Freedom Suite, at the National Association for the Study and Performance of African American Music National Convention alongside faculty members of Langston University. In May of the same year, he debuted a string orchestra piece, Transcendence, written about the passing of his late grandfather. In the fall of 2014, Am’re moved to Greensboro, North Carolina to study composition with Mark Engebretson, Alejandro Rutty and Steven Bryant. For his master’s thesis, Am’re composed, Unrest. This chamber piece was written to honor the lives of innocent Black men killed due to police brutality.
Am’re has an extensive history of being an organist and pianist for local churches and community events. He enjoys any opportunity to engage in meaningful experiences and is passionate about making a positive impact on the next generation of musicians.
Am’re’s accomplishments include being a recipient of the Next Gen Under 30 award and a Sphinx Connect Fellow for 2020. Am’re is a member of National Association for Music Educators, Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Fraternity Inc. and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America Inc.
Zero Quarter: I have loved Historically Black College and University (HBCU) bands and their style of marching and playing as far back as I can remember. I particularly enjoy the invigorating energy that bands bring to each performance that compels audiences to move, dance and shake!
Bands often march to the stadium prior to a football game and get situated. If there’s enough time, there’s an exchange of music back and forth between the two bands. This is called the “zero quarter.” Bands can be heard playing warm-ups, chorales, marches or even pop tunes. The zero quarter is a time to get used to how the ensemble sounds in the space, warm-up and size up their competition across the field. Zero Quarter draws inspiration from this event of the same name.
You can find chromatic passages, scalar passages, and a number of different articulations that serve as ways to warm up wind bands and also demonstrate the style of HBCU marching bands.
– Program Notes by composer
Yosuke Fukuda (b. 19 April 1975, Suginame, Tokyo) is a Japanese composer and oboist.
As a boy he made all music because he played a synthesizer. At age 11 he began to write, first small compositions and arrangements with the help of the multimedia capabilities of his computer. At age 12 he arranged works by Claude Debussy for synthesizer. In the junior high school, he became familiar with instruments and band and their music. It was then that he wrote his first work for that medium and arranged works by famous masters of the band.
In 1991, he began his research in the field of the synthesizer and the multimedia capabilities of the computer simultaneously. In 1994 he graduated from the high school and was first employed in a music business, but he composed further, especially for the theater, opera, dance-company, and for television. In 1999 he was appointed president of the Desital Wonderland, DAW Product.
Crescent Moon was commissioned by Honan High School Wind Orchestra in Tokyo. It was revised by adding two percussionists to a brass sextet to give more depth and dimension to both harmony and sound.
I thought to have the piece feel mystical while observing a sword-shaped moon brightly shining in the night sky, considering spirituality inspired by the moon.
Starting with serenity, gradually growing in power to an Allegro, guided by rhythms with Japanese drums and percussive dances, the theme of the crescent moon appears and retreats. The rhythm intensifies as the melody intertwines, fragility and intensity spiral and build to the climax.
– Program Notes by composer
Randall D. Standridge (b. 1976, Little Rock, Ark.) is an American composer and arranger.
Randall Standridge received his Bachelor of Music Education degree from Arkansas State University. During this time, he studied composition with Tom O’Connor, before returning to Arkansas State University to earn his master’s in music composition, studying with Tom O’Connor and Tim Crist. In 2001, he began his tenure as director of bands at Harrisburg High School in Harrisburg, Arkansas. He left this post in 2013 to pursue a career as a full-time composer and marching arts designer.
Mr. Standridge’s music is performed internationally. He has had numerous works selected to the J.W. Pepper’s editor’s choice. His compositions Snake Charmer, Gently Blows the Summer Wind, and Angelic Celebrations have been included in the Teaching Music Through Performance in Band series. He has had numerous works performed at the prestigious Midwest Clinic in Chicago, Illinois. His work Art(isms) was premiered by the Arkansas State University Wind Ensemble at the 2010 CBDNA conference in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and his work Stonewall: 1969 was premiered at the National LGBA conference in 2019. Mr. Standridge is also a contributing composer for Alfred Music’s Sound Innovations: Ensemble Development series.
In addition to his career as a composer, Mr. Standridge is the owner and editor of Randall Standridge Music, LLC and Grand Mesa Marching. He is in demand as a drill designer, music arranger, and color guard designer for the marching arts, as well as a freelance artist/photographer and writer.
My musical tastes are wildly eclectic. One moment, you might find me enjoying Beethoven’s symphonies and the other you might find me head-banging to Iron Maiden. I have never been a musical snob and I value and love the entire array of sounds, rhythms, and textures that the world of music, in all its forms, has to offer.
One genre I have a particular affection for is mambo. Being introduced to the style when I was in high school, I was enchanted with the melodies, rhythms, and excitement that it generates. As I dug more deeply into the style, I was introduced to the work of Yma Sumac, Tito Puente, Pérez Prado, and others. I was absolutely enchanted.
Havana Nights is a concert work for wind ensemble, but it was also conceived as a short ballet. The action takes place in the mambo clubs of Havana as our heroine (Havanna) dances her way through the night life. She encounters another young dancer and the two begin a flirtatious, seductive conversation through the art of movement. As the ballet comes to a close, Havanna casts one final, gleeful look at her would-be suitor before escaping into the night.
This work was commissioned by District 10 of the Ohio Music Educators Association for their 2018 District 10 OMEA Honor Band. I would like to thank them for trusting my creativity and allowing me to create something “entirely else” for wind ensemble. Thank you for letting me use my musical voice.
Also, this work is dedicated to one of my composition professors, Dr. Tom O’Connor. I absolutely could not have done any of this without your guidance, advice, and encouragement. I am forever in your debt.
Peace, Love, and Music.
– Program Notes by composer
SYMPHONIC BAND PERSONNEL
Students are listed alphabetically.
They all have unique flex part assignments tonight; hence, they all serve as principal players.
Camryn Lagaly (alto)
Trey Pomeroy (alto)
Jeron Fishburn (bari)
Devin Erwin-Acker (tenor)