Wind Symphony - Look, Ma! No Hands! - 3/9/23
From Bryan Mitschell
Look, Ma! No Hands! UCO Wind Symphony Dr. Brian Lamb, conductor PROGRAM Molly on the Shore (1920) Percy Aldridge Grainger (1882-1961) Passacaglia and Fugue in C Minor, BWV 582 (c.1712) Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) Transcribed by Donald Hunsberger (b. 1932) unBroken (2021) Randall Standridge (b. 1976) Dance Movements (1996) Philip Sparke (b. 1951) I. Ritmico II. Molto Vivo (for the Woodwinds) III. Lento (for the Brass) IV. Molto Ritmico PROGRAM NOTES George Percy Grainger (8 July 1882, Brighton, Victoria, Australia – 20 February 1961, White Plains, N.Y.) was an Australian-born composer, pianist and champion of the saxophone and the concert band, who worked under the stage name of Percy Aldridge Grainger. Grainger was an innovative musician who anticipated many forms of twentieth century music well before they became established by other composers. As early as 1899 he was working with “beatless music”, using metric successions (including such sequences as 2/4, 2½/4, 3/4, 2½/4). In December 1929, Grainger developed a style of orchestration that he called “Elastic Scoring”. He outlined this concept in an essay that he called, “To Conductors, and those forming, or in charge of, Amateur Orchestras, High School, College and Music School Orchestras and Chamber-Music Bodies”. In 1932, he became Dean of Music at New York University, and underscored his reputation as an experimenter by putting jazz on the syllabus and inviting Duke Ellington as a guest lecturer. Twice he was offered honorary doctorates of music, but turned them down, explaining, “I feel that my music must be regarded as a product of non-education.” (from windrep.org) In setting Molly on the Shore, I strove to imbue the accompanying parts that made up the harmonic texture with a melodic character not too unlike that of the underlying reel tune. Melody seems to me to provide music with initiative, whereas rhythm appears to me to exert an enslaving influence. For that reason I have tried to avoid regular rhythmic domination in my music — always excepting irregular rhythms, such as those of Gregorian chant, which seem to me to make for freedom. Equally with melody, I prize discordant harmony, because of the emotional and compassionate sway it exerts. – Program Note by Percy Aldridge Grainger ********************** Johann Sebastian Bach (31 March [O.S. 21 March] 1685 – 28 July 1750) was a German composer and musician of the Baroque period. Bach enriched established German styles through his skill in counterpoint, harmonic and motivic organization, and the adaptation of rhythms, forms, and textures from abroad, particularly from Italy and France. Bach’s compositions include the Brandenburg concerti, the Mass in B minor, The Well-Tempered Clavier, two Passions, keyboard works, and more than 300 cantatas, of which nearly 100 cantatas have been lost to posterity. His music is revered for its intellectual depth, technical command, and artistic beauty. Bach was born in Eisenach, Saxe-Eisenach, into a great musical family; his father, Johann Ambrosius Bach, was the director of the town musicians, and all of his uncles were professional musicians. His father probably taught him to play violin and harpsichord, and his brother, Johann Christoph Bach, taught him the clavichord and exposed him to much contemporary music. Apparently at his own initiative, Bach attended St Michael’s School in Lüneburg for two years. After graduating, he held several musical posts across Germany: he served as Kapellmeister (director of music) to Leopold, Prince of Anhalt-Köthen, Cantor of the Thomasschule in Leipzig, and Royal Court Composer to August III. Bach’s health and vision declined in 1749, and he died on 28 July 1750. Modern historians believe that his death was caused by a combination of stroke and pneumonia. Bach’s abilities as an organist were highly respected throughout Europe during his lifetime, although he was not widely recognized as a great composer until a revival of interest and performances of his music in the first half of the nineteenth century. He is now generally regarded as one of the main composers of the Baroque period, and as one of the greatest composers of all time. (from windrep.org) Donald Hunsberger (b. 2 August 1932, Souderton, Pennsylvania) was the conductor of the Eastman Wind Ensemble from 1965 until 2001. He also held the position of professor of conducting at the Eastman School of Music. Generally regarded as a key contributor to the rise of the modern wind ensemble in the twentieth century, Hunsberger’s notable contributions include conducting, recording, and arranging music for winds. During his tenure with the Eastman Wind Ensemble, Hunsberger conducted many recordings, including some with trumpeter Wynton Marsalis. Through his work as a conductor, author, and recording artist, Hunsberger helped further the principles of the wind ensemble concept, including “specified instrumentation, orchestral concept of performance, single performer approach [and] development of individual tone colors.” From 1985-87, Hunsberger served as the president of the College Band Directors National Association. Hunsberger has also arranged transcriptions of orchestral music for concert band. Among these include: Shostakovich’s Festive Overture; Kabalevsky’s Colas Breugnon Overture, Grafulla’s Echoes of the 1860’s, Khachaturian’s Ballet Suite from Spartacus, and John Williams’ Star Wars Trilogy. Hunsberger is also the editor for the Remington Warm Up Series. Hunsberger co-authored a book with Roy Ernst called The Art of Conducting, wrote a newsletter for MCA Music on Wind Ensemble Music, and many other articles. In 1994 he co-edited a book with Frank J. Cipolla called The Wind Ensemble and Its Repertoire: Essays on the Fortieth Anniversary of the Eastman Wind Ensemble. In recent years, Hunsberger has rescored music for silent films, and has conducted performances with major symphony orchestras. Hunsberger is currently conductor emeritus of the Eastman Wind Ensemble. (from windrep.org) The Passacaglia and Fugue in c minor was composed sometime during Bach’s second residence in Weimar, c. 1708-17. Albert Schweitzer writes: “The Passacaglia and Fugue was written in the first place for cembalo (harpsichord) with pedal and was later transcribed for organ.” The theme, which is presented in 20 variations and the fugue, consists of two parts: the first half which Bach borrowed from a Trio en Passacaille by Andre Raison, and the answering second half which is original material. Bach was fairly consistent in closing each statement of the theme with an authentic cadence (c minor: V-i); despite these brief attempts at finality there remains a flow of continuity provided by a frequent rhythmic acceleration during the closing measures of the variation, anticipating the rhythmic pattern of the following variation. An additional feeling of continuity is supplied through the contrapuntal treatment of the inner voices, seldom allowing these voices to become stagnant. The instrumentation selected provides a wealth of solo colors in both the woodwind and brass sections; octave doublings and timbre couplings have been utilized to employ the outer tessituras of each instrument. There has been no direct attempt to reproduce the vast tonal resources of the pipe or electronic organ, although the transcriber bore in mind the coupling principle inherent in the overtone mechanism of the organ. – Program Note excerpted from notes by Donald Hunsberger ********************** Randall Standridge (b.1976) received his Bachelor of Music Education from Arkansas State University. During this time, he studied composition with Dr. Tom O’Connor, before returning to Arkansas State University to earn his Master’s in Music Composition, studying with Dr. Tom O’Connor and Dr. 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 is currently published by Grand Mesa Music, Alfred Music, FJH Music, Wingert-Jones Music, Band Works Publications, Twin Towers Music, and Northeastern Music Publications. 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 colorguard designer for the marching arts, as well as a freelance artist/photographer and writer. He lives in Jonesboro, Arkansas with his family. The title of this work, unBroken, is in reference to three things. First, is a description of my mother, who has learned to manage her illness and thrive in spite of it. Second, it is a reference to our family, and how both my father and mother worked to ensure that it remained whole. My parents are my heroes, and I am not shy about saying it. Their strength and this experience, has also made me completely unafraid to utter the following statement: My name is Randall Standridge, and I live with depression. Third, many people throughout the world experience mental illness. Too many are afraid of what others will think and what may happen to their relationships, their jobs, and their families if they seek help. They are afraid that they will be seen as “weak”, “defective”, or “broken.” It is my hope that this work may provide a starting place for productive discussions and be another tool that will help knock down the social barriers that prevent those that need help from seeking it. This piece of music is dedicated to my parents, Ron and Shirley Standridge, and to all of the people and families who live with the challenges of mental illness. Lastly, to those who may be experiencing similar problems, please know this: You are not weak. You are not defective. You are not broken. Peace, Love, and Music During my childhood, my mother suffered a complete nervous breakdown and psychotic break with reality. Before this happened, there were many warning signs that she was experiencing mental health issues. There were moments when she would cry for no discernable reason, when her mood and character would change in an instant, and moments when she would seem withdrawn from everyone. However, these were infrequent and, as so, we all assumed that she was fine. She was not fine. Unknown to us, and even to herself, our mother was battling depression. Growing up in the time period when they did, both of our parents had been conditioned to see mental health problems as sources of shame, signs of weakness, and a failing of character. Due to this, they did not seek help even though they both knew something was wrong. The pressure built, the problems multiplied, and finally, one day, it all became too much for her to bear. My mother’s breakdown was so severe that she was hospitalized for over a year. It was a terrifying ordeal as my two brothers, my father, and I watched her battle this crippling illness. However, there are two things that I will never forget from that time. First, I remember my mother’s strength in fighting her way back to us. And second, I remember my father’s unwavering faith and fidelity to her as he stood by her side, kept the household together, and cared for both her and us as best he could. Their bond did not break. Our family did not break. After this experience, the taboo of discussing mental health was removed from our household. My mother was diagnosed with severe depression and, upon returning home, started proper treatment for her condition. Any time she would begin to experience the onset of a particularly bad episode, she sought the help she needed and managed to prevent another such breakdown. As with anyone who lives with depression, she has good days and bad days, but the fear of identifying as a person with a mental health issue and the stigma surrounding it has been lifted. My father is still by her side, supporting her in any way she needs, just as he always has during their 50+ years of marriage. (from RandallStandridge.com) ********************** Philip Sparke (b. 29 December 1951, London) is a British composer. Mr. Sparke studied composition, trumpet and piano at the Royal College of Music, where he gained an ARCM. It was at the college that his interest in bands arose. He played in the college wind orchestra and also formed a brass band among the students, writing several works for both ensembles. At that time, his first published works appeared – Concert Prelude (brass band) and Gaudium (wind band). A growing interest in his music led to several commissions, his first major one being for the Centennial Brass Band Championships in New Zealand – The Land of the Long White Cloud. Further commissions followed from individual bands, various band associations and the BBC, for whom he three times won the EBU New Music for Band Competition (with Slipstream, Skyrider and Orient Express). He has written for brass band championships in New Zealand, Switzerland, Holland, Australia and the UK, including three times for the National Finals at the Royal Albert Hall, and his test pieces are constantly in use wherever brass bands can be found. A close association with banding in Japan led to a commission (Celebration) from and eventual recording of his music with the Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra. This opened the door worldwide to his wind band music and led to several commissions, particularly from the United States. In 1996 the U.S. Air Force Band commissioned and recorded Dance Movements, which won the prestigious Sudler Prize in 1997. In 2005 Music of the Spheres won the National Band Association/William D. Revelli Memorial Band Composition Contest. His conducting and adjudicating activities have taken him to most European countries, Scandinavia, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and the United States. He runs his own publishing company, Anglo Music Press, which he formed in May 2000. In September 2000 he was awarded the Iles Medal of the Worshipful Company of Musicians for his services to brass bands. (from windrep.org) Dance Movements was commissioned by the United States Air Force Band and first performed by them at the Florida Music Educators’ Association Convention in January 1996. It is cast in four movements which are played without a break; the second and third feature woodwinds and brass, respectively. In many respects, the circumstances of the commission itself were the musical inspiration for the piece: I had been asked to write for a very large band, which included piano and harp. It was the first time I had used these instruments in a concert band score and (as in Stravinsky’s Symphony in Three Movements) their presence coloured the score and, indeed, the type of music I wrote. The four movements are all dance-inspired, although no specific dance rhythms are used. The first has a Latin American feel and uses xylophone, cabasa, tambourine and wood block to give local colour. The second woodwind movement uses a tune that had been plaguing me for some time and is, I suppose, in the style of an English country dance. The brass movement was composed without a specific dance analogy, but I think it can been seen as a love duet in classical ballet. The fourth and longest movement has, I hope, cured me of a ten-year fascination, almost obsession, with the music of Leonard Bernstein, and I will readily admit that it owes its existence to the fantastic dance music in West Side Story. I. Ritmico.The opening theme on horns and saxophones is played amidst stabbing chords from the top and bottom of the band. A gentler theme follows on piccolo and clarinet, followed by the flute, oboe, trumpet, harp and glockenspiel. The main motif of the movement then arrives, which includes a dotted rhythm, which is to recur at all significant moments. A climax is reached and an angular figure follows on oboes, saxophones and clarinets. Previous material then reappears to bring the movement to a close. II. Molto Vivo (for the Woodwinds).The second movement starts with a rustic dance tune, which is continually interrupted. It passes through various keys and stages of development until a bubbling ostinato arrives on piano, harp, glockenspiel and cello. Over this, the oboe lays a languid tune, which is then taken up by soprano and alto saxophones. Clarinets and lower winds introduce a new idea; it is built on 9th and 11th chords, highly syncopated and interspersed by snatches of the ostinato. Eventually the oboe theme reappears, accompanied by the lower wind chords. The dance tune then establishes itself once more and reaches a climax before winding down to a close. III. Lento (for the Brass). The third movement opens with whispering muted trumpets, harp and vibraphone. Declamatory statements from horn and trombone answer each other and a slow and majestic chorale gets underway. Trumpets join to reach a climax where the original trombone statement reappears, bringing back the opening trumpets figures. IV. Molto ritmico.The final movement bursts into life with a passage featuring the percussion section. The whole band then joins in until a driving bass ostinato establishes itself. Melodic snatches are thrown around the band until a gradual crescendo leads to a unison passage for the entire band. A robust theme appears on horns and saxophones but eventually the earlier sinister music returns. After a short pause a plaintive tune on the woodwinds leads to a more rhythmic one on the brass, but it is not long before the percussion remind us of the opening of the movement, and the ostinato reappears. The robust horn tune is this time played by the full band but the moment of triumph is short and a running passage appears that starts in the bottom of the band but works its way to the upper woodwinds. Eventually the brass plays a noble fanfare that dispels the darker mood and ends the movement in a blaze of colour. – Program Note by Philip Sparke WIND SYMPHONY PERSONNEL FLUTES Naomi Tomko Del City BM Bryanna Louch Choctaw BM Karissa Denham Southmoore BME Abbie Childers Tuttle BME Karissa Denham (piccolo) OBOE Diana Henderson Oklahoma City MM Braeden Jermain (Eng. Horn) Edmond North BME Nicholas Cockerill Moore BME BASSOONS Abbie Claussen Bartlesville BME Ryan Holcomb Tulsa Union BME Micah Adkins (Contra) Edmond Santa Fe BME CLARINETS Cristian Celis Justin, TX BM Kyle Nolting (Eb Sop.) Mustang Math Mikayla Walker McAlester BME Sara Roark Tuttle BME Jasmine Wright Western Heights BME Fernanda Ceron Western Heights BME Roseanna Medina Chickasha BME BASS AND CONTRA CLARINETS Noah Billlingsley Bartlesville BME Eli Hellstern Edmond Santa Fe BME Anthony DeLozier McKinney, TX BM SAXOPHONES Jeffrey Stevenson (Bari) Madison Heights, VA MM–Jazz Eric Neel (Alto/Soprano) Edmond Memorial BME Jalon Thomas (Alto) Western Heights BM Jon Torres (Tenor) Mustang Kinesiology TRUMPETS Caleb Rollins Edmond Santa Fe BM Miranda Highby Edmond Santa Fe BM Brock Lewis Choctaw BA–Music Laila Martinez Deer Creek Nursing Cameron Hadley Berryhill BME Ty Clifton Choctaw BME HORNS Blake Sullivan Mustang BME Becca Geitzenauer Enid BM Alex Hamm Checotah BM Cristalynne Burns Classen SAS BME TROMBONES Naomi Wharry Idabel BM Mason Longey Choctaw Business Austin Oden Edison Prep, Tulsa Comp Sci Mateo Rivera (Bass) Edmond Memorial BME EUPHONIUM Lucas Haught Coweta BME Matthew Cardwell Mustang BME TUBA Matt Card Southmoore BME Riley Crow Cushing BME STRING BASS Aimee McRorie Edmond North MM–Jazz PERCUSSION Kyle Broadbooks Verdigris BM Mike Hill Tulsa Union BME Zach Kimber Piedmont BME Katelynn Moore Edmond Santa Fe BME Eric Sturgeon Mounds BME Trey Brabham Mustang BME Treven Cowherd Edmond Memorial BME PIANO Huiru Hu Fujian, China MM HARP Chelsea Bushong UCO Faculty Guest CONDUCTOR BIO Brian Lamb has served as the Director of Bands at the University of Central Oklahoma since 2001. He conducts the Wind Symphony, The Symphonic Band, and the Marching Band, and teaches conducting and instrumental courses, and he guides all aspects of the UCO band program. Dr. Lamb made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2005, performing with UCO friend and colleague Tess Remy in the Weill Recital Hall. In 2006, Lamb and the UCO Wind Symphony performed for a full house in the Isaac Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall. The UCO Wind Symphony, with Lamb as conductor, has garnered international attention and acclaim from audiences, composers, and critics alike for outstanding and creative performances and for playing an active role in commissioning projects and consortiums, including work with Carter Pann, David Maslanka, Carolyn Bremer, Richard Danielpour, Michael Daugherty, Michael Colgrass, Samuel Magrill, and others. Lamb received his bachelor’s degree in music education from Baylor University, a master’s degree in trumpet performance and literature from the University of Notre Dame, and the doctor of musical arts degree in conducting from the University of North Texas. He has been fortunate to study with many outstanding musical mentors, including Eugene Corporon, Michael Haithcock, Gary Sousa, Larry Rachleff, Alan McMurray, Jack Stamp, Dennis Fisher, John Haynie, Barry Hopper, and William Scarlett. Prior to his UCO appointment, Dr. Lamb served as Director of Instrumental Studies at Southwest Baptist University and as director of bands and chairman of the fine arts department at James Bowie High School in Arlington, Texas. Still active as a trumpet performer, Dr. Lamb plays in the Redbud Brass Quintet, the UCO Faculty Brass Quintet. Dr. Lamb is active as a clinician and guest conductor all over the world, and his groups have received acclaim for performances at regional, state and national conventions. In his 22-year tenure at UCO, the Wind Symphony has been selected to perform at three College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) Regional Conventions, and they have been the collegiate honor band at six Oklahoma Music Educators Association (OkMEA) conventions. Under Lamb’s baton, the UCO Wind Symphony has released 5 CDs on the prestigious Equilibrium label, which are available on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, CDBaby, and all other relevant streaming services. He has contributed several published works to various journals and textbooks, and he is the author of “Music is Magic,” a children’s radio program that aired on KUCO-90.1 FM. He is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda Music Honor Society, the College Band Directors National Association, Oklahoma Music Educators Association, The National Association for Music Education, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. He was honored as a Friend of the Arts by Sigma Alpha Iota, he is an honorary member of Kappa Kappa Psi, the national band service fraternity, and he was recently inducted into the Oklahoma chapter of Phi Beta Mu, the international band directors’ fraternity.