Concert Band and Symphonic Winds to Present Concert, March 5
JONESBORO -- The Arkansas State University Concert Band and Symphonic Winds will present their first performance of the semester in Riceland Hall of Fowler Center on Tuesday, March 5, at 7:30 p.m.
The Concert Band is under the direction of Ben Light, graduate music education student, and the Symphonic Winds are under the direction of Dr. Sarah Labovitz, associate director of bands and director of athletic bands, with guest graduate conductor, Daniel Harrelson. The concert is free and open to the public.
The concert will open with Frank Ticheli’s concert overture, “Joy Revisited.” Inspired by the birth of Ticheli’s first child, “Joy Revisited” and its companion piece, “Joy,” were written as a musical diptych whose melodic, harmonic, and expressive content are highly similar. Both pieces may stand together or independently. “Joy Revisited” was composed with more advanced players in mind. Ticheli says, “I endeavored to compose un-identical twins, two sides of the same coin. Above all, ‘Joy Revisited’ is an expression of its namesake: simple, unabashed joy.”
Larry Daehn wrote “As Summer Was Just Beginning” as a musical memorial for actor James Dean who was killed in a car accident in 1955 at the age of 24. Daehn says, “I loosely based the main melody (heard at the beginning and at measures 33 and 57) on an old British Isles folksong, ‘The Winter it is past, and the Summer’s here at last.’ I chose it because Dean’s Quaker heritage goes back to England, Ireland and Scotland, and because this simple bittersweet song about summer seemed appropriate for remembering James Dean.”
Closing the first half of the program, the Concert Band will present Claude T. Smith’s standard work for wind band, “Declaration Overture.” Premiered in 1975, “Declaration Overture” offers a set of variations based around the primary melody heard in the opening statement of the piece. From bright and lively to soft and introspective, this robust concert showpiece delights listeners of all persuasions.
The Symphonic Winds open the second half of the program with the concert march, “Florentiner.” Written in 1907 by Czech composer Julius Fučik, this march, subtitled “Grande Marcia Italiana,” is written in an operatic style full of color and contrast with brilliant trumpet fanfares, dainty woodwind melodies, and stoic low brass lines.
“Resting in the Peace of His Hands” is a ballad by John Gibson that is inspired by a Kaethe Kollwitz sculpture of the same name. Gibson recalls when he first saw it, “I knew only that the work expressed to me a remarkable sense of peace and that I would never lose the impression it made upon me at that chance encounter.” The sculpture is a bronze relief and is on display at the Busch-Reisinger Museum at Harvard University.
The second piece by Frank Ticheli on the program is “Fortress” composed in 1988 for the Batawagama Youth Camp Band in Iron County, Mich. The piece is built around three motives, the call motif, the main idea, and the legato theme. These melodic fragments are developed, interwoven, and passed throughout the ensemble to create an energetic and contrasting concert work.
Closing the program is Symphonic Dance No. 3 “Fiesta” by Clifton Williams. This piece from the standard band repertoire is, as Williams describes, “the pageantry of Latin-American celebration- street bands, bull fights, bright costumes, the colorful legacy of a proud people.” Latin percussion, dance rhythms, and constant energy make this piece a perennial band favorite.
For more information about the concert or ASU music, interested individuals may contact the Department of Music office at (870) 972-2094.
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