2022 Spring Concert

Valhalla High School Wind Band

&

San Diego State University

Symphonic Band

Conducted by Adam T. Pezdek

Valhalla High School Wind Band
 
"Flourish For Wind Band"

By Ralph Vaughan Williams

This short piece was scored for military band with numerous clarinets, cornets, saxophones, euphoniums, and timpani.  Having been written as an overture to a pageant in the Royal Albert Hall, the score was then lost - only to reappear in 1971.  Upon its discovery the work was adapted twice by Roy Douglas - first for brass band and then for symphony orchestra.  The orchestral version is scored for wind instruments, together with double basses, timpani, and percussion.  This version had its first performance by the Tunbridge Wells Symphony Orchestra in 1974.  The original and the adaptations have all been published by Oxford University Press.

"Festivo"

By Vaclav Nelhybel

Nelhybel wrote Festivo in 1968, describing it as "an overture-type composition in which the woodwinds and the brasses are constantly confronting each other like two antagonists in a dramatic scene."  His characteristic modal style and driving rhythmic signature are quite apparent in this colorful pageant of woodwind, brass, and percussion dialogue.  The resulting percussive concept of wind performance, which is prevalent in twentieth-century music, provides a striking impact for the performer and listener.

"Autobahn"

By Ryan George

Snaking through central Europe is a unique highway system called the Autobahn.  What makes this highway special is the absence of speed limits.  Your only hindrance is the performance ability of the vehicle you are driving.  According to George, "In writing this piece I wanted to focus less on the idea of speed and more on the freedom and exhilaration that one feels while driving on a road with no limitations."  Listen for the fast cars whizzing by, the honking horns, and police sirens.  Soon enough, the traffic clears and you'll hear the driver put the pedal to the metal and cruise off into the European countryside.

"Excerpts from Appalachian Spring"

By Aaron Copland

Arranged by Robert Longfield

Appalachian Spring is one of Aaron Copland's most celebrated compositions.  It was written in 1943-44 as a ballet for Martha Graham on a commission from the Elisabeth Sprague Coolidge Foundation, and first performed at Library of Congress in Washington D.C. on October 30th, 1944.  The ballet takes place around a newly-built Pennsylvania farmhouse in the early 1800's.  A young farmer and his bride-to-be are visited by members of their community as they contemplate the joys and apprehensions of their new life together.  Appalachian Spring received the Pulitzer Prize in 1945 and the award for the outstanding theatrical work of the 1944-45 season by the Music Critics Circle of New York.

San Diego State University Symphonic Band
 
"Fanfare And Dance"

By Nolan E. Schmit

Fanfare And Dance was commissioned for the June 1997 European concert tour of the Nebraska Ambassadors of Music, Don Johnson, music director.  The composition open with a majestic fanfare, followed by a spirited and rhythmically vibrant dance.  The opening motif from the fanfare is developed through the use of numerous meter changes within the dance section and culminates in a brilliant and sparkling finish.

"Valdres"

By Johannes Hanssen

Arranged by Glenn C. Bainum

What is a band concert without a march?  Valdres is one of the most famous marches ever written - from a global perspective.  Living in the United Staes, as recipients of the legacy of John Philip Sousa, this may be difficult to accept.  While march enthusiasts have typically been drawn to the vastly larger and better known repertoires of the Unites States, Germany, England, and Spain, Valdres remains a greatly loved petite Norwegian tone poem in march time, evoking and expressions of the land of its birth, Norway.  The opening melody is a bulge call from the Valdres Battalion; Valdres being a valley in southern Norway.  Two other melodies make up the march; an old tune for hardanger-fiddle and a classic Norwegian folk song.

"Bloom"

By Steven Bryant

Steven Bryant is an active composer and conductor with a varied catalog, including works for wind ensemble, orchestra, electronic, and electro-acoustic creations, chamber music, and music for the web.  Bloom is a celebration of springtime.  The bright, sunny days, with nature in bloom all around giving a powerful sense of well-being, simultaneously tranquil and exuberant.  According to Bryant, "Bloom is my attempt to recreate that feeling."

Combined Bands
 
"The Hounds of Spring"

By Alfred Reed

This exciting, rhythmic overture for band is in the fast-slow-fast format of the early 18th-century Italian opera overtures.  Reed has stated that his purpose was to capture the twin elements of exuberant, youthful gaiety and the sweetness of tender love, found in the following excerpt from Atlanta in Calydon written in 1865 by the English poet Algernon Charles Swinburne:

When the hounds of spring are on winter's traces,

The mother of months in meadow or plain

Fills the shadows and windy places

With lisp of leaves and ripple of rain

And soft as lips that laugh and hide

The laughing of the trees divide,

And screen from seeing and leave in sight

The god pursuing, the maiden hid