Enjoy UCF Music’s premier band ensembles in a beautiful concert setting.
UCF Symphonic Band
Tremon Kizer, director
For ‘The Presidents’ Own’, John Williams
Named by President Thomas Jefferson in 1801, “The President’s Own” United State Marine Band, at over 200 years of age, is one of our country’s most venerable musical organizations, and recognized as one of the finest of its kind anywhere in the world.
As a former member of an Air Force Band myself, one can imagine my delight and pride when I was invited to conduct the Marine Band in a concert of my music at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. in 2003. Working with them on several other occasions over the ensuring years, I’ve come to think of the Band and its directors Colonel Tim Foley, Colonel Mike Colburn, and Lt. Colonel Jason Fettig as colleagues and friends, and felt extremely privileged and honored when in 2013, I was asked to write a piece celebrating the ensemble’s 215th anniversary.
In writing “For The President’s Own”, I tried to create a worthy salute to the Band and its players, whose breathtaking virtuosity is always on display whenever they perform. In equal measure, their service to our country is consistently combined with their dedicated service to music itself, and we are all greatly in their debt.
Rest, Frank Ticheli
In making this version, I preserved almost everything from the original: harmony, dynamics, even the original registration. I also endeavored to preserve carefully the fragile beauty and quiet dignity suggested by Sara Teasdale’s words.
However, with the removal of the text, I felt free to enhance certain aspects of the music, most strikingly with the addition of a sustained climax on the main theme. This extended climax allows the band version to transcend the expressive boundaries of a straight note-for-note setting of the original. Thus, both versions are intimately tied and yet independent of one another, each possessing its own strengths and unique qualities. This version was commissioned by Russ Mikkelson, in memory of his father Elling Mikkelson.
Forever Free: A Lincoln Chronicle, Ulysses Kay
Ulysses S. Kay was one of the most prolific African American composers in the 20th century, with over forty orchestral works, five operas, over forty choral compositions, and seven original works for wind band. Kay earned several prestigious awards for his compositions in genres outside of wind band, including two Prix de Rome’s, a Guggenheim fellowship, and six honorary doctorates.
Forever Free: A Lincoln Chronicle was commissioned for the Civil War Centennial and premiered by the Presidents Own Marine Band in 1962. This 3-movement work without pause portrays the life of Abraham Lincoln, beginning with Prelude (The Young Lincoln) followed by Toccata (Conflict), and ending with Proclamation. In this piece, the listener will hear several distinctive folksongs that Kay manipulated throughout the work.
Esprit de Corps, Robert Jager
Based on The Marines’ Hymn, this work is a kind of fantasy-march, as well as a tribute to the United States Marine Band. Full of energy and drama, the composition has its solemn moments and its lighter moments (for example, the quasi-waltz in the middle of the piece). The composer intends that this work should display the fervor and virtuosity of the Marine Band and the musical spirit and integrity of its conductor, Colonel John R. Bourgeois, for whom the initial tempo marking, “Tempo di Bourgeois,” is named. Colonel John Bourgeois is a dramatic, spirited conductor, who reflects the excitement of the music being played. When a tempo is supposed to be “bright” he makes sure it is exactly that. Because the tempo of Esprit de Corps is to be very bright, the marking just had to be “Tempo di Bourgeois!”
UCF Wind Ensemble
Chung Park, conductor
Overture to Candide, Leonard Bernstein (Arr. Clare Grundman)
Candide was written in 1955, the result of a collaboration for the musical theater between composer Leonard Bernstein and playwright Lillian Hellman and others. Their production was based on Voltaire’s novella of 1758 which satirized the fashionable philosophies of his day. The overture is a tribute to life, full of passion, excitement, enthusiasm and exuberance. It requires speed and precision from the musicians.
The first production of Candide received mixed reviews and soon closed. The music remained popular over the ensuing decades and numerous rewrites, including operatic versions, were crafted in the quest for the perfect production.
Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) was an iconic American musician who achieved fame as a pianist, composer, educator and conductor. He studied at Harvard and the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. He was long associated with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra with whom he made over half of his more than 400 recordings.
-Palatine Concert Band
Andante e Rondo Ungarese, Op. 35, Carl Maria von Weber (Arr. Christopher Weait)
The Andante e Rondo Ungarese was written in 1809 as a viola piece, and rewritten in 1813 for the bassoon. It begins with a series of variations on a simple, almost languorous theme, set to a loping rhythm: Andante. The variations invert the roles of soloist and tutti, with the ensemble taking the theme, while the bassoon plays a varied counterpoint. The rondo is sprightly, contrasting with the loping rhythm of the Andante, and suggests the prancing of a circus horse, though it is meant to suggest a Hungarian folk dance. The theme is devised simply; the second half of the motif is an inversion of the first half. It is in the rondo, particularly, that the “step dynamics” are most noticeable.
—Manchester Symphony Orchestra
Selections from Porgy and Bess, George Gershwin (Arr. Russell Bennett)
This “folk” opera with music by George Gershwin was first performed in 1935. The libretto by DuBose Heyward and Ira Gershwin tells the story of Porgy, a beggar living in the slums of Charleston, South Carolina, and his attempts to rescue Bess from the clutches of the stevedore Crown, her violent and possessive lover. The opera featured an entire cast of classically trained African-American singers—a daring artistic choice at the time. After an initially unpopular public reception, it eventually became one of the best-known and most frequently performed American operas. A film followed in 1959.
George Gershwin (1898-1937) was a gifted writer of popular songs, musical comedies, a folk opera and other art music. Born Jacob Gershovitz in Brooklyn, New York, he left high school to work on Tin Pan Alley. He found early success with “Suwanee.” He teamed up with his older brother Ira as lyricist and wrote over a dozen successful musical comedies. He blended jazz and popular and classical music and was widely successful. His early death resulted from a brain tumor.
-Palatine Concert Band
Cousins, Herbert Clarke
John Almeida, trumpet; Michael Wilkinson, trombone
Cousins was composed in 1904 by Herbert Clarke. The composition was written as a cornet and trombone duet with band accompaniment for himself as the cornet soloist and Leo Zimmerman as the trombone soloist. Cousins combined the requisite technical displays of the time with an increased warmth and lyricism of style, focusing on melodic flow even in extremely difficult passages.
Herbert L. Clarke (1867–1945) was an American cornetist, composer, conductor, teacher and one of the most influential musicians at the turn of the 20th Century. As bandsman and featured soloist, he toured the world once, the United States and Canada thirty four times, Europe four times, and performed at the Paris, Chicago, Atlanta, Buffalo, Glasgow, Panama, San Francisco, and St. Louis expositions. Clarke’s early musical instruction was on violin and at 13 years of age he was a second violinist in the Philharmonic Society Orchestra of Toronto. About this time he began to play his brother Ed’s cornet and was soon earning fifty cents a night playing in a restaurant band.
-University of South Florida Symphonic Band and Austin Symphonic Band
Concertino for Trombone, Ferdinand David
Matthew Kerr, trombone
Concertino for Trombone was composed by Ferdinand David (1810-1873). A virtuoso violinist and composer, David was born in the same house in Hamburg where renowned composer Felix Mendelssohn had been born the previous year. David became the first violinist of a string quartet in Dorpat and was making concert tours by the age of 19. Meanwhile Mendelssohn had promised Carl Traugott Queisser, a young trombone virtuoso, that he would write a trombone concerto for him, but never had time to do so. Ferdinand David, his good friend and by now concertmaster of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, finished what Mendelssohn had initially set out to do with the completion of this Concertino for Trombone and Orchestra.
The Concertino in E Flat for Trombone and Orchestra was composed in 1837 and dedicated to famous trombone soloist Karl Traugott Quessier. Quessier had originally asked Mendelssohn to write a piece for him, but Mendelssohn did not have time and recommended that David compose it instead. The concertino consists of 3 movements: Allegro maestoso, Marcia funebre (Andante), and Allegro maestoso. Quessier gave the premiere performance at the Gewandhaus with Mendelssohn conducting, and the piece became a success both in Germany and abroad.
-Palatine Concert Band and The Dodge Area Symphony
Magnolia Star, Stephen Danyew
When I was playing saxophone in my middle school jazz band, we started every rehearsal the same way – with an improvisation exercise that our director created. It was a simple yet brilliant exercise for teaching beginning improvisation and allowing everyone in the band a chance to “solo.” As a warm-up at the opening of each rehearsal, the whole band played the blues scale ascending, resting for one measure, descending, and resting for another measure. During the measures of rest, each member of the band took turns improvising a solo. This experience was my introduction to the blues scale, and I have long wanted to write a piece inspired by this group of pitches. In Magnolia Star, I explore various ways to use these pitches in harmonies, melodies, and timbres, creating a diverse set of ideas that will go beyond sounds that we typically associate with the blues scale. When I first started improvising ideas for this piece based around the blues scale, I began to hear the influence of driving rhythms and sonorities which reminded me of trains. The railroad became a important second influence of this piece alongside the blues scale. Magnolia Star was an Illinois Central train that ran from New Orleans to Chicago with the famous Panama Limited in the mid 20th century.
Washington Post March, John Philip Sousa
During the 1880’s, several Washington, DC, newspapers competed vigorously for public favor. One of those, the Washington Post, organized what was known as the
Washington Post Amateur Authors’ Association and sponsored an essay contest for school children. Frank Hatton and Beriah Wilkins, owners of the newspaper, asked Sousa, then leader of the Marine Band, to compose a march for the award ceremony.
The ceremony was held on the Smithsonian grounds on June 15, 1889. President Harrison and other dignitaries were among the huge crowd. When the new march was played by Sousa and the Marine Band, it was enthusiastically received, and within days it became exceptionally popular in Washington. Next to The Stars and Stripes Forever, The Washington Post has been Sousa’s most widely known march. He delighted in telling how he had heard it in so many different countries, played in so many different ways.
-The Gift of East Bay Scout Band