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Music Program Notes for
Band and Wind Ensemble Music

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Alfred Reed

Alfred Reed was born on Manhattan Island in New York City on January 25, 1921. His formal music training began at the age of 10, when he studied the trumpet. As a teenager, he played with small hotel combos in the Catskill Mountains. His interests shifted from performing to arranging and composition. In 1938, he started working in the Radio Workshop in New York as a staff composer/arranger and assistant conductor. With the onset of World War II, he enlisted and was assigned to the 529th Army Air Corps Band. During his three and a half years of service, he produced nearly 100 compositions and arrangements for band. After his discharge, Reed enrolled at the Juilliard School of Music and studied composition with Vittorio Giannini. In 1953, he enrolled at Baylor University, serving as conductor of the Symphony Orchestra while he earned the Bachelor of Music degree (1955). A year later, he received his Master of Music degree. His interest in the development of educational music led him to serve as executive editor of Hansen Publishing from 1955 to 1966. He left that position to become a professor of music at the University of Miami, where he served until his retirement in 1993. After retirement, he continued to compose and made numerous appearances as guest conductor in many nations, most notably in Japan. At the age of 84, on September 17, 2005, Alfred Reed passed away after a short illness.

A Festival Prelude

Written in 1956, this work was dedicated to and premiered by the Phillips University Band of Enid, Oklahoma, with the composer conducting, as part of the 25th anniversary of the Tri-State Music Festival. Alfred Reed said, “The work was conceived specifically in terms of its title as an opening kind of piece...the music was to establish a bright and brilliant mood throughout, with no other connotation in mind.” Two fanfare-like motifs and a main theme occur throughout the composition using the brass and woodwinds separately and combined to impart tone color and majesty. In 1991, the composer commented, “A Festival Prelude was originally written for performance by a university group of players, and I do recall there having been some difficulties with some of the more demanding textures of the work at that time, 34 years ago. I also recall not offering the work for performance for nearly four years after its first performance, despite the willingness of the publisher I was then connected with to accept it, on the ground that I did not feel there were a sufficient number of high school bands in the country who could cope with it as a whole.”

Armenian Dances (Part I)

In his Armenian Dances, Alfred Reed has captured many of the styles, tempos, and subtleties of the Armenian folk songs and dances. Part I, completed in 1972, is based on five authentic Armenian folksongs drawn from the vast collection of Gomidas Vartabed (1869 - 1935). Gomidas has been credited as the founder of Armenian classical music for his work on preserving and documenting over four thousand folk songs. The opening (The Apricot Tree) is a sentimental song with a declamatory beginning. The Partidge’s Song is an original song by Gomidas. Its simple, delicate melody was intended for a children’s choir and is symbolic of that bird’s tiny steps. A young man sings the praises of his beloved (named Nazan) in the lovely, lively love song Hoy, My Nazan. Alagyaz is the name of a mountain in Armenia represented by a beloved folk song that is as majestic as the mountain itself. Part I ends with a delightful and humorous laughing-song (Go, Go!) with an ever accelerating tempo.

Armenian Dances (Part II)

In his Armenian Dances, Alfred Reed has captured many of the styles, tempos, and subtleties of the Armenian folk songs and dances. Part II, performed today, was commissioned after the highly successful premiere of Part I and completed in 1977. The two parts comprise a full-length symphony. Reed, acting as arranger and composer, drew his inspirations from the vast collection of Gomidas Vartabed (1869 - 1935). Gomidas has been credited as the founder of Armenian classical music for his work on preserving and documenting over four thousand folk songs.

The first movement of Part II is Hov Arek (Come, Breeze). It portrays a scene both pastoral and melancholy as a peasant sings to the mountains pleading for a breeze to take away the oppressive heat and the rest of his woes. Khoomar is a female Armenian name. This movement is based on a light-hearted song that depicts how two young people meet and marry. The wedding dance conveys the joy and excitement of the occasion. Lorva Horovel is a plowing song from the district of Lori. The multiple themes in this movement are varied in rhythmic and melodic structure. They reflect the physical and spiritual feelings of the farmer as he proceeds with his work. The sheer effort of this undertaking sets a heavy tone to the movement as the brass and percussion make their introductory proclamations. The farmer pleads with his oxen to put themselves into the task. Good progress and bright spirits are represented by a fast dance common to Eastern Armenia. A slow and plaintive song (Giligia) tells of a longing for his country and lost homeland. The mood picks up with a presto dance theme that builds to a dramatic closing.

El Camino Real

Literally translated as “The Royal Road” or “The King's Highway”, El Camino Real was commissioned by, and is dedicated to, the 581st Air Force Band (AFRES) and its Commander, Lt. Col. Ray E. Toler. Composed during the latter half of 1984 and completed in early 1985, it bears the sub­title: A Latin Fantasy.

The music is based on a series of chord progressions common to countless generations of Spanish flamenco guitarists, whose fiery style and brilliant playing have captivated millions of music lovers throughout the world. These progressions and the resulting key relationships have become practi­cally synonymous with what we feel to be the true Spanish idiom. Together with the folk melodies they have underscored, in part derived by a procedure known to musicians as the “melodizing of harmony,” they have cre­ated a vast body of what most people would consider authentic Spanish music.

The first section of the music is based upon the dance form known as the Jota, while the second, contrasting section is derived from the Fandango, here altered considerably in both time and tempo from its usual form. Overall, the music follows a traditional three-part pattern: fast-slow-fast.

Russian Christmas Music

Alfred Reed was a 23 year old staff arranger for the 529th Army Air Corps Band when he was called upon to create what has become a masterpiece of the wind literature. It was in 1944, when optimism was running high with the successful invasion of France and Belgium by the Allied forces. A holiday band concert was planned by the city of Denver to further promote Russian-American unity with premiers of new works from both countries. Roy Harris was placed in charge and planned the second movement of his Sixth Symphony (the “Abraham Lincoln Symphony”) to be the American work. The Russian work was to have been Prokofiev’s March, Op. 99, but Harris discovered that it had already been performed in the United States (by Reed’s own organization). With just 16 days until the concert, Harris assigned Reed, already working for Harris as an aid, to compose a new Russian work for the concert. Scouring the Corp’s music library, Reed found an authentic 16th-century Russian Christmas Song “Carol of the Little Russian Children” to use for an introductory theme. Drawing on his investigations of Eastern Orthodox liturgical music for other thematic ideas, he completed the score of Russian Christmas Music in 11 days; copyists took another two days to prepare parts for rehearsal. The music was first performed on December 12, 1944, on a nationwide NBC broadcast. A concert performance was given in Denver two days later. In later years, Reed made minor changes to the instrumentation to suit a large ensemble, but tonight’s version is essentially the same as the original.

The liturgical music of the Eastern Orthodox Church is entirely vocal, admitting no instrumental music into the services. Alfred Reed has captured the sonorities, rhythmic inflections, clarity, and flowing phrases of the human voice in his composition. Although the work is in the form of a single movement, four distinct sections can be recognized. The opening “Carol” sets a restrained and gentle mood. The chant from the trombones and trumpets climaxes into the “Antiphonal Chant” carried by the woodwinds. The rhythm picks up for the “Village Song,” which is presented in two bar phrases that rise and fall with the liturgy. The church bells herald the final “Cathedral Chorus” that builds in a steady crescendo, pausing for a soft and sonorous chorale, before continuing with the introduction of additional instruments until all of the colors and intensity of the celebration fill the hall.

The Hounds of Spring

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 leaves of the trees divide,

And screen from seeing and leave in sight
    The god pursuing, the maiden hid.

The poem was written by Alernon Charles Swinburne in the nineteenth century and is based on ancient Greek mythology. As hounds will follow a trail, spring follows the same path as winter. The trees, barren in winter, regrow their canopy to provide bountiful cover. Alfred Reed’s three-part overture, written in 1980, interprets the exuberance of youth with a brilliant and driving opening section. The lyric and melodic middle section conveys the sweetness of tender love. A fugue-like conclusion has the rhythmic energy that introduced the composition and combines the two themes introduced earlier.

Viva Musica!

Commissioned by the VanderCook College of Music, Viva Musica! has been “dedicated to all who strive for excellence in the noble field of music education.” The composer noted that while there have been may testimoni­als to the joy of making music, and to the joy of hearing it, there have been few dedicated to the joy of teaching it.

This composition is in the form of a single allegro movement marked “allegro brilliante”, with an immediate statement of a basic motif out of which the entire texture is developed. Three elements (the basic, fanfare-like motif, a playful contrasting figure, and a broad lyrical line with its unusual rhythmic basis) make up the remainder of the music, ending with a final, joyous outburst of the basic motif in a lustrous and affirmative conclusion.


H. Owen Reed

H. Owen Reed was born in Odessa, Missouri, on June 17, 1910. He was a pupil of both Howard Hanson and Bernard Rogers at the University of Rochester's Eastman School of Music. He also studied with Roy Harris and Helen Gunderson. Beginning his long association with the Michigan State University in 1939, he served as professor of music and head of composition until his retirement in 1976. He is the author of several books on theory and composition. In the thirties, Reed traveled a good deal in the Americas and Europe, capturing the diversity of folk music he heard in Scandinavia, Mexico, and the Caribbean islands. His La Fiesta Mexicana, a suite for full wind ensemble has been transcribed for orchestra and premiered by the Detroit Symphony. In 1975, Reed won the Neil A. Kjos Memorial Award with his unorthodox band score, For the Unfortunate. Among his other compositions are the ballet The Masque of the Red Death, the opera Peter Homan's Dream, a symphony, concertos for violin and cello, and choral and chamber works.

La Fiesta Mexicana

Subtitled A Mexican Folk Song Symphony for Concert Band, this work was written in 1949, based on experiences gained during a five-month sojourn in Mexico on a Guggenheim Fellowship. The authentic folk tunes Reed used can be found in Chapala, Jalisco, and Guadalajara; other themes were borrowed from Gregorian motifs and Aztec dances. The score carries this detailed description of the work by the composer:

``I. Prelude and Aztec Dance -- The tumbling of the church bells at midnight officially announces the opening of the Fiesta, which has previously been unofficially announced by the setting off of fireworks, the drinking of tequila and pulque, and the migration of thousands of Mexicans and Indians to the center of activity -- the high court surrounding the cathedral. After a brave effort at gaiety, the celebrators settle down to a restless night, until the early quiet of the Mexican morning is once more shattered by the church bells and fireworks. At mid-morning a band is heard in the distance. However, attention is soon focused upon the Aztec dancers, brilliantly plumed and masked, who dance in ever-increasing frenzy to a dramatic climax.''

``II. Mass -- The tolling of the bells is now a reminder that the Fiesta is, after all, a religious celebration. The rich and poor slowly gather within the great stone walls of the old cathedral [for reverent] homage to their Virgin.''

``III. Carnival -- Mexico is at its best on the days of the Fiesta -- days on which passion governs the love, hatred and joys of the Mestizo and the Indio. There [are] entertainment and excitement for both young and old -- the itinerant circus, the market, the bullfight, the town band, and always the cantinas with the ever present band of mariachi.''


Nancy B. Reed

Civilian March

Marches traditionally have had a military heritage. They were characterized by a steady beat and intended to efficiently move large groups. Nancy B. Reed’s Civilian March is a concert march of a different genre. It has a very modern flavor with a few musical twists and turns. Without direct quotations, the march gives happy illusions to the musicals and family TV shows of the 70’s.


David W. Reeves

Yankee Doodle, Fantasie Humoresque

David Wallace Reeves (1838 - 1900) grew up in Oswego, New York. As a teenager, he played alto horn and cornet in the town band and spent three summers touring with the Dan Rice Circus Band, where he received cornet lessons from Thomas Canham. After touring internationally with other bands, Reeves became conductor of the American Band in 1866. After the death of Patrick Gilmore in 1892, Reeves led the Gilmore Band for a year, before returning to the American Band. Best known for the more than 80 marches that he wrote, Reeves also composed operettas, polkas, fantasies, and quadrilles.

Yankee Doodle came to town ariding on a pony,
He stuck a feather in his cap and called it macaroni.

The words of Yankee Doodle, as known in the United States, were written by an English Army surgeon, Dr. Richard Schuckburgh. The song made fun of the untrained American troops during the French and Indian War in 1755. The soldiers liked the song, instead, and it became well known by the time of the Revolutionary War. It was often sung by the colonists in battle and it was played as the British left after the surrender of Yorktown. The early settlers of New York were Dutch and the name for Johnny was Janke, pronounced Yankee. Doodle meant “a simple, foolish person.” The word macaroni was a reference, in those days, to the young men of London who dressed in odd Italian styles.

Written in 1878, this composition was intended as a showpiece for the performers of Reeves’ American Band of Providence, Rhode Island. The industrial revolution of the late 19th century brought significant advances in the construction of wind instruments and an accompanying increase in playing technique. The many sections of the ensemble perform variations on the simple melody to demonstrate these performance skills.


Steven Reineke

Steven Reineke was born in Tipp City, Ohio, on September 14, 1970. He graduated from Miami University of Ohio in 1993 with two Bachelors’ of Music degrees with honors in trumpet performance and music composition. For 15 years, he served with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra as composer, arranger, and conducting protégé of conductor Erich Kunzel and created more than 100 arrangements for them. He has composed more than 20 works for concert band including commissions from the Contra Costa Wind Symphony: Symphony No. 1, New Day Rising in recognition of the centennial of San Francisco’s 1906 earthquake and Mt. Diablo: A Symphonic Portrait for the CCWS’s 20th anniversary. Reineke now serves as the Music Director of The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, Principal Pops Conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and Principal Pops Conductor of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. He presently resides in New York City.

Into The Raging River

A whitewater rafting trip on the Gauley River in the mountains of southern West Virginia inspired composer Stephen Reineke to write Into the Raging River. He offered the following program note:
“The opening of the composition depicts the sunrise as we watch from the bank of the river. Dawn breaks with a single ray of light that grows in intensity until the entire gorge is bathed in the glorious morning sun. The next section underscores our entry into the river as we launch our raft and begin to run the rapids. This section is full of anticipation, excitement and sheer ecstasy. After several thrills and spills on the whitewater, we come across a resting place. Here the water is calm and we have a chance to take in all of the beauty of the fall foliage and the rock formations surrounding us. The serenity is soon interrupted by the gurgling sounds of the river as we approach more rapids. This time we have to battle the river as it brutally tosses us around. Our adrenaline surges as we approach our final obstacle, a thirteen foot, class IV waterfall. The finale of the piece portrays our exhilaration as we heroically plunge over Sweet Falls, thus ending our journey on the raging river.”

Celebration Fanfare

The orchestral version of Celebration Fanfare was composed by Steven Reineke while on Swans Island, Maine, in 1995. The fanfare commemorates Erich Kunzel’s 30th anniversary as the conductor of the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. It was the first of many commissions Reineke would receive from the Pops. The composer completed a band transcription in December 1998, under a commission from the U.S. Coast Guard Band.

Ottorino Respighi

Ottorino Respighi (1879 - 1936) was an Italian composer, conductor, performer, and teacher who studied violin and composition first in Bologna, and then studied under Rimsky-Korsakov in St. Petersburg, and Max Bruch in Berlin. He once said that the ``Italian genius is for melody and clarity,'' two qualities that are apparent in his works, including the notable tone poems The Fountains of Rome, The Pines of Rome, The Birds, and Roman Festivals. In 1913, he was appointed teacher of composition at the Conservatorio di Santa Cecillia in Rome, where he settled permanently.

see La Boutique Fantasque


Nicholai Rimsky-Korsakov (Russia, 1844 - 1908)

Nicholai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844 - 1908) was born into an aristocratic family in Tikhvin, in the Novgorod district of Russia, where his father had retired from the Navy. As a child, he was exposed to the folk songs sung by his mother and the bells and singing of the monks in the Monastery across the river from his home. The folk melodies would later appear in his Maid of Pskov and Tsar Sultan, while the monastery bells would sound in his Russian Easter Overture and the monks' cries to gather the hay are heard in the Snow Maiden. At the age of twelve, he enrolled at the Naval College of St. Petersburg, where he received instruction in piano and cello along with his naval studies. Mily Balakirev, the leader of the new, nationalist school of music, persuaded a 17-year old Rimsky-Korsakov to study composition. Driven by the idea to give Russia a distinct and distinguished musical voice, he managed to compose his first symphony while on a compulsory three-year naval cruise. This score and others that followed drew attention to this brilliant young composer. While still in the Navy, he was appointed as professor of composition in 1871 at the St. Petersburg Conservatory. Largely self taught and normally working by ear, the new professor became the Conservatory's best pupil as he dug deeply into studies of harmony, counterpoint, and musical analysis to keep a step ahead of his pupils. In a few years, he became a fine teacher and was even dispensing advice on instrumentation to the older members of ``The Mighty Five''. His music, for the most part, is joyous and gay; his rich orchestrations are evident in his Scheherazade and Capriccio Espagnol. In 1899, a traveling Richard Wagner inspired Rimsky-Korsakov to devote himself almost entirely to operas, of which he was to compose fourteen, with The Golden Cockerel being his last.

Concerto for Trombone and Band

The Concerto was written in 1877 and premiered the following year with the composer as conductor of the Navy Band in Kronstadt, Russia. The first of three concertos written for band accompaniment, Rimsky-Korsakov wanted to create music that was unique from the concert pieces that were trite and commonplace at the time.   Written as three loosely connected movements, the Concerto begins with proclamatory upward leaping arpeggio figures. The second movement showcases the smooth, lyrical qualities of the trombone. A series of challenging cadenzas transitions into a stately allegretto movement with a march theme that is traded between the soloist and the band, concluding with more cadenzas and a final fanfare.

Introduction and Wedding March from "The Golden Cockerel''

Despite his aristocratic family background, Rimsky-Korsakov showed sympathy for the revolutionary students in 1905 and cast some satire into his last opera The Golden Cockerel. The censors refused to allow its performance until references to the misconduct of war were removed. Rimsky-Korsakov refused to give in; it was first performed on October 7, 1909, almost 14 months after his death. The opera is a fantasy about King Dodon, who is concerned that the neighboring hostile ruler will take over his lands. An astrologer offers a golden cockerel who will watch over the city while the king sleeps, giving a warning crow at any sign of danger. The composition depicts the breaking of the peaceful night by the cockerel's first alarm (performed by a muted trumpet). The king sends forth his two sons to investigate. At a second alarm, the king decides to go into the field of battle himself. When the cloud of battle clears, the beautiful Queen of Shemakha emerges from a tent in the valley. Infatuated with the Queen, the old king offers to share his throne with her. The wedding march concludes this excerpt from the operatic fantasy.

The real story of the opera:

Despite his aristocratic family background, Rimsky-Korsakov showed sympathy for the revolutionalry students in 1905 and cast some satire into his last opera The Golden Cockerel. The censors refused to allow its performance until references to the misconduct of war were removed. Rimsky-Korsakov refused to give in; it was first performed on October 7, 1909, almost 14 months after his death. The opera is a fantasy about King Dodon, who is concerned that the neighboring hostile ruler will take over his lands. An Astrologer offers a golden cockerel who will watch over the city while the king sleeps, giving a warning crow at any sign of danger. All is peaceful until the cockerel's first alarm (performed by a muted trumpet). The king sends forth his two sons to investigate. At a second alarm, the king decides to go into the field of battle himself. He discovers his two sons have killed each other. When dawn breaks, he perceives a tent in the mist and believes it as belonging to his enemy. To his surprise, the beautiful Queen of Shemakha emerges from it and she infatuates the old king, who offers to share his throne. When they return to the city, the Astrologer asks for his payment for the golden cockerel. Learning that the Astrologer wants the queen as his bride, the king kills him. The heavens open up in a terrible storm, the queen disappears, and the king is killed by the golden beak of the avenging cockerel.

Procession of the Nobles from "Mlada"

The opening brass fanfare announces the entry of the nobility in this cortege from the opera "Mlada"; the woodwinds provide the regal flourishes that embellish this work. Based on a text from slavic mythology, set on the coast of the Baltic Sea, and arranged for an enlarged orchestra, this opera was the first work of Rimsky-Korsakov's to show the influence of Richard Wagner, who affected so many composers of the time. Although the opera was a failure, this symphonic offering has been enjoyed by audiences since its first introduction.


Andy Ritger

Andy Ritger was born in Sheboygan County, Wisconsin. While studying Computer Science at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Illinois, he also studied saxophone with Keith Zimmerman, and took composition lessons with David Vayo and Philippe Bodin. After leaving college, he did not participate in music for several years while software engineering consumed his time. In the past few years, Ritger has returned to saxophone performance, and more recently, composition. In addition to playing saxophone and clarinet with the Foothill Symphonic Winds, he has performed with the Palo Alto Philharmonic, the Saratoga Symphony, and Ye Olde Towne Band of Los Altos. He is a member of a saxophone quartet with fellow Foothill Symphonic Winds members Leslie Muscha, Dan Ortega, and Brad Urban. For his day job, Ritger manages the Linux Graphics Driver Team at NVIDIA Corporation.

Fanfare for Brass Choir

Fanfare for Brass Choir is a short piece, originally written for brass octet in the fall of 1998, while the composer was a senior at Illinois Wesleyan. It was revised in the spring of 2010 for performance by the full brass section of the Foothill Symphonic Winds. Andy Ritger provided this program note:

“The fanfare is built around a simple disjoint theme stated by the horns in the opening measures. Two noble sections enclose a quiet and mysterious middle segment. Duple- and triple- subdivisions subtly compete throughout the work, though triple-subdivision finally wins out in the end of the piece. The harmonic vocabulary was drawn from octave-displaced tone clusters.”


Joe Rizzo

Joe Rizzo was a composer and arranger credited with 79 copyrights. His popular jazz pieces were performed by the Stan Kenton Orchestra. Prelude to Nothing featured a musical repartee between Stan, Jack and Chico. Tempo di Joe personified Rizzo’s jumping rhythm. Red Dorris popularized the vocals on Stop Your Teasing and the love song No Tears. He added a jazz flavor to Delibes’ Pizzicato and Debussy’s Clair de Lune. Rizzo did a few collaborations with Phil Horton and Richard Blalock. Wayne Robinson, who scored The Flea for band, was a head arranger for NBC and became one of three leaders of the Dorabet Music Company. Robinson was one of the orchestrators for The Wiz starring Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, and Richard Pryor.

The Flea

This light and happy novelty number, subtitled La Pulga, features our flute section playing Spanish rhythms while the clarinet section provides the scurrying antics of this wingless insect. Staccato passages give homage to a jumping ability that’s second only to that of frogs. Life is good until the inevitable ending.


David J. Roberts

David Roberts is a Cal Poly San Luis Obispo alumnus who recently graduated from the university with his Bachelors and Masters of Science in Electrical Engineering. He has been involved in music for the majority of his life, playing all of the different flavors of clarinets from elementary school all the way through college to the present. Throughout his six-year tenure with the university, David was very active in the music program. He enjoyed playing every type of clarinet that was available, including the Bb Bass, BBb Contrabass, Bb Soprano, Eb Soprano, and the Eb Alto Clarinets. He has performed in the university's Wind Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, and Clarinet Choir for a total of 17 quarters. On several occasions, David was able to premier his works. Most notable were his first performed original composition The Ascent, which he conducted, and his first released major arrangement Finish the Fight. He is now employed in the consumer electronics industry in Silicon Valley, working for Amazon Lab126.

Victory March

Composer David Roberts has provided the following insight into his May 2012 revision of his composition:

Victory March is intended to be a short story told of a champion returning to his kingdom from battle. As this champion parades through the streets, the cheers and fanfares of the citizens can be heard through the cymbals and trumpets as he enters the main gate. There is much cause for celebration as he and his comrades parade around the city. A short interlude of woodwinds distracts from the march as the champion's companions rejoin with their families and break off of the parade group. As the champion approaches the castle, he sees his love, standing before him on the steps. All of reality around them seems to fade as they call longingly to each other as they are finally reunited after such a long time. He is congratulated and thanked by the king and the royal court, but he then embraces the moment with his love. The piece closes as the sounds of celebration return in all its glory. The form of the piece approximately follows the A B A' C D A form.


Richard Rodgers

Richard Rodgers (1902 - 1979) was born on Long Island, New York, the son of a physician. A precocious child, he began picking out tunes on the piano at four and published his first song at 15. Rodgers credits his parents, both Broadway musical buffs, for his ability to thrive in the midst of a hectic show business career. Following the death of his first collaborator, Lorenz Hart, Rodgers teamed with Oscar Hammerstein II to produce nine Broadway shows, including Oklahoma. Carousel, South Pacific, Pal Joey, The King and I, Flower Drum Song, The Sound of Music, and the film State Fair have provided many memorable songs from the over 800 that Rodgers composed.

Victory at Sea

This ``symphonic scenerio'' is a distillation of the sound track for the 26 half-hour television programs describing the naval action of World War II. It presents an integrated pictorial and musical history of the epochal events pertaining to the life and death of those engaged in those events. The symphonic sweep and depth of the score captures the moods and variations of the panoramic war at sea, all of its terror and beauty, all of its exaltation and despair. The music describes the rolling of the boundless waters and the resolution of the lonely ships that dare to sail upon them. A prowling U-boat finds its target. Beneath the Southern Cross, the war in the South Atlantic is denoted by a sweeping tango, the tune of which Rodgers adapted to the song No Other Love. The strength of a handful of Marines holding back the enemy on Guadalcanal is honored by a rousing march. Hard work and horseplay are characterized as the GIs carry on life in the vast Pacific. A carrier fleet steams toward the many islands of Micronesia. The fury and violence of the assault strikes at the senses. The battle done, the stricken planes limp back to their carriers. A solo trumpet symbolizes a funeral at sea and the tragedy that often accompanies a conquest. A hymn of victory begins to swell and hope for an end of the conflict grows into a jubilation for the final victory at sea and the profound thanksgiving of the sailors returning home.


Gioacchino Rossini

Gioacchino Rossini (1792 - 1868) was the only child of Giuseppe Rossini, the town trumpeter of Lugo and inspector of slaughter-houses. After early lessons in singing and the harpsichord, he entered the Bologna Academy in 1806 to study counterpoint and the cello. He later won commissions from Italian theaters in the cities of Venice, Milan, and Naples.  It was during this period Otello, La Gazza Ladra, and The Barber of Seville.  He received Beethoven's admiration during a Rossini festival in Vienna in 1822.  He went on to enjoy a very successful season in London, and then took over management of the Italian Theater in Paris, where he a successful career as composer and producer. All of his 39 operas were written in a period of two decades. After William Tell was completed in 1829, Rossini was never to write another stage work. He spent the rest of his life teaching and doing some composing in Italy and France, finally settling again in Paris. His last years were spent as a gourmet and as the witty leader of the artistic world.

La Boutique Fantasque  - Ottorino Respighi, adaptation.

The music for this delightful work was among the unpublished works of Rossini. The themes had been written for piano and perhaps were put aside by the composer or, more probably, were rejected by the publishers of the period. Recently discovered, the music was adapted by Respighi for Diaghilev and the Russian Ballet. The scene of the ballet is a doll shop (la Boutique), in which all of the customers are caricatures of tourist types. After the closing of the store, the dolls wake to a fantastic activity and enact the dances.

Ottorino Respighi (1879 - 1936) was an Italian composer, conductor, performer, and teacher who studied violin and composition first in Bologna, and then studied under Rimsky-Korsakov in St. Petersburg, and Max Bruch in Berlin. He once said that the ``Italian genius is for melody and clarity,'' two qualities that are apparent in his works, including the notable tone poems The Fountains of Rome, The Pines of Rome, The Birds, and Roman Festivals. In 1913, he was appointed teacher of composition at the Conservatorio di Santa Cecillia in Rome, where he settled permanently.

La Gazza Ladra Overture

The comic opera, premiered in 1817, includes the stock figures of a lecherous old mayor and a falsely accused maiden, in the clutches of despair, placed in jeopardy by a pet magpie, whose mischievous thievery of household effects makes it the real culprit.

Soirees Musicales, based on music of Rossini

Based on material of Rossini conceived for the piano, Britten has arranged a wiry score, retaining Rossini's harmonies even when they amounted to no more than two parts, achieving an even cleaner sonority than the Italian opera orchestra through selective instrumentation. The greater agility of the modern brass section is fully utilized; melodic lines are rapidly distributed among all the instrumental colors, even within a phrase. This work dates from 1936; five years later, Britten provided a companion suite, Matinees Musicales, for a Balanchine ballet.

Lord Benjamin Britten (1913 - 1976) was an outstanding British musician of his generation, contributing as a creator, interpreter, and performer. A brilliant pianist and conductor, his supreme gift was in composition; he was a hardworking and thorough professional and proud of the fact. His Peter Grimes revitalized British opera, but his Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra and other works for children, either as listeners or performers, are most memorable to the public.

William Tell Overture

The famous overture is a veritable tone poem, beginning with a description of a Swiss dawn. A mountain storm gathers to the sounds of distant thunder, finally erupting in its full fury. With its passing, the skies clear and raindrops fall from the branches. Birds sing their songs in the fresh air of a mountain meadow. This pastoral scene is interrupted by the trumpet fanfare to a vigorous march. The finale is readily recognized by fans of The Lone Ranger.

William Tell was a legendary hero of Switzerland. His story, though not verified by history, represents the spirit of the Swiss movement for independence from the Austrian Hapsburgs in the 1300's. According to legend, Tell was a man of tremendous strength and the most skilled marksman in the whole canton (state) of Uri. The Austrian governor, Gessler, had ordered all Swiss to bow to a hat he had set up on a pole in the main square of Altdorf. When Tell refused to bow, he was arrested. Gessler knew of Tell's skill with the crossbow and promised to let him go free if Tell could shoot an apple off his own son's head. Tell hit the apple and then bitterly informed the governor that if his son had been hurt, he would have sent a second arrow into Gessler's heart. Gessler had him seized and chained. While Tell was being taken across a lake in Gessler's boat, a storm broke loose. Gessler ordered Tell untied to help steer the boat safely to shore. Escaping to shore, Tell shot an arrow through the tyrant's heart. This act led to a revolt by the Swiss, in which Tell played a leading role.


Tracey Rush

Tracey Rush was born in 1955 in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. She received her BS in Music Education from Bob Jones University, where she studied with Dwight Gustafson, and has completed her coursework for her Masters of Music Education from the University of Northern Iowa. She has taught music at Northeast Iowa Community College since 1955 and has a private studio of about 25 string and composition students. In addition to being the principal violist for the Dubuque Symphony, Ms. Rush serves as the Executive Director of the Northeast Iowa School of Music. She lives in Dubuque with her husband and two sons.

Spirit of Freedom

Spirit of Freedom opens with a brass fanfare augmented with a scale-like accompaniment by the woodwinds. A theme then appears in a slower, hymn-like section before reappearing at the original tempo. Originally written in 1997 for orchestra, the concert band version was commissioned by the Beaumont High School Band, Beaumont, California.