NACOGDOCHES, Texas – Stephen F. Austin State University’s Wind Ensemble, Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band will present the livestreamed concert “Kaleidoscope” at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 2.
Conducted by Chris Kaatz, assistant director of bands at SFA, the Symphonic Band opens the concert with a performance of “Old Home Days,” a suite of short songs arranged by Charles Ives.
“The six movements feature the pleasant warmth of Ives’ Americana sentiments as well as the humoresque bitonal dissonances for which he was famous,” Kaatz said.
Symphonic Band will also perform Edvard Greig’s “Funeral March,” which was written in memory of Grieg’s friend Rikard Nordraak who died from complications of tuberculosis at the early age of 23.
The Wind Symphony, directed by Dr. Tamey Anglley, associate director of bands, will open its portion of the concert with “Two Pieces from Lieutenant Kije,” originally composed by Serge Prokofiev and arranged by Fisher Tull.
“Written for the film of the same name in 1933, Prokofiev later arranged a five-movement suite in 1934 for orchestra,” Anglley said. This brass and percussion arrangement by Tull features two of the movements, “Wedding of Kije” and “Troika.”
The Wind Symphony’s woodwind section will be featured in Frank Erickson’s arrangement of the famous band piece “Irish Tune from County Derry” by Percy Aldridge Grainger, based on the famous folk song “Londonderry Air,” more famously known as “Danny Boy.” The full Wind Symphony will also perform John Mackey’s “This Cruel Moon,” which is an adaptation of the middle movement of “Wine-Dark Sea: Symphony for Band.” The Wind Symphony will conclude its portion of the concert with the third movement titled “Exhilaration” from “Southern Harmony” by Donald Grantham.
The Wind Ensemble, directed by Dr. David Campo, director of bands, will close the concert with composer Ron Nelson’s “Medieval Suite,” a multi-movement work that pays tribute to three great masters of French music from the Middle Ages. The first movement, “Homage to Léonin,” celebrates composer Léonin’s sinuous melodic style and use of Gregorian chant.
“It is a mood piece in which a chant on the Dorian mode is gradually transformed into a perfectly symmetrical eight-tone scale,” Campo said. “The movement follows the form of an arch with a large climax, after which it closes as it began.”
The second movement, “Homage to Pérotin,” celebrates the driving rhythmic intensity, repetition and pedal points of Pérotin’s “Viderunt.” The opening section features insistent dissonances in alternation with brass fanfare-like passages. A second theme played by unison brass is written in the Aeolian mode. The final movement, “Homage to Machaut,” evokes the stately, gently syncopated and flowing sounds of Guillaume de Machaut’s choral writing.
“The movement consists of a statement with two repetitions, each with different instrumentation,” Campo explains. “It closes with the same chant and instrumental textures which opened the suite.”
To access the live virtual concert free of charge, visit music.sfasu.edu the night of the performance. For additional information, contact the School of Music at (936) 468-4602.