The Performance

The last few days have been spent enjoying the holidays and recovering from a massive cold/flu thing that’s been running through our home.

The Warm-Up
The concert, and everything surrounding it, was a lot of fun. We had a healthy, but light, warm-up at school before driving downtown. Most of our warm-up time on stage was spent checking various balance issues, especially percussion balance stuff. With the percussion on the back risers and the sound shells right behind them, it’s very easy for them to overpower if they’re not careful. The rest of the time was spent giving our guests a couple last minutes in front of the group, taking the photo, and having the plaque presentation from Dr. Whitwell.

As further proof that kids are kids, even in Midwest bands, I did have a saxophone kid forget his music, but did manage to get through the day without anyone asking me what we were going to play at the concert.

The Concert
It seemed to me, that if our performance at the Midwest Clinic was going to be everything I promised, we would have to be thoroughly prepared and focused, but relaxed enough that they could “enjoy the moment.” I think we struck a reasonable balance between the two during the week, and the kids seemed to have fun during their time at the conference and especially enjoy their time on stage.

Once the concert started, the time flew by every bit a quickly as I thought it would. The sound, while standing on the podium, is absolutely amazing. Maybe it’s the way the shells are angled, but I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that the best seat in the house might be right there on stage…none of the “distant” sound that can sometimes be a problem. The kids were absolutely fantastic and played great. There were, as there always are, problems during the concert, and if you know me, you know it’s been hard for me not to dwell on those the last few days. As time goes on though, I’ve been able to relax and relish the wonderful work the kids did as I listen to the recording.

Immediately following the performance we learned that we were selected to receive the John Philip Sousa Foundation “Sudler Cup” this year. I don’t even know what to write about that! Just looking down the list of the previous recipients is extremely humbling.

Arriving home after the day was the strangest feeling. At first, it was the feeling of it all being done. 8 months of intense preparations, late nights, and hard work finally finished. The reality, however, is that our concert last Friday was the culmination of over 10 years of work…the “what now?” feeling as strong as ever. For now, however, planning for the short term has me plenty busy…I’m not even 100% sure what we’ll be working on the first rehearsal back. The 2011 Midwest Clinic is the next time we are eligible to apply to perform again. That application tape will be made when our current beginners are in 8th grade! I can’t think of anything better than having another group of students have the same wonderful experience that this year’s band has had.

—–

Posted: December 27, 2006 | PermaLink

T-minus 5 hours

Okay. Now I’m nervous. It’s 10:30, the kids are starting to arrive to setup for our warm-up at 11:00. We’ll spend about an hour lightly warming up, as well as singing and talking through some of the stuff before loading the busses to head down. The weather is so crummy we might end a little early just in case traffic is bad. Thank goodness it’s not another 25 degrees cooler, we’d be wading through several feet of snow.

Yesterday’s Bruce Peason clinic went great. The kids played well and seemed to enjoy themselves. They have absolutely loved their time at the Clinic this week. Hopefully the highlight of their time has been saved for last!

—–

Posted: December 22, 2006 | PermaLink

Pre-Conference Performance

Monday was great. Our pre-conference performance was everything that I had hoped for and more. I’m guessing we had about 700 people there. It was an amazing audience…extremely supportive and energetic. It was a very strong performance, which really helped the kids enter this week with a ton of confidence. At the same time, there were enough “issues” that it’s been easy to keep the intensity and focus in rehearsals.

Tuesday we had a two-hour rehearsal. Most the time was spent on the concert stuff, and a little on the material that we’ll be playing during Bruce Pearson’s clinic tomorrow morning.

This morning (Wednesday) we had a two-hour rehearsal before heading to Chicago. Mr. Pearson spent an hour with the kids going over his session. We spent the next hour doing detail work on the first half of our program. We’ll hit the second half tomorrow morning. After making sure everyone was extremely clear as to what my expectations for their behavior was, we loaded the buses and left for lunch, then the Hilton.

The first thing we did at the conference was attend the Permian High School Symphonic Band performance. It felt important to get the kids in to watch a concert or two. Not only would it allow the kids to become familiar with the room both visually and acoustically, but it would also set a very high standard in the kids’ minds as to what we are looking for on Friday. Set the standard they did! What a terrific band, and a wonderful performance (wow, those horns!). The kids were talking about this concert all the way home.

Following a brief visit to the exhibit halls we joined the line to see the Doerre Intermediate School performance. They played absolutely beautifully. Their hard work was completely evident throughout the concert.

Even while watching the performances, it still hadn’t quite sunk in that we’d be on that stage in two days. Nerves aren’t too bad yet, I imagine they’ll kick in soon.

(For topic suggestions or questions relating to our Midwest performance I can be contacted via email: cdestefano@skokie735.k12.il.us or through the contact page on our website.)

—–

Posted: December 21, 2006 | PermaLink

The Final Week

As we started this whole process, I remember a ton of people telling me how fast the four months would go. In spite of the fact that I believed them, I’m still stunned by how they have just flown by. As I left school Friday afternoon, it felt like it was time. The kids and I are ready to get onto new repertoire, and while we’ll still try to hammer out more details in the final week, and hide some problems, the music won’t get much better now! I imagine we’ll spend a good portion of the week on fundamentals, unless we have significant issues during our pre-conference performance.

The last few weeks of preparation have been just great. I credit most of it to the work Bruce Pearson did with the kids when he was in preparing for his Clinic Session. This is going to be an outstanding and well thought out session on teaching young students how to play expressively (Tuesday 2:00 & Thursday 10:15). I wish we had a little more time to devote to the material we’ll be playing, but we’ll do some more this week. Aside from that, however, Mr. Pearson’s work was fantastic. Within five minutes of starting with them, any reservation I had about devoting time away from our Midwest repertoire was gone. It was exactly what we needed: a short break from the music, while strictly focusing on getting better as musicians. That combined with our Midwest performance no longer seeming quite so distant and it’s been a different band.

They are playing as well, or better, than any band I’ve had at this point in the year. While I still wish the home practice was better, they have been extremely focused and have worked hard in rehearsals. I’m very proud of their work. It’s been a lot of fun choosing repertoire for the rest of the year. I think they’ll be able to do some really wonderful, challenging stuff.

The kids gave a fantastic performance at our school’s Winter Concert on December 7. The kids played particularly well at the early performance for the whole school. We were also fortunate that the concert ran short so we were able to play almost our complete Midwest program.

This past week was spent focusing on our weakest pieces, our third mock run-through of the complete program (which went MUCH better than the first two), and with visits from our guest conductors.

So I’m very much looking forward to this week. I’m surprised that I’m not more nervous as I type this, maybe I’m numb to it all. Monday is our performance at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts. We’ve been promoting the concert heavily in the community, so I’m optimistic for a good turnout. This concert will be an exact mirror of our performance at Midwest…short introductions at the beginning, some announcements/recognition before the last number. Fortunately each of our guest conductors will be there as well, and Mark Custom Recording will be there to record us. That recording will be crucial to my planning for our last couple of rehearsals.

A downloadable copy of our program for Monday’s concert is available here.

(For topic suggestions or questions relating to our Midwest performance I can be contacted via email: cdestefano@skokie735.k12.il.us or through the contact page on our website.)

—–

Posted: December 16, 2006 | PermaLink

Another Milestone

Well it took us almost a month longer than we wanted but the program for our concert finally went to the printer yesterday. What a relief! I was surprised by how much weight felt lifted of my shoulders when it was done. We spent several weeks on the design, and many more days proofing, proofing, proofing, and waiting on a couple letters we were expecting. The design and photography was completely handled by band parents. I couldn’t be more pleased with the result, and I can’t wait to see the finished product. After our performance we’ll post of pdf version of our program on our website. Here’s a sneak preview of the program page:

To me, the most exciting and fun aspect of our program is the little “secret project” I’ve teased a little bit. About ten years ago, I decided that if we were ever invited to perform at the Midwest Clinic that we’d include a CD with each of our concert programs distributed at our performance. To my knowledge, this hasn’t been done before…although I guess I wouldn’t be shocked to hear that a military band had done it in the past.

Anyway, it wasn’t cheap, but we’ll be placing 3000 copies of McCracken Middle School Symphonic Band: Highlights 1998-2006 in the programs when the come in from the printer on Wednesday. We couldn’t be more grateful to Neil A. Kjos Music Company, Boosey & Hawkes, Carl Fisher, Daehn Publications, Grand Mesa Music, and Manhattan Beach Music for allowing us to use their works for this. While couldn’t get permission to put everything we wanted on the CD, it’s a nice collection of works:

Pageant – Vincent Persichetti (2005-2006)
Cajun Folk Songs – Frank Ticheli (2004-2005)
An Irish Rhapsody – Clare Grundman (2005-2006)
Shiloh Canyon Fantasy – Douglas Akey (1998-1999)
Themes from Green Bushes – Percy Grainger, arranged by Larry Daehn (1999-2000)
American Folk Rhapsody #3 – Clare Grundman (2000-2001)
Pirates – Douglas Akey (1999-2000)
Fantasy on American Sailing Songs – Clare Grundman (2002-2003)

Chorale and Shaker Dance – John Zdechlik (2000-2001)
Praeludium – Dietrich Buxtehude, arranged by Chip De Stefano (2003-2004)
Spirit! – Douglas Akey (2002-2003)
A Sailor’s Odyssey – David Bobrowitz (2005-2006)
Orange Bowl – Henry Fillmore (2003-2004)

Mark Morette and Mark Custom Recording were instrumental in getting this done. I hope our audience will be appreciative of the extra “thank you” for coming to our performance, and that the CD will be a good resource long after we’ve played our final note.

(For topic suggestions or questions relating to our Midwest performance I can be contacted via email: cdestefano@skokie735.k12.il.us or through the contact page on our website.)

—–

Posted: December 16, 2006 | PermaLink

Media Attention

Just a quick post to share some media attention we’ve been receiving.

There’s an article in today’s Skokie Review about our performance next week. That link may die in a week, but it’ll be updated on our in the press page.

Friday, December 15, beginning at 9:00 AM, WBEZ’s award winning morning show “848” will do a short segment on the McCracken Middle School Symphonic Band and its invitation to perform at the Midwest Clinic.

WBEZ is FM 91.5. They have a web stream and an archive if you miss it!

We’re expecting some other media coverage over the next several days. I’ll post them if they pan out.

It’s hard to believe how fast this is all approaching!

(For topic suggestions or questions relating to our Midwest performance I can be contacted via email: cdestefano@skokie735.k12.il.us or through the contact page on our website.)

—–

Posted: December 14, 2006 | PermaLink

November Update

Everything in the McCracken world is going quite well. I wish I had more time to write the last few weeks. When I started this post, the countdown to our performance was 42 days…now it’s 34 days! It’s been really hard not to have the internal countdown. The kids have made remarkable progress since the beginning of the year, but time really seems to be flying by. In retrospect, it has felt a little like choosing 10 pieces was the wrong direction to go. While it’s not any more in terms of minutes of music, it’s 10 different styles, 10 different keys, etc…but we’re trying our best to get all this music prepared.

Our performance schedule, while hectic, feels like it was the right way to go. I was quite happy after our late September performance. Certainly nothing was perfect, but it was as good or better than any band I’ve ever had at that time of year. Our October concert, just under four weeks ago, was very frustrating. They did extremely well on the Hazo and Grundman, but the Bach transcription was particularly disappointing. That piece is so deceptively difficult! Not in a technique sort of way, but in terms of the mature musical demands it places on the students. That must be why I like it so much. It took a long time for them to get used to playing in D minor, especially in terms of pitch. In fact, we’ve even been using a chorale in D minor for the last several weeks to try to help the adjustment. We also invested a ton of rehearsal and sectional time in it the two weeks prior to the concert. It really seemed to turn the corner a few days before the performance, but alas! The November concert went extremely well. It wasn’t surprising. Although we only had three weeks to learn four new pieces, they learned the material quickly. It was quite a relief from the frantic feel of the previous concert. We also replayed the Bach which was much more representative of the work we had accomplished in rehearsal.

So preparations feel as though they are progressing well, although you wouldn’t know it based on my stress level. We’ve performed everything we’re presenting at Midwest at least once, and about half the program twice. Nothing is “Midwest ready” yet. We have moments where we sound fantastic, and others where it seems clear the selection committee made a mistake last year. This upcoming week, prior to Thanksgiving, we’ll be sure to record each piece at least once. When we get back from the short break we’ll start the tricky balance of rehearsing the pieces that need the work, fine-tuning details on the others, continuing to develop fundamentals, and trying to sneak a run-through of the whole program here and there. In order to continue to maximize rehearsal time, we’ll record every rehearsal these final weeks before Midwest.

CLINICS
We’ve been fortunate to have several outstanding people come to work with the kids in recent weeks. I posted about the Sam Hazo clinic. Later that same week, John Whitwell, our Midwest Board Liaison came to meet the kids and work with them some. For the second time in three years I was absolutely blown away by his work with them. He has such a magical way with the kids that I can only imagine how wonderful it would be to be in one of his bands.

November 7th was an institute day for us, so we had a special rehearsal with Ryan Nelson from Northwestern University. Dr. Nelson rehearsed Joy Fantastique, the work we commissioned from Douglas Akey, and the finale from Symphony No. 4, another work we commissioned from Andy Boysen several years ago. This clinic was the biggest reason our last concert went so well. The kids were playing much more musically after his time with us.

Last Tuesday, Charlie Menghini (Vandercook College of Music) worked with the kids during our normal Tuesday after school rehearsal. I don’t know if it was the weather, or the fact it was the day after a concert, but the kids were a lot more chatty and squirrelly than normal…especially with a guest. Very disappointing. Dr. Menghini, however, was just masterful in setting the pace, and got an amazing amount of work done on two of the weaker pieces.

FUNDRAISING
Our band parents have been the best. Because of their enthusiasm the community has really rallied to support our efforts. Fundraising, to this point, has been extremely successful. The response from our band alumni was both overwhelming and humbling. Even the smaller carwash and pie sale type events where more profitable than they have been in years. Local businesses have been extremely supportive in placing ads in our concert programs, and a few have even taken advantage of our different sponsorship levels.

We are placing an ad in our regional paper in early December to thank all of those that have supported us with both monetary and in-kind donations.

PRE-CONFERENCE PERFORMANCE
Besides our Midwest preparations, the rest of our energy has been going towards our Community Performance at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie. The hall holds over 800…that’s a lot of general admission tickets to sell for a middle school band concert!

All of our guest conductors will be with us at this performance, and Mark Custom Recording will be there. It’ll be nice to have a high quality recording to use as a tool for our last week of rehearsals. Our advertising poster is here. (it’s a big file 2.6 MB).

CONCERT PROGRAM
We’re also busily designing and writing the content for our concert program. The finished product needs to get to the printer late November, early December…so that feels pressing right now. As is tradition, we’ve asked several political figures to write letters for inclusion in the program.

We have a special project related to our concert program that I’m going to continue to keep secret and tease a little bit longer. Let’s just say, that to my knowledge, no performing group at Midwest has done this before.

I think that’s enough for now. Happy Thanksgiving!

(For topic suggestions or questions relating to our Midwest performance I can be contacted via email: cdestefano@skokie735.k12.il.us or through the contact page on our website.)

—–

Posted: November 18, 2006 | PermaLink

Sam Hazo Clinic

We had a terrific clinic with Sam Hazo this morning. We hadn’t really looked at Our Kingsland Spring since we performed it a few weeks ago, but the kids were fantastic, worked really hard, and Mr. Hazo was really able to bring their best out of them. It’s so wonderful for the kids to not only have the opportunity to work not only on great music, but be able to spend time with the people that created it.

Anyway. Mr. Hazo had a bunch of wonderful phrases that I hadn’t heard. I thought I’d share my favorites:

– “Warming up the paper” The difference is whether you know something about the music before you play it or not.
– “Sing your lives through your instrument.”
– While describing how there are no wrong answers when dealing with interpretation: “2 plus 2 can equal 5 in music…if you make a pretty enough 5.”

– “When you have a soft note, go for the note, not the dynamic.”
– “People will never hear a missed dynamic, but they’ll hear a missed note.”
– “When dynamics go down, effort must go up.” “Less sound = more intensity”
– “It’s easier to become great than to maintain greatness.”

We still have a lot of work to do on the work, but they made some nice progress this morning. We spent a tremendous amount of time on pitch when we rehearsed this several weeks ago. Some of those efforts need to be revisited. There are also some moving parts that need to be brought out more consistently, and we have some intensity/energy issues at times as well.

Tomorrow afternoon, our Board Liaison John Whitwell will be visiting our rehearsal to introduce himself and spend some time with the kids. Hopefully I’ll be able to convince him to pick a baton and help us get better as well!

There’s a lot more I should be posting about, hopefully I’ll find the time to get to it soon.

(For topic suggestions or questions relating to our Midwest performance I can be contacted via email: cdestefano@skokie735.k12.il.us or through the contact page on our website.)

—–

Posted: October 16, 2006 | PermaLink

On “Ancient Dialogue’s” path to Chicago

On Ancient Dialogue’s path to Chicago

by

Patrick J. Burns

A few years ago, I was doing some research on the net in the computer lab of Montclair State University’s Department of Music, where I teach. I was looking for an mp3 recording of Larry Daehn’s arrangement of Themes From Green Bushes, by Percy Grainger, as I was considering performing it with a community youth band I direct. I found a link which led me to the McCracken Middle School Band form Skokie, Illinois. I was impressed that a middle school band had such a well done website at all, much less one which contained links to recordings of their concert performances. I clicked, listened, and was blown away.

I was so impressed with the level of musicianship that I invited a few undergraduate music education students to the lab listen to the recording. I made sure they couldn’t see the monitor and said something like, “Have a listen to this high school band play Grainger. Pay particular attention to the quality of the trumpet section’s tone and the xylophone later in the piece.” As the recording unfolded, there were many expressions of surprise that a “high school” band could have a trumpet section which played so sensitively, that the woodwinds played so musically and well in tune, etc. At the conclusion of the piece, I asked the undergrads to have a look at the monitor and I said, “This is a middle school band, folks. THIS is what’s possible.” Every mouth was open, but there were very few words. It was an epiphany for all of them.

So I was particularly pleased when I received a phone call from Larry Daehn this past June. He informed me that “a middle school band from Illinois wants to play Ancient Dialogue at Midwest this year.” Larry and I talk often and I have enjoyed every conversation we’ve had over the years. Most composers do not have such close relationships with their publishers, so I know how fortunate I am to have a good number of my published works with Larry. Anyway, Larry continued to try to remember the school’s name (he couldn’t), then began searching for the director’s name in his mind. “I think it’s Chip…umm…Chip…”, he said. I interrupted, “Chip De Stefano and the McCracken Middle School Band?” Larry said yes, that was it. It made my day.

Having a work selected to be performed at Midwest is an honor for any composer, regardless of the difficulty level of the piece. Peter Boonshaft (Director of Bands at Hofstra University) and I did a concert together in June and I told him about Ancient Dialogue being selected for Midwest. He was practically more excited than I was! His reaction was, “WOW! I know composers who have written band music for decades who have never been selected for performance at Midwest. This is a HUGE deal for you!”

I am particularly gratified that Chip selected Ancient Dialogue because it’s the most recent one of three of mine written for middle school band which is in print. When I began writing band music in earnest in 1998, I focused on works for high school, university and professional-level bands. I still write for those levels, but in recent years I have grown to thoroughly enjoy writing for middle-level bands. My goal is to produce works which are technically accessible, but musically substantial, regardless of the level for which I’m writing. Fancy techniques and fast passagework mean nothing if the music suffers. James Syler, composer and founder of Ballerbach Publications says, “Artistry first.” He’s right.

Ancient Dialogue was written for the 2005 Bloomfield Summer Arts Workshop Wind Ensemble and was premiered on July 28 of that year, under my direction. The piece is based on “Baises Moy” (“Kiss Me”), a French folk tune dating back to the 15th century. Several composers of the Renaissance, most notably Josquin des Pres, used this melody as the basis of other compositions, both sacred and secular. The text attached to the original melody represents a conversation between a young man and a young woman in which the young man makes an eloquent attempt to steal a kiss from his girlfriend, but she politely refuses. The young man is determined to not give up so easily, so he presses the issue. In the end however, the young woman offers her reason for denying her lover a kiss. The music in this setting is sometimes insistent and determined, and at other times pleading and gentle, reflecting the changing nature of what surely must have been a much longer conversation than the translation of the original text suggests:

“Kiss me, sweet friend. For love I pray thee.”
“I won’t.”
“And why?”
“If I committed such folly, my mother would be ashamed. That’s why!”

Ancient Dialogue is a juxtaposition of old and new on a couple of levels. First, it’s an old tune which is arranged for a modern ensemble using both antiquated and more contemporary harmonizations. Also, the consideration of the text (which does not appear in the published score, incidentally), is important. The sentiments expressed by the young man and young woman are timeless. Can you imagine a similar conversation today? The words may be very different, but the emotions conveyed would be very much the same.

I’d like to extend my sincerest congratulations to Chip De Stefano and the McCracken Middle School Band for having been selected to perform at this year’s Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic. Together, they are making a huge impact in the world of music education and are demonstrating to their community and indeed to the country that dedication, loyalty, commitment, industry and artistry bear such wonderful fruit that can be enjoyed by all. Tutti bravi!

Patrick J. Burns
West Caldwell, New Jersey
September 25, 2006

(Patrick Burns’ music can be heard at his website, www.patrickburnsmusic.com)

—–

Posted: September 26, 2006 | PermaLink

Our Program – Approved!

What a relief! We received word that the program we submitted for our Midwest performance was approved this morning. The programs of all the performing groups won’t be posted by the Midwest Office until late October, but it’s now officially okay for me to write about them.

The question I get asked more than any other about Midwest is “What are you playing?” Finally I can share! My guess is that most aren’t interested in long-winded descriptions, so I’ll keep them short.

Essanay Fanfare – Douglas Akey (2006, manuscript, Grade 3)
The title for our Midwest Commission will eventually become “Joy Fantasique.” Doug would really like to change the title, but if that change isn’t approved by the Midwest Office, he’ll keep it the original title until after the premier. I’m excited to read through the fanfare for the first time after our concert this week.

Ancient Dialogue – Patrick Burns (Daehn Publications, 2006, new, Grade 2)
This is a great work, in ABA form, based on “Baises Moy” (“Kiss Me”), a French folk tune dating back to the Renaissance. The theme moves through the band as dialogues between contrasting wind groups. I particularly like the way the composer successfully marries the Renaissance feel with more contemporary harmonies.

Little Suite for Band – Clare Grundman (Boosey & Hawkes, 1957, old, Grade 2)
For months, my heart was set on performing “Fantasy on American Sailing Songs” at Midwest. Grundman was never an option…I love his stuff and feel it to be literature that every middle school band should be playing. Not only that, because of the challenges his music generally presents, I knew we’d become a more mature group just by preparing it. While going through the “60th Anniversary” required list one more time, I realized that “Little Suite for Band” would be the perfect way to slightly ease up on the difficulty of the program while we still gain the benefits of preparing Grundman.

Albanian Dance – Shelley Hanson (Boosey & Hawkes, 2005, old, Grade 4)
This work is part of last year’s Windependence series. It’s a fun work. The greatest challenge will be getting the technique up to speed. It fits the strengths of our band, though, so hopefully I won’t loose too much hair over this one.

Our Kingsland Spring – Samuel R. Hazo (Hal Leonard, 2005, new, Grade 2)
This is the first movement to Hazo’s “Georgia Suite.” The first movement, “Ascend,” was given its world premier by Tapp Middle School at the 2004 Midwest Clinic. That was a great concert. As with most of Hazo’s work, this will be well liked by our audiences.

Chinese Folk Song Medley – Robert Garofalo (Grand Mesa Music, 1999, old, Grade 2)
This work hasn’t received nearly the attention it deserves. On the easy side of grade two, it is a wonderful example of the type of authentic cultural music our students should be exposed to. There is a significant amount of optional singing that I’m still deciding on. My current hope is to try to have the kids sing the folk songs in the original Chinese instead of the English translations. We’ll see.

Orange Bowl – Henry Fillmore (Carl Fischer, 1939 POP, old, Grade 3)
Good stuff. We’re performing this on Wednesday. The kids are playing it, but not really PLAYING it. We’ll have a lot of cleaning to do when we dust it off in a few weeks.

Prelude and Fugue in D minor – J.S. Bach/Roland Moehlmann (Alfred, 1953, old, Grade 3)
From “Eight Little Preludes and Fugues,” this work isn’t played nearly as much as the Prelude and Fugue in Bb, but it shares a lot of similar qualities. The technique is reasonable, and there is just so much good stuff to teach. The biggest challenges will be getting the polyphony to fit and work together and, of course, pitch. In fact, our next warm-up chorale will be in D minor to help the kids adjust to that key.

Ye Banks and Braes O’ Bonnie Doon – arr. Michael Sweeney (Hal Leonard, 2006, new, Grade 1)
This is a great, very accessible, arrangement of this wonderful Scottish folk tune. It’ll be a fun one to rehearse. It also sets up our last work very well.

Symphony No. 4 for Winds and Percussion (4th Movement) – Andrew Boysen, Jr. (Kjos, 2006, new, Grade 3)

Symphony No.4 is a work we commissioned for our 2004 performance at the IMEA All-State Conference. Because of its length, nearly 12 minutes, we’ll only be performing the last movement. This work as been amazingly well received wherever I’ve brought it, and I’m very excited to share it with our Midwest audience.

This Wednesday we’ll be performing three of the Midwest works for the first time. Following this concert we’ll have four weeks to prepare four more for our next concert.

(For topic suggestions or questions relating to our Midwest performance I can be contacted via email: cdestefano@skokie735.k12.il.us or through the contact page on our website.)

—–

Posted: September 24, 2006 | PermaLink

Next Page →