"Ireland: of Legend and Lore" by the Tri-County Symphonic Band
3:00pm Sun, Mar 17, 2013
Venue: Fireman Performing Arts Center at Tabor Academy on Sippican Harbor
235 Marion Road, On Sippican Harbor, Marion, MA 02738
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A concert of music from the Emerald Isle starts with a march that has been in the Tri-County Symphonic Band library for years but little else is known. "Bits of the Old Sod" is upbeat and vibrantly Irish and is a perfect starter for a concert entitled "Ireland: of Legend and Lore." Cleveland-born Clare Grundman studied under Paul Hindemith, whom he credited for teaching him the practical techniques for composition. He took a special interest in composing for school bands and has over 70 published band compositions to his credit. His arrangements have brought the works of Leonard Bernstein and Aaron Copland to the band world. Grundman has also provided scores and arrangements for radio, television, movies and Broadway musicals. "An Irish Rhapsody" is one of Grundman's most familiar pieces. It contains six songs of Ireland, including "I Know Where I'm Going," "Shepherd's Lamb Reel" and "Cockles and Mussels." James Curnow received his training at Wayne State University in Detroit (B.S.) and Michigan State University in East Lansing (M. M.), where he was a conducting student of Dr. Harry Begian and a euphonium student of Leonard Falcone. He taught on the secondary school and college level for 20 years before retiring to devote full time to composition. He received the "Outstanding Educator of America" award in 1974, and the National Band Association "Citation of Excellence" in 1980. His "Dublin Sketches" is a tonal image of Ireland's capital and most populous city. Curnow captures the modern bustle as well as the steeped tradition that lies at every turn. Robert W. Smith is one of the most popular and prolific composers of concert band and orchestral literature in America today. He has over 600 publications in print. As a conductor and clinician, Mr. Smith has performed throughout the United States, Canada, Japan, Europe and Australia. He is the principal conductor of the American Symphonic Winds and the American Festival Philharmonic Orchestra, professional recording ensembles based in Washington D.C. "Ireland: Of Legend and Lore" by Robert W. Smith is an original composition for wind band, which draws upon the vast riches of traditional Irish melodies. The composer has chosen several castles and/or colorful characters from Irish history and folklore and put their legendary deeds to music. Included in the composition are "Brian Boru's March", "Grace O'Malley", "Sing Ah", "Courtly Dance" and "Battle of Cahir Castle". Born in 1882, the son of an architect in Brighton, Victoria, Australia, Percy Grainger was a precocious pianist, and the proceeds of a series of concerts, given at the age of twelve, enabled him to go and study at Frankfurt for six years, after which he began his European career as a concert pianist, settling in London in 1901. He came to the U. S. in 1915 and enlisted as an army bandsman at the outbreak of World War I. He became a United States citizen in 1919. On August 6, 1959, Grainger wrote: "In setting "Molly on the Shore" I strove to imbue the accompanying parts that made up the harmonic texture with a melodic character not too unlike that of the underlying reel tune. Melody seems to me to provide music with an initiative, whereas rhythm appears to me to exert an enslaving influence. For that reason I have tried to avoid rhythmic domination in my music -- always excepting irregular rhythms, such as those of Gregorian Chant, which seem to me to make for freedom. Equally with melody I prize discordant harmony, because of the emotional and compassionate sway it exerts." Airman First Class Benjamin Paille will take to the Tri-County stage and let us share in his wonderfully warm and musical trumpet playing. The Westport, MA native and United States Air Force Band of Liberty member is equally at home performing with concert bands as he is with jazz ensembles and on the Broadway stage. Robert W. Smith writes about his suite: "Irish Songs for Solo and Band is a collection of traditional Irish melodies in a unique suite for the concert band. The work opens with 'Deirin De,' one of Ireland's oldest known melodies. This warm and beautiful lullaby is very simple and conjures images of a parent singing to her sleeping child. 'Jug of Punch' is a playful interaction between the soloist and the woodwind choir leading to a humorous conclusion. The suite continues with 'The Beggarman,' an energetic melody in a traditional Irish style, and features several Irish percussion instruments interacting with the soloist. The immortal 'Danny Boy' closes the suite and reminds us that the gift of music is one of Ireland's most important contributions to our world...The suite was originally premiered...at the 2006 Midwest Band Clinic in Chicago, IL." Gustav Holst wrote the "Second Suite for Military Band" in 1911, using English folk songs and folk dance tunes throughout. The opening March combines a Morris dance with folk songs, while the second movement features a lyrical tune which tells of lovers separated by their parents. This is followed by the "Song of the Blacksmith", complete with a lively rhythm played on the blacksmith's anvil. The Suite concludes with the Dargason country dance and folk song entwined with the well-known Greensleeves melody. Holst was well suited for his role as concert band composer, having played trombone in various groups for years. Whereas other composers wrote for the concert band as they would for an orchestra without strings, Holst created a unique sound intended to cast the concert band as a serious concert medium. Anonymous - Bits of the Old Sod (March) Grundman - An Irish Rhapsody Curnow - Dublin Sketches Smith - Ireland: of Legend and Lore Grainger - Molly on the Shore Smith - Irish Songs Holst - Second Suite for Military Band Complimentary Desserts & Refreshments After The Concert. Tickets $10 (Students $5) ~ Children 12 and Under Free Tickets available at www.TriCountySymphonicBand.org, The Bookstall in Marion, The Symphony Music Shop in Dartmouth. Any remaining tickets will be sold at the door.