Back to Basics ~ performing a pre-pandemic concert in a post-pandemic world.
This year’s Spring Concert features a program that was planned two years ago, but was never performed. The subtitle of this concert is “Back to Basics”. Not only is the band playing a straight-forward wind ensemble concert with no obvious theme, but they’re also going back to performing a pre-pandemic concert in a post-pandemic world.
Highlights of our upcoming concert include a piece by Percy Grainger called “Lincolnshire Posy”. Grainger was an interesting fellow and his music reflects that. He wanted music to reflect nature and have a free-flowing sense of time, which is why you’ll often hear lots of meter changes in his music. The second movement of “Lincolnshire Posy” is a great example of this free flow in time because the melody is not strictly in common time or a basic meter throughout the movement.
Another highlight of this concert is a selection called “Alligator Alley” by Michael Daugherty. Daugherty is a modern day composer who incorporates pop culture into his music, such as “Dead Elvis” or “Metropolis Symphony” (the story of Superman). “Alligator Alley” is the nickname for a stretch of highway between Naples and Ft. Lauderdale in Florida’s Everglades National Park. Daugherty composed this music to celebrate the management of the National Park Service in preventing poachers from hunting alligators. Listen for the snap of the alligator from the whip player when you see this performance!
One last piece of music I’d like to showcase is Shostakovich’s “Waltz No. 2”, which has been arranged for wind ensemble by Johan de Meij. You may have heard of this famous waltz in Kubrick’s movie “Eyes Wide Shut” or the holiday classic “Bad Santa”. It was composed as a part of Shostakovish’s “Suite for Variety Orchestra”. In the original orchestral version, it included alto saxophone, which is not an instrument that normally plays in orchestra. It’s great to hear Meij’s band arrangement because the sax part is now accompanied by wind instruments that match the tone quality of that instrument.
There are eight other pieces that will be performed for this year’s Spring Concert. Please come see our concert this May 1st at the Center for the Arts main stage at 4:30PM.