Come Sunday!

The Cleveland Winds is honored to host the Cleveland Youth Wind Symphony Group 1 for a spectacular concert event. Along with CYWS 1, the Winds will be joined by Matthew Marsit, wind conductor at the Boston Conservatory, and Maestro Timothy Reynish, one of the world's preeminent wind conductors.

The Winds will perform the music of Percy Grainger, Luis Alarcón, Adam Gorb, and Omar Thomas.

Parking will be available for a fee in the CSU Central Garage. While we hope you can join us downtown for this free event, the concert will be streamed on the CSU School of Music Facebook page at

Program Notes

George Percy Grainger (8 July 1882, Brighton, Victoria, Australia – 20 February 1961, White Plains, N.Y.) was an Australian-born composer, pianist and champion of the saxophone and the concert band, who worked under the stage name of Percy Aldridge Grainger.

Grainger was an innovative musician who anticipated many forms of twentieth century music well before they became established by other composers. As early as 1899 he was working with "beatless music", using metric successions (including such sequences as 2/4, 2½/4, 3/4, 2½/4).

In December 1929, Grainger developed a style of orchestration that he called "Elastic Scoring". He outlined this concept in an essay that he called, "To Conductors, and those forming, or in charge of, Amateur Orchestras, High School, College and Music School Orchestras and Chamber-Music Bodies".

In 1932, he became Dean of Music at New York University, and underscored his reputation as an experimenter by putting jazz on the syllabus and inviting Duke Ellington as a guest lecturer. Twice he was offered honorary doctorates of music, but turned them down, explaining, "I feel that my music must be regarded as a product of non-education."

  • Biography from

Lincolnshire Posy was commissioned by the American Bandmasters Association and premiered at their convention with the composer conducting. It is in six movements, all based on folk songs from Lincolnshire, England. Grainger's settings are not only true to the verse structure of the folk songs, but attempt to depict the singers from whom Grainger collected the songs. Since its premiere, it has been recognized as a cornerstone of the wind band repertoire.

Lincolnshire Posy, as a whole work, was conceived and scored by me direct for wind band early in 1937. Five, out of the six, movements of which it is made up existed in no other finished form, though most of these movements (as is the case with almost all my compositions and settings, for whatever medium) were indebted, more or less, to unfinished sketches for a variety of mediums covering many years (in this case, the sketches date from 1905 to 1937). These indebtednesses are stated in the score.

This bunch of "musical wildflowers" (hence the title) is based on folksongs collected in Lincolnshire, England (one notated by Miss Lucy E. Broadwood; the other five noted by me, mainly in the years 1905-1906, and with the help of the phonograph), and the work is dedicated to the old folksingers who sang so sweetly to me. Indeed, each number is intended to be a kind of musical portrait of the singer who sang its underlying melody -- a musical portrait of the singer's personality no less than of his habits of song -- his regular or irregular wonts of rhythm, his preference for gaunt or ornately arabesqued delivery, his contrasts of legato and staccato, his tendency towards breadth or delicacy of tone.

  • Program Note by Percy Aldridge Grainger

Born in Valencia in 1972, Luis Serrano Alarcón is a Spanish composer and conductor. His works have been performed in more than 30 countries, he has been invited to conduct his own music in Spain, Italy, Singapore, USA, Colombia and Hong Kong and has received commissions from important national and international organizations and groups. Including the Valencian Institute of Music, the International Band Competition of Vila d’Altea, the CIBM of Valencia, the CIM La Armónica of Buñol, the University of Saint Thomas (Minnesota), the Philharmonic Winds (Singapore) and the Hong Kong Band Directors Association. In 2012, the Southeastern Conference Band Directors Association, formed by a consortium of 14 US universities, commissioned the composition of his first Symphony for Wind Orchestra, premiered in October 2013 and, in 2017 he wrote the second of his symphonies commissioned by the University of Saint Thomas, piece which has been premiered in May 2017. His latest projects include his Cello Concerto and the commission of a consortium of 13 North American universities for the composition of his First Book of Spanish Dances.

He has twice won the First Prize of the International Composition Competition for Band of Corciano (Italy), in 2006 with the piece Preludio y Danza del Alba, for brass quintet and symphonic band and in 2009 with La Dama Centinela. In 2010 he won with this same piece the Euterpe Prize from the Federation of Musical Societies of Valencia in the category of Best Symphonic Work and in 2011 his piece Duende won the Best Classical Edition in the Awards of the Music, which annually delivers the Academy of Arts and Sciences of Music and are the most important in the field of music in Spain.
Luis Serrano Alarcón has been, between 2011 and 2013, member of WASBE Board of Directors.

His works have been published by Piles Editorial de Música from 2004 to 2015, the year from which he has developed his own publishing project under the Alarcon Music label.
He is currently principal conductor of the UMSC Symphonic Band of Villar del Arzobispo (Valencia) and professor at the Conservatorio Superior de Música of Valencia.

  • Biography from the composer’s website.

Information on The Unknown Friend will be delivered from the stage, transcribed, and added here at a later date.

Adam Gorb (born 1958) studied Music at Cambridge University and Composition at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where he graduated with the highest honours including the Principal’s Prize, in 1993. His compositions include orchestral, ensemble, chamber, solo and choral works, and have been performed, broadcast, and recorded world-wide. In the UK, his compositions have had performances at contemporary music festivals in Huddersfield, Cheltenham, Hampstead, and Highgate, Spitalfields and Canterbury, and he has had concerts entirely devoted to his music in the UK, the USA and Canada. He has been featured composer at Luton and Bromsgrove music clubs and Chetham’s International Summer School. His concert band composition Metropolis has won several prizes, including the Walter Beeler Memorial Prize in the USA in 1994. Three other Wind Ensemble works: Towards Nirvana, Adrenaline City and Farewell have won British Composer awards. His works have been performed by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the Maggini Quartet, the BBC Singers, the Tokyo Kosei Wind Ensemble, the Royal Marines and the Liverpool 10/10 ensemble.

In 2010 a CD devoted to his works was released on the NMC label, and in the same year a large-scale work Eternal Voices was premiered in Exeter cathedral. His first opera Anya17 (2012) was premiered in Liverpool and Manchester to great acclaim – there have subsequently been productions in Germany in and the USA. 2016 saw the premiere of In Solitude, for Company by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and the release of another CD Dancing in the Ghetto. His second opera The Path to Heaven was given its first performances in Leeds and Manchester in 2018 with further productions in the USA in 2019 and 2020. In 2022 a CD of piano music: 24 Preludes and Velocity was released on the Toccata label with the pianist Clare Hammond.

Professor Adam Gorb is Head of School of Composition at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. He has a PhD in Composition from the University of Birmingham and has taught at universities in the USA, Canada, Japan, and many European countries.

Out of the Darkness (2022) is a seven - minute piece that very much follows the implications of its title; a progress from somber introspection to something much more hopeful. 2020/2022 were troubling times world wide, but hopefully a brighter future can be attained despite many present day challenges. The work is dedicated to the musical visionary Timothy Reynish who has had a such an important influence on my compositional journey. In particular, the final C major chord encapsulates Tim’s philosophy: ‘Forte is a light dynamic.’

  • Information from the score.

Described as "elegant, beautiful, sophisticated, intense, and crystal clear in emotional intent," the music of Omar Thomas continues to move listeners everywhere it is performed. Born to Guyanese parents in Brooklyn, New York in 1984, Omar moved to Boston in 2006 to pursue a Master of Music in Jazz Composition at the New England Conservatory of Music after studying Music Education at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. He is the protégé of lauded composers and educators Ken Schaphorst and Frank Carlberg, and has studied under multiple Grammy-winning composer and bandleader Maria Schneider.

Hailed by Herbie Hancock as showing "great promise as a new voice in the further development of jazz in the future," educator, arranger, and award-winning composer Omar Thomas has created music extensively in the contemporary jazz ensemble idiom. It was while completing his Master of Music Degree that he was appointed the position of Assistant Professor of Harmony at Berklee College of Music at the surprisingly young age of 23. Following his Berklee tenure, he served on faculty of the Music Theory department at The Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Now a Yamaha Master Educator, he is currently an Assistant Professor of Composition and Jazz Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. He was awarded the ASCAP Young Jazz Composers Award in 2008, and invited by the ASCAP Association to perform his music in their highly exclusive JaZzCap Showcase, held in New York City. In 2012, Omar was named the Boston Music Award's "Jazz Artist of the Year." In 2019, he was awarded the National Bandmasters Association/Revelli Award for his wind composition “Come Sunday,” becoming the first Black composer awarded the honor in the contest’s 42-year history.

Now a Yamaha Master Educator, Omar's music has been performed in concert halls the world over. He has been commissioned to create works in both jazz and classical styles. His work has been performed by such diverse groups as the Eastman New Jazz Ensemble, the San Francisco and Boston Gay Mens' Choruses, The United States Marine Band, the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, the Houston Symphony Orchestra, and the Showa Wind Symphony, in addition to a number of the country's top collegiate music ensembles. Omar has had a number of celebrated singers perform over his arrangements, including Stephanie Mills, Yolanda Adams, Nona Hendryx, BeBe Winans, Kenny Lattimore, Marsha Ambrosius, Sheila E., Raul Midon, Leela James, Dionne Warwick, and Chaka Khan. His work is featured on Dianne Reeves's Grammy Award-winning album, "Beautiful Life."

Omar's first album, "I AM," debuted at #1 on iTunes Jazz Charts and peaked at #13 on the Billboard Traditional Jazz Albums Chart. His second release, " We Will Know: An LGBT Civil Rigths Piece in Four Movements," has been hailed by Grammy Award-wining drummer, composer, and producer Terri Lyne Carrington as being a "thought provoking, multi-layered masterpiece" which has "put him in the esteemed category of great artists." "We Will Know" was awarded two OUTMusic Awards, including "Album of the Year." For this work, Omar was named the 2014 Lavender Rhino Award recipient by The History Project, acknowledging his work as an up-and-coming activist in the Boston LGBTQ community. Says Terri Lyne: "Omar Thomas will prove to be one of the more important composer/arrangers of his time."

Come Sunday is a two-movement tribute to the Hammond organ’s central role in black worship services. The first movement, Testimony, follows the Hammond organ as it readies the congregation’s hearts, minds, and spirits to receive The Word via a magical union of Bach, blues, jazz, and R&B. The second movement, Shout!, is a virtuosic celebration - the frenzied and joyous climactic moments when The Spirit has taken over the service.

The title is a direct nod to Duke Ellington, who held an inspired love for classical music and allowed it to influence his own work in a multitude of ways. To all the black musicians in wind ensemble who were given opportunity after opportunity to celebrate everyone else’s music but our own - I see you and I am you. This one’s for the culture!

  • Information from the composer's website.