Cleveland Winds with Friends, April 30, 2017

Join the Cleveland Winds on Sunday, April 30 at 7PM in Waetjen Auditorium at CSU for a delightful program of wind band music.

The first half of the concert will feature our friends in the University Heights Symphonic Band, and their music director, Matthew Salvaggio. The UHSB will perform:

  • A Festival Prelude, Alfred Reed
  • Irish Tune from County Derry, Percy Aldridge Grainger
  • Shepherd's Hey, Percy Aldridge Grainger
  • First Suite in E-flat, Gustav Holst
  • An American Elegy, Frank Ticheli
  • Commando March, Samuel Barber

The second half of the concert will feature the Cleveland Winds with our favorite guest conductor, Professor Tim Reynish, and euphonium virtuoso David Childs. Our program will include:

  • Sinfonia, Op. 76, for 17 Wind Instruments in memoriam Benjamin Britten, Peter Racine Fricker
  • Euphonium Concerto, Adam Gorb. Featuring David Childs, euphonium, and Tim Reynish, guest conductor
  • Dance Sequence, Marco Pütz

As always, the concert is free and open to the public. Paid parking is available in the CSU Central Garage, which is accessible via E 21st Street at Chester.

And, the concert is available via the Internet at

The Cleveland Winds thanks Maecenas Music for supplying the sheet music for our portion of this evening's concert.

Program Notes

In a survey of Fricker's music, Michael Meckna writes "The music is characterized by its strength and assurance, its logic and consistency, its formal mastery, and its deep emotional quality". The Sinfonia is subtitled "in Memoriam Benjamin Britten" and was written shortly after that composer's death in l976. A lament for solo oboe, punctuated by brass chords bind the work together, linking sections in different tempos and meters. These episodes develop a few brief motives, notably the figure of a descending triad derived from the opening brass chords, and draw on a wide range of colors. After a fierce climax, the lament remains, trailing into silence.

About his Euphonium Concerto, the composer Adam Gorb writes:

The Euphonium Concerto was written in 1996-7, and is about fifteen minutes long in two contrasting movements. In the first, and longer movement, I have attempted to exploit the more lyrical side of the solo instrument. After a bell-like introduction played softly on woodwinds, answered by recitative-like gestures in the euphonium and followed by a gentle build up from the whole band, the main body of the movement sets off in a flowing 5/8 time with a saxophone melody answered by the soloist. A more lively scherzando section follows, always increasing in animation, and eventually dissolving into cascading semiquavers for the soloist. A more sombre section follows, and a climax is reached with the full band landing in the home key of A minor. Earlier material is recalled and the movement ends with a return to the very opening and a soft shimmer of bell sounds.

These sounds should reverberate into the next movement, an Allegro Vivace led by the soloist with a melody based on the theme from the opening of the work. The full band soon interrupts reaching a martial climax before a more graceful melody attempts to exert itself. After a moment of reflection, the main theme of the movement is developed contrapuntally eventually reaching the work's main climax with a return to the bell-like melody of the opening, this time with full forces, fortissimo. Following a brief reminiscence of the opening of the movement, the coda lurches into a completely different world, totally unlike anything that has happened before."

The Euphonium Concerto was first performed in May 1997 with soloist Ian Whitwham and the Richmond School Wind Ensemble in North Yorkshire conducted by Richard Jones.

Marco Pütz' Dance Sequence was commissioned by a consortium of school bands and caters for the special challenges that face school band directors. There are no exotic instruments or doublings, no alto clarinet or contrabassoon and no cor anglais (it can in fact be performed with a single oboist). The percussion department uses plenty of players but straightforward parts and a very practical range of instruments. Solos - and there are quite a few, in all sections - are rewarding but never too demanding, too exposed or too long. Otherwise, it sets out musically and technically to extend players not patronize them, with enough tricky corners to keep them interested. Dance Sequence is often harmonically pungent, especially the first movement, and metrically quite sophisticated, but ideas are memorable enough to help players over any little hurdles.

There are three short movements, all inspired by the dance. The first, entitled Starting Up, is marked Allegro Vivo, and is mostly in 3/4 time. Syncopated block chords and a chromatic theme heard first on muted trumpet build with some spicy harmonies to an intense climax. This is followed by Folk Tune, an Allegretto giocoso movement, with solos for trombone, oboe, and flute as it explores a succession of interesting metrical and coloristic ideas. The finale is the longest movement, headed M.A.R.C.(H). The theme, in march time of course, is also a coded musical tribute, a cipher on the name of one of the dedicatees (Marc Compton). The slow opening soon develops both in tempo and texture, alternating solos for euphonium, clarinet, and flute till a tom-tom roll interrupts the onward march of the movement to bring back the opening maestros, all capped off with a brisk coda.