Experience an afternoon of musical excellence with The Cleveland Winds and the CSU Wind Ensemble on Sunday, November 19, 2023, at 3 pm in Waetjen Auditorium at Cleveland State University.
We are honored to host Dr. Carolyn Barber, Director of Bands at the University of Nebraska--Lincoln, as our guest conductor. The Cleveland Winds, Northeast Ohio's premier wind ensemble, will perform Donald Grantham's J'ai été au bal, David Gillingham’s setting of Be Thou My Vision conducted by Dr. Barber, and Philip Sparke's Dance Movements.
The Cleveland Winds is supported in part by the residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.
Collaboration with The CSU Wind Ensemble
The CSU Wind Ensemble will join us in a collaborative performance. Their repertoire includes Oscar Navarro's Downey Overture with Dr. Barber, Kenneth Hesketh's Danceries, Frank Ticheli's Blue Shades, and Paul Hindemith's March from Symphonic Metamorphosis.
Join us for an afternoon of musical artistry and collaboration. We look forward to sharing this performance with you.
- Date and Time: Sunday, November 19, 2023, at 3 pm
- Location: Waetjen Auditorium, Cleveland State University
- Parking: Available in the CSU Central Garage
- Livestream: https://facebook.com/ClevelandStateMusic
- The concert is free and open to the public.
- Accessible parking is provided next to the CSU Music Building via Euclid Ave.
Program Notes for CSU Wind Ensemble
Oscar Navarro is the recipient of many national and international music awards for composition, and his music is performed and commissioned by many orchestral and wind ensembles throughout the globe. Navarro combines his busy agenda composing with master classes and lectures. He has been invited to speak at numerous music festivals and universities.
The lively overture Downey was originally composed by the distinguished Spanish composer Oscar Navarro in 2013 for symphony orchestra. It was commissioned by the Downey Symphony Orchestra in Los Angeles, California to celebrate their 20th anniversary season. This upbeat curtain-raiser evokes a spirit of jubilation through propulsive rhythms, soaring melodies, and lively percussion.
This afternoon, the CSU Wind Ensemble is performing Navarro’s own masterful transcription the overture for concert band. In his hand, the lively Downey Overture is transformed into an exhilarating concert opener, perfectly tailored for the powerful sonorities of the wind band medium. Thematic material is spread inventively across the ensemble for maximum effect. Rousing rhythmic motives pass between sections, propelling the momentum. Lyrical melodies soar above the texture, expertly set to shine on solo instruments like flute, trumpet and clarinet. Precise articulations and accents add vitality throughout.
Kenneth Hesketh has been described as “one of the UK's most vibrant voices, having a brand of modernism that reveals true love for sound itself” (International Piano) and as "a composer who both has something to say and the means to say it” (Tempo magazine). Hesketh has received numerous national and international commissions and has worked with leading ensembles and orchestras in the USA, Far East and Europe. He is a professor of composition and orchestration at the Royal College of Music, honorary professor at Liverpool University and active as a guest lecturer.
- Biography selected from https://www.kennethhesketh.co.uk/about/biography
The term “danceries” can be found in a copy of Playford’s Dancing Master, an extensive collection of folk and popular tunes of the seventeenth century (and no doubt earlier). This publication was used by master fiddle players to teach the various dance steps of the day to a nobleman’s house or a king’s court. Whilst this present set of ‘danceries’ cannot be said to be an aid to terpsichorean agil¬ity, I do hope that it will at least set feet tapping.
The melodies themselves are a mixture of new and old—well, nearly. Where old occurs, it has been adapted in mood and com¬position and is often interspersed with completely new material. The harmonies and rhythms bring a breath of the new into these themes and add to the drama of the set.
Lull me beyond thee: Gentle and lilting, almost a barcarole, this movement is very much a reverie. The original tune had the name ‘Poor Robin’s Maggot’ - a rather disconcerting title; maggot however, in seventeenth-century parlance, meant ‘whim’ or ‘fancy.’ This theme can also be found in The Beggar’s Opera by John Gay (first performed in 1728) under the title “Would you have a young lady?” (Air 21).
Catching of Quails: A colorfully buoyant scherzo on an origi¬nal melody. The thematic material is shuttled around through the band to contrast with full-bodied tuttis. The last few bars fade away almost to nothing, it seems, until a final surprise! My Lady’s Rest is a rather tender pavane on an original theme, with Moorish leanings, that features solos for principal winds and brass along with warmer tutti passages. The movement culminates with a final presentation of the theme before evaporating in held flute and trumpet chords.
Quodling’s Delight: The final movement to the set combines one of the melodies from Playford’s Dancing Master (under the title “Goddesses,’ here theme 1) with an original contrasting melody (theme 2). The movement is a dramatic and exuberant ending to this first set of Danceries.
- Program note by Kenneth Hesketh
Frank Ticheli is well known for his works for concert band, many of which have become standards in the repertoire, and is the winner of the 2006 NBA/William D. Revelli Memorial Band Composition Contest for his Symphony No. 2.
- Biography from windrep.org
"In 1992 I composed a concerto for traditional jazz band and orchestra, Playing with Fire, for the Jim Cullum Jazz Band and the San Antonio Symphony. I experienced tremendous joy during the creation of Playing with Fire, and my love for early jazz is expressed in every bar of the concerto. However, after completing it, I knew that the traditional jazz influences dominated the work, leaving little room for my own musical voice to come through. I felt a strong need to compose another work, one that would combine my love of early jazz with my own musical style.
"Four years, and several compositions later, I finally took the opportunity to realize that need by composing Blue Shades. As its title suggests, the work alludes to the blues, and a jazz feeling is prevalent -- however, it is not literally a blues piece. There is not a single 12-bar blues progression to be found, and except for a few isolated sections, the eighth-note is not swung.
"The work, however, is heavily influenced by the blues: "Blue notes" (flatted 3rds, 5ths, and 7ths) are used constantly; blues harmonies, rhythms, and melodic idioms pervade the work; and many "shades of blue" are depicted, from bright blue, to dark, to dirty, to hot blue.
"At times, Blue Shades burlesques some of the clichés from the Big Band era, not as a mockery of those conventions, but as a tribute. A slow and quiet middle section recalls the atmosphere of a dark, smoky blues haunt. An extended clarinet solo played near the end recalls Benny Goodman's hot playing style, and ushers in a series of "wailing" brass chords recalling the train whistle effects commonly used during that era."
Blue Shades was commissioned by a consortium of thirty university, community, and high school concert bands under the auspices of the Worldwide Concurrent Premieres and Commissioning Fund.
- Program Note by Frank Ticheli
Paul Hindemith (1895 – 1963) was a German composer and educator. Hindemith emigrated to the United States from Germany in 1940 and held teaching positions at Harvard and Yale Universities, becoming an American citizen in 1946. After World War II Hindemith relocated to Europe, taking a position at the University of Zurich.
- Biography from windrep.org
Paul Hindemith composed Symphonic Metamorphosis in 1943 while teaching at Yale University. Believing strongly that the work should be made available in a band version, he asked his Yale colleague Keith Wilson to make a transcription. After permission was finally granted by the publisher in 1960, Wilson worked on this arrangement of the March for 18 months. He regarded it as his largest and most significant transcription. The important two-bar fragment which is stated by the brass at the outset reappears and is developed at different points of punctuation throughout the movement. There is also a more lyrical "trio" theme which is repeated and developed. The form is somewhat different from that of a standard march.
- Program Note from Program Notes for Band
Program Notes for Cleveland Winds
Donald Grantham received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oklahoma, and a master’s degree from the University of Southern California. Grantham went on to study at the American Conservatory in France with Nadia Boulanger.
Grantham is highly regarded as one of the most accomplished and influential composers for winds working today. Grantham is the recipient of numerous awards and prizes in composition, including the Prix Lili Boulanger, the Nissim/ASCAP Orchestral Composition Prize, First Prize in the Concordia Chamber Symphony's Awards to American Composers, a Guggenheim Fellowship, three grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, three First Prizes in the NBA/William Revelli Competition, two First Prizes in the ABA/Ostwald Competition, and First Prize in the National Opera Association's Biennial Composition Competition. His music has been praised for its "elegance, sensitivity, lucidity of thought, clarity of expression and fine lyricism" in a citation awarded by the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.
- Biography selected from windrep.org.
J’ai été au bal is a celebration of some of the popular/folk music styles of Louisiana, in particular Cajun music and the brass band tradition of New Orleans. The dance flavor of much of the music is suggested by the title (“I went to the dance”), and two traditional Cajun dance tunes are employed. The first appears near the beginning and later at the end. “Allons danser, Colinda” ('lets go dancing, Colinda') is a boy’s attempt to coax Colinda into going dancing, and part of his argument is “it’s not everyone who knows how to dance the two-beat waltzes." The touching little tune does work better in a syncopated two but is usually represented in the notation as 3+3+2. The second Cajun song is “Les flames d’enfer” ('the flames of hell'), most often performed as a heavily-accented two-step. My version is much faster and lighter and is introduced by a country-fiddle style tune. The brass band begins with solo tuba, followed by a duet with the euphonium, and culminating in a full brass presentation.
- Program Note by Donald Grantham
Dr. Donald Gillingham earned bachelor and master’s degrees in Instrumental Music Education from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and the Ph.D. in Music Theory/Composition from Michigan State University. Many of his works for winds are now considered standards in the repertoire.
- Biography selected from windrep.org.
"It was an honor and privilege to compose this setting of Be Thou My Vision for Ray and Molly Cramer in honor of their parents. The work is heartfelt, expressive, and hopefully inspiring. The hymn tune Slane is one of my favorites and inspired me to compose a countermelody which is likened to an old Irish ballad. Since Slane is, in fact, an old Irish ballad, the two tunes share this unique camaraderie.
"The work opens with a medieval-like flavor of reverence leading to the first presentation of Slane (Be Thou My Vision) in D-minor stated in chant-like somberness by the euphonium. Following, the newly composed Irish ballad is sung by the flute, which leads to a dramatic statement of Be Thou My Vision by the full ensemble in A-major. The work is interrupted by a prayerful interlude. Following is the marriage of the two Irish tunes in D-flat major which grows to a glorious climax and then subsides. A heavenly benediction closes the work."
- Program Note by David Gillingham
Philip Allen Sparke (born 29 December 1951) is an English composer and musician born in London, noted for his concert band and brass band music. His early major works include The Land of the Long White Cloud – "Aotearoa", written for the 1980 Centennial New Zealand Brass Band championship. He subsequently went on to win the EBU New Music for Band Competition three times, including in 1986 with a commission from the BBC called Orient Express.
- Biography selected from windrep.org.
Dance Movements was commissioned by the United States Air Force Band and first performed by them at the Florida Music Educators’ Association Convention in January 1996. It is cast in four movements which are played without a break; the second and third feature woodwinds and brass, respectively.
In many respects, the circumstances of the commission itself were the musical inspiration for the piece: I had been asked to write for a very large band, which included piano and harp. It was the first time I had used these instruments in a concert band score and (as in Stravinsky’s Symphony in Three Movements) their presence colored the score and, indeed, the type of music I wrote.
The four movements are all dance-inspired, although no specific dance rhythms are used. The first has a Latin American feel and uses xylophone, cabasa, tambourine and wood block to give local color. The second woodwind movement uses a tune that had been plaguing me for some time and is, I suppose, in the style of an English country dance. The brass movement was composed without a specific dance analogy, but I think it can be seen as a love duet in classical ballet. The fourth and longest movement has, I hope, cured me of a ten-year fascination, almost obsession, with the music of Leonard Bernstein, and I will readily admit that it owes its existence to the fantastic dance music in West Side Story.
I. Ritmico. The opening theme on horns and saxophones is played amidst stabbing chords from the top and bottom of the band. A gentler theme follows on piccolo and clarinet, followed by the flute, oboe, trumpet, harp, and glockenspiel. The main motif of the movement then arrives, which includes a dotted rhythm, which is to recur at all significant moments. A climax is reached, and an angular figure follows on oboes, saxophones, and clarinets. Previous material then reappears to bring the movement to a close.
II. Molto Vivo (for the Woodwinds). The second movement starts with a rustic dance tune, which is continually interrupted. It passes through various keys and stages of development until a bubbling ostinato arrives on piano, harp, glockenspiel, and cello. Over this, the oboe lays a languid tune, which is then taken up by soprano and alto saxophones. Clarinets and lower winds introduce a new idea; it is built on 9th and 11th chords, highly syncopated and interspersed by snatches of the ostinato. Eventually the oboe theme reappears, accompanied by the lower wind chords. The dance tune then establishes itself once more and reaches a climax before winding down to a close.
III. Lento (for the Brass). The third movement opens with whispering muted trumpets, harp, and vibraphone. Declamatory statements from horn and trombone answer each other and a slow and majestic chorale gets underway. Trumpets join to reach a climax where the original trombone statement reappears, bringing back the opening trumpet figures.
IV. Molto Ritmico. The final movement bursts into life with a passage featuring the percussion section. The whole band then joins in until a driving bass ostinato establishes itself. Melodic snatches are thrown around the band until a gradual crescendo leads to a unison passage for the entire band. A robust theme appears on horns and saxophones but eventually the earlier sinister music returns. After a short pause, a plaintive tune on the woodwinds leads to a more rhythmic one on the brass, but it is not long before the percussion reminds us of the opening of the movement, and the ostinato reappears. The robust horn tune is this time played by the full band, but the moment of triumph is short, and a running passage appears that starts in the bottom of the band but works its way to the upper woodwinds. Eventually, the brass plays a noble fanfare that dispels the darker mood and ends the movement in a blaze of color.
- Program Note by composer
Carolyn A. Barber is the Ron and Carol Cope Professor of Music and Director of Bands in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Glenn Korff School of Music. She earned a B.M. in horn performance at Northwestern University, an M.M. in horn performance from Yale University, and returned to Northwestern to earn her D.M. in conducting as a student of John P. Paynter and Victor Yampolsky.
Dr. Barber began her career as a lecturer and assistant to the dean of the Northwestern University School of Music. Her duties included teaching advanced conducting and directing the university’s 118-piece Concert Band. Prior to her appointment at UNL, Dr. Barber also served as the director of bands at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Apart from her conducting and teaching at UW-L, Dr. Barber also served for five years as the principal horn of the La Crosse Symphony Orchestra.
As director of bands at UNL, her teaching assignment is now a hybrid of traditional academic classes and performance-based courses. This combination provides a rich atmosphere for the cross-pollination of ideas, techniques, and creative problem solving. Dr. Barber’s chief area of research is conducting practice and pedagogy, with emphasis on group dynamics (flocking and influence), and the development of ensembleship through improvisation, artistic thinking, and a broad, multidisciplinary array of rehearsal techniques. She has demonstrated and elaborated upon her work at venues including the Midwest Clinic, conferences of the College Band Directors National Association, American String Teachers Association, and the National Association for Music Education, state music educators conventions, district training workshops, and masterclass/rehearsal clinics nationwide.
Dr. Barber has received numerous awards for musical and academic achievement, including the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts Distinguished Teaching Award, a Hixson-Lied Professorship, multiple National Band Association Citations of Excellence, and a United States Navy Good Conduct Medal – an unusual distinction for someone who has never had the honor to serve in the military. Most recently she was named the 2019 Martha Daniel Newell Scholar at Georgia College where she spent a semester developing a course and engaging in research focusing on the creative process. Her writing has been published in the Journal of Band Research, and she is a regular contributor to the Teaching Music Through Performance in Band reference series. In addition to her scholarly activities, Dr. Barber maintains an active schedule as a guest conductor throughout the United States and Canada. She is a member of Phi Beta Mu Honorary Bandmasters Fraternity, state chair and a member of the College Band Directors
Birch Browning is Professor of Music and Director of Bands at Cleveland State University, and Music Director of the Cleveland Winds, a professional wind band based at CSU. He taught high school band and orchestra in Florida prior to earning a Ph.D. in Music Education at Florida State University. A member of the faculty at CSU since 2002, he previously taught music education courses at Stetson University and FSU.
Dr. Browning is a member of the College Band Director’s National Association Research Committee and has presented his research findings at numerous state and national conferences. His first book, Becoming a Musician-Educator: An Orientation to Musical Pedagogy, was published by Oxford University Press in April 2017. Dr. Browning served on the editorial board of Contributions, a research journal sponsored by the Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA), from 2008 to 2020, including four years as Editor and six years as Associate Editor of the journal. Dr. Browning has served on the College Band Directors National Association Research and Editorial Review Committee since 2015.
Along with his research work, Dr. Browning is in demand as a conductor and clinician. In addition to his conducting responsibilities at CSU, Dr. Browning founded the Cleveland Winds in 2009. The Cleveland Winds is the winner of The American Prize in the Band/Wind Ensemble Performance—community & school division and performed at the Ohio Music Education Association Professional Development Conference in Cleveland, Ohio in 2017. The CSU Chamber Winds performed at the same conference in 2005 and 2015. Dr. Browning’s ensembles have given live performances on WCLV, Cleveland’s Classical Music Station, on six occasions. The CSU Symphonic Band, CSU Chamber Winds, and the Cleveland Winds appear on the recently released recording Timothy Reynish International Repertoire Series, Vol. 12, which is available on iTunes and Spotify. Selections from the Cleveland Winds’ March 2022 concert were recently released on Volume 13 in the series.