More than 100 of the finest musicians at UCF perform together in a special concert.
FREE with UCF I.D. or if 18 & under if reserved by April 5 at 5 p.m.!
Comprised of two 50+ student ensembles, the finest musicians at UCF come together in a big way for a special concert of the highest caliber. A powerful program of music that explores feelings of loss, remembrance, and honoring some of the marginalized communities in our society, performed by the Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band student groups.
At 7:10pm, a pre-concert talk by internationally-renowned and Florida-born composer, James Stephenson, to discuss the centerpiece work of the program he composed: Symphony No. 2: Voices.
This event is related to the All-Southeast Wind Band Invitational.
UCF Symphonic Band
Flight (1984) by Claude T. Smith (1932-1987)
Only Light (2015) by Aaron Perrine (b. 1979)
Give Us This Day (2006) by David Maslanka (1943-2017)
UCF Wind Ensemble
Remember Me (2013) by David Maslanka (1943-2017)
Guest Soloist: David Bjella, cello
Symphony No. 2: Voices (2016) by James Stephenson (b. 1969)
I. Prelude: ‘Of Passion’
II. Shouts and Murmurs
III. Of One
Sound and Smoke: Feudal Castle Lights (2011) by Viet Cuong (b. 1990)
“Tarantella” from Symphony No. 1 (2002) by John Corigliano (b. 1938), arr. Gershman
UCF SYMPHONIC BAND, Dr. Tremon Kizer, Conductor
Flight (1984), by Claude T. Smith (1932-1987) – 6 min
Claude T. Smith was born in Monroe City, Missouri. He received his undergraduate training at Central Methodist College in Fayette, Missouri and at the University of Kansas. He composed extensively in the areas of instrumental and choral music and his compositions have been performed by leading musical organizations all over the world. He composed solos for such artists as “Doc” Severinsen, Dale Underwood, Brian Bowman, Warren Covington, Gary Foster, Rich Matteson and Steve Seward. Mr. Smith taught instrumental music in the public schools of Nebraska and Missouri. Flight is the official march of the Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC, commissioned and premiered by the U.S. Air Force Band. Their recording can still be heard as visitors enter the museum. A highly descriptive work, Flight incorporates the Pachelbel Canon in the opening section before the brass introduces a soaring theme. Sweeping reeds, active percussion and melodic brass are featured in preparation for a most electrifying 6/8 section. Brass fanfares of particular brilliance bring the work to its exciting conclusion.
Only Light (2015), by Aaron Perrine (b. 1979) – 8 min
With works in a variety of genres, Aaron Perrine’s music has been performed by some of the leading ensembles and soloists around the world. He is a two-time winner of the American Bandmasters Association Sousa/Ostwald Award for his compositions. Only Light was commissioned by the University of Iowa Symphony Band, Richard Mark Heidel, conductor. About Only Light, the composition, Perrine writes:
The melodic material for Only Light originally came from Beneath a Canvas of Green, a large-scale work of mine written for wind ensemble. At the time, I was not quite comfortable with how this music fit within the larger work—it passed by much too quickly—and I knew it was something I would eventually like to revisit. In the fall of 2012, one of my best friend’s mother lost her battle with cancer. A year later, while thinking of ideas for what was eventually to be Only Light, I found myself thinking of him and his family quite often. At about this same time, I was on social media late one night—procrastinating rather than composing—and discovered a post written by another friend, written in reference to his wife. Here is an excerpt:
A timeline. Oh, the dark places I’ve dwelt this morning. The “how’s,” “what if’s,” and “why’s” pouring over me. But, I digress. There is no timeline at this time. There is only, “we aren’t done with you yet.” There is, “we’ve got more things to try.” There is, in a word, hope. I need me some of that. Toni has pointed out that there are times that I can find the dark cloud behind any silver lining. (Had you only known me before I met you, young lady. Now that Tim could really find darkness where there was only light.) The medical team is set to battle on.
In an instant, I was reminded of how delicate life is and how things can change at a moment’s notice. Reflecting upon these events inspired me to expand upon and ultimately finish this previously composed music. Only Light is meant to convey a sense of hope and healing.
Give Us This Day (2006), by David Maslanka (1943-2017) – 16 min
David Maslanka was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1943. He attended the Oberlin College Conservatory where he studied composition with Joseph Wood. He spent a year at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, and did masters and doctoral study in composition at Michigan State University where his principal teacher was H. Owen Reed. Maslanka’s music for winds has become especially well known. Among his more than 150 works are over 50 pieces for wind ensemble, including eight symphonies, seventeen concertos, a Mass, and many concert pieces. Of Give Us This Day, Maslanka states:
The words “Give us this day” are, of course, from the Lord’s Prayer, but the inspiration for this music is Buddhist. I read a book by the Vietnamese Bhuddist monk Thich Nhat Hahn (pronounced “Tick Nat Hahn”) entitled For a Future to be Possible. His premise is that a future for the planet is only possible if individuals become deeply mindful of themselves, deeply connected to who they really are. While this is not a new idea, and something that is an ongoing struggle for everyone, in my estimation it is the issue for world peace. For me, writing music, and working with people to perform music, are two of those points of deep mindfulness.
Music makes the connection to reality, and by reality I mean a true awakeness and awareness. Give Us This Day gives us this very moment of awakeness and awareness so that we can build a future in the face of a most dangerous and difficult time.
I chose the subtitle, “Short Symphony for Wind Ensemble,” because the music is not programmatic in nature. It has a full-blown symphonic character, even though there are only two movements. The music of the slower first movement is deeply searching, while that of the highly energized second movement is at times both joyful and sternly sober. The piece ends with a modal setting of the choral melody “Vater Unser in Himmelreich” (Our Father in Heaven) – No. 110 from the 371 four-part chorales by Johann Sebastian Bach.
|Dr. Tremon Kizer, Conductor
|* Kaleb Daniels
|*Juan Royal Buenrustro
|Jordana Levy (Pic)
|* Alix Patterson
|* Bobby Gilman
|Josue Reyes Diaz
|* Ryan Lewert
UCF WIND ENSEMBLE, Dr. Scott Lubaroff, Conductor
THE COMPASSIONATE HEART
Remember Me (2013), by David Maslanka (1943-2017) – 17 min
David Bjella, Guest Soloist
Composer, David Maslanka, described his inspiration for Remember Me, explaining, We see history as over and done with; nothing can be done about it, so just let it go. Yet certain events hang there – Hiroshima, the Holocaust, exterminations the world over – that are not finished, and will not be put aside. In our family relationships, when a parent or other significant person dies, we think, well, that’s the end, further relationship is not possible. But that is not the case. The death is often the beginning of understanding, of softening, loosening, and a realization of love beyond the tangle of personal issues. In finding rest we give rest to the departed. The journey of transforming personal pain is the journey of transforming the pain of the world. For many years I have experience and urgent desire to understand the roots of violence. I have read extensively on war – the American Revolution, the Civil War (Lincoln, slavery, and the echoes that continue to the present day), the wars of the 20th century, especially World War II and the Holocaust. Confronted with the deaths of six million Jews we don’t know what to do. Confronted with a single death we can open in compassion and sorrow.
Symphony No. 2: Voices (2016), by James Stephenson (b. 1969) – 20 min
For two years, Mr. Stephenson shared only part of the program and inspiration behind this powerful second symphony, and only very recently revealed the his description of the original impetus for the work, explaining that:
On April 23, 2016, my mother, Shirley S. Stephenson, passed away, at the age of 74. It was the first time anyone that close to me had died, and I honestly didn’t know how to respond. As this new piece – the symphony – was the next major work on my plate, I thought the music would come pouring forth, as one would imagine in the movies, or in a novel. However, the opposite happened, and I was stuck, not knowing how to cope, and not knowing what to write. Eventually, after a month or so, I sat at the piano, and pounded a low Eb octave, followed by an anguished chord answer. I did this three times, with three new response-chords, essentially recreating how I felt. This became the opening of the symphony, with emphasis on the bass trombone, who gets the loudest low Eb.
I vowed I wouldn’t return to Eb (major) until the end of the piece, thus setting forth a compositional and emotional goal all at once: an Eb to Eb sustaining of long-term tension, technically speaking, and the final arrival at Eb major (letter I, 3rd movement) being a cathartic and powerful personal moment, when I finally would come to terms with the loss of my mother.
The voice in the piece is that of my mother, an untrained alto, which is why I ask for it without vibrato. In the end, she finally sings once last time, conveying to me that “all will be ok”. I think it is the most difficult times we endure that force us, inspire us, to dig deeper than we could ever imagine. On the one hand, I am, of course, deeply saddened by the loss of my mother; but on the other, I will always have this piece – which is the most personal to me – to in essence keep her alive in my heart. I always tear up at letter I. Always. But they are tears of joy and treasured memories of 74 years with my mother.
Sound and Smoke: Feudal Castle Lights (2011), by Viet Cuong (b. 1990) – 7 min
Both the title and concept of Sound and Smoke were derived from a line from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s play Faust, when Faust equates words to “mere sound and smoke” and declares that “feeling is everything.” Each of the work’s two movements has been given an abstract, parenthetical title to further incorporate Goethe’s conjecture that words will never be able to fully express what feelings and, in this case, music can. Therefore, these titles serve merely as starting points for personal interpretation and should not interfere with the music itself.
Feudal castle lights blurs the many different timbres of the ensemble to create a resonant and slowly “smoldering” effect. Because reverb is essentially built into the orchestration, harmonies must shift using common tones and are always built upon the notes preceding them. The original concept of Sound and Smoke was to unify otherwise dissimilar ideas, often presented and then promptly left behind or transformed. Musical events therefore appear and dissipate as quickly as sound and smoke.
“Tarantella” from Symphony No. 1 (2002), by John Corigliano (b. 1938), arr. Gershman – 8 min
John Corigliano is considered one of the most critically successful American composers of the past quarter century. He has received prestigious awards for both his orchestral and chamber music which have included the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for his Symphony No. 2, the 2000 Academy Award for Best Original Score for The Red Violin, and the 1996 Grammy Award for Best New Composition for his String Quartet No. 1. Despite his success in the instrumental genres, Corigliano has composed only one piece for band, Gazebo Dances, which was arranged from his 1970 four-hands piano work of the same name. In 1988, Corigliano revisited the thematic material of the final movement of Gazebo Dances in his Symphony No. 1, written as a tribute to friends that had died of AIDS. In this second movement, “Tarantella,” he thematically transforms this melodic material to musically recreate a friend’s descent into insanity brought on by AIDS. When Corigliano originally composed Gazebo Dances, in 1970, it was the final movement – Tarantella – that was dedicated to this same friend. The Grove’s Dictionary of Music & Musicians describes a tarantella as a “South Italian dance played at a continually increasing speed (and) by means of dancing it a strange kind of insanity (attributed to a tarantula bite) could be cured. The association of madness in the original piano piece proved both prophetic and bitterly ironic when that same friend suffered that same fate at the hands of AIDS demential.
|Scott Lubaroff, Conductor
|Mary Lynn Miklos
|Christian De La Torre