Brant Karrick – Bayou Breakdown
David R. Gillingham – Be Thou My Vision
Morten Lauridsen (arr. Reynolds) – O Magnum Mysterium
Johan Halvorsen (arr. Bourgeois) – In Memoriam
Trad. (arr. Christopher M. Nelson) – Wayfaring Stranger
Morton Gould – Symphony No. 4 “West Point”
Kenneth J. Alford – The Vanished Army
With Memorial Day upon us, Dr. Ed Powell was moved to assemble a variety of selections that emote joy, as well as sorrow, while we reflect on and honor loved ones lost.
Bayou Breakdown – Having earned his Ph.D. in Music Education at Louisiana State University, composer Brant Karrick built this piece on jazz and bluegrass melodies heard around the Mississippi Delta, then crafted them into fugal counterpoint. Bluegrass or Bach? You decide.
Be Thou My Vision – Considered to be one of the most prolific composers of our time, David R. Gillingham is also an accomplished pianist and euphonium player. Based on the popular hymn, this piece is meant to connote a message of both hope and faith.
O Magnum Mysterium – Modern composer and three-time Grammy nominee Morten Lauridsen’s inspirational depiction of the Christ child’s birth setting has been one of the most performed compositions since its premiere in 1994.
In Memoriam – Johan Halvorsen wrote this funeral march in 1910 to honor his very close friend and revered Norwegian poet Bjornstjerne Bjornson. Listen carefully for vocalizations by band members, adding to the mysteriousness of this lovely work.
Wayfaring Stranger – Christopher M. Nelson arranged this version of the folk song “Poor Wayfaring Stranger” for Dr. Danh Pham and the Washington State University Wind Ensemble. It premiered in Pullman in October of 2014.
Symphony No. 4, “West Point” – A two-movement masterwork, Morton Gould composed this symphony for West Point’s Sesquicentennial Celebration. Watch (and listen) for the rare and peculiar “marching machine” employed by the percussionists in the first movement.
The Vanished Army – Kenneth J. Alford wrote this march in 1918 to honor the first 100,000 men who fell while fighting tyranny in World War I. You may recognize snippets of popular tunes quoted throughout this piece, including “It’s a long way to Tipperary.”
So be sure to add May 21st to your calendar and join us for this memorable musical event.
(This Critic’s Pick was selected for the Live Music Project by Seattle music critic Philippa Kiraly.)