Kit Mills – Beyond the Desert Sands
Kevin M. Walczyk – Eloi, Eloi
Frank Ticheli – Blue Shades
John Barnes Chance – Variations on a Korean Folk Song
Derek M. Jenkins – We Seven
Donald Grantham – Southern Harmony
Join the Washington Wind Symphony as we celebrate the new year with a dazzling array of beautiful wind band music, assembled by our conductor Jacob Scherr. You’ll hear:
* Beyond the Desert Sands, by Kit Mills — Composed in 2011 for Whidbey Island’s Saratoga Orchestra, we’re pleased to premiere Mills’ new wind ensemble arrangement. A Northwest resident, Mills earned his master’s in music composition at Western Oregon University under the guidance of Dr. Kevin M. Walczyk.
* Eloi, Eloi, by Kevin M. Walczyk — Written as a tribute to the victims of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami March 11, 2011, the title translates to, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” A native of Portland, Oregon, Walczyk attended Pacific Lutheran University and has won numerous awards for his compositions.
* Southern Harmony, by Donald Grantham — Commissioned by the Southeastern Conference of Band Directors, Southern Harmony was inspired by a collection of Civil War-era folk songs that were widely sung throughout the South. While some critics initially dismissed the harmonizations as “crude and primitive,” they’ve become very popular and are now regarded as representative of the American character.
* Variations on a Korean Folk Song, by John Barnes Chance — While serving the U.S Army in Seoul in 1958-59, Chance learned the Korean song of love and heartbreak, Arrirang, whose origins may date back more than a millennium. Years later, he created the wind band-favorite, Variations, based on that ancient folk tune.
* We Seven, by Derek M. Jenkins — This composition’s title comes from a book by the same name documenting the heroic story of the Mercury Seven, the pioneer astronauts who risked their lives for America’s first manned space voyages. Full of interesting cryptograms and musical surprises tied to the astronauts’ experiences, a narrator will help guide the audience through this piece. Listen carefully, and you may catch quotes from Puccini’s opera, Madame Butterfly — music John Glenn said he often thought of while orbiting in space.
* Blue Shades, by Frank Ticheli — While not literally a blues piece, Ticheli says his work was heavily influenced by the flatted thirds, fifths and sevenths that pervade traditional blues music. It offers no 12-bar blues progressions, though the eighth note is swung in a few passages. A quiet middle section depicts the atmosphere of a smoky blues haunt, and an extended, big band-style clarinet solo near the end is a nod to Benny Goodman.
This concert offers something for everyone, so be sure to join us in the Redmond Performing Arts Center (located at Redmond High School) on Saturday night, January 25 at 7:00 PM. You’ll love the ideal acoustics, comfortable seating, as well as plenty of free parking!