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Program Notes

Young Artist Concert

March 10th, 2024

Performance Order:

  1. Folk Song Suite | Ralph Vaughan Williams
  2. Trumpet Concerto in E-Flat Major | I. Allegro con spirito | Johann Nepomuk Hummel, trans. Phillips
  3. Sleep | Eric Whitacre
  4. Concerto for Flute and Orchestra in G Major, K. 313 | I. Allegro maestoso | Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  5. Amber Skies | Jonathan McBride
  6. Storm | Soon Hee Newbold
  7. Symphonic Dance No. 3, “Fiesta” | Clifton Williams
Ralph Vaughan Williams

Folk Song Suite

Vaughan Williams’ Folk Song Suite was commissioned by the band of the Royal Military School of Music and was premiered on July 4, 1923. This suite contains many different folk songs from the Norfolk and Somerset regions of England, and is considered (along with Gustav Holst’s two suites for military band) to be a cornerstone work in the literature, and one of the earliest “serious” works for the wind band.

The first movement is set as an English march, and is made up of three folk songs, I’m Seventeen Come Sunday, Pretty Caroline, and Dives and Lazarus. The first two folk songs deal with similar subject matter of military men falling in love with, and marrying, beautiful women. The styles of the two songs offset each other: the first is bouncy and jovial, the second legato and flowing. The third folk song tells the story of Dives and Lazarus, where Lazarus repeatedly begs Dives, a rich man, for food but is denied. To portray the antagonism of the event, Vaughan Williams has set a firm duple meter melody in the low brass against a rigorous triple meter accompaniment in the upper woodwinds.

Both folk songs used in the second movement deal with love betrayed, and Vaughan Williams’s keen sense of orchestration is on full display throughout this movement. My Bonny Boy begins the movement in a lonely F Dorian mode with sparse accompaniment. The mood shifts slightly to the folk song Green Bushes as a somewhat playful scherzando. The more lively pace of this setting of Green Bushes belies the fact that the tonal center has remained in the Dorian mode, and thus never really feels completely happy or jovial.

The third movement, Folk Songs From Somerset, uses four different folk songs dealing loosely with unattainable love. Blow Away the Morning Dew describes a country boy attempting to seduce a girl, who quickly outwits him. The second folk song, High Germany, is about a young English woman’s lover and her three brothers being called off to war in Germany. Thirdly, Vaughan Williams modified a version of The Trees They Do Grow High, which deals with a young woman who has been wed by her father to a much younger boy. The final folk song, John Barleycorn, is an allegory representing the harvesting of barley, and the imbibing of its final form (beer and whisky). 

Johann Nepomuk Hummel, trans. Phillips

Trumpet Concerto in E-Flat Major | I. Allegro con spirito

Johann Nepomuk Hummel was an Austrian composer and virtuoso pianist whose music reflects the transition from the Classical to the Romantic era in music. Hummel’s father, Johannes Hummel, was the director of the Imperial School of Military Music in Vienna. At the age of eight, the younger Hummel was offered music lessons by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who was impressed with his ability. Hummel was taught and housed by Mozart for two years free of charge and made his first concert appearance at the age of nine at one of Mozart’s concerts. Whilst on tour as a pianist in London, he met up with Haydn, who composed a sonata in A-flat for him. On his return to Vienna, he developed a friendship with Beethoven, who was also taking lessons from Haydn. It was around this time that Hummel composed the Trumpet Concerto in E-Flat Major.

This trumpet concerto was composed for the trumpet virtuoso Anton Weidinger in 1803 and first performed in 1804 when Hummel replaced Joseph Haydn as Konzertmeister to the court of Prince Esterhazy in Eisenstadt. Anton Weidinger was the inventor of the keyed trumpet, which enabled the instrument to play a chromatic scale rather than just the harmonic series and, as with Haydn’s trumpet concerto, this concerto was composed to demonstrate the versatility of this new invention.

Eric Whitacre


The composer writes: 

“In the winter of 1999, Ms. Julia Armstrong, a lawyer and professional mezzo-soprano living in Austin, Texas, contacted me. She wanted to commission a choral work from me to be premiered by the Austin Pro Chorus (Kinley Lange, conductor), a terrific chorus with whom she regularly performed.

The circumstances around the commission were amazing. She wanted to commission the piece in memory of her parents, who had died within weeks of each other after more than fifty years of marriage; and she wanted me to set her favorite poem, Robert Frost’s immortal “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”. I was deeply moved by the spirit and her request, and agreed to take on the commission.

I took my time with the piece, crafting it note by note until I felt that it was exactly the way I wanted it. The poem is perfect, truly a gem, and my general approach was to try to get out of the way of the words, and let them work their magic. We premiered the work in Austin, October 2000, and it was well received. Rene Clausen gave Stopping By Woods a glorious performance at the ACDA National Convention in the spring of 2001, and soon after I began receiving hundreds of letters, emails and phone calls from conductors trying to get ahold of the work.

And here was my tragic mistake: I never secured permission to use the poem. Robert Frost’s poetry has been under tight control from his estate since his death, and until a few years ago only Randall Thompson had been given permission to set his poetry. In 1997, out of the blue, the estate released a number of titles, and at least twenty composers set and published Stopping by Woods for chorus. When I looked online and saw all of these new and different settings, I naturally (and naively) assumed that it was open to anyone. Little did I know that, just months before, the Robert Frost Estate had taken the decision to deny ANY use of the poem, ostensibly because of this plethora of new settings.

After a LONG battle of legalities back and forth, the Estate of Robert Frost and their publisher, Henry Holt Inc., sternly and formally forbade me to use the poem for publication or performance until the poem would become public domain in 2038.

I was crushed. The piece was dead, and would sit under my bed for the next 37 years as a result of rulings by heirs and lawyers. After many discussions with my wife, I decided that I would ask my friend and brilliant poet Charles Anthony Silvestri to set new words to the music I had already written. This was an enormous task, because I was asking him to not only write a poem that had the exact structure of the Frost poem, but that it would even incorporate key words from Stopping By Woods, like ‘sleep’. Tony wrote an absolutely exquisite poem, finding a completely different (but equally beautiful) message in the music I had already written.

And there it is. My setting of Robert Frost’s Stopping By Woods no longer exists. I am supremely proud of this new work, and my only regret in all of this was that I was way too innocent in my assumption that lawyers and heirs would understand something as simple and delicate as the choral art.”

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Concerto for Flute and Orchestra in G Major, K. 313 | I. Allegro maestoso

Like most of Mozart’s works, his Concerto for Flute and Orchestra in G Major was composed for a specific, practical purpose. In this case the purpose was frankly to make some direly-needed money for the long and expensive professional trip from Salzburg to Paris. By the end of October 1777, Mozart and his mother had gotten as far as Mannheim, with its celebrated orchestra and opera house. The Mannheim court was not especially interested in the twenty-one-year-old genius, but at last a wealthy amateur flutist, a Dutch visitor to Mannheim, came forward with a commission for a group of easy flute concertos and flute quartets. 

Mozart disliked the flute as a solo instrument, so despite his financial need, he procrastinated. When the Dutchman left town in February 1778, the commission was far from finished and Mozart’s fee was reduced by half. But despite his distaste for the instrument, Mozart seemed incapable of composing an indifferent work for it. The Dutch patron received a concerto far beyond the amateur’s scope he had bargained for, an artistic delight for flutists and their audiences for centuries to come.

Despite the airy elegance of this concerto as a whole, the opening theme of the first movement has a certain Rococo majesty. The exposition ends with a bouncy cadence figure which seems to have no importance whatsoever—until Mozart’s imagination seizes upon it and transforms it into a long development section of dazzling variety and brilliance. The reprise of the basic themes is shared by soloist and orchestra up to the moment of the cadenza, which Mozart leaves free for the soloist to display their art. 

Jonathan McBride

Amber Skies

Amber Skies is a simple, peaceful work depicting the vibrant and ever-changing colors of sunset. Sweet, simple melodies interweave with flowing countermelodies as the sky changes to new hues of binks, blues, and bright amber. The majesty of sunset is short-lived, however. Just as quickly as the colors have erupted in the evening sky, the sunset fades, and the piece resolves into the peaceful darkness of nightfall. 

Soon Hee Newbold


Soon Hee Newbold began studying piano at age five and violin at age seven. She has won many prestigious competitions and has performed throughout the world in venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Wolf Trap, Disney World, Aspen, and Tanglewood. Ms. Newbold received her Bachelor of Music degree from James Madison University, where she studied film scoring, orchestration, and audio production. After graduation, she moved to Orlando, Florida, where she produced albums and wrote for various recording projects and ensembles. Currently, Ms. Newbold works in southern California as a producer, actress, and composer for film, television, and commercials. 

The composer writes:  “The word ‘storm’ can evoke dramatic and powerful imagery like a furious weather system or ancient soldiers marching into a legendary battle. I wrote this piece to represent the many meanings of the word so players can interpret the music as they wish.”

Clifton Williams

Symphonic Dance No. 3, “Fiesta”

Symphonic Dance No. 3, “Fiesta” is one of five symphonic dances commissioned by the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra to celebrate its 25th anniversary in 1964. Each of the five dances represents the spirit of a different time and place in the history of San Antonio. This dance reflects the excitement and color of the city’s many Mexican celebrations, which Williams called “the pageantry of Latin American celebration—street bands, bullfights, and bright costumes—the colorful legacy of a proud people.”

The introduction features a brass fanfare that generates a dark, yet majestic atmosphere that is filled with the tension of the upcoming events. The soft tolling of bells heralds an approaching festival with syncopated dance rhythms. Solo trumpet phrases and light flirtatious woodwind parts provide diversions on the side as the festival approaches the arena and grows in force. The brass herald the arrival of the matador to the bullring and the ultimate, solemn moment of truth. The finale provides a joyous climax to the festivities.

Originally composed for orchestra, Williams rescored this work for band himself, and it was first performed in 1967 by the University of Miami Band, where he was chairman of theory and composition.

Guest Conductor

Minna Stelzner

Minna Stelzner (she/her) serves as the interim director for Harbor Winds. With a passion for providing opportunities and access to quality music education for young musicians, she has spent two years teaching band in public schools throughout Washington state and currently works as the Engagement Manager for the Tacoma Youth Symphony Association. Previously, she was the graduate assistant for the University of British Columbia wind conducting program, where she oversaw logistics for the band program, conducted the Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Concert Winds, and taught undergraduate conducting courses. As a conductor, she has also made appearances with the Tacoma Music Teachers’ Association Orchestral Recital Series and the Puget Sound Youth Wind Ensemble. Additionally, she works as a woodwind coach for local schools and maintains a private lesson studio.

Stelzner received the Master of Music degree in wind conducting from the University of British Columbia, where she studied with Robert Taylor, and the Master of Arts in Teaching and Bachelor of Music in Music Education degrees from the University of Puget Sound, where she studied conducting with Gerard Morris and saxophone with Fred Winkler. In addition to her studies, she has participated in conducting symposia with Mallory Thompson, Jerry Junkin, Kenneth Kiesler, Craig Kirchhoff, Gillian MacKay, Travis Cross, and Rodney Dorsey.

Gig Harbor | Peninsula

Middle School Honor Band

  • Scott Cantonwine – Bassoon | Harbor Ridge Middle School
  • Nat Chonzena – Bass Clarinet | Harbor Ridge Middle School
  • Claire Finnigan – Alto Sax | Lighthouse Christian School
  • Wills Glass – Flute | Lighthouse Christian School
  • Jace Porter – Percussion | Harborview Fellowship School of the Arts
  • Sam Solomon – Bass Clarinet | Harborview Fellowship School of the Arts
  • Noah Wahala – Tuba | Harbor Ridge Middle School
Gig Harbor | Peninsula

High School Honor Band



  • Taylor Robinson – GHHS | Featured Soloist


  • Annan Ball – PHS
  • James McCourt – GHHS
  • Dylan Shipman – PHS


  • Alexa Kotansky – GHHS

French Horn

  • Leah Everling – GHHS
  • James Kane – PHS


  • Henry Davis – GHHS
  • Riley Dykman – PHS | Featured Soloist


  • Matthew Moffat – GHHS
Narrows Music Society

Harbor Winds

Eric Swanson - Conductor & Creative Director


  • Virginia Eide
  • Kate Eskridge
  • Sue Gumpert
  • Brianna Howland


  • Lora Duncan


  • Jason Ball
  • Corey Berman
  • T. Michael Burch
  • David Salge
  • Shannon Webber

Bass Clarinet

  • Robynn Burch
  • Rick Loucks


  • Mike Adachi

Alto Sax

  • Alexander Kocsis

Tenor Sax

  • Frank Benson

Baritone Sax

  • Sheryl Clark


  • Laura Davis
  • Lynne Everling

French Horn

  • Lew Asmussen
  • Jane Mouatassim
  • Clarissa Solomon


  • Paul Bogataj
  • Jared Mahoney
  • Becky Sharrett
  • John Sharrett


  • Christina Donnelly
  • Randall Wood


  • Gene Melson

Upright Bass

  • Tommy Hawthorne


  • Cassian Barker
  • Pete Beresford
  • Roman Friend
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