The Seventh Annual
Young Artists Concert
June 5, 2022
Music from “Carmina Burana”
Carl Orff wrote his first stage work, the grand vocal and orchestral work Carmina Burana, in 1935-36. The title meaning something like “student songs from Bavaria,” Mr. Orff composed the work based on 24 poems found in a 13th century monastery near Munich. The 11th and 12th century texts revel in earthly pleasures: lust, eating, dancing, drinking gambling, wealth and fortune, apparently just as popular a thousand years ago as they are now. After its wildly successful premiere, Carl Orff told his publisher “Everything I have written to date, and which you have, unfortunately, printed, can be destroyed. With Carmina Burana, my collected works begin.”
Music from “Carmina Burana” arranged by Jay Bocook, is an excerpt of the first and second movements from the larger work. The music has simple harmonies and range, which is consistent with 13th century music, but has a driving rhythm that overshadows all else.
Carl Orff died in 1982 at the age of 86, having lived in Germany his whole life. As he predicted when he told his publisher to destroy his earlier works, Carmina Burana marked him as a notable composer. He went on to compose a number of other stage works, but is perhaps even better known among elementary music educators for his creation of the “Orff Method,” which combines movement, singing, playing and improvisation to help young students learn music
Chorale and Alleluia
Chorale and Alleluia was Howard Hanson’s first work for symphonic band. The piece is straight-forward, but challenges musicians with frequent time signature (meter) changes, coupled with full-ensemble playing that demands constant listening and adjustment to surrounding players. Because of its various difficulties, Chorale and Alleluia is a required competition piece for New York State high school bands.
Howard Hanson studied composition at Northwestern University, with a focus on church music. He became the director of Eastman School of Music in 1924, a position he held for 40 years. During his time at Eastman, Mr. Hanson turned the School of Music into one of the premier music schools in the world. After he left Eastman, Mr. Hanson led efforts to foster a widespread appreciation of American music through performances, publications and recordings. Howard Hanson mostly composed orchestral and choral works. He composed only 5 works for wind ensemble. Mr. Hanson passed away in 1981.
Movie soundtracks and film scores influenced Carol Britten Chambers’ composition, Night Fury. She wanted to evoke themes of dragons, mythical creatures and medieval castles in an epic-sounding piece playable by young musicians. She uses rhythmic motifs throughout the piece to convey a sense of adventure.
Carol Britten Chambers is on the music faculty of Texas Lutheran University. She is commissioned every year to write works for concert band, marching band and other ensembles. Ms. Chambers received her Bachelor of Music degree from Texas Tech University and her Masters’ degree in trumpet performance from Northwestern University.
Carol Brittin Chambers wrote Sunchaser for middle school musicians. To her, Sunchaser was meant to convey a sense of following dreams and trying to reach goals, no matter how lofty. On a musical level, the piece teaches students about syncopated melodies, key changes, time signature changes and expressive playing. According to Ms. Chambers’ program notes, the piece starts with a segment that symbolizes “the dawn of a new day, which quickly turns into a spirited adventure full of energy and life.”
Stormbreak is a piece for percussion ensemble, sometimes accompanied by concert band. Jim Casella wrote Stormbreak to teach younger percussionists about teamwork and ensemble playing. Rather than only focusing on their own parts, Stormbreak shows how percussionists should listen to the players around them and make sure that their individual part fits within the greater musical idea. Stormbreak opens with natural effect sounds, including soothing rainstick and ocean drum, before moving on to a hard-driving beat that symbolizes the arriving storm.
Jim Casella composes works for film and commercials but may be best known for his works for marching and concert percussion ensemble. Living in the Portland, Oregon area, Mr. Casella also developed a series of drumsticks and keyboard mallets used by percussionists worldwide. Mr. Casella serves on the board of advisors for the Percussive Arts Society, the world’s largest percussion organization.
Elegie, Op. 24
Cello Solo – Leah Everling(GHHS)
French composer Gabriel Fauré wrote his Elegie in 1880 as what was supposed to be one movement of a new cello sonata. He never completed the sonata. Elegie was released in 1883 as a stand-alone work for cello, accompanied by piano. It was later arranged for cello and orchestra. Elegie begins with a sad and somber opening and climaxes with an intense central section before returning to the calm opening theme. For this performance, the Elegia has been re-orchestrated for cello and wind ensemble.
Gabriel Fauré was one of the foremost French composers of his time, having trained as an organist. He was an innovator in harmonic and melodic development. He is credited as having linked the end of Romanticism, which included the works of Frederic Chopin, with the beginning of the era of Modernism, which included jazz and atonal music.
Narrows Music Society and Harbor Winds Concert Band is proud to introduce cello soloist Leah Everling, a Gig Harbor High School 9th grader. She is an active member in the band programs at GHHS, playing French horn in concert band, trumpet in jazz band and mellophone in the pep band. She completed at State this year at Central Washington University in the small brass ensemble category.
Leah has been playing cello since 2nd grade and takes private lessons from Karen Hemming. This year she was principal cello in the Tacoma Youth Symphony’s Young Artists’ Orchestra. She has won gold and silver medals in the Seattle International Virtuoso Artists and J.S. Bach Competition (strings division). Leah is also a member of the Gig Harbor Canoe and Kayak Team as a sprint kayak paddler and loves being out on the water after school in our beautiful harbor.
An internationally acclaimed composer, conductor and pianist, Kevin Day fuses jazz, Latin music, minimalism and contemporary classical music into his works. With well over 100 compositions to his name, Mr. Day has won numerous awards and is being considered for the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for his Concerto for Wind Ensemble. By the way, Mr. Day is 26 years old. What have you done lately?
Rocketship! is a vibrant piece that features a quick tempo and frequent short rhythmic patterns and dynamic changes that highlight the buildup (or liftoff) of each phrase. Often performed by Honor Bands throughout the country, Rocketship! is simply a barn-burner.
Brian Balmages wrote Moscow, 1941 in 2006 to tell the story of the Red Army successfully defending Moscow against the German invasion in World War II. After Russia invaded Ukraine this year, Mr. Balmages knew that he had to write a sequel that noted the senseless tragedy and humanitarian crisis that Russia had caused, and paid tribute to, in his words, “the incredible passion and heroism from the Ukrainian people.” Kyiv, 2022 turns Russia from the victim in 1941 to the aggressor in 2022. The piece begins with a dark, imposing theme before turning to representations of the Ukrainian victims found in motifs from the Ukrainian National Anthem and Prayer for Ukraine. Mr. Balmages wants Kyiv, 2022 to help musicians understand how non-pop music can relate to the world around us.
Brian Balmages is an award-winning composer and conductor born in 1975. His pieces have been premiered at world renowned venues such as the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall. Believing in the ability of one person to make a difference, Mr. Balmages has donated 100% of the proceeds from the initial release of Kyiv, 2022 to relief organizations on the ground in Ukraine.