‘Harvesting American Music’ on Sunday, Nov. 18
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, Purdue University Bands offers an entire concert devoted to American themes and composers – both contemporary and historic- when the Purdue Fall Concert and Symphonic Bands perform at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18, in the Long Center, 111 N. Sixth St., Lafayette.
Admission is free.
From Stephen Foster’s sentimental folk songs and Aaron Copland’s nostalgic musical depictions of America to Ron Nelson’s “Aspen Jubilee” and a contemporary symphony by Howard Hanson, the program paints a diverse musical portrait of America.
Fall Concert Band, directed by M.T. “Mo” Trout, appropriately opens the program with a musical form that’s become an American phenomenon – the military march. It’s a patriotic salute called “Stars and Bars” by Robert Jager. Among other selections the band will perform are two pieces with historical perspectives – Frank Ticheli’s “Shenandoah” and Jerry Bilik’s “American Civil War Fantasy.” Aaron Copland’s musical romp, “Hoe Down” recalls the social atmosphere of 19th century America.
Jay Gephart, director of the Purdue Symphonic Band, is particularly excited to present “Culloden” by Julie Giroux. Although the piece’s inspiration comes from a Scottish battle, Giroux is one of the most prominent female American composers writing for band, as well as Hollywood and television, today. “There are so few female composers that Julie’s work is taken very seriously. This particular compositions is one that put her on the map,” Gephart says.
Symphonic Band also tackles the “Stephen Foster Songbook,” a collection of old tunes given new arrangements by Stephen Bulla, staff arranger for the U.S. Marine Band. “He approaches them in a fresh, colorful way that listeners will enjoy a lot,” Gephart says.
The concert’s finale is the Third Movement from Symphony No. 2, “Romantic” by Howard Hanson. The contemporary symphony, which challenges the horn section, was commissioned by the Interlochen Arts Academy, one of America’s premiere performing arts schools located in Michigan. “It highlights our incredible French horn section, with the horns playing a dominant role from beginning to end.”