Purdue Bands celebrates Leap Year with musical kaleidoscope
In 2004, leap year adds an extra day to February and Purdue Bands plans to fill it with a kaleidoscope of concert band music at its Windworks concert on Sunday, Feb. 29.
Set for 2:30 p.m. at the Long Center, 111 N. Sixth St., Lafayette, the free concert features the Varsity, Collegiate and Purdue Concert Bands.
One of Philip Sparke's newest composition, "Kaleidoscope" will be performed by the David Leppla-directed Purdue Concert Band and sets the tone for the afternoon.
"The whole piece resembles the effect of a kaleidoscope which juxtaposes small fragments of color in constantly changing patterns," says Leppla. In this case the musical colors are meant to depict fragments of life in Brugg, Switzerland - its geography, its traditions and its people.
The town of Brugg, near the German border in northern Switzerland, commissioned Sparke to write the tune for summer 2003 music festivals held in Switzerland and it takes the form, Leppla says, "of a set of five variations on 'Das Brugger Lied' or The Brugg Song which is the traditional song of the town of Brugg."
The Purdue Concert Band country hops across Europe during its portion of the concert which kicks off with "Montana Fanfare," another recent addition to concert band literature. Composed in 2002 by Thomas Doss, it was a birthday present for Austrian conductor Walter Rescheneder and takes it inspiration from mountain hikes in the Salzkammergut region of Austria.
"The powerful fanfare exudes feelings of enthusiasm and triumph," notes Leppla. "Those familiar with the works of John Williams will also notice the inspiration Doss has taken from some of William' more majestic works including his Olympic fanfares."
Also on the program are "Dance of the Comedians" from Bedrich Smetana's opera The Bartered Bride which takes place in Czechoslovakia; "Eine Kleine Yiddishe Ragmusik," a synthesis of traditional ragtime and Jewish folk music by the British composer Adam Gorb; and Jules Massenet's "Meditation" from the opera Thais which takes place in France.
Featured soloist on "Meditation" is flutist Elizabeth Durrah, a junior pharmacy major from Dublin, Ohio.
The William Kisinger-directed Collegiate Band explores American themes with W. Paris Chambers "Chicago Tribune March," James Syler's Country Bandstand" and Morton Gould's Cowboy Rhapsody" anchoring their portion of the leap year concert.
Varsity Band, under the direction of Pamela Nave, will perform Brian Balamages "Flight of the Griffin" and James Swearingen's "Exordium: Prelude to a New Era."The three bands will again in featured in concert in April as part of the season finale Purdue Bands Showcase. The performance is set for 8 p.m. April 24 in Elliott Hall of Music. Admission is free.