‘Moods of Music’ opens Purdue Bands concert seasons Sept. 30
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Both passionate and edgy, “Moods of Music” opens Purdue Bands 2007-08 season with a Sunday, Sept. 30, concert featuring the Purdue Symphonic Band and Fall Concert Band.
It is set for 2:30 p.m. in the Long Center, 111 N. Sixth St., Lafayette. Admission is free.
Pastoral musical landscapes by British composer Percy Grainger provide the concert’s first “mood” with the Fall Concert band under the direction of Andrew King. Grainger was a folk musicologist who roamed the British countryside in the early 1900s collecting and recording traditional tunes on wax cylinders.
Grainger’s own works were inspired by the pieces he collected and often contained direct references to it. The two pieces on the Sept. 30 concert come from those efforts – “Ye Banks and Braes O’Bonnie Doon” inspired by a Robert Burns poem and a dance tune, “Shepherd’s Hey.” The Fall Concert Band also performs Gustav Holst’s buoyant “First Suite in E Flat,’ a piece filled with musical counterpoint that’s considered one of the hallmarks of concert band repertoire.
The mood gets edgier when the Purdue Symphonic Band, under the direction of Jay Gephart, takes the stage. The two featured pieces – “Shadow Rituals” by Michael Markowski and Apocalyptic Dreams” by David Gillingham – are “very dark,” says Gephart. “ ‘Apocalyptic Dreams’ musically depicts the event up to and including the Apocalypse as chronicled in Revelations.”
“Shadow Rituals” recently won the Frank Ticheli Concert Band Composers Contest for Markowski. “It is totally contemporary and not classical sounding at all,” says Gephart. Featuring a lot of percussion, the piece “sounds more like an African tribal ritual. Its pace is frenetic at times.”
Providing contrast, the Symphonic Band also presents John Philip Sousa’s comical “With Pleasure” which is more of a polka than the marches audiences usually expect from Sousa. A traditional concert band march element enters with Edwin Goldman’s “Chimes of Liberty.”
Steven Bryant’s “Dusk” projects the calm, colorful moments that surround sunset. “It’s a musical description of the light disappearing and the beautiful colors that happen at sunset,” says Gephart.
“All the pieces on this concert are very programmatic in that they’re more like movie music. You can picture the events they describe, and you can picture them anyway you want to and interpret it anyway you want to,” he adds. “That’s one of the great attributes of live performance.”
Forward to a Friend