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Concert Program Cover

First Concert of the 31st Season


Sunday, November 9th, 1969
Manchester College Auditorium
David C. McCormick, Conductor

  St. Lawrence Overture Robert Washburn  
  Symphony No. 8 in D minor William Boyce  

I. Pomposo - Allegro
II. Andante
III. Gavotta

  Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra Franz Joseph Haydn  

I. Allegro
II. Andante
III. Allegro

  Haskel Sexton, trumpet  
  Concerto for Organ and Chamber Orchestra, Op. 46, No. 2 Paul Hindemith  

I. Moderately fast
II. Very slowly
III. Fast

  R. Gary Deavel, organ  
  Letter from Home Aaron Copland  
  Promenade Kent Kennan  

Program Notes

  St. Lawrence Overture Robert Washburn
(b. 1928)

Robert Washburn is a graduate of the New York State University College at Potsdam, and the Eastman School of Music. He studied with Normand Lockwood, Bernard Rogers, Alan Hovhaness and Darius Milhaud. In 1959-60 he was composer in residence in the Elkhart, Indiana, school system under a grant from the Ford Foundation and the Music Educators National Association. The St. Lawrence Overture was written for and first performed in 1961 by the Crane Symphony Orchestra of the New York State University College at Potsdam, where the composer teaches. The title is significant only in that the overture was composed in St. Lawrence County, New York.

Washburn has achieved maximum musical effect with a minimum of material. There are two large sections -- one folk-like with two contrasting themes, and a second section similar to a grand march -- and each is repeated with varied treatment. The repetition of the first section ends with an augmentation of the theme in the bass line, and the second section is repeated with the folk theme in counterpoint.

  Symphony No. 8 in D Minor William Boyce

William Boyce wrote a group of pieces he labeled "symphonies" in the middle of teh eighteenth century, a time when that term was not necessarily associated with the form as used by Haydn and Mozart.

The first movement of Symphony No. 8 is in the style of French opera overtures -- a pompous opening with characteristic long-short rhythms, and a rapid fugal section. In power and breadth it is more akin to a Handel concerto grosso than to other mid-eighteenth century symphonies. In the second movement sustained emotional motives in the two upper voices, in the manner of an operatic duet, alternate with a recurring broken-chord motive in the bass line. The Gavotta (third movement) is a stylized version of a French dance that has been extended with a variation in the bass line and a second variation with a triplet figure played by violins.

  Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra Franz Joseph Haydn

Written in 1797, this concerto is among the finest of Haydn's most mature works. The first movement is tightly organized around the opening theme stated by the orchestra. The effect of a second theme is achieved by moving to a new tonal center and extending the opening motive into a new idea. There follows a development of motives extracted from the main thematic material, with a progression through varied tonal centers. The first movement draws to a close as the trumpet restates the opening theme; there are brilliant flourishes covering the entire range of the trumpet, a solo cadenza, and a brief reminder of the second part of the opening theme. The second movement is an expressive song, with interest intensified by moving the tonal center from A-flat to C-flat and returning to A-flat. The third movement is a typical buoyant Haydn finale in which the opening theme reappears three times in alternation with contrasting ideas.

Haydn wrote the Concerto for Trumpet for an unorthodox instrument. The common trumpet of Haydn's time was the natural instrument consisting of a single tube capable of producing only a single series of pitches. Some twenty years after the concerto was written, the development of valve systems made possible the modern trumpet on which the tube length can be constantly altered to provide all possible combinations of pitches. In an attempt to produce notes that were not available on the natural trumpet, Anton Weidinger, a Vienna court trumpeter, applied to his instrument the mechanical system that was in use for woodwind instruments. That is, the performer could shorten the vibrating air column by opening holes in the tubing. These holes were covered by pads that were operated by a key mechanism. It was for the keyed trumpet that Haydn wrote the concerto, and he took advantage of the key technique by writing chromatic notes that were not possible on the natural trumpet. Virtuoso demands of the concerto attest to Weidinger's performance ability. The keyed trumpet never supplanted the natural instrument -- composers continued to use the natural trumpet in orchestra music, including the orchestra parts of this concerto -- and the keyed trumpet subsequently was made obsolete by valve systems.

  Concerto for Organ and Chamber Orchestra, Op. 46, No. 2 Paul Hindemith

Paul Hindemith wrote two organ concertos. Opus 46, Number 2, for a small orchestra of winds, two violoncelli, and contrabass, was composed in 1929, five years before he was forced to flee Nazi Germany. Hindemith achieved international fame as a composer in the early 1920s and that fame increased throughout his lifetime. After leaving Germany he resided in the United States and taught at Yale University.

The opening movement of the concerto is in sonata form. The first theme is marked with rhythmic drive, and is followed by a second theme constructed with octave skips. The flamboyant force of the themes subsides only in the closing measures of the movement when tension is resolved with a final open fifth that harkens back to music of earlier centuries.

The second movement is a canon that begins in the organ over a descending pedal line, and increases in complexity as individual instruments and groups enter in turn. After reaching a climax the counterpoint unravels itself to a relaxed cadence on a conventional major chord.

A trumpet flourish heralds the finale, and that motive is taken up contrapuntally by successive instruments, culminating in the organ entry. Contrast comes with a broad melody reminiscent of German chorales, and the two themes are developed with increasing intensity to the end of the piece.

  Letter from Home Aaron Copland
(b. 1900)

Aaron Copland is widely regarded as the dean of American composers. Letter from Home was written in 1944 on commission from Paul Whiteman and the American Broadcasting Company, and was revised to its present version in 1962. The piece evokes the nostalgia, excitement and comfort that might be experienced by a combat soldier upon receiving a letter from home.

  Promenade Kent Kennan
(b. 1913)

Promenade is a brief, ebullient piece in the harmonic style that is frequently described as "American." The opening theme dominates the structure, with two short sections of contrasting material.


Manchester Symphony Orchestra Personnel

  Violin I
Vernon Stinebaugh, Concertmaster
Mary Berkebile
Ruth Berkebile
Pauline Cork
Jane Wagoner +
Gordon Collins

Violin II
Janet Mitchell *+
Vera Wickline
Becki Wilcox
Janis Eiler +
Ernest Zala
Leslie Bentley

Cora Shultz *
Edward Davis +
Mac Marlow

Mack Whitmore *+
Lenore Marlowe
Vivien Singleton

Herbert Ingraham *
Samuel Flueckiger
Anita Crill +

Rayna Lubbs +

Patricia Brewer *+
Rayna Lubbs +

Stephanie Jones *
Leta Cook
Robert Jones *
Evelyn Snyder

Bass Clarinet
Diana Wine +

Thomas Owen *
Deborah Maurer +
Robert Leininger +

Richard Tienvieri

Jerry Eller *+
Janice Smith +

Donald Cook *+
John Albright +

George Schneider *
Dan Garver +

James Tyler
Rachel Jamieson +
David Priser +

Rebecca Sheap +

* Denotes principal
+ Denotes MC student
R. Gary DeavelR. Gary Deavel is Associate Professor of Music at Manchester College, where he teaches music theory, organ, and humanities courses. Mr. Deavel is a graduate of Manchester College, the Sherwood School of Music, and currently is completing doctoral study at the Eastman School of Music. In addition to teaching, Mr. Deavel is an accomplished composer and church musician.
Haskel SextonHaskel Sexton has been associated with the University of Illinois continually since he entered there as a student in 1937, except for a two year period on the faculty of the University of Michigan. Even while serving for three years as supervisor of music in the Urbana, Illinois, public schools, Mr. Sexton remained on the University band staff. For over twenty years he has served as Professor of Trumpet. He has also taught for many years at the Bemidji, Minnesota, summer music clinic, a similar clinic at Gunnison, Colorado, and he has appeared as guest soloist and teacher throughout the country. Mr. Sexton is one of the nation's most respected teachers and performers.