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Concert Program Cover

Third Concert of the 58th Season

A Celebration of School Music

Sunday, March 9th, 1997
Manchester High School Performing Arts Auditorium
David Borsvold, Guest Conductor

  Academic Festival Overture, Op. 80 Johannes Brahms  
       
  Concertante for Two Clarinets, Op. 10 Johann Georg Backofen  
  Robert Jones and Robyn Jones, clarinets  
       
  Intermission  
       
  Sure on this Shining Night Samuel Barber  
  When I Fall in Love Brymer, arr.  
  Kansas Boys Mecham  
  Manchester High School A Cappella Choir
Page TenEyck, director
 
       
  The Day the Orchestra Played John Cacavas  
  Susan Klingler, narrator  
       
  Crown Imperial March Sir William Walton  
       
 

Program Notes by James R. C. Adams

 
  Academic Festival Overture, Op. 80 Johannes Brahms
(1833-1897)
 
 

Classical music is serious business, think many concert-goers, and they are surprised to find that Long-Hairs have a sense of humor. The title Academic Festival Overture seems serious enough, until you realize that several of the themes are derived from student drinking songs. "Overture" means several things, depending on the period and the purpose. We commonly think of an overture as a prelude to an opera, oratorio, or play. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries there were two types known as Italian and French, and they differed in structure. They set the mood for an opera. The French Overture developed into a sort of suite, independent of an opera. Both Handel and Bach used the term in this way. Some overtures are simply medleys of the tunes to be found in the work to follow. This overture is not a preface to an opera or a play. It is strictly a concert piece, after the fashion established by Mendelssohn with his Hebrides Overture.

Brahms, in a Romantic age, was something of a Classicist, treating the nineteenth century theater overture symphonically. He wrote two theater overtures one after the other, the Academic Festival and the Tragic. They had opposite characters, but similar structures.

Some listeners will think the Academic Festival sounds dignified all the way through. Others think the tone is mocking almost until the very end, with a pompous quality given to tunes of ribald humor. There is the suggestion of students clowning around in cap and gown until that moment when they march onto the stage to receive their degrees, and decide that this may be the first occasion in their lives worthy of dignity. The Academic Festival Overture was written in 1880 at the request of Bernhard Stolz, conductor of the orchestra at Breslau University where the degree of Doctor had been conferred on Brahms the year before. The work ends with a dramatic statement of that noble tune known to academics the world over, Gaudeamus igitur.


 
       
  Concertante for 2 Clarinets and Orchestra, Op. 10 Johann Georg Backofen
(1768-1830)
 
 

The term concertante used here means "concerto." The concerto form has a long history. It is one of those words the meaning of which has reversed itself. We speak of "working in concert" to achieve an end, meaning "cooperating." Originally, and still in music, it means working at cross purposes. It is derived from the Italian concertare, to contend, or vie with. Originally, a small group of instruments competed with a large group. We call this the concerto grosso. It was a form favored by Handel Corelli, and Bach. Eventually, the small group (the concertino) was replaced by the solo instrument, contending with (and eventually dominating) the rest of the orchestra, called the tutti.

Changes in concerto form did not occur linearly. The concertino did not grow smaller systematically until it was replaced by the solo instrument. Gradually that seems to have occurred, but often composers would go back to a small group of instruments, perhaps a trio instead of a solo, or they might reduce the size of the competing orchestra to that of a quartet (Chausson), eliminate the orchestra altogether (Schumann), or eliminate the solo instrument and write a concerto for the whole orchestra (Bartók). One thing all concerti have in common is that the principal instrument or instruments display the full range of their capabilities and the extraordinary ability of the performers themselves.

Johann Georg Backofen is now a relatively unknown composer (the Schwann catalog lists only two discs). In his time, he was not only a clarinet virtuoso, but a clarinet maker, a writer of treatises on performance technique, an expert performer on the lute, a portrait painter, and a polyglot. When he wrote this concerto, the clarinet had only recently been perfected as a serious instrument (it, like the concerto itself, is an evolutionary product), and had been added to the orchestra often in pairs. Mozart, before Backofen, had written for the clarinet, which he had heard in 1778 at Mannheim, where it had been introduced by Vaclav Stamitz. Some important orchestras (the Leipzig Gewandhaus, and the Dresden) did not introduce the instrument until the nineties.

This concerto is in three movements, a structure which has become standard, though not universal. Like other early concerti, this one has a fairly long (two minutes) orchestral introduction before the entry of the two clarinets, which play together throughout. Customary in a concerto is the co-called cadenza, which is an unaccompanied solo by the principal instrument or instruments, usually near the end of the first (and sometimes, last) movement, to allow the soloist to display his or her skill by improvising a florid bit, after which the orchestra enters to complete the movement. In this case, there is no traditional cadenza, but there is a difficult section requiring great skill on the part of the soloists, and although it was clearly written by Backofen and is accompanied by the orchestra, it has the character of improvisation. In this, the concerto is rather modern, since few composers after Beethoven trusted the soloists to improvise in an acceptable manner.

The three movements are Allegro, Andante, and Rondo.


 
       
  The Day the Orchestra Played John Cacavas
(b. 1930)
 
 

John Cacavas is one of those composers whose music you have almost certainly heard many times without knowing it. He is an American composer, born in Aberdeen, South Dakota. At the age of thirteen, he started a dance band at his school. You probably don't remember that. Later he composed an oratorio, The Conversion of Paul, for NBC radio. You probably don't remember that, either. But I suspect you do remember the television series Kojak, starring Telly Savalass, and the films Airport 1975, and Airport '77, the TV programs The Executioner's Song and Margaret Bourke White. Perhaps you remember the film Horror Express (starring Telly Savalas, Christopher Lee, and Peter Cushing). All right, you don't remember that one, either.

John Cacavas is a successful journeyman composer of incidental music. He is the kind of composer we need even if we don't notice him. In fact some people do notice him, and those who don't would miss him if they had to watch those films and TV programs without his music. To my knowledge, he has not written a large scale work in which his concept of musical form would be put to the test. Background music rarely lends itself to such notions as "grand design," serving, as it must, the demands of plot. His orchestration is clever, and the orchestral color inventive. He uses electronic devices imaginatively, but not overpoweringly. He has arranged a great deal of other people's music, including a suite called Star Spangled Spectacular with music by George M. Cohan. He has conducted orchestras world-wide and has lectured on writing music for films. He won a Grammy Award for the background score for Senator Everr Dirksen's spoken word, Gallant Men.

The Day the Orchestra Played invites comparison with Benjamin Britten's A Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra of 1943, both of which were intended to acquaint children with the instruments of the symphony orchestra. The delightful rhyme which accompanies Mr. Cacavas' music was written by Charles O. Wood. Cacavas' The Day the Orchestra Played had its premier in 1964 at Lincoln Center. This work not only introduced the instruments, but stresses the way they must work together to produce an orchestral sound.


 
       
  Crown Imperial March Sir William Walton
(1902-1983)
 
 

Sir William Walton is a respected composer without a long list of renowned teachers. He was not a child prodigy (although at the age of sixteen he was the youngest person to graduate from Christ Church College, Oxford University since the time of Henry VIII). He was encouraged by the Dean of Christ Church, and by the organist, but he received little, if any formal instruction. He does not even have a large body of works. In the 1950s, some critics still regarded him as a "fashionable" composer, and not a little cynical. One of his most popular works was a sort of musical parody called Façade written to accompany the witty poetry of Edith Sitwell. He became acquainted with the literary family of the Sitwells through Osbert, whom he had met at Oxford. The literary group with whom he associated had a slightly superior, world-weary attitude which is now considered dated. Walton was thought to be a bright young intellectual with an off-hand attitude toward music. One critic remarked that jokes don't go well with fine music. We don't consider A Musical Joke to be the high point of Mozart's career.

When Walton's Viola Concerto appeared, critics began to reevaluate him. His two symphonies were convincing, and his oratorio Belshazzar's Feast established him as a worthy member of the generation which produced Ralph Vaughan Williams, though critics still remark that much of his music is too "theatrical." He also produced striking film scores, among which is most notable the score for Sir Lawrence Olivier's Henry V.

The Crown Imperial March was written on commission by the BBC for the coronation of Edward the VIII, but before it was finished, Edward abdicated to marry the American Wallace Simpson, and was replaced by his brother George VI on December 11, 1936. The premiere of Crown Imperial March was at the coronation of King George VI on May 12, 1937.

If the music remineds you of John Williams' score for Star Wars, that would not be surprising. Williams wanted his score to provide that rich romantic glow to match George Lucas' romantic vision, and to do so, he imitated the works of two composers particularly, Erich Korngold, who wrote for the movies, and Sir Edward Elgar who didn't (but could have). Recall the final scene in Star Wars when Luke, Han Solo, and the Wookie were being presented with medals for having defeated Darth Vader. The music swells to heights of pomposity not heard since Sir Edward Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance marches. Clearly, Walton, too, had heard Elgar's marches.


 
       
 

Manchester Symphony Orchestra Personnel

 
  Violin
Linda Kanzawa Ard, Concertmaster
Rosemary Manifold *
Dessie Arnold
Matt Baker +^
Martha Barker
Joyce Dubach
Sherry Gajewski
Amy Grush
Matt Hendryx +
Bill Klickman
Greg Kroeker
Moo Il Rhee

Viola
Naida MacDermid *
Bethany Bruss
Peter Collins
Bruce Graham
Tim O'Neil

Cello
Joseph Kalisman *
Preston Thomas +^
Kelly Marquis
Samuel Carnes
Wallace Dubach

Bass
Randy Gratz *
Darrel Fiene
George Scheerer

Piccolo
Madalyn Metzger +^

Flute
Kathy Urbani *
Barbi Pyrah
Tashia Cox #

Oboe
Rita Kimberley *
George Donner

English Horn
Ned Merrick
Clarinet
Lila D. Hammer *
Jane Grandstaff

Bass Clarinet
Kris Bachman

Bassoon
Erich Zummack *
Donna Russell

Contrabassoon
Ric Lynn

Horn
Nancy A. Bremer *
Bryan Gibson
Jennifer J. Double +^
Scott Stevens

Trumpet
Steven Hammer *
Scott D. Steenburg +^
Shawn Sollenberger +^
Ryan Burton #
Josh White #

Trombone
Larry Dockter *
Jonathan Hartman
Jeremy Dawkins +^

Tuba
John Beery

Timpani
Mark Sternberg +

Percussion
David Mendenhall
David Robbins
Jenni Moore +

Harp
Anne Lewellen

* Denotes principal
+ Denotes MC student
^ Denotes MSS Scholarship recipient
# Denotes Manchester High School Concert Band
       
 

Manchester High School A Cappella Choir

 
  Paige TenEyck, director  
  Shauna Addair
Chrissy Adkins
Kira Christiansen
Reed Christiansen
Chris Clark
Angel Conley
Nicole Cook
Jennie Couture
Mollie Cripe
Emile Douglas
Shannon Fritz
Sonny Fritz
Carle Gaier
Tabby Gullett
Jason Henthorn
Amanda Justice
Danette Karnes
Marissa Knecht
Leticia Lewis
Becky Marcum
Annie Mazerik
Kelly Mort
Kim Myers
Jayme North
Shana Poe
Jeanne Rodriguez
Tara Sharp
Kim Shumaker
Angie Sincroft
Jeremy Sites
Daniel Walter
Jocelyn Warren
Dani Wion
       
 
Robert JonesRobert Jones was appointed to the Manchester College faculty in 1968 and was named conductor of the Manchester Symphony Orchestra in 1979. Before coming to Manchester he held faculty appointments at Wichita State University, McPherson College, and the University of Montana.

Mr. Jones studied clarinet with Clark Brody, principal clarinetist (retired) of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lawrie Bloom, bass clarinetist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and James Pyne, professor of clarinet at Ohio State University. He performs regularly as a recitalist, and on two previous occasions, 1970 and 1986, was the featured soloist with the Manchester Symphony Orchestra. Since 1980 he has performed as bass clarinetist with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, most recently performing Janácek's Mladi with the Philharmonic Woodwind Quintet on the Freimann Chamber Music Series.
Robyn Jones Robyn Jones is a 1992 graduate of Manchester High School. She was the winner of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic senior division Young Artist Competition in 1991 and performed Weber's Concertino with the Philharmonic on two young people's concerts.

She received the bachelor of music in clarinet performance from Indiana University in 1996, graduating with high distinction. At Indiana she was principal clarinet with the Symphonic Band, Concert Orchestra, and Symphony Orchestra. She studied clarinet with Howard Klug and Alfred Prinz, principal clarinetist (retired) with the Vienna Philharmonic.

Ms. Jones is presently pursuing a master of music degree in clarinet performance at Florida State University, where she is a graduate teaching assistant and studies clarinet with Frank Kowalski.
David BorsvoldDavid Borsvold is the assistant conductor of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. In 1996 he made his guest conducting debut with the Virginia Symphony, and served as conductor for the National Orchestral Brass Symposium at the University of Cincinnati. In the spring he will guest conduct the Louisville Orchestra, the Lima Symphony (where he is a finalist for the music director post), and the Manchester Symphony Orchestra in Indiana.

Born in New Haven, Connecticut, Mr. Borsvold holds masters degrees in both performance and conducting from the Cleveland Institute of Music, and a bachelors degree from the College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati. He studied conducting with H. Teri Murai and Carl Topilow, and participated in conducting seminars with Otto-Werner Mueller and Louis Lane. Before joining the Fort Wayne Philharmonic in 1994, he spent a decade in Cleveland, where he served on the faculties of Baldin-Wallace College, Kent State University, Case Western Reserve University, and Cleveland State University. During that time he was also music director of several Cleveland-area orchestras, including the Lakeland Civic Orchesetra, the Ashtabula Chamber Orchestra, and the University Circle Chamber Orchestra. For four years he was the leader and tubist of the Cleveland Chamber Brass, a quintet which toured nationally and performed in Germany.

As assistant conductor of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, David leads the orchestra in subscription concerts, educational concerts and programs, runouts for the regional touring program, pops concerts, community outreach concerts, and the Philharmonic's new "Unplugged" casual concerts. He also gives many of teh Philharmonic Preview lectures.
Susan Klingler is in her fourteenth year as an English teacher at Manchester High School. She holds a B.A. degree from Manchester College and an M.A. degree from Indiana University. She is on the Board of Directors of the Manchester Symphony Society. Susan and her husband David Hippensteel have two children, Nicholas and Maya.