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Concert Program Cover

Second Concert of the 59th Season

Holiday Extravaganza III

Sunday, December 7th, 1997
Cordier Auditorium
Robert Jones, Conductor

  A Christmas Festival Leroy Anderson  
  The Skaters' Waltz Emile Waldteufel  
  Nutcracker Suite, No. 1 Piotr Ilyich Tchaickovsky  

Danse de la Fée-Dragée
Danse russe Trepak

  Carols for Christmas arr. Alice Parker  

O Come, Emmanuel
Away in a Manger
Fum, Fum, Fum
God Rest You Merry

  Manchester College A Cappella Choir
Bradley Creswell, conductor
  Christmas Festival Overture Nicolai Berezovsky  
  Pat-A-Pan: A Fantasy Hershy Kay  
  Sleigh Ride Leroy Anderson  
  Carols for Christmas arr. Alice Parker  

Good Christian Friends
So Blest a Sight (Hillary Hobbs, soprano)
Masters in this Hall

  Manchester College A Cappella Choir
Bradley Creswell, conductor
  Three Christmas Carols Morden  

Program Notes by James R. C. Adams

  A Christmas Festival Leroy Anderson

Leroy Anderson was born in Cambridge, Mass., in 1908, and died in Woodbury, Conn., in 1975. He is best known for his attractive melodies and jaunty rhythms in such pieces as The Syncopated Clock, and Sleighride (which we are to hear today).

 Anderson studied composition at Harvard with Georges Enesco and Walter Piston. He was a linguist, specializing in German and Scandinavian languages, and served with U.S. Intelligence in Iceland and the U.S. during the Second World War. In addition to the well-known pieces mentioned, he wrote a number of short works for unusual "instruments," such as the typewriter and sandpaper.

  The Skaters' Waltz Emile Waldteufel

Waldteufel is one of those composers who is known primarily for one successful piece: The Skaters' Waltz. He was born in Alsace, studied at the paris Conservatoire, and was appointed pianist to Empress Eugénie of France. He published a series of waltzes at his own expense, and they were so popular that, ever after, he confined his composition to danse music. Among other works, popular for a time, are Joies et peines and Manola.

  Selections from The Nutcracker, Op. 71 Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Tchaikovsky is the depair of writers of program notes, since he is perhaps the best known of "classical" composers (though technically, he is a Romantic). Even the casual concert-goer is familiar with his life through often lurid film treatments or romantic biographies.

One of Tchaikovsky's greatest strengths is his rich orchestration and the introduction of unusual instruments. Of all his works, probably the most famous are the 1812 Overture and The Nutcracker. He used gun-shots in the former, and the celesta in the latter. Even though Beethoven was the first to use gun-shots, and Widor was first to use the celesta, the 1812 Overture was the first really successful use of gun-fire in serious music, and The Nutcracker was the first successful piece of music to use the celesta.

The ballet tells the story of a little girl who receives a nutcracker for Christmas. It is in the form of a soldier. She falls asleep and dreams that all the Christmas presents come alive and fight against the Mouse King and his minions.

The Suite is a selection of pieces of the ballet, and today we hear only three pieces from that selection.

March shows the full power of the orchestra with brass and percussion resounding, underpinned by the pizzicato strings, a typical Tchaikovsky touch.

Of all the sections of the ballet, the Trepak is the most Russian. Even in a purely concert performance, one can imagine the spectacular leaping of the leather-booted Cossacks.

It is in the Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy that the celesta makes its first appearance with an orchestra. Tchaikovsky had heard the instrument, played by its inventor, Mustel, shortly before he wrote The Nutcracker. Widor had written for the instrument before, but this was the first time it was combined with a full orchestra.

  Seven Carols for Christmas arr. Alice Parker
(b. 1925)

The seven orchestrations of Christmas Carols are divided in this performance, with the first four presented first, and the last three at the end of the concert. The seven are:

O Come Emmanuel
Away in a Manger
Fum, Fum, Fum
God Rest You Merry
Good Christian Men
So Blest a Sight
Masters in this Hall

  Christmas Festival Overture Nicolai Berezovsky

Berezovsky was an American composer, conductor and violinist, of Russian birth. He came to the United States when he was twenty-two years old, with several years of experience, both as a violinist with opera houses in the USSR, and as a student of the violin in Vienna. He became a citizen in 1928. He wrote in several forms: cantata, symphony, concerto, and children's opera (Babar the Elephant). His orchestration was colorful, in the Rimsky-Korsakov manner, but somewhat unconventional (he used the theremin). His concerti were well thought of and were honored by such virtuosi as William Primrose and Gregor Pyatigorsky.

  Pat-A-Pan Hershy Key

Hershy Kay was born in Philadelphia and trained at the Curtis Institute there. He is best-known for what he calls "adaptations," that is, orchestrations of music written by others which he selects and adapts to other purposes. He has put together a number of ballet scores commissioned by the New York City Ballet, among which are Stars and Stripes, with music by John Philip Sousa, Cakewalk with music by Louis Gottschalk, and Western Symphony, based on cowboy songs. Gottschalk, the New Orleans-born composer, is a personal favorite of Kay's, and in addition to Cakewalk, he reconstructed some of Gottschalk's music at the reques of the American pianist Eugene List.

Kay objects to his compositions' being called "arrangements," likening them to Stravinsky's adaptations of the music of Tchaikovsky and Pergolesi for his Baiser de la Fée and Pulcinella. His attitude is quite businesslike. He says, "I want to be guaranteed performances, or I'm not interested in writing."


Manchester Symphony Orchestra Personnel

Linda Kanzawa Ard, Concertmaster
Joyce Dubach *
Matt Baker +^
Martha Barker
Christina Beyer +^
Beth Chiarenza
Jaime Eller +^
Sherry Gajewski
Matt Hendryx +
Greg Kroeker
Margaret Piety
Ilona Sherman

Naida MacDermid *
Bethany Bruss
Peter Collins
Tim O'Neil
Eric Stalter +^

Tim Spahr *
Nicholas Bond
Beth Joseph +
Tony Spahr
Preston Thomas +^

Randy Gratz *
George Scheerer
Darrel Fiene

Barbi Pyrah

Kathy Urbani *
Madalyn Metzger +^

Rita Kimberley *
Ben Wiseman

English Horn
George Donner *
Lila D. Hammer *
Jane Grandstaff

E-flat Clarinet
Diana Nixon

Bass Clarinet
Kris Bachmann

Erich Zummack *
Michael Trentacosti

Nancy A. Bremer *
John Morse
Jeff Seitz
Elizabeth Lowe

Steven Hammer *
Scott D. Steenburg *+^ (co-)
Richard Pepple
Shawn Sollenberger +^

Larry Dockter *
Jon Hartman
Jeremy Dawkins +^

William DeWitt

Mark Sternberg +

David Mendenhall
David Robbins
Terry Vaughan

Debora DeWitt

* Denotes principal
+ Denotes MC student
^ Denotes MSS Scholarship recipient

Manchester A Cappella Choir

  Bradley Creswell, conductor  
Anne Albright
Kylie Funk
Gina Gaumer
Hillary Hobbs
Brandi Keehn
Sally Liszewski
Alicia Roberts
Julie Tilsy
Rachel Walter
Laura Wells
Julia Woodcock

Julie Brown
Rachel Lichtenbarger
Johanna long
Madalyn Metzger
Amanda Muench
Jennifer Patterson
Holly Purdy
Michelle Smith
Brandy Waldridge
D.J. Brooks
Eric Kuszmaul
Mark Schwartz
Richard Stiver

Dan Baker
Eric Bendes
Stephen Berkebile
Nicholas Bond
Joshua Brockway
Shane Cooper
Chris Fitze
Timm Greulich
Shawn Kobb
Dan Royer
Jason Sykes