This Season

arrowPast Seasonsarrow

Concert Program Cover

Second Concert of the 62nd Season

Holiday Extravaganza VI

Sunday, December 3rd, 2000
Cordier Auditorium
Robert Jones, Conductor

  Christmas Music for Orchestra John Cacavas  
  The Skaters' Waltz Emile Waldteufel  
  Gloria John Rutter  

Gloria in excelsis Deo
Domine Deus
Quoniam tu solus sanctus

  Manchester College Choral Society & A Cappella Choir
Debra Lynn, conductor
  To Celebrate a Miracle: A Chanukah Suite Samuel Adler  

Rock of Ages - Chanukah, O Chanukah - Judah's Song of Praise - Who Kindled These Lights - Chanukah, Happy Holiday - Who can Retell - Cancles in the Night - Chanukah, a Beautiful Festival - Rock of Ages

  Suite from The Nutcracker Tchaikovsky  

Ouverture Miniature
Danse de la Fée-Dragée
Danse des Mirlitons
Danse Russe Trépak


Program Notes by James R. C. Adams

  Christmas Music for Orchestra John Cacavas  

John Cacavas is one of those composers whose music you have almost certainly heard many times without knowing it. He is an American composer, both in Aberdeen, South Dakota. At the age of 13, he started a dance band at his school. You probably don't remember that. Later he composerd 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 Savalas, and the films Airport 1975, 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 the 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 lectured on writing music for films. He won a Grammy Award for the background score for Senator Everett Dirksen's spoken word, Gallant Men.

  The Skaters' Waltz (Les Patineurs) Emile Waldteufel

Waldteufel is one of those composers who is known primarily for one successful piece: The Skaters' Waltz. Waldteufel was a French composer, born into a very musical family. When he was seven, the family moved from his birthplace, Strasbourg, to Paris so that his older brother could study the violin at the Paris Conservatoire. Later, Emile also studied at the Conservatoire where one of his classmates was Jules Massenet, composer of the operas Manon, Thaïs, and Werther. His instrument was the piano, and throughout his career, he continued to compose at the keyboard, orchestrating his works later. His family had a dance band which became very popular in Paris. His compositions soon rivaled those of the older Johann Strauss in popularity. He was appointed pianist to Empress Eugénie of France, and regularly played for Napoleon III's grand court balls.

In 1874, the Prince of Wales attended an affair in Paris where he was impressed by Waldteufel's waltz Manolo, and helped launch his career in London, which spread his fame and guaranteed financial security until his death in 1915. In addition to his well-known original works such as Les Patineurs (Skaters), and Très jolie (Very Pretty), only slightly less known than The Skaters' Waltz, there were many works Waldteufel orchestrated from the music of other composers, most notable Chabrier's España.

The Skaters' Waltz is "picturesque." That is, it brings forth images of the events of a very cold day on the frozen Seine two years before it was written. Ice skating had been a popular winter activity for many years, but in 1879 Europe had the coldest winter on record. The Seine froze from bank to bank, and sleighs were used through the streets of Paris.

There is a slow introduction with a horn motif which is almost the main theme in inversion, followed by rapid flute trills and violin glissandi, suggesting the falling snow. When the main theme appears, it seems tentative, like people timidly trying the ice. The ice is firm, and the skaters gain confidence. One can almost picture the enthusiastic skaters with rosy cheeks doing double Axels and triple toe-loops. At the end, there is a hint of sleighbells before the timpani bring the work to a dramatic close.

  Gloria John Rutter
(b. 1945)

John Rutter may be today's most popular choral writer. Heard frequently on National Public Radio are his short works Hymn to the Creator of Light, For the beauty of the earth, and All things bright and beautiful. Born in London, he had his first musical training as a choirboy at Highgate School. He went on to study at Cambridge (Clare College) where he was publishing and recording while still an undergraduate. While at Clare College, he became acquainted with the King's College Choir (King's College is next door to Clare), and that experience shaped his career. He wrote many works for that choir, and says that he has their sound in mind even when writing music commissioned by others. He was encouraged by the directors of that choir, and in 1975, he became its director. He gave up that post in 1979 to devote more time to composing, and subsequently founded the Cambridge Singers, for whom he has written many works.

Gloria was commissioned by the Voices of Mel Olsen, Omaha, Neb., and was directed at its premiere there in 1974 by Mr. Rutter, himself. Rutter's work is melodious, tonal, and very appealing. The Gloria reminds one of the music of a fellow Englishman, Sir William Walton ... specifically, of Balshazzar's Feast, with its dramatic fanfares and dotted rhythms. It is in the grand tradition of English choral music, but with occasional touches of Bernstein (listen for this reference in the final movement. Think Chichester Psalms). Although Rutter eschews the atonality common to much modern music, his use of syncopation and complex rhythms mark it as music of the twentieth century.

A "Gloria" is, of course, part of the Ordinary of the Mass, and has been set to music by hundreds of composers throughout the ages. Rutter says that he based his setting "on one of the Gregorian chants associated with the text." It is in three movements: Allegro vivace, Andante, and Vivace è ritmico.

  To Celebrate a Miracle: A Chanukah Suite Samuel Adler
(b. 1928)

Samuel (Hans) Adler was born in Germany in 1928. His father was a cantor and composer of Jewish liturgical music. The family came to the United States in 1939. Samuel received his B.M. in 1948 from Boston University, and his M.A. in 1950 from Harvard. He studied with (among others) Aaron Copland, Paul Hindemith, Walter Piston, and Randall Thompson. He conducted with Koussevitzky at the Berkshire Music Center.

After graduating from Harvard, Adler joined the U.S. Army and organized the Seventh Army Symphony Orchestra. He conducted this orchestra in over 75 concerts in Germany and Austria, and was awarded the Army Medal of Honor for his musical services. After several years as professor of composition at North Texas State University, he joined the faculty of the Eastman School of Music in 1966, and since 1974 has served as chairman of the composition department.

He is a prolific composer of operas, ballets, symphonies, concerti, songs, chamber works, and much liturgical music. His early works (before 1969) were mostly diatonic, but he has experimented since with serialism, aleatoric (chance) techniques, and tone clusters, à la Henry Cowell.

To Celebrate a Miracle: A Chanukah Suite is one of several Adler works written to celebrate Chanukah (or Hanukkah, the Feast of Lights). This is an eight-day event commemorating the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem after the defeat of Antiochus IV by Judas Maccabaeus in 164 B.C. It is called "Feast of Lights" because it is celebrated by the lighting of candles, one each night, for eight nights.

  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. There is little to add that the public does not already know.

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, Tchaikovsky was the first composer to use both gun-fire and the celesta successfully in serious music. The celesta, by the way, is a set of metal bars with resonating chambers, played from a keyboard.

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. Her nutcracker turns into a prince who takes her off to his enchanted kingdom, providing opportunities for his subjects to entertain her with dances of many exotic places.

Today we hear four selections from that rather long ballet: Ouverture Miniature, Danse de la Fée Dragée (Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairy), Danse des Mirlitons (Dance of the Reed Pipes), and Danse Russe Trépak (the trépak is a typical Russian dance.)

It is in the Dance of the Sugar-Plum 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 had been combined with a full orchestra. Tchaikovsky was very excited about it, and told his publisher not to let anyone know about his plans to use it, especially Rimsky-Korsakoff and Glazounov. "I expect it to make a tremendous impression," he said.


Manchester Symphony Orchestra Personnel

Linda Kanzawa Ard, Concertmaster
Joyce Dubach *
Martha Barker
Christina Berger
Christina Beyer +^
Amy Bixler +
Emma Doud
Jaime Eller +^
Sherry Gajewski
Matt Hendryx +
Rodney Morrison
Sandra Neel
Margaret Piety
Moo Il Rhee
Jeremy Van Deman
Rebekah Yoder +

Naida MacDermid *
Peter Collins
Emily Mondock
Eric Stalter +^

Tim Spahr *
Valerie Goetz Doud
James Eaton
Laura Koczan +
Tony Spahr

Darrel Fiene *
Mark Huxhold
George Scheerer

Barbi Pyrah

Kathy Urbani *
Barbi Pyrah
Rebecca Menzie

Rita K. Merrick *
George Donner
Lila D. Hammer *
Jane Grandstaff
Mark W. Huntington

Bass Clarinet
Mark W. Huntington

Erich Zummack *
Michael Trentacosti

Nancy A. Bremer *
John Morse
William Klickman
Kim Reuter +^

Steven Hammer *
Richard Pepple
Nathan Reynolds +^

Jon Hartman *
Joel Roman +^
Larry Dockter

William DeWitt

David Mendenhall

Dave Robbins
Greg Wolff

Debora DeWitt

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

Manchester Choral Society and A Cappella Choir

  Debra Lynn, conductor  
Patti Lynne Baniewicz
Christine Beery
Hillary Blake
Tiffany Bohnstedt
Kari Brinkmeier
Lois Davis
Jenna Fairchild
Jessica Hamlyn
Debra Hollopeter
Carey Konkle
Iris Lowder
Christina Middleton
Amanda Myers-Walls
Carlotta Jean Olinger
Liz Printz
Wanda Miller
Shelley Smith
Julie Wieseke

Megan Allen
David Bever
Keith Crider
Drew Jones
Eric Kuszmaul
Dennae Lytle
Howard C. McKee
Linda Sunday Moser
Nick Reynolds
Jamie Salazar
Mark Schwartz
Elizabeth Allen
Jaymie Baker
Leslie Cantrell
Brenda Christman
Tess Carpenter
Nicole Cataldo
Jennifer L. Cornett
Sarah DeVries
Abigail Falkiner
Megan Fitze
Sandy Funk
Laurie Graves
Katie Hudson
Nykki Keim
Sara Kerkhoff
Jennifer Kling
Jean Nelson
Kami Newcomer
Melinda Potts

Eric Bendes
Michael Good
Seth Hendricks
Mitchell Herniak
Thomas Hoover
Andrew Kauffman
Andy Liszewski
Charles Nelson
Eric D. Stalter
Jeremy Van Deman
John Wright
The Manchester Choral Society combines the talents of the College's students, faculty, and staff with other singers from the Manchester community and its surrounding areas. Membership is without audition for this ensemble, which rehearses on Wednesday evenings from 7-9pm in Winger Recital Hall. A Cappella Choir maintains 40-45 members and is open to all Manchester students by audition, regardless of their major field of study. The A Cappella Choir rehearses three days per week and tours each spring. This year's tour will take them to New York's Carnegie Hall for a residency program, culminating in a performance of works by John Rutter including the Gloria under the baton of the composer. A Cappella alumni are invited to participate in the residency program.
Debra Lynn is in her third year as assistant professor of music at Manchester College where she serves as director of choral organizations and instructor of applied voice. In addition to the Manchester Choral Society, Debra conducts the A Cappella Choir and Chamber Singers. She recently completed doctoral studies at Ball State University, where she served for three years as assistant conductor for all vocal ensembles.  Dr. Lynn has studied conducting with Douglas Amman, Paul Vermel, Paul Crabb, and Arnold Epley. Debra has held conducting and teaching positions at Northeast Missouri State University, William Jewell College, Mid-America Nazarene College, and New Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts. Debra is married to tubist Robert Lynn. They reside in North Manchester with their four daughters: Bethany, Abby, and twins Emily and Erin.