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Concert Program Cover

Second Concert of the 69th Season

The Grandeur of Germany and Austria

Sunday, December 2nd, 2007
Cordier Auditorium
Suzanne Gindin, Conductor

  Symphony No. 104 in D Major, Hob. 1/104, "London" Franz Joseph Haydn  

I. Adagio; Allegro
II. Andante
III. Menuetto; Trio
IV. Allegro Spiritoso

  Christmas Fantasia for Tuba and Orchestra Debra Lynn  

Robert Lynn, tuba

  The Beautiful Blue Danube, Op. 314 Johann Strauss II  
  Gloria Debora DeWitt  
  Ben Kambs, tenor solo
Fairfield High School Choir, Ben Kambs, conductor
Manchester College Cantabile Choir, Alan Chambers, conductor
Manchester College A Cappella Choir, Debra Lynn, conductor
  Carol Selections Various  
  Thunder and Lightning, Op. 324 Johann Strauss II  

Program Notes by James R. C. Adams

  Symphony No. 104 ("The London") Franz Josef Haydn

The structure of a "symphony" is usually acknowledged to be the product of Mozart and Haydn. It typically consists of four movements, the first of which is in "sonata form." That movement is in three sections, the first being the exposition, when the "characters" are introduced. These characters are different keys, the tonic and the dominant, five steps up the scale. The middle section of the movement is the development, during which the theme or themes introduced in the exposition are altered in various interesting ways. Finally, in the recapitulation, everything returns to the introductory key, the tonic.

Where Mozart differed from Haydn is that his two opening "characters" were not simply different keys, but also different themes ... one dramatic, and the other lyrical. One might say that metaphorically, these two themes or subjects are comparable to a man and a woman in a novel. We meet them in the exposition. We see complications arise during the development, and we see them reunited in the recapitulation. This dramatic invention was so effective that it is still being employed by composers of our own time.

This symphony by Haydn shows characteristics reminiscent of Mozart. Composed in 1795, it was the last one he wrote, and does make use of two subjects in the first movement, though the second subject plays a less important role than it does in Mozart's symphonies. There are other Mozartian hints. Haydn makes some use of a new instrument, the clarinet. We usually think of Mozart as the champion of the clarinet, and he certainly made the best use of it. Haydn obviously liked its tone, and used it in the previous 103rd symphony, but he doesn't let the instrument take center stage. One critic likened it to a beautiful visitor to the family, who disrupts the household, but is too interesting to be sent away. In the original score, it is found only in the first movement. Later, it was added to other movements, but it isn't known whether that was the wish of Haydn or a publisher.

There is an allusion to another composer in the opening four chords, first rising, then descending. They remind us of the decisiveness of Beethoven, but also of the Mozart of Don Giovanni.

The work consists of the expected four movements, all of which are essentially monothematic. In other words, Haydn introduces a theme, and then enlivens it through ingenious variations.

I. Adagio - Allegro
II. Andante
III. Menuetto - Allegro
IV. Finale - Spirituoso

  Christmas Fantasia for Tuba and Orchestra Debra Lynn
(b. 1963)

For years I've desired to write a show-piece for Robert. It is rare to find a tubist who can perform beautiful sustained tones as well as scalar passages with incredible pyrotechnic agility. I truly had this particular sound and ability in mind when I set out to compose this piece. A Christmas Fantasia seemed particularly appropriate because Robert enjoys Christmas more than anyone I've ever known. He doesn't get caught up in the hustle-bustle and commercialism - he just basks in the spirit of the season: both the cacophonous joy and the sublime peace. It's one of the things I love most about him, so I really tried to reflect that in this composition.

I selected four carols - two are Robert's favorites and two are mine. The first, Personent Hodie, is one of a handful of surviving English carols from the 13th Century. I wanted to impress upon the listener the ancient origin of this carol as well as its sacred nature, so I included chimes, timpany, droning woodwinds, and brass instruments played softly in a low register. I particularly enjoy writing melodic passages for timpany, and this tune was a perfect vehicle. This carol begins with a very hollowed-out sound, as if heard from a distance. The tempo accelerates as the orchestra thickens and crescendos, bringing us forward in time to Fum, Fum, Fum, our second carol dating from the 16th Century.

I wanted to give this carol a true Catalan flair (indicative of its origin), so the listener is treated to some intricate tambourine and snare drum work as the orchestra nearly spins out of control. When this carol is sung, each refrain containing the words "Fum Fum Fum" becomes louder and louder. These are not actually words, but onomatopoeic expclamations of drumming sounds. These are carefully articulated in the score, and the strings have accented down-bows where these words would sound, so there should be some interesting things to see and hear in this section.

The third carol, Wexford Carol, is my favorite of all. It is an Irish Carol (originating in County Wexford - thus the name) that dates from the 12th Century. The tune is difficult to sing and play, with wide leaps (7ths and 9ths) and very long phrases. In contrast to the previous carols, I featured piano and glockenspiel as sort of bookends to this carol. I suppose in some way I wanted to introduce the carol with a music-box sound since I loved it as a child (and sang it to my own children many times). I isolated various choirs of instruments more in this carol than in the others - strings, woodwinds, and brass. I really wanted to explore all the colors of the orchestra here before launching into the final carol: the traditional English Wassail Song.

I thought it a fitting finale, since it is more a celebration of the New Year, which comes after Christmas. The word "Wassail" is a toast spoken over a cup of wine or ale. During the 12th Century, large groups of people would sing in the streets to ring in the New Year, stopping just long enough to warm their bellies with a few sips of ale, and then continuing into the night until they could barely stand. This carol setting is the only one in which I had a particular story in mind as I composed. Knowing the audience would be most familiar with this tune, I felt much freer to "play" with the melodic material. At the close of the Wexford Carol distant sleigh-bells are heard. That is followed by horn calls and the sound of "Wassailers" converging on a central location from many different places - all greeting each other and "singing" in their own keys. The dissonance reaches a deafening level when the group finally organizes itself (agreeing on one tonal center) and begins toasting their friends and neighbors. The tubist is, of course, the leader of the bunch! The jolly group sings through several verses of the carol successfully when a sudden icy wind blows through, sending chills down their spines. This causes them to drink more ale, the result being a somewhat inebriated tuba soloist who launches into an octave-leaping cadenza of schizophrenic proportions. Soon, his friends join with him, slipping and sliding around on the ice and snow. Timpany, trombone and horn glissandi combine with clanging percussion to give the listener an aural image of carolers falling all over themselves.

For a grand finale, I layered the Personent Hodie tune in the chimes, timpany, and tuba over the Wassail Song in the rest of the orchestra, bringing us full-circle. I hope you enjoy this world premiere of Christmas Fantasia for Tuba.

-- Debra Lynn

  The Beautiful Blue Danube
(An der sch
önen, blauen Donau)
Johann Strauss II

Although we know The Beautiful Blue Danube (properly, On the Beautiful Blue Danube) as an orchestral work, it was originally written for a choir. Johann came from a large family of musicians who dominated the court life of Vienna during the waning years of the Hapsburg empire. Johann Strauss II, often clled "The Younger," was known as The Waltz King.

Josef Lanner had earlier developed the concert waltz from a peasant dance into something more sophisticated. Johann Strauss Senior had continued that development, and Johann the Younger expanded the form further. His waltzes continued the tradition of a slow beginning to set the mood, followed by five waltzes and a coda. That was not particularly noteworthy, but what he did within those individual parts was. he expanded them, and made them even more lyrical.

  Gloria Debora DeWitt
(b. 1961)

Gloria in excelsis Deo et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis ... Glory to God in the highest and peace to men of good will. The Gloria, from the traditional mass ordinary, holds a special place in my heart. Its text is pure joy - the song of the angels proclaiming the birth of Christ to the shepherds. But mixed with joy is a hint of sadness as the text recognizes Christ's sacrifice: qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis ... you who take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us. I come from a choral background, and with each setting of the Gloria I sang I knew it was a text I wanted to set when I was ready.

The primary melody, a joyful dance in mixed meter, came to me while I was a graduate student at Michigan State University, but I wasn't yet ready to weave that melody into a larger work. I didn't even write it down! Many years later, while teaching at Manchester College, Debra Lynn suggested I set the prayer of St. Francis, Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace, for the A Cappella Choir to sing while on their Italy in Pacem tour. After setting the prayer of St. Francis, I began to think of the prayer in conjunction with the Gloria text. I began to see the words of the prayer of St. Francis as a very personal response to the words of the Gloria. The prayer of St. Francis asks for eight gifts to make peace in this world: love over hate, pardon over injury, unity over discord, faith over doubt, truth over error, hope over despair, joy over sadness, and light over darkness. The piece you hear today is the result of this combination of powerful texts: the traditional Gloria, sung in Latin, and the very personal Prayer of St. Francis, sung in English.

-- Debora DeWitt

  Thunder and Lightning Polka, Op. 324
(Unter Donner und Blitz)
Johann Strauss II

Johann Strauss II was born into a family who made its fortune from the waltzes it produced. Of them all, Johann Strauss II was known as The Waltz King. In addition to his many popular waltzes, he wrote a number of operettas, the best-known of which are Die Fledermaus (The Bat), and Der Zigeunerbaron (The Gypsy Baron). Strauss is considered too popular by some critics to be given much space in reference books. However, Brahms thought so highly of him that when Mme. Strauss asked Brahms for an autographed photograph, the great composer wrote the first measure of The Beautiful Blue Danube on it, with the words, "Alas, not by Johannes Brahms!"

Thunder and Lightning Polka is a fast polka, with many musical effects suggesting gusts of wind and thunder.


Manchester Symphony Orchestra Personnel

  Violin I
Dessie Arnold, Concertmaster
Linda Kummernuss
Casey Lambert +
Ilona Orban
Liisa Wiljer

Violin II
Janice Eplett *
Erin Cole +
Heather Hufgard +
Jennifer Iannuzzelli +
Paula Merriman

Naida MacDermid *
Jessica Jacoby +
Julie Sadler
Margaret Sklenar

Brook Bennett *
Rosemary Bond +
Erica Hedges +
Cori Miner +
Sara Thomas

Darrel Fiene *
Sam Gnagey
Brad Kuhns

Kathy Urbani *
Sarah Curry +
Jena Eichenlaub +

George Donner *
Nyssa Gore +
Deana Strantz +
Lila D. Hammer *
Mark W. Huntington
Amy Reidhaar +

Erich Zummack *
Karen Labuda

John Morse *
Nicole Anderson +
Brittany Cook +
Bryan Gibson

Steven Hammer *
Nicholas Kenny +

Jon Hartman *
Larry Dockter
Scott Hippensteel

Ali Kelsey

Alan Chambers

Michael Holler +

David Robbins *
Joshua Faudree +
Charles Lovett +
Robin Jo Steinman +

* Denotes principal
+ Denotes MC student

Choir Personnel

Nicole Anderson
Rikkie Andrews
Lindsey Baugh
Melissa Beechy
Leona Campbell
Samantha Carwile
Mindi Castle
Ariel Chupp
Laura Comino
Jackie Dobbert
Jena Eichenlaub
Anna Emrick
Amanda Foust
Katie Gall
Shelby Gray
Heidi Gonyea
Anna Harvey
Rachael Heath
Beth Hooley
Alyssa Hoopingarner
Kaitlin Hughes
Cassie Johnson
Jessica Landes
Casey Lambert
Stef Masters
Katie McCann
Melissa Miller
Megan Miller
Danielle Moeller
Najah Monroe
Rebecca Oren
Olesya Savinkova
Bailey Showalter
Alexa Stitt
Jennifer Strong
Chelsea Stutsman
Heather Wohlford
Rachelle Yoder

Dan Bird
Ayana Brown
Sam Brown
Chris DeWitt
Ephraim Fry
Nate Geisel
Brent Hershberger
Aaron Hostetler
Nick Kenny
Jordan Kirkdorffer
Charles Lovett
Mitch Osterday
Jonathan Swartzentruber
Ethan Tobias
Zach Van Winkle
Tyler Yoder
Joel Waggy

Rehearsal Assistant
Michael Good
Lauren Ackerman
Katherine Allen
Becca Barsoda
Callie Beer
Tiffany Berkebile
Miranda Boyts
Catherine Davis
Melissa Faudree
Kacie Gauby
Stephanie Green
Caitlin Haynes
Hannah Hochstetler
Lauren Houser
Katrina Kardys
Madeleine LaRue
Katy McFadden
Liz Miller
Cori Miner
Vanessa murillo
jessica Myers
Tiffany Neilson
Maria Pelance
Brooke Schwartz
Alyssa Smith
Kaci Stahly
Tedra Tague
Emily Toole
Darcy Van Diepenbos
marli Vanover
Carrie Waits
Robin Ward
Kaylie Wyson
Erica Yoder
Ellen Zemlin

Anthony Balagadde
Zach Blatz
Harlan Bontrager
Isaac Burtsfield
Trevor Conrad
Dan Cotton
Isaac Grosse
Andrew haff
Kenton Hochstetler
John Kidwell
Alex Korenstra
Kyle Leffel
Ian Miltenberger
David Moan
Michael Schrag
Jason Skibbe
Brandon Smith
Michael Spaulding
Jeremy Steffen
Matt Stump
Andrew Suhre
Alex Swartzentruber
Robert LynnRobert Lynn is currently Assistant Professor of Music at Huntington University where he teaches courses in Introduction to Music, Aural Skills, Applied Tuba and Cello, Theory, and Music History. He also leads the Brass Ensemble and Pep Bands.

Robert Lynn has appeared as soloist with the Liberty Symphony Orchestra, the Brass Choir and Wind Symphony at Truman State University, the William Jewell College Symphonic Band, the Symphony Band and Concert Choir at Ball State University, the Concert Band and A Cappella Choir at Manchester College, and the Manchester Civic Band. Particularly interested in performing new works, Dr. Lynn has premiered two works written for him: in 1998, Three Songs by Jody Nagel, and in 1996, Italien Dance Suite by Debra Lynn. In 1995, he performed Images for Solo Tuba, Brass, and Percussion, by David Sargent, with Musica Nova of Kansas City during a symposium featuring Sargent as guest composer.

Dr. Lynn Received the Doctor of Arts degree in Tuba Performance with a cognate in Music Theory from Ball State University, where he served as a Doctoral Teaching Assistant for three years, teaching applied low brass and ear training classes. He holds a Master of Arts degree from Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri, and a Bachelor of Science in Music degree with performance emphasis in both tuba and cello from William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri. In addition to teaching at Huntington Universiry, Dr. Lynn also serves as music director at the North Manchester United Methodist Church.
Debra LynnDebra Lynn, Associate Professor of Music, is in her ninth year at Manchester College where she serves as Chair of the Music Department, Director of Choral Organizations, and instructor of applied voice, conducting, vocal pedagogy, and choral arranging. Choral ensembles under her direction include the A Cappella Choir and Chamber Singers. Her ensembles have performed at various locations throughout the U.S., including Carnegie Hall in New York. In 2004, her A Cappella Choir traveled to Italy for a tour emphasizing world peace. Debra holds a Doctor of Arts in Music degree with an emphasis in choral conducting and voice performance from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Prior degrees from Truman State University and William Jewell College include emphases in choral conducting, voice performance, and music education. Before moving to North Manchester, Dr. Lynn has held teaching and conducting positions at Northeast Missouri State University, William Jewel College, and Mid-America Nazarene College. She has served as opera chorus director for Illinois Operat Theatre and as guest conductor for various composer forums and honor choir festivals. She is married to tubist Robert Lynn. They reside in North Manchester with their four daughters, Bethany, Abby, and twins, Emily and Erin.
Ben KambsBen Kambs is in his fifth year as the Director of Choirs at Fairfield High School in Goshen, Indiana. At Fairfield, Mr. Kambs conducts five concert choirs, including Fairfield's top ensemble Chamber Singers, two show choirs, numerous extra-curricular ensembles, and is the musical director and auditorium coordinator. His ensembles have performed at many venues throughout the Midwest, and his Chamber Singers will be traveling to New York City in March of 2008 to perform in the historic Old Riverside Church. Ben holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. As a soloist, Mr. Kambs has a long résumé, performing with groups such as the St. Olaf Cantorei during their 1998-1999 Midwest tour, as well as locally in the Manchester Symphony Orchestra's production of Amahl and the Night Visitors in the role of the Page. Before heading the vocal music program at Fairfield, Mr. Kambs served as Associate Director of Choirs at Davenport Central High School in Davenport, Iowa. A 1996 graduate of Manchester High School, Ben now resides in Goshen, Indiana.
Debora DeWittDebora DeWitt is a composer and freelance musician whose works have been performed all over the world, including Hong Kong, Italy, and here in the United States. The 60th season of the Manchester Symphony Orchestra featured two commissioned works by Dr. DeWitt, Fanfare for Manchester, and Three Pieces for Orchestra. Dr. DeWitt taught courses in piano, music theory, and composition at Manchester College for 16 years and served as Music Department Chair for eight. In addition, she has taught composition at Manchester College, Iowa State University, and the MacPhail Center for Music in Minneapolis, Minnesota. A Michigan native, she returned to her home state following the 2007 academic year to open a private music studio and to pursue her career as a composer.