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Concert Program Cover

First Concert of the 73rd Season

2nd Annual Family Fun Concert

Sunday, October 30th, 2011
Cordier Auditorium
Scott Humphries, Conductor

  Concert Suite from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull John Williams
arr. Ralph Ford
 
 

Call of the Crystal
Russians
Marion's Theme
Raiders March

 
       
  Video Games Live Suite Martin O'Donnell, Michael Salvatori,
Christopher Tin, Tommy Tallarico, Michael Plowman,
Emmanuel Fratianni, Laurie Robinson,Yoko Shimamura
arr. Ralph Ford
 
 

Halo Theme (from Halo Suite)
Coronation (Civilization IV)
Baba Yetu (Civilization IV)
Bounty Hunter Theme (Advent Rising Suite)
Kingdom Hearts

 
  Manchester College Chamber Singers
Debra Lynn, conductor
Holly Rittenhouse, soprano
Jeremiah Sanders, bass
Kelly Iler, Alto
 
       
  Music from World of Warcraft Russell Brower, Derek Duke, Jason Hayes
arr. Jerry Brubaker
 
 

March from Wrath of the Lich King
Lament of the Highborne
Lion's Pride

 
       
  Bugler's Holiday Leroy Anderson  
  Steve Hammer, trumpet
John Adler, trumpet
Nicholas Kenny, trumpet
 
       
  Intermission  
       
  Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92 Ludwig van Beethoven  
 

I. Poco sostenuto; Vivace
II. Allegretto
III. Presto; Assai meno presto
IV. Finale: Allegro con brio

   
       
 

Program Notes by James R. C. Adams

 
  Concert Suite from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull John Williams (b. 1932)
(arr. Ralph Ford)
 
 

John WilliamsAlthough Williams is known mostly for his symphonic music, richly orchestrated, he also incorporates voices in a number of his film scores. Examples include Empire of the Sun, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Home Alone, and Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.

Even if you have not seen Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, the most recent episode of the Indiana Jones franchise, you will recognize parts of it because Williams sensibly refers to themes he used in earlier episodes.

Williams, like other successful film-score composers, has been criticized for "Mickeymousing," fitting the music too closely to the action. This practice stemmed from the silent era, when pianists and organists improvised music to fit the scenes they were watching from the orchestra pit.  Williams doesn't quite do that, but many of us remember with a thrill the upward sweep of the orchestra in The Empire Strikes Back when the Millennium Falcon swoops up in a loop, and dives into a crater.  Now that's film music of MY generation.

The "silent era" was way before my time, but not before my father's.  He put himself through college by playing in a local cinema (they were called "theaters" then).  He used to entertain me by improvising bits of film music.  "Daddy, play me some scary music, for when the monster comees!"  He delighted my sister and me.  So I am more accepting of Mickeymousing than others.

It's possible that films and video games have engendered a new type of "composition." In an interview with John Williams, Irwin Bazelon asked Williams if "...one has to be a composer to write film scores." Here is Williams' response.

No. Not in the sense I think you and I would define the term "composer."  I think one could take a primitive with pie tins and bows and arrows and good recording equipment and make a wonderfully effective sound compilation of a mélange of noises. It might be very effective dramatically if it was timed correctly, if it suited the style of the film; if all these things seemed wedded to the grain or fabric of the film, I think it could be wonderful.  Some people say this is composing, this is a composer -- it may be, I don't know.  But not in the kind of European, eighteenth-, nineteenth-, early twentiety-century sense of the word "composer" and the skills which that would designate.


 
       
  Video Games Live Suite  
 

Video Games LiveThere is a new kid on the block.  It is called "video game music."  I say "it" because it is not easy to identify the source, since very often "it" is something of a committee.  I'm sure you all know what a video game is, even if you have never played one, and that there is often a constant background of music.  There is a similarity between game music and film music, and both have been reviled by those who are used to "classical" music.  One difference is that film music can follow the plot, as John Williams' music usually does.  Video games don't have a "plot" in the usual sense, because as you play them, unexpected things happen, and the action is frequently controlled by the game player.

Some games, like Tetris, have no plot, so the music need not follow the "action."  There are films like that, which have background music unrelated to the action.  The idea is to sell the soundtrack in the form of singles.  Many games, such as Mario Brothers, have simple, repetitious tunes, but more dramatic games have full, symphonic background music.  The composer must create music that fits the mood of the game, and anticipates possible player-caused events.  Some composers are pretty good at this, but the nature of video games prevents very much dramatic variety.

It was inevitable that video game music should come on to the mainstream marketplace.  Games are enormously popular, and not only with the teenagers.  Just as film-goers like to be reminded of the drama by listening to soundtracks, video-gamers like to relive moments of their games by listening to soundtracks, especially when they are combined with rock-concert effects.

The difference between audience reactions to video game music as compared to standard classical fare is evident by the live concerts.  Where concert-goers usually are annoyed by coughing or babies crying during a Brahms symphony, the audiences of video game music routinely erupt in shouts, wolf-whistles, and other disruptions.  This appears to be normal for the genre, just as an audience is expected to greet the first few bars of a piece by, say, Def Leppard, with such a ruckus that the music can't be heard for a few bars.

Tommy Tallarico is a major promoter of video game music.  He has written more scores for that genre than anyone in history, and, with his friends Jack Wall and Martin Leung, has organized a travelling troupe known as Video Games Live.  Their performances include rock-concert staples such as multi-screen video projection, laser-light shows, and fireworks.  But the difference between Video Games Live and ordinary rock concerts is the use of full symphonic orchestras.

Today, we have two examples: Video Games Live Suite and World of Warcraft Suite.  The Video Games Live Suite is a medley of pieces by a variety of composers, including Martin O'Donnell, Michael Salvatori, Christopher Tin, Tommy Tellarico, Michael Plowman, Emmanuel Fratianni, and Laurie Robinson.  The World of Warcraft Suite is credited to Russell Brower, but elsewhere we see the name Jason Haynes.  The word "committee" comes to mind again.  Relentless rhythms, dramatic marches, and etheral choral elements are typical of this music.


 
       
  Bugler's Holiday Leroy Anderson
(1908-1975)
 
 

Leroy AndersonLeroy Anderson was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to Swedish parents.  He was undecided as to which career to follow: linguistics or music.  The result was that he followed both.  He was graduated from Harvard College in 1929 with an A.B. degree, magna cum laude in music.  After receiving that degree, Anderson continued his studies at Harvard toward a Ph.D. in German and Scandinavian languages.  During the Second World War, he worked in Iceland as an interpreter, and during the Korean War, in military intelligence.

Anderson studied with Walter Piston and Georges Enesco, among others. He was one of the few American composers who did NOT study with Nadia Boulanger, in case you were wondering.  He was a man with a sense of humor, who often said that he had received his education "on one street.  Broadway, Cambridge."  His humor was evident in his music, which was always lively and melodic, frequently whimsical.  His The Typewriter included the sound of a carriage-return, complete with the bell (of mechanical typewriters).  Sleigh Ride ended with the whinny of a horse.  The Syncopated Clock, or course, included the ticking of a clock.

Almost all of Anderson's pieces lasted no longer than three minutes, and today's example is no exception.  The longest performance lasted two minutes and thirty-three seconds, but there are shorter performances of this piece, lasting two minutes and twenty seconds.  This is a very fast piece, making great demands of the brass performers.  It has been suggested that this piece represents a nostalgic look back at Anderson's Army career.  He started as a private and rose to the rank of Captain.


 
       
  Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92 Ludwig van Beethoven
(1770-1827)
 
 

Ludwig van BeethovenI have heard people say that, yes, they like "classical music."  When pressed to specificy, they say, "I like the Clair de Lune, the Moonlight Sonata, and The Fifth Symphony."  It turn out that they know only those pieces, and it doesn't occur to them to wonder which "fifth symphony."  There are probably hundreds of "fifth symphonies," but we all know to which one they are referring: Beethoven's Fifth!  This may be the world's most famous symphony, and we are so used to it, we often don't bother to add the name of the composer.  However, as you know, Beethoven wrote nine symphonies, not including Wellington's Victory, also known as The Battle Symphony, the "battle" being the one at Victoria, in Spain, at which the Napoleonic troops were routed.

This "symphony," not really a symphony at all, but more likely an overly dramatic tone-poem, was first performed, along with the seventh symphony, in December of 1813, in Vienna.  The seventh symphony was described as a "companion piece" to Wellington's Victory!  The concert was a huge success, largely because of the patriotic ferver it elicited.  The performace at the University of Vienna was a benefit for Austrian and Bavarian soldiers wounded in action.  Today, critics are embarassed by the Battle Symphony, and find it hard to believe that Beethoven wrote it.  It is the "companion piece" which has survived and thrived.

A "classical" symphony comprises four movements, and this one is no exception.  The movements are as follows: I. Poco sostenuto; Vivace.  II. Allegretto.  III. Presto.  IV. Finale; Allegro con brio.

The first movement, Poco sostenuto, opens with a long introduction, almost a movement in itself, followed by the boisterous vivace.  This movement, like all the others, is steadfastly rhythmic, giving rise to the suggestion (by Wagner, among others) that the whole symphony is "the apotheosis of the dance."

The Allegretto is the most famous movement of this symphony.  In a number of performances, it had to be played a second time before the work could continue.  It is slow and to some extent melancholic, almost a dirge.  The haunting quality of the themes had a strong influence on the romantic composers, such as Schubert.  There is a stately fugal passage near the end of the movement.

The third movement, Presto; Presto meno assai, seems to have presented a problem for conductors who differ as to Beethoven's intent.  It means "fast, but not too fast," but what does that mean?  Recordings of this work vary, depending on the conductor.

The third movement of a "classical" symphony, as developed by Mozart and Haydn, was expected to be a rather sedate minuey and trio, that is, a stately dance played twice with a contrasting part between (originally played by three instruments, hence "trio").  Beethoven changed the character of the symphony by introducing the scherzo as a substitute for the minuet.  The trio is said to be derived from an old pilgrim's hymn.  But lots of things "are said."  Scherzo means "joke," but that shouldn't be taken too literally.  It usually means "light," "sprightly."

The Finale; Allegro con brio is positively manic.  It has been described as a Bacchanale, contrasting with the more structured scherzo.  Beethoven's own word for this aspect of his personality is Aufgeknöpft, "unbuttoned."


 
       
 

Manchester Symphony Orchestra Personnel

 
  Violin I
Dessie Arnold, Concertmaster
Lois Clond
Rachel Nowak +^
Ervin Orban
Ilona Orban
Austin Ubelhor +^
Kristin Westover
Liisa Wiljer

Violin II
Joyce Dubach *
Martha Barker
Emily Grant ^^
Tyler Krempasky +
Linda Kummernuss
Alyssa Loos +^
Paula Merriman
Tom Naragon ^^

Viola
Naida MacDermid *
Kelsey Airgood +^
Benjamin Crim +^
Julie Sadler
Margaret Sklenar
Loughlin Wylie +^

Cello
Robert Lynn *
Najah Monroe +^
Timothy Spahr

Bass
Darrel Fiene *
Katie Huddleston +^
Jess Gaze

Piccolo
Barbi Pyrah *
Kathy Urbani

Flute
Kathy Urbani *
Kathy Davis
Barbi Pyrah
Oboe
George Donner *
Nyssa Tierny

Clarinet
Lila D. Hammer *
Mark W. Huntington
Sarah Leininger +^

Bassoon
Erich Zummack *
Elena Bohlander +^

Horn
John Morse *
Christen Adler **
Carol Campos +^
Kristen Hoffman +^
Kelly Weeks +^

Trumpet
Steven Hammer *
John Adler
Nicholas Kenny

Trombone
Jon Hartman *
Larry Dockter
Andrew Suhre

Timpani
Dave Robbins *

Percussion
Dave Robbins *
Timothy Johnson +
Katie Lowther +
Christopher Teeters +

* Denotes principal
+ Denotes MC student
^ Denotes Keister Scholarship recipient
^^ Denotes Manchester High School student
** Denotes assistant principal
       
 

Manchester Chamber Singers Personnel

 
  Debra Lynn, conductor

Soprano I
Caitlin Kessler
Holly Rittenhouse
Cassie Whitaker

Soprano II
Kaylee Hawley
Emilie Hunt
Darcy Robins

Alto
Aimee Hoffbauer
Kelly Iler
Chris Minter
Miriam Zielinski

Tenor
Wallace Butts
Adam Ousley
Kahler Willits

Bass
Alex Drew
Dylan Hiner
Daniel Myers-Bowman
Jeremiah Sanders