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Concert Program Cover

Fourth Concert of the 73rd Season

Music in Full Bloom

Sunday, May 6th, 2012
Cordier Auditorium
Scott Humphries, Conductor

  Overture to The Mikado Sir Arthur Sullivan  
  Du bist die Ruh, D. 776 Franz Schubert  
  Non piu andrai from Le Nozze di Figaro Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  
  Jeremiah Sanders (finalist), baritone  
  Clarinet Concerto No. 1 in F, Op. 73 Carl Maria von Weber  

I. Allegro

  Sarah Leininger (finalist), clarinet  
  Senza mamma, o bimbo from Suor Angelica Giacomo Puccini  
  Mein Herr Marquis ("The Laughing Song") from Die Fledermaus Johann Strauss, Jr.  
  Cassandra Whitaker (winner), soprano  
  Horn Concerto No. 1 in E-Flat Major, Op. 11 Richard Strauss  

I. Allegro
II. Andante
III. Rondo-Allegro

  Christen Adler, horn  
  Fantasie-Variations on a Dowland Ayre James Sochinski  
  Jay Crone, trombone
World premiere orchestral arrangement

Program Notes by James R. C. Adams

  Overture to The Mikado Sir Arthur Sullivan

Sullivan is best known as the other half of the Gilbert-and-Sullivan team. Although Sullivan wrote many purely orchestral works, and a number of collaborative ones with playwrights and poets, his most lasting successes came through his collaboration with W.S. Gilbert.

Sullivan was a prodigy who entered London’s Royal Academy of Music at the age of fourteen, won the Mendelssohn scholarship, and went to Leipzig to study the piano with Moscheles and Plaidy, and composition and theory with Paperitz and Rietz. There were those who thought he compared very well with Brahms and Tchaikovsky.

Sullivan met Gilbert in 1871, and their success as a team was immediate. They both had a sense of humor that was quite spontaneous. Once, when Gilbert directed an actor to "sit down pensively," the unfortunate one sat rather ponderously, taking down a substantial part of the scenery. Gilbert remarked, "I said pensively, not ex-pensively."

Their whimsical operettas were a satirical comment on British society of the period, or, as Gilbert might have put it, "a parody of the pretentious posturing of the privileged."

The Mikado is a particularly sly attack on the establishment. It is set in a wholly fictitious Japan. All the Japanese are played by Westerners dressed up in the colorful hade style of theatrical garb. The audience thinks it is laughing at the caricatures of the Japanese (a safe diversion in England). More knowing members of the audience can see through the exaggerated impersonations of the Japanese to the underlying criticism of their own society.

The opera opens in the town of Titipu. A wandering minstrel appears, looking for his long-lost love, Yum-Yum. This minstrel, called Nanki-Poo, is the son of the Mikado in disguise. He has fled the palace to avoid an arranged marriage with a hideous older woman. He finds that Koko, the Lord High Executioner of Titipu is about to marry his Yum-Yum. Complications develop through which Nanki-Poo gets to marry Yum-Yum on condition that he be executed the next day. Everyone decides to pretend to have executed Nanki-Poo in order to satisfy the edict of the Mikado. When the Mikado appears unexpectedly, they first must convince him that his orders have been carried out, and the "criminal" slain. Then, once Nanki-Poo's true identity is revealed, they must convince the Mikado that they had not executed him, but had "as good as" carried out the order. It was this opera that introduced the character of Poo-Bah,"Lord High Everything Else" who has gone into our folklore as the symbol of officials with too many duties vested in one person. The overture is virtually a medley of the many delightful melodies heard throughout the operetta.

  Du bist die Ruh Franz Schubert

The name Franz Schubert is almost synonymous with the German Lied. He wrote over three hundred Lieder (the plural of Lied) in his short life. Although the words Lied and Lieder mean simply "song" and "songs," the German words have entered our vocabulary as meaning something more that a dictionary would suggest. Lieder are German art songs, more specifically, German Romantic art songs. Other Lieder writers were Schumann, Wolf, Brahms, and still others, but Schubert remains paramount among them.

Such Lieder are Romantic German poems, set to music. In this case, the poet was Friedrich Rückert.

Du bist die Ruh, literally means "You are rest (peace)," and the song speaks of the longing for one's love, and the calming effect a mere glance can have on one's pain. Words related to peace, rest, and pleasure make use of the tonic, E-flat, while those having to do with pain use the dominant.

The poem reads thus, in non-literal translation:

You are the calm, the restful peace:
You are my longing and what makes it cease.

With passion and pain to you I give
My eye and heart are yours to live.

Enter here and close quietly behind you
the gates of your gentle embrace.

All other grief you dispel from my breast:
My heart swells with the love of you.

Your brightness alone lights the canopy of my eyes.
Oh fill it fully!

  Non piu andrai from Le Nozze di Figaro Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) is one of Mozart's most popular operas. It is based on infidelity, but the women remain steadfast, and it is only the men who are lecherous, so it didn't raise the indignation occasioned by Mozart's Così fan Tutte.

Figaro is the "barber of Seville," subject of a later opera by Rossini (and still other operas by lesser composers), who is about to marry Susanna. They are both in the service of Count Almaviva, who demands his droit du seigneur, the old custom that allows the lord the right to spend the first night with the bride of any of his retainers. Neither Figaro, nor Susanna is happy with this plan, nor is the Countess, who loves her husband in spite of his Zeus complex. In an effort to thwart the Count's plans, the women disguise themselves as each other, and through a series of plot twists succeed in making fools out of all the men. They manage to trick the Count into renouncing the droit du seigneur, whereupon there is a sigh of relief from the entire town.

One of the characters is Cherubino, a page in the Count's service (always played by a woman). He is a young man who is in love with all the women around. The Count has caught him already too many times in ladies' chambers, and has ordered him to report for duty with the regiment. Figaro is not sorry to see the young man go, and ridicules him in the aria Non piu andrai.

"You will no longer go fluttering about, you amorous butterfly, disturbing the peace of every maid....You will be marching through the mud with a musket on your shoulder.... Cherubino, on to victory! On to military glory!"

  Clarinet Concerto No. 1 in F Major, Op. 73 Carl Maria von Weber

Weber is, perhaps, best known as a composer of operas, such as Der Freischütz and Euryanthe, and had a great influence on Wagner, Mendelssohn, and Liszt, among others. His love of opera can be heard in his clarinet works, which are extremely lyrical. He was an accomplished pianist, but seemed to favor wind instruments in his compositions. He particularly liked the clarinet, which had just gone through some mechanical improvements and was becoming popular.

Weber became a very close friend of one of the greatest clarinetists of the age, Heinrich Baermann, and they remained life-long friends. In fact, Weber wrote most, if not all, of his works for clarinet for Baermann.

A "concerto" is typically a three movement work, the first movement of which is almost always allegro, meaning "spirited." The structure of this concerto is that of the earlier form of concertos, where the solo instrument enters late. In this case, we first hear the clarinet about one minute into the work. It wasn't until Mendelssohn's time that solo instruments were heard at the orchestral beginning.

A concerto is meant to be a competition between the solo instrument and the orchestra, ("concerto" doesn't mean "together;" it means "vying with"). A feature of the concerto is the cadenza, which is a short solo for the principal instrument, while the orchestra waits silently. Commonly, there are cadenze in the first and third movements. Today, we hear only the first movement, where the cadenza is very short, and appears about four minutes into the movement, if it appears at all. Sometimes the cadenza is omitted, especially if it was written by someone other than the original composer. Baermann, the clarinetist for whom this concerto was written, did produce two cadenze, one short and one long. It's up to the soloist to choose one, or none.

In the early days, there was just a space left for the soloist to improvise whatever he wanted to, and the complexity of it depended on the skill and daring of the soloist. Modern composers write a cadenza-like part that is incorporated into the work like any other element. In these later times, the orchestra still sits quietly, and the soloist appears to be improvising... that is the essence of a cadenza. It should seem to be improvised, even when it isn't.

  Senza mamma, o bimbo from Suor Angelica Giacomo Puccini

Puccini was one of the most successful operatic composers in history. Almost all of his operas were popular. He was a typical romantic in every sense of the word. His opeas were infused with drama, and they took place almost anywhere but his native Italy: France, Spain, China, America, and Japan. Suor Angelica (Sister Angelica) is a rare exception, taking place in an Italian convent.

Puccini loved la dolce vita, staying in the finest hotels, reveling in his adoration. He was basically a kind person, but was not above putting down the self-important. No-one was fonder of the great tenor Caruso than Caruso himself. On one occasion, when Caruso was dragging out his aria Chi son? Chi son? (Who am I?), Puccini called out, Sei un imbecile! (You're a fool!)

On another occasion, he was luxuriating in his hotel suite in pajamas when the desk-clerk informed him that there was a young lady waiting to see him. He asked what she was like, and when informed that she was charming, had her shown up. He asked her to wait while he changed into something more formal. Upon returning, he found her standing stark naked! His immediate thought was that she was mad, and was about to ring for security, when he reflected that it could be dangerous to oppose the will of a lunatic, and he decided that it was better not to do so.

Il Trittico, the "Triptych," comprises three one-act operas, Il Tabarro (The Cloak), Suor Angelica (Sister Angelica), and Gianni Schicchi. The group was first performed at the Metropolitan in New York. Of the three, the last one gained the greates popularity, but Puccini's own favorite was said to be Suor Angelica.

The story is quite simple. Seven years before the opera begins, Angelica had committed a sin which shamed her family and she had been banished to a convent. Since she arrived, she had been praying for word of her family. Her aunt, a Princess, appears to explain that her parents have died and she has brought papers to sign. Angelica asks for news of her son and is told that he has died. The aria we hear today is her response to that sad news.

Without your mother, my baby, you died.
Your lips, without my kisses,
Faded and grew old.
Oh my baby, and your closed lovely eyes.

She mixes a poisonous potion and drinks it. But just then, she realizes that she has committed a mortal sin, and will never see her child again. She prays for forgiveness, and the Virgin appears with the child, who takes two steps toward Angelica, who falls dead at that moment.

  Mein Herr Marquis ("The Laughing Song" from Die Fledermaus Johann Strauss, Jr.

Die Fledermaus (The Bat) is a Viennese Singspiel, or operetta. The structure of a Singspiel is similar to that of a Broadway musical, in that spoken dialogue is common. Recordings of Singspiele usually omit the spoken part, which makes it hard to follow the plot, especially, as in the case of Die Fledermaus, when there are characters who have NO singing parts, and sometimes long speeches.

Often, foreign titles are translated to English even when the work is sung in the original language: we frequently see The Marriage of Figaro, and then hear it in Italian. The case of Die Fledermaus is the opposite. We use the German title even when it is sung in English. This isbecause it was thought that few people would go to see a musical called The Bat.

There is no vampire in The Bat. In fact, the title refers to an event which occurred before the curtain rises. Dr. Falke, a notary, had gone to a costume ball dressed as a bat. He drank too much and, when he passed out, his friends laid him out on the sidewalk so that he awoke in full costume to the derisive shouts of the school children. Ever since then, he was jeered at as "Doctor Bat" wherever he went. The plot of the operetta pivots on Dr. Falke's wish to get even with Eisenstein, chief perpetrator of the joke. The work is full of mistaken identities as all the participants show up at a ball in disguise, and each reveals what he or she shouldn't to the wrong person.

Eisenstein's maid, Adele, goes to the ball disguised as a real lady, and the Marquis mistakes her for his maid. Of course, she IS his maid, but she is dressed very elegantly, in Eisenstein's wife's gown. Everyone tells him he is very un-gallant to tell her that she looks like a maid. Adele then admonishes him for being so unobservant.

"My dear Marquis, a man like you ought to know better than that. Let me therefore advise you to look at people more closely. My hand is too tiny to behold, my foot too small and graceful! My speech, so refined, my dainty waist and elegant figure, you'll never find a lady's maid who has these things!"

She describes her beauty, her perfect Grecian profile, her shapeliness, all punctuated by her laughter. How could the Marquis have mistaken a person like her for a mere maid?

  Horn Concerto No. 1 in E-Flat Major, Op. 11 Richard Strauss

Richard Strauss was the sone of a well-known horn player and composer. His father, Franz Strauss was better known as a performer than as a composer in his own time. He played first horn in the Munich Court Orchestra, and was one of the greates horn players of all time.

The elder Strauss played Wagner beautifully, but he didn't like that music. He was very conservative in his musical tastes, and it is surprising that he played Wagner's music so well, while he disapproved of it. He apparently was a rude curmudgeon. Wagner is reported to have remarked, "Strauss is a detestable fellow, but when he plays the horn, you can't be angry with him."

The young Richard grew up developing a great love for the horn, and eventually grew to admire Wagner's music greatly... to the despair of his father. In fact, Franz Strauss never fully appreciated the compositions of his son. Commenting on Richard's Symphonia domestica, he said that "It's like having your pants full of June bugs."

Richard wrote this concerto at a point in his life before he became enamored of Wagner's music, and there are reasons to suspect that he intended to dedicate it to his father. Instead, he dedicated it to Oscar Franz, another younger horn player. His father never played it, although he did read through it while Richard played the orchestral part on a piano. The elder Strauss complained that it had "too many high notes," and would be difficult to play.

It must be pointed out that in the days of Franz Strauss, the horn had no valves. For such instruments, composers often took advantage of the fact that the harmonics are more closely spaced in the upper register, but still that makes a valveless horn hard to play. (In one of Bach's pieces written for a valveless trumpet, a player of that instrument couldn't be found, so a saxophone was substituted. In that high register, nobody noticed the difference!)

In Richard's day, the horns had valves, and it may be that before publishing this piece some alterations were made to take advantage of that development. His father's cool reception of that work might have persuaded Strauss to alter it and dedicate it to a more appreciative performer. The elder Strauss said it was too difficult. Actually, it was impossible, because Richard had specified a "Waldhorn," which is valveless. But the work, as written, cannot be played on such an instrument.

I might be reading a good deal into that strange specification, but it seems possible that Richard was writing a piece for his father, who played valveless horns, and when he met with rejection, he published it for the modern horn, and re-thought the dedication.

The concerto is in the traditional three movements, but there is no complete gap between the first two (Allegro-Andante). There is the customary gap between the second and third movements (Allegro-Rondo). The performer's agility is certainly put to the test in the exhilarating finale.

  Fantasie-Variations on a Dowland Ayre James Sochinski
(b. ca.1947)

James Sochinski hold a B.M. from the University of Missouri/Columbia, a M.M. in Composition from the Peabody Conservatory of Music, and a Ph.D. in Music Theory from the University of Miami.

He was Director of Bands at Virginia Tech from 1978 to 1990, during which time he shaped the band, both musically and visually, establishing innovations which have become traditional. He had been a musician in the U.S. Army Field Band, where he had also been an arranger, which led him to provide The Marching Virginians with hundreds of new arrangements in many genres from classical works, to rock and jazz standards, as well as movie themes.

Dr. Sochinski was described by the Virginia Tech web site as follows: "The tremendous influence of Uncle Jim on the band remains the single most important element in the growth and development of The Marching Virginians in their thirty-two year history. Musical traditions, performance traditions, and the unique stylistic qualities of the band can all be attributed to the visionary leadership and innovative musical skill of James Sochinski."

Sochinski teaches Form and Analysis, Microcomputer Applications in Music, Band Arranging, and Colloquial in the University Honors College.

The composer supplied the following information about this work:

Fantasie-Variations on a Dowland Ayre is based on the Renaissance lute song "Flow, my Tears," published by John Dowland in 1600. The Dowland pavanne (sic) has been set by many composers, including William Byrd and Thomas Morley, and was recorded by pop artist Sting in 2006. Fantasie-Variations... was composed to honor Professor Lawrence Sutherland upon his retirement, "to celebrate his four decades as conductor, performer, teacher, and above all, musician." The work was premiered by the California State University Fresno Alumni Wind Ensemble during a tour of the UK in 2006, concluding with a performance at the Londond International Wind Band Festival with Jay Crone as trombone soloist.


Manchester Symphony Orchestra Personnel

  Violin I
Dessie Arnold, Concertmaster
Sarah Hao
Alyssa Loos +^
Elizabeth Smith
Liisa Wiljer

Violin II
Joyce Dubach *
Lois Clond
Linda Kummernuss
Rachel Nowak +^
Paula Merriman
Colleen Patrick

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

Robert Lynn *
Najah Monroe +^
Timothy Spahr

Darrel Fiene *
Katie Huddleston +^

Barbi Pyrah

Kathy Davis *
Barbi Pyrah

George Donner *
Nyssa Tierney
Lila D. Hammer *
Mark W. Huntington
Sarah Leininger +^

Bass Clarinet
Angela Ebert +

Erich Zummack *
Elena Bohlander +^

John Morse *
Carol Campos +^
Kristen Hoffman +^
Kelly Weeks +^

Steven Hammer *
Dennis Ulrey

Jon Hartman *
Andrew Suhre
Larry Dockter

Dave Robbins *

Dave Robbins *
Katie Lowther +
Christopher Teeters +

* Denotes principal
+ Denotes MC student
^ Denotes Keister Scholarship recipient
** Denotes assistant principal
Jeremiah SandersJeremiah Sanders (baritone), is a sophomore Manchester College student from Marion, Indiana, majoring in Music Education and Vocal Performance. He is the son of Jennifer Sanders and Richie King, Sr.

Jeremiah grew up singing in gospel choirs. He was excited when he sang his first solo when he was seven at church. In elementary school, he always said that he wanted to be a singer. In the fourth grade, he sang his first school solo in "Pizza Love." In middle school he participated in Panther's Choir, Color Guard, McCulloch Middle School's Choir, and Orchestra.

At Marion High School, Jeremiah got involved in the 26th Street Innovations Show Choir. He became the Dance Captain his Junior year and President his Senior year. Being a part of show choir gave him the opportunity to perform and share his passion of singing and dancing with others. Jeremiah got involved with acting in high school as well. He joined the Community School of the Arts and Tap Danced at Jamie Bragg's Signature Dance. Jeremiah enjoyed dancing and being involved with various activities and he continues at Manchester. He is the president of a new club, iDance Party, and is a resident assistant. Last year, he gained the role of the Courier in Manchester College's production of 1776. Jeremiah wants to graduate and be a successful music educator. He also wants to perform at some point in his career. His ultimate goal in life is to be a positive influential force that helps others.
Sarah LeiningerSarah Leininger is a sophomore at Manchester College from Timberville, Virginia, majoring in Biology-Chemistry, general music, and math. She is a member of the Manchester Symphony Orchestra, Manchester College Symphonic Band and a member of the College Jazz ensemble.

Since Sarah began playing the clarinet in sixth grade, she has played in many bands. She was a member of the Broadway High School Wind Symphony and Marching Band, which earned the title of a Virginia Honor Band two of her four years there. She was a member of the All-Virginia symphonic band her senior year and the All-Virginia concert band her junior year, in addition to membership in VBODA District V honor bands for 6 years; including two years as the principal clarinetist in the top band. Sarah is also a member of the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Concert Band under the direction of Mr. Bill Posey from James Madison University.

In addition to her studies at Manchester College, Sarah finds time at college to manage her herd of registered full-blood Boer goats and to coordinate the largest Boer goat sale in the state of Virginia. After graduation from Manchester, Sarah plans to go to graduate school to study to become a large animal veterinarian.
Cassandra WhitakerCassandra Whitaker, 22, enrolled at Manchester College in 2008. After briefly studying visual art, she began studying vocal performance under the tutelage of Debra Lynn. Cassandra has performed as a soloist singing Lakme at Manchester College in 2009, a featured singer in Handel's Messiah with the Manchester Symphony Orchesetra in 2010, and as Martha Jefferson in Manchester College's performance of 1776 in 2011. She also sings in A Cappella Choir, Chamber Singers and at Manchester College.

She recently was the featured soloist on STeven Melillo's David, a major work for symphonic wind band and soprano. The performance was with the  Fort Wayne Area Community Band spring concert at Auer Hall on the campus of IPFW. Upon graduation she plans to pursue her Master of Arts in Vocal Performance and begin her professional career as a performer.
Christen AdlerChristen Adler, a native of Covington, Virginia, is an active performer with an emerging reputation across the country. Now residing in Colorado, she performs regularly with the Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra, the Fort Collins Symphony Orchestra, the Apollo Chamber Brass, various other chamber groups, and the Manchester Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of her father, Scott Humphries.

She received her formal musical training from Virginia Tech (BA) and the University of Michigan (MM). Even as a student, Christen's professional performing credits included the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, Dearborn Symphony Orchestra, Lynchburg Opera, and the Virginia Tech Brass Ensemble.

Her primary teachers include highly acclaimed jazz hornist and former 4th horn with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Adam Unsworth, Detroit Symphony Orchestra member Bryan Kennedy, Abigail Pack, Associate Professor of Horn at University of North Carolina, Greensboro, and Wallace Easter, Associate Professor of Horn at Virginia Tech.

Christen recently toured China with the University of Michigan Symphony Band and is a performer on their latest CD, Artifacts. She currently lives in Greeley, Colorado, with her husband and noted trumpeter John Adler, along with their Australian Shepherd, Luna, and beloved Cat, Alex Humphries.
Jay CroneJay Crone, associate professor and head of the Department of Music, joined the Virginia Tech music faculty in 1994. Mr. Crone has performed as a trombonist and euphoniumist with many symphony orchestras and bands throughout the United States, including the Roanoka (VA) Symphony Orchestra and the Fresno (CA) Philharmonic Orchestra. He is currently the Principal Trombonist of the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, Opera Roanoke, and the Wintergreen Festival Orchestra, the orchestra-in-residence at the Wintergreen Performing Arts Festival. He also performs with the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival Orchestra in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

As a trombone and euphonium soloist, Crone has appeared with bands from California, Virginia, and other states, in addition to many performances as a featured soloist in concerts in the United Kingdom. In 2011 he performed recitals in Bristol and Ipswich, England, that featured the music of Philip Wilby and the world premier of a new work for trombone and organ, Chaconne Piangendo, by James Sochinski. A frequent collaborator with his Virginia Tech composition colleagues, Crone performed Ico Bukvic's Derelicts of Time for trombone and multimedia at the 2010 MusicAcoustica Festival in Beijing, China, in addition to contemporary music festivals in New York City, Cincinnati, and Kansas City in 2008 and 2009. In 2006 he premiered James Sochinski's Fantasie-Variations on a Dowland Ayre for trombone and band with the CSU Fresno Alumni Wind Ensemble during their tour of England under the direction of Dr. Lawrence Sutherland.

Crone is also aregular chamber music performer and has been featured at many conferences and festivals, including the Eastern Trombone Workshop, Southeast Regional Horn Workshop, Wintergreen Performing Arts Festival, and the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival, in addition to performances with the Kandinsky Trio and the Audubon Quartet. He has performed as a trombone and euphonium soloist and collaborative pianist in recitals in California, Virginia, West Virginia, South Carolina, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, among others.

A unite aspect of Mr. Crone's msuical career has been his dual role as both a trombonist/euphoniumist and pianist. He has been a collaborative pianist in voice and instrumental recitals throughout the United States, most recently performing with Ronald Barron, former principal trombone of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Tim Smith, second trombone of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Harold Van Schaik, bass trombone of the Florida Orchestra, Wallace Easter, principal horn of the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, John McGinnis, bass trombone of the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, and Donna Parkes, principal trombone of the Louisville Orchestra.

Originally from California, Crone received degrees from the University of Souther California, Yale University, and California State University at Fresno. As a trombonist, he has studied with Terry Cravens, John Swallow, Larry Sutherland, Byron Peebles, Ralph Sauer, and David Taylor. His piano teachers included Kevin Fitzgerald, Elizabeth Sawyer-Parisot, and the late Philip Lorenz. Before coming to Virginia Tech, Crone was a visiting assistant professor of music at Humboldt State University in Arcata, California.