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Concert Program Cover

Second Concert of the 76th Season

Magnificat: A Holiday Concert

Sunday, December 7th, 2014
Cordier Auditorium
Scott Humphries, Conductor

  Sleigh Ride Leroy Anderson  
  Scrooge music by Bryan Kelly
words by Charles Dickens
  Jordan Hersey as Charles Dickens  
  Highland Holiday arr. David Giardiniere  
  Eryn Lynn, dancer
Kathy Davis, pennywhistle
Mykayla Neilson, guitar
  Christmas Singalong John Finnegan  
  Magnificat in D Major, BWV 243 Johann Sebastian Bach  

I. Magnificat -- chorus
II. Et excultavit -- Mykayla Neilson, contralto
III. Quia respexit -- Erika Reffitt, soprano
IV. Omnes generationes -- chorus
V. Quia fecit mihi magna -- Michael Rueff, bass
VI. Et misericordia -- MacKenzi Lowry, contralto, and Clayton Marcum, tenor
VII. Fecit potentiam -- Chorus
VIII. Deposuit potentes -- Adam Ousley, tenor
IX. Esurientes implevit bonis -- RaeAnne Schoeffler, contralto
X. Suscepit Israel -- Erika Reffitt and Mykayla Neilson, sopranos, & RaeAnne Schoeffler, contralto
XI. Sicut locutus est -- chorus
XII. Gloria -- chorus

  Manchester Symphony Chorus
Debra Lynn, director

The Adams Program Notes by James R. C. Adams

  Sleigh Ride Leroy Anderson

Leroy Anderson was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1908, and died in Woodbury, Connecticut, in 1975. He studied composition at Harvard with George Enesco and Walter Piston. Anderson became very active in musical circles. He was chairman of the board of review of the American Society of Composers, and was a board member of the New Haven and Hartford symphony orchestras. He was a linguist, fluent in nine languages, but specializing in German and Scandinavian ones. He served with U.S. Intelligence in Iceland and in the United States during the Korean War in 1951. He was stationed at Fort Bragg, in North Carolina. While working there in Military Intelligence, he found time to write several of his most popular works, such as Blue Tango.

He is best known for his attractive melodies and jaunty rhythms in such pieces as The Syncopated Clock and Sleigh Ride. He was also notable for his use of unconventional instruments, as in The Typewriter and The Sandpaper Ballet (yes, a typewriter and sandpaper were both used as instruments).

Anderson had been discovered by Arthur Fiedler, director of the Boston Pops Orchestra, and was championed by Fiedler, who invited him to conduct his own works with that orchestra. When he conducted The Typewriter, he did so wearing a green visor, with his sleeves rolled up, and pretending to be typing in time with the music.

Sleigh Ride is perhaps the most often performed Anderson work. The Manchester Symphony Orchestra plays it very often during the Holidays.

  Scrooge Bryan Kelly
(b. 1934)

Bryan Kelly is an English composer, born in Oxford in 1934. He has composed for a wide variety of instruments, but favored the winds. One of his more richly orchestrated works is his Oxford Scherzo for concert band.

Mr. Kelly is widely traveled, and has been influenced by the music of many places, having written such pieces as the Cuban Suite, The New Orleans Suite, and an overture Provence. His first success was an Overture to the Latin Quarter (New Orleans), but perhaps his most significant work is his Stabat Mater.

He spent a year in Washington where he taught at the American University. He also taught counterpoint and orchestration for twenty-two years at the Royal College of Music in London. Among his more famous teachers was Nadia Boulanger, in Paris, who taught such well-known students as Leonard Bernstein and Burt Bacharach.

Kelly manages to condense Dickens' A Christmas Carol into a work only about twenty minutes long. The music is lively from the start, and consists of short musical pieces punctuated by narration. The pieces alternate between lively and menacing, depending on the story. There are touches of Prokofiev here and there, and a definite reminder of Saint-Saëns' Danse Macabre with screeching violins at one point. The orchestration is rich, with much percussion.

Unconventional instruments have been used often in serious music: an airplane engine in a work by George Antheil, a typewriter in a work by Leroy Anderson, cannons in a work by Beethoven, but this is the first time I've heard chains used as a musical instrument. At one point in this work, as the ghost of Marley starts up the stairs from the basement, we can hear the eerie dragging of chains. For a concert in Ireland, the chains made it through British airport security, but were confiscated by the Irish officials on the return trip as being "dangerous weapons."

  Magnificat in D Major, BWV 243 Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach is so well-known that it is almost unnecessary to give any biographical information. He was the quintessential Baroque composer, whose lifetime represents the era of the Baroque as far as music is concerned. He was extremely prolific, having sired twenty children, not to mention his musical output. Apparently, some of his children were not very good-looking, and one of his acquaintances told him so. Bach's response was reported to be "Don't be too critical; I was working in the dark." Nobody has been known to have made a similar criticism of his music.

Known cantatas number over 200, and that is counting only the church cantatas. Far more of his works have been lost than have been saved. He was a master organist and acoustical expert, being able to assess the characteristics of churches and concert halls so as to set the registration of every organ and every composition to be debuted there to take full advantage of the acoustics.

In addition to the enormous number of solo keyboard works, Bach produced concertos and orchestral suites, as well as major choral works, such as the St. Matthew Passion, the St. John Passion, the Christmas Oratorio, the Easter Oratorio, the Mass in B Minor, and, of course, the work we hear today, the Magnificat.

The Magnificat was probably written for the Christmas Day vespers of 1723, but Bach altered it both in key and orchestration, shifting from E-flat to D, and substituting transverse flutes for recorders. He left out several hymns with specific reference to the Christmas story, presumably to make it appropriate for performance at occasions other than Christmas.

I. Magnificat anima mea Dominum:

II. Et exsultavit spiritus meus in Deo salutari meo.

III. Quia respexit humilitatem ancillae suae: Ecce enim ex hoc beatam me dicent--

IV. Omnes generationes.

V. Quia fecit mihi magna qui potens est: Et sanctum nomen eius.

VI. Et misericordia a progenie in progenies Timentibus eum.

VII. Fecit potentiam in bracchio suo: Dispersit superbos mente cordis sui.

VIII. Deposuit potentes de sede: Et exaltavit humiles.

IX. Esurientes implevit bonis: Et divites dimisit inanes.

X. Suscepit Israel puerum suum. Recordatus misericordiae suae.

XI. Sicut locutus est ad patres nostros, Abraham et semini eius in saecula.

XII. Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui sancto, Sicut erat in principio et nunc et semper, Et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.
I. My soul doth magnify the Lord.

II. And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.

III. For He hath regarded the low estate of His handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth [all Generations] shall call me blessed.

IV. All generations.

V. For He that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is His Name.

VI. And His mercy is on them that fear Him from generation unto generation.

VII. He hath shewed strength with His arm; He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.

VIII. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.

IX. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich He hath sent empty away.

X. He hath holpen His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy;

XI. As He spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.

XII. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be: world without end. Amen.
  Highland Holiday arr. David Giardiniere
(b. 1959)

The Highland Holiday is a medley of three Scottish songs orchestrated by David Giardiniere, an American composer and arranger living with his wife near Philadelphia. He is the head of the Product Evaluation Department at J.W. Pepper & Son, the Director of Music at Faith Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, DE, and a vocalist with Voces Novae et Antiquae of Philadelphia. He holds a PhD in Music and Choral Conducting from New York University.

This seems to be the day for unusual musical instruments. We have the chain in Scrooge, and now we have the pennywhistle and the bodhrán in Highland Holiday.

The bodhrán is basically a drum. It has evolved from the tambourine and in Ireland, at any rate, began as a home-made farm tool for winnowing grain, or even carrying peat! In all its forms, it is a circular wooden frame, sometimes with cross-braces inside, with skin stretched over it. Versions of it can be found throughout the Middle East and North Africa. In those places, and elsewhere in Britain, it goes by other names, and is slightly different in each place.

Although these drums, or variants, have an early history, the sort we know today is of very recent times, having become popular in the 1960s. Where then bodhrán differs from other tambourine-like instruments is that it is tunable to a certain extent. The drumhead can be tightened or loosened to change its pitch, and, while earlier versions were often "played" with the fingers, most of them, and now all of the Celtic ones, are played with a "tipper," or cipin, a wooden beater in the shape of a bone (in older versions) but more like a standard drumstick in more recent ones. Also, the modern versions lack the jingles of the tambourine, which were sometimes made with pennies. Seán Ó Riada declared the bodhrán to be the native drum of the Celts, and, though generally associated with Irish music, it is also popular in Scotland.

Speaking of pennies, the so-called "pennywhistle" is, like the bodhrán, a very old instrument, and, like other old instruments, has had many versions over the years. The pennywhistle is also known as the tin whistle, for obvious reasons, but it is most often made of brass these days. Physically, the pennywhistle or tin whistle is a tube, like a recorder, but with only six holes. It was called a pennywhistle because it originally cost a penny, and like the harmonica and the kazoo, started pretty much as a toy. A penny in those days was worth more than it is today. Even when I was studying in England, I occasionally came across a half-penny (pronounced "hay-penny") and even a farthing. So the "pennywhistle" cost about a quarter in U.S. money.

Both the pennywhistle and the bodhrán were used by Howard Shore in his "Concerning Hobbits" from The Lord of the Rings film trilogy.


Manchester Symphony Orchestra Personnel

  Violin I
Elizabeth Smith, Concertmaster
Thomas Dean +^
Kristine Papillon
Linda Kummernuss

Violin II
Joyce Dubach *
Rachel Nowak
Paula Merriman
Alexandria Roskos +^

Julie Sadler *
Carrie Shank +^
Margaret Sklenar
Renée Neher +^
Olivia Jenks +^

Robert Lynn *
Michael Rueff +^
Robert Hudson

Darrel Fiene *
Katie Huddleston +^

Kathy Davis *
Kathy Urbani
Alyssa Rocheck +^

George Donner *
Nyssa Tierney

Lila D. Hammer *
Mark W. Huntington
Angela Ebert +^
Bass Clarinet
Angela Ebert +^

Erich Zummack *
Freddie Lapierre +^

Christen Adler *
John Morse
Dana Dillon +^

Steven Hammer *
John Adler
Mykayla Neilson +^
Grant Ebert +^
Matthew Walters

Jon Hartman *
Chris Hartman +^
Larry Dockter

David Dicken +^

Dave Robbins *

Dave Robbins *
Mackenzi Lowry +^#
Kevin Friermood +^
Grant Ebert +^

Jaclyn Wappel

Alan Chambers

* Denotes principal
+ Denotes MU student
^ Denotes Keister Scholarship recipient
# Denotes assistant to the Director

Manchester Symphony Chorus and University A Cappella Choir

Beverly Eikenberry
Kathy Fry-Miller
Sandy Funk
McKenzie Hare
Karen Hartman
Emilie Hunt *
Shannon Lee
Addie Neher
Erika Reffitt *
Carrie Shank
Bailey Short

Ashley Dobrzykowski
Lana Groombridge
Katherine Haff
Pat Hoover
Hailee Kimbrell
MacKenzi Lowry
Britney March *
Mykayla Neilson *
RaeAnne Schoeffler
Tamara Sriver
Joy Stiffler
Janina Traxler
Whitney White
Lucas Al-Zoughbi
Angela Ebert *
Ron Finney
Paul Fry-Miller
Clayton Marcum
Adam Ousley *
John Planer
Donnie Watkins
Jeremy Williams

Scott Avery
Tarek Al-Zoughbi
Jacob Archambault
Josh Dold
Grant Ebert *
Kevin Friermood
Christopher McAleavey
Caleb Noffsinger
Josh Plank
Michael Rueff *
Hamilton Sadler

Debra Lynn, conductor
Angela Ebert, student conductor
Alan Chambers, pianist/organist
Elizabeth Smith, pianist

* Denotes section leader
Jordan HerseyJordan Hersey loves music and performing on stage, whether it's acting, singing and dancing, or even just talking. As a current student at Huntington North High School, he has been in many musical performances and has appeared in the high school's variety show three years running.

He resides in Huntington, Indiana. His parents are Debbie and Randall Hersey, and he is the youngest of four children.

Jordan shares, "Anytime I have the chance to get on stage, I jump at the opportunity. I hope you enjoy the wonderful music played by the Manchester Symphony Orchestra! Now sit back and enjoy the show!"