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Second Concert of the 80th Season

Holiday Pops!

Sunday, December 9th, 2018
Cordier Auditorium
Scott Humphries, Conductor

  A Festive Fanfare for Symphony Orchestra Brian Balmages  
  Music from Frozen Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
arr. Bob Krogstad
  Fantasy on Two French Christmas Carols César Frank
arr. Clark McAlister
  The Huron Carol arr. Andrew Wainwright  
  Sleigh Ride Leroy Anderson  
  Christmas Singalong John Finnegan  
  We Three Kings John Henry Hopkins, Jr.
arr. Matt Riley
  Elizabeth Smith, violin  
  The Nutcracker Suite No. 1, Op. 71a Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky  

I. Ouverture miniature (Miniature Overture)
II. Danses caractéristiques (Characteristic Dances)
-- a) Marche (March)
-- b) Danse de la fée-dragée (Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairy)
-- c) Danse russe: Trépak (Russian Dance)
-- d) Danse arabe (Arabian Dance)
-- e) Danse chinoise (Chinese Dance)
-- f) Danse des mirlitons (Dance of the Reed Flutes)
III. Valse des fleurs (Waltz of the Flowers)

  with students from the Wabash Valley Dance Theater  

The Adams Program Notes by James R. C. Adams

  A Festive Fanfare for Symphony Orchestra Brian Balmages
(b. 1975)

Brian Balmages is a versatile man: a composer, conductor, arranger, and performer. He graduated with a B.A. in music from James Madison University in Virginia, and received his Master's Degree from the University of Miami in Florida. He specializes in wind instruments, particularly brass, and enjoys working with school orchestras. He has played with professional symphony orchestras, and his music has been performed by many important orchestras, such as the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, and many others.

As a conductor, he has worked mostly with bands, especially with regional band clinics, such as the Midwest Clinic, the Western International Band Clinic, the College Band Directors Eastern Regional Conference, and others.

The work we hear today combines original melodies with several holiday favorites, which you will all recognize. This is a form Balmages has worked with more than once. In fact, five years ago his Fantasia on We Three Kings was performed by this orchestra, and it had the same combination of original music and familiar themes from other Christmas music.

  Music from Frozen Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
(b. 1972, b. 1975)
arr. Bob Krogstad

Frozen was, of course, a highly successful full-length animated film. Those singing the main roles were Kristen Bell as Anna and Idina Menzel as Elsa. This was a very ambitious production with a sense of three dimensions. That is, the "camera" appeared to move around the characters. One might imagine that an animated film would save the company money, since few actors would be required simply to do voice-overs for the characters. That is not true.

I was lucky to be invited to meet the script writer, Chris Buck, for lunch in Fort Wayne, along with several people from the Cinema Center who knew Buck well, and that was how it came about that I was included in that small group. Buck was very personable and open to questions, of which we had many.

Getting back to the notion of animation being a cheap way to make a full-length film, because few real actors are involved, Mr. Buck explained a lot about how the film was made. There were 58 actors with principal speaking parts. There were eight more actors with minor roles. There were at least 179 animators, not to mention hundreds of special effects experts. More people are involved in such animated films than one finds in standard film productions.

The score for Frozen was composed by Christophe Beck, a Canadian born in Montréal and graduated from the Crescent School in Toronto. He studied music at Yale University, and later at the University of Southern California where he was taught by famed writer of film music, Jerry Goldsmith. The music and lyrics to the songs included in this arrangement were written by the duo of Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, who won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for "Let it Go." They both also wrote the Academy Award-winning song "Remember Me" from another Disney movie, Coco.

The arranger of this music was Bob Krogstad, an American, who has won many awards, such as the Dove award, and numerous Standard awards from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers. He served as musical director for both Natalie Cole and Mel Torme, for whom he conducted over thirty symphony orchestras.

Mr. Krogstad died three years ago. He was known as "Mr. Christmas" because of his many beautiful arrangements of Christmas Music.

  Fantasy on Two French Christmas Carols César Franck
arr. Clark McAlister
(b. 1946)

Clark McAlister is a music editor and arranger. In 1977, he went to study under Frederick Fennell at the University of Miami. He joined the Florida Philharmonic as Assistant Conductor, Librarian, and Personnel Manager. In 1998, he became Vice President of Kalmus Music Publishers when Joan Galison, President of that company, retired. Leon Galison then became president, and McAlister became Vice President. He had met the Galisons in 1979 at a party given by the orchestra's conductor, Emerson Buckley.

Although most of McAlister's output is represented by arrangements of other composers' work, he also has created a number of pieces of original music, mostly for wind ensembles of one sort or another.

In 1991, he wrote Elegia para Quijote y Quijana, diferecias (variation) sobre Cervantes, and Hogarthiana: A Summer Flourish. In 1996, he wrote Bright Star for large woodwind ensemble (23 players), and in 1997 he wrote Symphonies de Noël for winds.

Today, we hear one of McAlister's many arrangements based on other composers' works -- in this case, César Franck.

  The Huron Carol arr. Andrew Wainwright
(b. 1981)

The Huron Carol is a Canadian carol, probably written in 1642 by Jean de Brébeuf, a Jesuit missionary at Sainte-Marie among the Hurons in Canada. He write the lyrics in the native language of the Huron. The song's melody is based on a traditional French folk-song. The English lyrics were written in 1926 by Jesse Edgar Middleton.

This arrangement was written by Andrew Wainwright, an English composer (active on both sides of the Atlantic), editor of the British Bandsman magazine, as well as Artistic Advisor to the Illinois Brass Band and President of the Dallas Brass Band.

Mr. Wainwright is a versatile man, holding a B.A. Music degree from Middlesex University, a degree in Graphic Design from the University of Bedfordshire, and a degree in Art and Design from Central Saint Martins.

His musical interest lies principally in brass band works, He also produces videos which feature a view of the score, the pages of which turn as the orchestra plays the work.

  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. At the same time, I, too, was stationed in Fort Bragg in Counter-Intelligence, also working as a linguist, but I wrote no music.

Anderson 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 (hallmarks of the newspaper editor) and pretending to be typing in time with the music.

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

  We Three Kings John Henry Hopkins Jr.
arr. Matt Riley

Matthew Riley is a Minneapolis-based composer and arranger. He has always had a great interest in music -- writing it as well as playing it. He grew up in a house without television and entertained himself by playing the piano.

He spent four years studying at North Central University in Minneapolis, and toured with university pop groups. Then he spent two more years studying composition and arranging at the University of Mobile. He has scored music for documentary films, for TV commercials, and worked on music for NBC's "The Voice." His arrangements have been heard in theaters, churches, schools, and performed by orchestras in the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. He currently is the music director for a large church and lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with his family.

  The Nutcracker Suite No. 1, Op. 71a Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky

Although considered a Romantic composer, Tchaikovsky had a great respect for Classical form as can be heard in his many symphonies. He wrote in many genres, including opera, concerto, chamber music, theatre overture, and, of course, ballet. Of all his music, probably the most famous works are the 1812 Overture and The Nutcracker Suite. One of his greatest strengths is his rich orchestration, and he is credited with the introduction of many unusual instruments to serious music.

The Nutcracker was the first successful work to use the celesta, and thus introduced it to the public. (The celesta is a keyboard instrument in which mallets strike metal bars placed over wooden resonators. It has a pleasant tinkling sound.)

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. The Suite is a selection of pieces from the ballet, and includes the following:

Overture Miniature sets the mood: delicate and light-hearted, appropriate to the fancies of a child. The celesta can be heard near the end of this movement.

March shows the full power of the orchestra, with brass and percussion resounding, underpinned by the pizzicato strings, a typical Tchaikovsky touch. It is in the Dance of the Sugar-plum Fairy that the celesta makes its most impressive 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 was combined with a full orchestra.

Of all the selections of the ballet, the Trepak is the most Russian. Even in a concert performance, one can imagine the spectacular leaping of the leather-booted Cossacks. The full orchestra is heard here in all its richness.

The Arabian Dance is scored mainly for the woodwinds and muted strings, though the tambourine is occasionally heard. The plaintive cry of the oboe recalls the sound of the Middle-Eastern shawm, reflecting the Romantic obsession with the exotic. The exoticism of the Arabian Dance is echoed in the Chinese Dance with the use of the glockenspiel and the triangle. Mirlitons are musical instruments rather like kazoos, played by children. In the full ballet version, the score calls for these "toy flutes," but in the suite real flutes are used.

The Waltz of the Flowers may well be the most popular part of the Nutcracker Suite. It needs little comment.


Manchester Symphony Orchestra Personnel

  Violin I
Elizabeth Smith, Concertmaster
Kayla Michaels, Student concertmaster +^
Pryce Whisenhunt +^
Rachel Felver
Linda Kummernuss
Christy Thomson

Violin II
Joyce Dubach *
Paula Merriman
Hailey Schneider +
Lachlan Sharp +^
Nailea Ponce +^
Ally Roskos
Wendy Kleintank

Julie Sadler *
Margaret Sklenar
Colleen Phillips

Robert Lynn *
Anna Wright +^
Daniel Kubischta +^
Monique Hochstetler +^
Wallace Dubach

Darrel Fiene *
Katie Huddleston

Kathy Davis *
Jennifer Wagner +^
Kelly Hornbarger

George Donner *
Diane Whitacre

Lila D. Hammer *
Mark W. untington

Bass Clarinet
Mark W. Huntington
Erich Zummack *
Freddie Lapierre +^

John Morse *
Jamie Weidner
Tammy Sprunger
Barb Burdge

Steven Hammer *
Mykayla Neilson
Manuel Hernandez +^
Harley Ramsey +^

Jon Hartman *
Katrina Murray +^
Larry Dockter

Nathan Crain

David Robbins *
Joel Alexander +^
Mason McBride +
Jonah Lechlitner +^

Emily Goins

Alan Chambers

Tim Reed

* Denotes principal
+ Denotes MU student
^ Denotes Keister Scholarship recipient
** Denotes assistant principal