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Concert Program Cover

Second Concert of the 81st Season

Holiday Pops!

Sunday, December 8th, 2019
Cordier Auditorium
Scott Humphries, Conductor

  Concert Suite from The Polar Express Alan Silvestri
(arr. Brubaker)
 
       
  Sleigh Ride Leroy Anderson  
       
  Holiday Mash-Up arr. Patrick Roszell  
       
  How the Grinch Stole Christmas arr. Jerry Brubaker  
       
  God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen Traditional English Carol
(arr. Larson)
 
       
  Cantique de Jean Racine Gabriel Fauré
(transcr. Rutter)
 
       
  Russian Christmas Music Alfred Reed
(transcr. McAlister)
 
       
  Intermission  
       
  Gloria Antonio Vivaldi  
       
 

The Adams Program Notes

 
  Written by Dr. Robert Lynn  
       
  Concert Suite from The Polar Express Alan Silvestri
(b. 1950)
(arr. Jerry Brubaker)
 
 

Alan Silvestri is a prolific composer of film scores, and surely all of you have heard his music. Among his film scores are Forest Gump, Back to the Future, Cast Away, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Death Becomes Her, Contact, What Lies Beneath, Romancing the Stone, Cat's Eye, Fandango, The Abyss, Father of the Bride, The Bodyguard, Blown Away, Richie Rich, Judge Dredd, Stuart Little, The Mummy Returns, and, of course, The Polar Express.

Concert Suite from "The Polar Express" is a medley of four melodies from the film: "Believe" -- pensive and pleading, slower; "The Polar Express" -- suggesting a train, or course, quicker, with excitement, and a bit chaotic; "When Christmas Comes to Town" -- slower and quieter again, lyrical and expressive; "Spirit of the Season" -- unbridled festive spirit here, with quick temp, momentum surging forward, and soaring melodies that lead to a brief return of "Believe."


 
       
  Sleigh Ride Leroy Anderson
(1908-1975)
 
 

Leroy Anderson is best known for his attractive melodies and jaunty rhythms in such pieces as The Golden Years and The Syncopated Clock. Anderson studied composition at Harvard with Georges Enesco and Walter Piston. He was a linguist, specializing in German and Scandinavian languages, and served with the U.S. Intelligence in Iceland and in the U.S. during World War II. In addition to the well-known pieces mentioned, he wrote short works for unusual "instruments" such as the typewriter, sandpaper, and sleigh bells. Without a doubt, his most famous composition is Sleigh Ride.


 
       
  Holiday Mash-Up arr. Patrick Roszell
(b. 1976)
 
 

A mashup is usually a blending of parts of two or more songs, such as combining the rhythm and bass of one song and the melody of another, playing these parts simultaneously, resulting in something quite different than either of the original songs. In Holiday Mash-Up, Patrick Roszell has combined "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and "Jingle Bell Rock." However, here they are presented in what would better be termed a medley -- two or more songs heard in sequence.


 
       
  How the Grinch Stole Christmas arr. Jerry Brubaker
(b. 1946)
 
 

Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas was published in 1957 and was first adapted into an animated film in 1966. For those who are devotees of the 1966 film, none will likely forget the first time they saw the Grinch's wild sleigh ride down Mount Crumpit, or the irrepressible joy of the dog who lived under the Grinch's cruel oppression. A further adaptation was made in 2000, this time a "live-action" film. Jerry Brubaker's arrangement includes two songs from the 1966 film, "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" and "Welcome Christmas," and one song, "He Carves the Roast Beast," from the 2000 film.


 
       
  God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen Traditional English Carol
(arr. Lloyd Larson)
(orch. Brant Adams)
 
 

"God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen" is one of the oldest known Christmas carols, dating as far back as the 16th century. "God Rest Ye" is unusual in that it is in a minor key but conveys a joyous subject. Most Christmas carols in minor keys have haunting or mysterious subjects, such as "Coventry Carol" or "Let All Mortal Flesh." Lloyd Larson's arrangement presents the melody in a straightforward manner, with quiet intensity and simple lines. Larson has been an active composer and arranger for 30 years, and is especially known for his choral and instrumental works for church ensembles. An Illinois native, Larson received his Bachelor of Arts from Anderson University in Anderson, Indiana. Although he composed original works, he is probably best known for his arrangements of familiar melodies, such as "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen."


 
       
  Cantique de Jean Racine Gabriel Fauré
(1845-1924)
(transcr. John Rutter)
 
 

Fauré was one of the most important French composers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and he greatly influenced the next generation of French composers. A gifted melodist, he had a highly skilled approach to harmony that was rooted in traditions of the past but also looked toward the future. The text for Cantique de Jean Racine comes from a Latin hymn from the breviary (a liturgical prayer book). Jean Racine translated the Latin text into French. Evidently Fauré liked Racine's translation; hot only did he set that text to music, he used Racine's name in the title. Although Fauré created two orchestrations of the piece, the work only survives in a version for piano or organ. The version heard here is an adaptation of the piano/organ part by John Rutter. The work demonstrates traits typical of Fauré's style: slow, quiet, flowing lines that convey a quiet urgency. Fauré wrote Cantique when he was 19 years old, while he was attending the École Niedemeyer de Paris, a school for church music. Fauré won many prizes while a student there, including a premier prix for Cantique de Jean Racine.


 
       
  Russian Christmas Music Alfred Reed
(1921-2005)
(transcr. Clark McAlister)
 
 

Alfred Reed was one of America's great composers of the 20th century. Most of Reed's 200-plus works are for band; only a handful are for orchestra, and just a few for chorus. During World War II, Reed served in the Army Air Force Band; he attended the Julliard School of Music in New York City, and received bachelor and master's degrees from Baylor University. Reed's style is marked by complex and intense rhythms, stark contrasts of tempo and dynamics, and brilliant orchestrations that favor the darker instrumental colors. Many of his works are wholly original, but a number of his works are compositions based on pre-existing melodies. Although some of Reed's works are simpler arrangements, these are more original in that Reed treats the borrowed material freely, developing it symphonically, creating something larger, grander, and more complex than the original material. An excellent example of this style is his Armenian Dances, well known among the concert band community.

Russian Christmas Music is one of these types of pieces, which is based on a Russian carol, "Carol of the Russian Children." The piece can be divided into four sections: 1 -- "Carol of the Russian Children" -- This section is quiet and slow. 2 -- "Antiphonal Chant" -- quicker, becoming ever more frenzied until it crashes to an end. 3 -- "Village Song" -- Quieter and gentler, this section features the English horn and includes some gentle dance-like themes. 4 -- "Cathedral Chorus" -- The last section begins quietly, intended to suggest Eastern Orthodox liturgical music; it slowly builds to a tremendous climax, ending in a thunderous chorale.


 
       
  Gloria Antonio Vivaldi
(1678-1741)
 
 

Antonio Vivaldi was an Italian violinist and composer. He was born in Venice around 1675, the son of a locally esteemed violinist in the service of St. Mark's Cathedral. The known circumstances surrounding Vivaldi's youth and early manhood are meager, but is has been established that he was ordained to the priesthood in 1703. Folklore tells us that he was defrocked within a short time for interrupting a mass to dash to the sacristy and jot down a theme that had come to him at the altar.

As to Vivaldi's contribution to music, it needs only to be recalled that J.S. Bach was so entranced by his instrumental forms that he made them his own. Although he composed operas, cantatas, motets, and works in various other forms, it is by his violin concerti that Vivaldi is best known today. In the category of music for church, the present Gloria, "rediscovered" in the 1930s, is already recognized as an authentic masterwork.

The earliest manuscript of the Gloria dates from the fourth century, written in Greek for the Eastern Church. In its original form, it was a "private psalm" for the bishop's services. It was most likely introduced into the service of Communion in the Western Church in connection with the Christmas Vigil, because of its reference to the Song of Angels. However, since the eleventh century, it has been included in the festive services of the Church as hymn of praise and joy. It is the joy of believers in God's merciful goodness in sending his Son into the world. For a brief moment it stoops to invoke mercy and help for mankind, but then lifts the worshipper to a Trinitarian ascription of worship and praise to Christ and the Holy Ghost as "most high in the glory of God the Father."


 
       
 

Manchester Symphony Orchestra Personnel

 
  Violin I
Elizabeth Smith, Concertmaster
Pryce Whisenhunt, Student concertmaster +^
Kristin Westover
Pablo Vasquez
Ilona Orban

Violin II
Joyce Dubach *
Hailey Schneider +
Nailea Ponce +^
Kaitlin Graber +^
Linda Kummernuss

Viola
Liisa Wiljer *
Julie Sadler
Margaret Sklenar
Gabrielle Hochstetler +^

Cello
Robert Lynn *
Monique Hochstetler +^
Daniel Kubischta +^
Wallace Dubach

Bass
Darrel Fiene *
Katie Huddleston

Piccolo/Flute
Kathy Davis *
Jennifer Wagner +^

Oboe
George Donner *
Diane Whitacre

Clarinet
Lila D. Hammer *
Mark Huntington
Bassoon
Erich Zummack *

Horn
Matt Weidner *
Tammy Sprunger
Jamie Weidner
Barb Burdge

Trumpet
Steven Hammer *
Manuel Hernandez +^
Harley Ramsey +^

Trombone
Jon Hartman *
Katrina Murray +^
Alvaro Castillo +^
Kayla Carver +^

Tuba
Mason Kniola +^

Percussion
David Robbins *
Joel Alexander +^
Lydia Kelly +^
Jonah Lechlitner +^
Mason McBride +

Piano
Scott Humphries

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