Concert Music - Spring 23

In Tantum Lux (the only light) - Todd Stalter

About the Composer: (b. 1966) Composer-conductor Todd Stalter is currently the Director of Bands at Eureka High School in Eureka, IL, and serves as Chair of the Department of Fine Arts for CUSD #140.  Awards for Mr. Stalter’s music include five ASCAPlus awards for excellence in music composition. Many of his works appear on national and international contest and festival lists, and his work “Poeme” was selected for inclusion in Volume 7 of “Teaching Music through Performance in Band,” an educational reference series published by GIA. Todd Stalter received his Bachelor of Music Education (cum laude) and Master of Music in Trumpet Performance from Illinois State University.

About the Music: Commissioned by the Illinois Music Educators Association Band Division, Kris Cox, Vice-President, in memory of Gloria Winkleman. This piece was written as a memorial and celebration honoring the life of music educator Gloria Winkelman. Gloria taught in a small school her entire career and persevered through the challenges and unique demands that teaching small school bands presents. The piece also serves as a celebration of every band student and teacher in small schools everywhere who may not have the resources to have a full ensemble, yet strive every day to experience the joy of making music to the fullest just the same. 

This piece is in the form of A-B-A. The opening A material is fast and rhythmic while the B section is contrasting with slow and connected material. The A section returns with a variation at the end for an energetic ending.

Blue and Green Music - Samuel R. Hazo

About the Music: The stunning artwork of Georgia O'Keeffe is no more apparent than in her famous 1921 painting entitled Blue and Green Music. Fittingly commissioned by the Patrick Marsh Middle School in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin (O'Keeffe's birthplace), Samuel Hazo does an amazing job of portraying subtle as well as bold colors in musical terms. 

Based on a single theme that is manipulated and varied throughout, the piece progresses from delicate mallet percussion effects up to climatic impact points for the entire ensemble. O'Keeffe explained her idea that “music could be translated into something for the eye.” And Mr. Hazo succeeds wonderfully in translating it back into something for the ear! 

About the Composer: (b. 1966) Samuel R. Hazo resides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with his wife and children. In 2003, Mr. Hazo became the first composer in history to be awarded the winner of both composition contests sponsored by the National Band Association.  His piece Mountain Thyme was an Honorable Mention for the 2013 CBDNA Composition Contest.  He has composed for the professional, university, and public school levels in addition to writing original scores for television, radio, and the stage. His original symphonic compositions include performances with actors Brooke Shields, James Earl Jones, and Richard Kiley. 

In 2004, Mr. Hazo's compositions were listed in a published national survey of the "Top Twenty Compositions of All Time" for wind band.  He is a member of ASCAP and recipient of multiple ASCAPlus Awards.  Dr. Jack Stamp, in his final year of teaching at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, produced a recorded compilation of Hazo’s music. 

Foundry - John Mackey

About the Composer: (b. 1973) John Mackey has written for orchestras (Brooklyn Philharmonic, New York Youth Symphony), theater (Dallas Theater Center), and extensively for dance (Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Parsons Dance Company, New York City Ballet), but the majority of his work for the past decade has been for wind ensembles (the fancy name for concert bands), and his band catalog now receives annual performances numbering in the thousands.

 Recent commissions include works for the BBC Singers, the Dallas Wind Symphony, military, high school, middle school, and university bands across America and Japan, and concertos for Joseph Alessi (principal trombone, New York Philharmonic), Christopher Martin (principal trumpet, New York Philharmonic), and Julian Bliss (international clarinet soloist). In 2014, he became the youngest composer ever inducted into the American Bandmasters Association. In 2018, he received the Wladimir & Rhoda Lakond Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He resides in San Francisco, California, with his spouse, A. E. Jaques, a philosopher who works on the ethics of artificial intelligence for MIT, and also titles all of his pieces; and their cats, Noodle and Bloop.

 About the Music: Foundry is written with the inclusion of "Found" percussion in mind. It is dedicated to the use of metal piles, wooden instruments, mixing bowls, brake drums, scrap motorcycle parts, etc. This piece participation of all our 14 percussionists in our high school band. The percussionists had the opportunity to find objects that produce the unique sounds of a foundry. 

Given the extensive use of percussion and the implied association generated by its title, Foundry is characterized by its heavy accents, striking dynamics, steady tempo, nontraditional harmony, meter changes, and syncopation. It is a monothematic piece that opens with a rhythmic uneasiness. 

Selections from The Star Wars Saga - John Williams/Arr. Michael Story

About the Music: Michael Story has expertly selected and arranged for young bands memorable titles from the Star Wars series of films. Titles included are: Star Wars (Main Title); Cantina Band; The Imperial March (Darth Vader's Theme); Across the Stars (Love Theme from Star Wars: Episode II) and Battle of the Heroes.

Jungle Dance - Brian Balmages

About the Composer: (b. 1975) Brian Balmages is known worldwide as a composer and conductor who equally spans the worlds of orchestral, band, and chamber music. His music has been performed by groups ranging from professional symphony orchestras to elementary schools in venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Sydney Opera House, Toronto Centre for the Arts, and many more. He is a recipient of the A. Austin Harding Award from the American School Band Directors Association, won the 2020 NBA William D. Revelli Composition Contest with his work Love and Light, and was awarded the inaugural James Madison University Distinguished Alumni Award from the School of Visual and Performing Arts. In the same year, he was commissioned by his other alma mater, the University of Miami, to compose music for the inauguration of the institution’s 6th president, Dr. Julio Frenk. His music was also performed as part of the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Prayer Service, which was attended by both President Obama and Vice President Biden.

About the Music: Jungle Dance is a piece that celebrates life in the jungle through music. A never-changing melody is cleverly woven throughout the work as the surrounding harmonies and textures constantly evolve as the music develops. As the melody is passed from section to section, it is layered on top of itself numerous times along with the countermelodies that have been heard through the course of the piece. A large battery of percussion compliments the winds perfectly in this enchanting selection that is sure to become your band's favorite.