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Archive for Thursday, October 22, 1998

CONDUCTOR FENNELL TO DIRECT WIND ENSEMBLE

October 22, 1998

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The Concert Wind Ensemble's program will include "Divertimento for Band," a work written by Vincent Persichetti in El Dorado.

From J-W wire reports

Kansas University's Concert Wind Ensemble will perform at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Lied Center.

Robert E. Foster, KU director of bands, is conductor of the 58-piece wind band. Guest conductor is Frederick Fennell, founder of the Eastman Wind Ensemble and now conductor of the Kosei Wind Symphony Orchestra in Japan.

The program will open with "English Folk Song Suite," a three-part work by Ralph Vaughan Williams. First published in 1924, the work is one of the greatest British band classics for wind band, Foster said.

The remainder of the program consists of:

  • "Shoonthree," by Henry Cowell, one of the first significant U.S. composers to write serious original works for the concert band medium. The piece is conceived as the opposite of a lullaby with the music growing louder as sleep progresses.
  • "Woodland Sketches," by Edward MacDowell, a series of 10 character pieces written for piano. The piece was arranged for military band by the late Frank Winterbottom, former professor of music at Dulwich College, England, who directed the Royal Marines Band, Plymouth, in 1890-1910, and was instructor of band instruments at Kneller Hall.
  • "Facade," by William Walton, a six-part work, composed in 1922 as "an entertainment" for speaking voice and six instrumental players, with poems by Edith Sitwell. The poems are more concerned with the sound of the words than with their meaning and are somewhat like "nonsense verse," Foster said.
  • "The Kilties," by Samuel E. Morris, composer, arranger and former clarinetist with the Kilties Band in Ontario, Canada.
  • "Elegy," by James Barnes Chance, a dramatic work written for band in 1972.
  • "Divertimento for Band," a six-part work by Vincent Persichetti, former chairman of the theory and composition department at the Juilliard School of Music. "Divertimento," his first composition for band, was written in El Dorado while he and his wife were visiting her parents there. The work, premiered in June 1950 by the Goldman Band in New York City, is a fresh, contemporary piece for wind band "incorporating wonderful craftsmanship with the use of bitonality, clever rhythmic motives, harmonic structure, light textured scoring and humorous tongue-in-cheek melodies," Foster said.

"Persichetti had a wonderful relationship with KU and came to Lawrence to perform and record his band compositions with the KU Symphonic Band for an album produced by Crest Records," he added.

Tickets are available at the Lied Center Box Office, 864-ARTS; Murphy Hall Box Office, 864-3982; and Student Union Activities Box Office, 864-3477.

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