Wind Band in the Twentieth Century

Thursday, February 23, 2023 | 7:30 pm | Wentz Concert Hall | Naperville, Illinois

With Special Guests
The Dwight D. Eisenhower High School Symphonic Band, Dr. Justin Antos, conductor

From the Music Director

Welcome to the second season of The Naperville Winds, an organization comprising musicians from across Chicagoland (and beyond) who share one common mission–to perform the finest wind band literature available at the highest level possible. This ensemble coalesced quickly; the energy and excitement at the first rehearsal on August 26, 2021 was palpable, and, immediately after rehearsal, it was clear that we were at the beginning of a truly special journey.

The road to today’s performance hasn’t been easy. In order for a major ensemble to establish itself in the time of COVID, it must overcome myriad problems and challenges. We faced these head-on, knowing full-well the daunting challenges we’d face, and we overcame them all, together. The collective “brain trust” of the ensemble–through each member’s experience, outside-the-box thinking, and quick problem solving skills–has allowed us to deftly navigate around the detours and roadblocks and continue on our path, unwaveringly, toward our shared goal. Our mere existence as an ensemble is, therefore, not just a celebration of music, but a testament to the resilience of the human spirit.

It has been an absolute joy to make music with the members of The Naperville Winds over the past year and a half. I am humbled by the collegiality, selflessness, energy, and of course, talent, that each member brings to the table. I strongly believe that The Naperville Winds will soon be a household name for lovers of wind band repertoire throughout the nation and the world. I sincerely hope you will support us throughout this incredible journey!

Sean Kelley, D.M.A.
Music Director, The Naperville Winds


The Dwight D. Eisenhower High School Symphonic Band

Dr. Justin Antos, conductor

Fanfare for a New Era


Fanfare for a New Era is an exciting and triumphant fanfare composed in 2022 on the heels of the pandemic. Highlighting hope over despair, its spirited enthusiasm promotes joy at a time when so many of our worlds were turned upside down. The composer, PINKZEBRA, is a pseudonym for a popular composer in today’s Hollywood music industry. Much like the street artist Banksy, no one knows the true identity of PINKZEBRA, though many hold with strong conviction that it could be Eric Whitacre.

-Program note provided by the conductor

Waltz No. 2 from “Suite for Variety Stage Orchestra”

Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975)
arr. Michael Brown (b. 1962)

Waltz No. 2 is one of eight short pieces composed in 1956 that was included in Dmitri Shostakovich’s “Suite for Variety Stage Orchestra”. The entire suite was first performed outside of Russia in 1988 by Mstislav Rostropovich in London. The Waltz is composed in C minor and in ternary form. The middle section of this movement modulates to Eb major and features a festive melody reminiscent of 19th century Italian opera, contrasting the mysterious and romantic theme that opens the work.

-Program note provided by the conductor


John Stevens (b. 1951)

John Stevens is an American composer, arranger, tubist, and brass pedagogue. Holding degrees in tuba performance from the Eastman School of Music and Yale University, Stevens worked as a freelance performer in New York City for many years before ultimately joining the faculty of the University of Miami and University of Wisconsin-Madison as a low brass professor. He composed Benediction in 2002 after originally writing it for the Sotto Voce Brass Quartet as a chamber piece. Featuring a reverent euphonium solo, this fully orchestrated version features flowing melodies and counterlines in a rich chorale-like setting.

-Program note provided by the conductor

The Crowning Glory

Alfred Reed (1921-2005)
arr. by Joe Derhake (dates unavailable)

The Crowning Glory was composed by Alfred Reed in 1970 while on faculty at the University of Miami. Unlike a typical American march, this piece is written in ternary form with a slower and lyrical middle section. Often performed as a processional for ceremonial events, The Crowning Glory features several elided phrases that transition seamlessly across sections in the woodwind choir, lending credence to Alfred Reed’s cherished compositional voice.

-Program note provided by the conductor

Havana Nights

Randall Standridge (b. 1976)

Randall Standridge conceived Havana Nights as a short ballet that takes place in the mambo clubs of Havana. It is intended to depict a flirtatious and seductive conversation through dance in which two characters engage before escaping into the night. Originally commissioned by the Ohio Music Educators Association in 2018, Havana Nights features exciting Latin rhythms and exotic solos that are as fun to listen to as they are to play!

-Program note provided by the conductor


Click to view members of The Dwight D. Eisenhower High School Symphonic Band

Intermission (12 minutes)

The Naperville Winds

Dr. Sean Kelley, conductor

Second Suite in F

Gustav Holst (1874-1934)

The Second Suite consists of four movements, all based on specific English folk songs.

Movement I: March: Morris Dance, Swansea Town, Claudy Banks. “The “March” of the Second Suite begins with a simple-five note motif between the low and high instruments of the band. The first folk tune is heard in the form of a traditional British brass band march using the Morris-dance tune “Glorishears”. After a brief climax, the second strain begins with a euphonium solo playing the second folk tune in the suite, Swansea Town. The theme is repeated by the full band before the trio. For the trio, Holst modulates to the unconventional sub-dominant minor of B-flat minor and changes the time signature to 6/8, thereby changing the meter. (Usually one would modulate to sub-dominant major in traditional march form. While Sousa, reputably the “king of marches”, would sometimes change time signatures for the trio (most notably in El Capitan), it was not commonplace.) The third theme, called Claudy Banks, is heard in a low woodwind soli, as is standard march orchestration. Then the first strain is repeated da capo.

Movement II: Song Without Words, ‘I’ll Love My Love’. Holst places the fourth folk song, I’ll Love My Love, in stark contrast to the first movement. The movement begins with a chord from French horns and moves into a solo of clarinet with oboe over a flowing accompaniment in F Dorian. The solo is then repeated by the trumpet, forming an arc of intensity. The climax of the piece is a fermata in measure 32, followed by a trumpet pickup into the final measures of the piece.

Movement III: Song of the Blacksmith. Again, Holst contrasts the slow second movement to the rather upbeat third movement which features the folk song A Blacksmith Courted Me. The brass section plays in a pointillistic style depicting a later Holst style. There are many time signature changes (4/4 to 3/4) making the movement increasingly difficult because the brass section has all of their accompaniment on the up-beats of each measure. The upper-woodwinds and horns join on the melody around the body of the piece, and are accompanied with the sound of a blacksmith tempering metal with an anvil called for in the score. The final D major chord has a glorious, heavenly sound, which opens the way to the final movement. This chord works so effectively perhaps because it is unexpected: the entire movement is in F major when the music suddenly moves to the major of the relative minor.

Movement IV: Fantasia on the Dargason. This movement is not based on any folk songs, but rather has two tunes from Playford’s Dancing Master of 1651. The finale of the suite opens with an alto saxophone solo based on the folk tune Dargason, a 16th century English dance tune included in the first edition of The Dancing Master. The fantasia continues through several variations encompassing the full capabilities of the band. The final folk tune, Greensleeves, is cleverly woven into the fantasia by the use of hemiolas, with Dargason being in 6/8 and Greensleeves being in 3/4. At the climax of the movement, the two competing themes are placed in competing sections. As the movement dies down, a tuba and piccolo duet forms a call back to the beginning of the suite with the competition of low and high registers.

The name ‘dargason’ may perhaps come from an Irish legend that tells of a monster resembling a large bear (although much of the description of the creature has been lost over time). The dargason tormented the Irish country side. During the Irish uprising of the late 18th Century, the dargason is supposed to have attacked a British camp, killing many soldiers. This tale aside, ‘dargason’ is more likely derived from an Anglo-Saxon word for dwarf or fairy, and the tune has been considered English (or Welsh) since at least the 16th century. It is also known as ‘Sedony’ (or Sedany) or ‘Welsh Sedony’.

Holst later rewrote and re-scored this movement for string orchestra, as the final movement of his St Paul’s Suite (1912), which he wrote for his music students at St Paul’s Girls’ School.

– Program notes by Imogen Holst

Prelude No. 2

George Gershwin (1898-1937)
arr. Frank Bencriscutto (1928-1997)

Dr. Devin Starr, piano soloist

Gershwin’s Three Preludes are short piano pieces, first performed by the composer at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York in 1926. Gershwin originally planned to compose twenty-four preludes, but this number was reduced to five in public performance and further decreased to three when they were first published. In the second prelude, Gershwin invokes his Jewish heritage as an almost Yiddish melody floats over gentle, undulating accompaniment — a twelve-bar blues form — whose delicacy recalls the piano music of Chopin. The melody is repeated in a second chorus of the blues form, followed by a bridge in a brighter, major key. The initial theme returns, dissipating as though entering a quiet sleep. Gershwin referred to the piece as “a sort of blues lullaby.”

– Program note from Baylor University Wind Ensemble concert program, 23 October 2018

Caccia and Chorale

Clifton Williams (1923-1976)

Clifton Williams provided the following program note on this work: “While it remains open to question whether music can convey any message other than a purely musical one, composers often tend to attempt philosophical, pictorial, or other aspects within a musical framework. Such is the case with Caccia and Chorale, two title words borrowed from Italian because of their allegorical significance. The first, Caccia, means hunt or chase, and is intended to reflect the preoccupation of most people in the world with a constant pursuit of materialism. The Chorale is, by contrast, an urgent and insistent plea for greater humanity, a return to religious or ethical concepts.”

Knowing the seriousness of his illness when he began this work and feeling that he might not survive an impending operation, Williams intended to write only the Caccia. However the surgery seemed to be successful and the Chorale movement was thus composed as a personal prayer of thanksgiving along with a sincere plea for ethical regeneration by all mankind.

– Program notes by the Wind Repertory Project

Rocky Point Holiday

Ron Nelson (b. 1929)

Rocky Point Holiday was a commission from Frank Bencriscutto and the University of Minnesota band for a tour of Russia. It was composed between 1968 and 1969. Bencriscutto had heard Nelson’s orchestral work Savannah River Holiday and decided he wanted something virtuosic to take with him on the Russian tour. When asked about the limitations of the band, Bencriscutto told him there were none. “I’m going to write a tremendously difficult piece,” Nelson warned him. “That’s fine,” replied Bencriscutto, and thus Rocky Point Holiday was born. Nelson says, “This was a pivotal moment in my notion of wind ensemble scoring, in which I focused on orchestrating in an extremely transparent way.”

The bulk of the work on the composition occurred while Nelson was on vacation at a Rhode Island seaside resort. Rocky Point is an amusement park over a hundred years old, located in Warwick Neck, RI. It was closed down in the mid-1990s due to a lack of funds.

– Program note by Nikk Pilato

Machu Picchu: City in the Sky

Satoshi Yagisawa (b. 1975)

Explaining the significance of Machu Picchu begins with remembering the Incan empire at its zenith, and its tragic encounter with the Spanish conquistadors. The great 16th century empire that unified most of Andean South America had as its capital the golden city of Cuzco. Francisco Pizarro, while stripping the city of massive quantities of gold, in 1533 also destroyed Cuzco’s Sun Temple, shrine of the founding deity of the Incan civilization.

While that act symbolized the end of the empire, 378 years later, an archaeologist from Yale University, Hiram Bingham, rediscovered “Machu Picchu,” a glorious mountaintop Incan city that had escaped the attention of the invaders. At the central high point of the city stands its most important shrine, the Intihuatana, or “hitching post of the sun,” a column of stone rising from a block of granite the size of a grand piano, where a priest would “tie the sun to the stone” at winter solstice to ensure its seasonal return. Finding the last remaining sun temple of a great city inspired the belief that perhaps the royal lineage stole away to his holy place during Pizarro’s conquest.

After considering these remarkable ideas, I wished to musically describe that magnificent citadel and trace some of the mysteries sealed in Machu Picchu’s past. Three principal ideas dominate the piece: 1) the shimmering golden city of Cuzco set in the dramatic scenery of the Andes, 2) the destructiveness of violent invasion, and 3) the re-emergence of Incan glory as the City in the Sky again reached for the sun.

– Program note by the composer


Click to view members of The Naperville Winds

Thanks To Our Sponsors

Corporate Sponsor

The Naperville Winds’ Corporate Sponsor

Ellman’s Music Center

Corporate Partner

Full Circle Creative & Media Services

Gold Sponsor

$500 to $1000

Michael & Caroline Kelley

Sean Kelley

Silver Sponsor

$250 to $499

Bruce Spitzer

Francesca Vanderwall, Financial Advisor with Edward Jones

Bronze Sponsor

$100 to $249

Friends of The Naperville Winds

$1 to $99

Special Thanks To:

The Naperville Winds Setup Crew:
Timothy Chernobrov
James Cross
Rudi Schwerdle

The Naperville Winds Leadership Team
Section Managers
Whitney Bowden
Alyssa Arkin
Kevin Mulqueeny
Matt Pilmer
Aaron Newman
Lara Ward
Michael Townley
Kyle Baltzer
Elias Martinez

Fundraising & Gifts- Crystal Scewczyk
Logistics- Rudi Schwerdle
Public & Media Relations- Melissa Hickok
Secretary- Barbara Holland
Treasurer- Nathan Dickman

Band Representatives
Ken Kelly
Melissa Hickok
Claudia Andrews

Program Proofreading & Editing- Jennifer Wojcik

The Naperville Winds Advisory Board
Meghan Kats
Steve Klaus
James Osborne
Kim Richter

North Central College Camps & Conferences Office
Christopher Drennan
Laura Cooper
Jennifer Berozek
Andrew Butler
Collin Trevor

Pete Ellman, Ellman’s Music Center
Susan Chou, Chairperson, NCC Department of Music
Lawrence Van Oyen, NCC Director of Bands
Joe LaPalomento, NCC Instructor of Percussion
Kim Richter, NCC Instructor of Bassoon & Music Director, Naperville Youth Symphony Orchestra
Stephen M. Caliendo, NCC Dean, College of Arts & Sciences

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