Extreme Makeover: Musical Forms Edition

Thursday, December 9th | 7:30 pm | Wentz Concert Hall | Naperville, Illinois

With Special Guest, the Plainfield East High School Wind Ensemble, David Lesniak & Jenna Wojdula, conductors

From the Music Director

Welcome to the first season of The Naperville Winds, an organization comprising musicians 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 first season 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 these past months. 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 incredibly journey!

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


The Plainfield East High School Wind Ensemble

Entry of the Gladiators (Thunder and Blazes March)

Julius Fucik (1872-1916)/Louis-Phillipe Laurendeau (1861-1916)
Arranged by J.S. Seredy (1872-1916)

The march Entry of the Gladiators, Op. 68 (Thunder and Blazes) was composed between 1897 and 1900 and was arranged by Canadian Louis-Phillipe Laurendeau in 1910; most printed editions ascribe the march to “Fucik-Laurendeau.” Fucik wrote the march in Sarajevo while serving as a military bandmaster. The Entry of the Gladiators had as its original title “Grande Marche Chromatique,” but Fucik had become so fascinated by the culture of Roman Gladiators entering an amphitheater from reading Henry Sienkiewicz’s book Quo Vadis? (Whither Goest Thou?) that he changed the name (Einzug der Gladiatoren). Because of its tempo and the ability to create in one’s mind a circus atmosphere, it became a theme for the circus and rodeo worldwide. It is an example of what the American circus terms a “screamer” or a “barn burner.”

– Program note from “Teaching Music through Performing Marches”

With Guiding Light (an Alma Mater for Plainfield East)

Michael R. Oldham (b. 1989)

Michael R. Oldham is a composer and pianist who weaves artwork, story, and imagination into his work. His recently released album, A Closer Look Reveals, is a deeply personal album that begs the listener to do exactly that–take a closer look. Whether it is taken literally in regard to seven portraits by the provocative Austrian painter Egon Schiele in The Egon Schiele Pieces, or more personally in pieces like All of My Unrequited Loves, You Called Me On My Birthday, Forgive Me, The Witching Hour, or Letters of Recommendation for New Romance, this is an album about love, romance, heartbreak, unrequited loves, sensuality, personal demons, personal growth, moving on, starting over…and the confusion, frustration, and beauty that accompanies all of that. The album is available on Bandcamp, Spotify, and Apple Music. You can also hear more of his music on his website, michaelroldham.com.

Composed in 2017 for the 10th anniversary of the school’s opening, With Guiding Light was written as an alma mater for Plainfield East High School. The words were written by the composer and the music directors at PEHS at the time and incorporate the school colors along with a phrase from the school’s first principal that can be found in the main hallway. The piece was written so that it can be performed together with band and choir, or with independent groups. The full lyrics are as follows…

Oh Plainfield East with guiding light, our loyalty shines through.

With love and pride we sing to thee of hope and promise ever true.

Hail to orange. Hail to green. In you we do believe.

We came to East as boys and girls; as men and women we will leave.

– Program note by composer

Wassail (Movement 1 from the Vaughan Williams Suite)

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958)
Setting by Robert W. Smith (b. 1958)

The British composer, Ralph Vaughan Williams, was born in 1872 and died in 1958 at the age of 86. He enjoyed one of the longest and most successful creative careers in music history. As a member of the English Folk-Song Society. Vaughan Williams often went into the country to collect native folk music in its purest state. He felt very strongly that the rapid industrialization of

the British Isles would result in the loss of these folk songs unless they were written down and introduced to a new generation. As a result, much of his writing was based on his study of folk songs creating a legacy in sound that characterizes British music

The ”Wassail Song of Gloucestershire” was one of the folk songs that Vaughan Williams chose to preserve through his writing. Capturing the spirit of the holiday season, he created a work for SATB choir based upon this song from his native land. Wassail is a centuries-old English ceremonial drink made of apple cider. The word “wassail” is Saxon in origin and translates to “good health” during the annual celebratory toast.

Robert W. Smith, in tribute to the great composer, has crafted a setting for concert band of the Wassail Song in the style of Vaughan Williams. Beginning with a lively solo statement of the melody, the clarinet choir introduces the song in its original form. Using Vaughan Williams as the inspiration, the melody is explored and restated in multiple variations using the various timbral colors of the concert band.

– Program note by the arranger

Home Alone

John Williams (b. 1932)
Arranged by Paul Lavender (b. 1951)

Home Alone, released in 1990, is about an eight-year-old troublemaker who must protect his house from a pair of burglars when he is accidentally left home alone by his family during Christmas vacation. The film stars 10-year old Macaulay Culkin, along with Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern. The musical score was written by John Williams (with lyricist Leslie Bricusse) and received several award nominations including a Grammy nomination for Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or for Television (for the song “Somewhere In My Memory”), Academy Award nominations for Best Music, Original Song (also for the song “Somewhere In My Memory”) and Best Music, Original Score, and the winner of the BMI Film Music Award.

In a career that spans five decades, John Williams has become one of America’s most accomplished and successful composers for film and for the concert stage. He has served as music director and laureate conductor of one of the country’s treasured musical institutions, the Boston Pops Orchestra, and he maintains thriving artistic relationships with many of the world’s great orchestras, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Mr. Williams has received a variety of prestigious awards, including the National Medal of Arts, the Kennedy Center Honor, the Olympic Order, and numerous Academy Awards, Grammy Awards, Emmy Awards and Golden Globe Awards. He remains one of our nation’s most distinguished and contributive musical voices.

Intermission (15 minutes)

The Naperville Winds

Smetana Fanfare

Karel Husa (1921-2016)

Smetana Fanfare for Wind Ensemble was commissioned by the San Diego State University for the 1984 Festival of Music honoring the Czech composer Bedrich Smetana. It was first performed on April 3, 1984, in San Diego by the SDSU Wind Ensemble, on the occasion of the centennial celebration of Smetana’s death. This short work uses two excerpts from Smetana’s symphonic poem The Wallenstein’s Camp, completed in 1859 in Goteberg, Sweden, during his exile from Prague.

– Program note by composer

Symphony in B flat

Paul Hindemith (1895-1965)

This symphony for concert band was composed at the request of Lt. Col. Hugh Curry, leader of the United States Army Band, and was premiered in Washington, D.C., on April 5, 1951, with the composer conducting. This three-movement work is the only symphony that Hindemith wrote expressly for the wind band. The suite shows Hindemith’s great contrapuntal skill, and the organized logic of his thematic material. His melodies develop ever-expanding lines, and his skill in the organization and utilization of complex rhythmic variation adds spice and zest to the strength of his melodies

Although Symphony in B flat features unique uses of dissonant chords and nonharmonic tones, it preserves neo-classical tonality, forms, and rhythmic and melodic patterns. Short figures are apt to form themselves into ostinatos to provide the background to broad and declamatory melodies; these melodies will often repeat characteristic phrases of awkward lengths so as to disturb the even flow of the basic rhythm. A slow section will alternate with a scherzando section, and the two will combine to form the third portion of a movement.

The first movement is in sonata allegro form in three sections, with the recapitulation economically utilizing both themes together in strong counterpoint. The second and third movements develop and expand their thematic material in some of the most memorable contrapuntal writing for winds. The second movement opens with an imitative duet between alto saxophone and cornet, accompanied by a repeated chord figure. The duet theme, along with thematic material from the opening movement, provides the basic material for the remainder of the movement. The closing section of the third movement utilizes the combined themes while the woodwinds amplify the incessant chattering of the first movement. The brass and percussion adamantly demand a halt with a powerful final cadence.

Symphony in B flat rivals any orchestra composition in length, breadth, and content, and served to convince other first-rank composers — including Vittorio GianniniVincent PersichettiPaul Creston, and Alan Hovhaness — that the band is a legitimate medium for serious music.

– Program note by Hubert Henderson and James Jorgenson, and from the SUNY Potsdam Crane Wind Ensemble concert program, 22 April 2016

O Magnum Mysterium

Morten Lauridsen (b. 1943)
Arranged by H. Robert Reynolds (b. 1934)

Morten Lauridsen’s choral setting of O Magnum Mysterium (O Great Mystery) has become one of the world’s most performed and recorded compositions since its 1994 premiere by the Los Angeles Master Chorale conducted by Paul Salamunovich. The work was commissioned by Marshall Rutter in honor of his wife Terry Knowles.

About his setting, Morten Lauridsen writes: “For centuries, composers have been inspired by the beautiful O Magnum Mysterium text with its depiction of the birth of the newborn king amongst lowly animals and shepherds. This affirmation of God’s grace to the meek and the adoration of the Blessed Virgin are celebrated in my setting through a quiet song of profound inner joy.”

Recordings of Lauridsen’s music have received numerous GRAMMY nominations, and the composer was a 2007 recipient of the National Medal of Arts. H. Robert Reynolds arranged the symphonic wind version of this popular work with the approval and appreciation of the composer.

O Magnum Mysterium is a chant from the Matins of Christmas. This version is from the composer Morten Lauridsen who explains his 1994 piece as follows: “In composing music to these inspirational words about Christ’s birth and the veneration of the Virgin Mary, I sought to impart a transforming spiritual experience within what I call ‘a quiet song of profound inner joy.’ I wanted this piece to resonate immediately and deeply into the core of the listener, to illumine through sound.” Listen for the dissonant note on the word “Virgo”, which Lauridsen calls the most important note of the piece, focusing on the Virgin Mary.

– Program Note by Exsultate.org

Riff Raff

Ryan George (b. 1978)

Riff Raff was born out of a recently renewed interest in post-war jazz and big band. The works of composers and arrangers like Kenton, Riddle, Graettinger, Ellington, and even the jazz-inspired sounds in some of Bernstein’s symphonic music conjure up images (in my mind anyway) of the “urban rebel” found within mid-century American pop culture. This idea of the brooding lone figure who forges through life on his own terms can be found in some of the fictional film characters played by James Dean and Marlon Brando or in the hard-boiled detectives and heroes within pulp novels and film noir. What I find interesting about these characters is the double-persona that they usually possess. On one hand they exude an über-cool toughness and an “I don’t care what the world thinks” bravado. Yet internally there is often a conflicted and troubled soul in need of redemption.

– Program note by the composer

Symphonic Overture

James Barnes (b. 1949)

This work was commissioned as a “large, Romantic-style overture” by Lt. Col. James M. Bankhead to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Air Force Band. The band premiered the work at the March 1991 American Bandmasters Association convention in Tempe, Arizona.

After a bold and extended introductory fanfare, followed by the principal theme in solo oboe, the middle section features a lengthy alto saxophone solo. A second fast development, including some special “champagne music” (complete with a cork sound for the celebration), recaps the opening fanfare in a presto coda.

– Program Note from “Program Notes for Band


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

Jeordano “Pete” Martinez

Larry & Lynette Van Oyen

Silver Sponsor

$250 to $499

George A. Quinlan, Jr.

Bruce & Gail Spitzer

Francesca Vanderwall, Financial Advisor with Edward Jones

Bronze Sponsor

$100 to $249

Gary Jewel

Janice Mulqueeny

Friends of The Naperville Winds

$1 to $99

Elisabeth Baima

Victoria Burrows

Angela Chase

Harrison J. Collins

Daniel DiCesare

Christopher Kelley

John Kinsella

Joseph Kott

Gail Sonkin

Special Thanks To:

North Central College Camps & Conferences Office:
Kenneth Hannah
Jennifer Berozek
Andrew Butler
Collin Trevor

Pete Ellman, Ellman’s Music Center
Jonathon Kirk, Chairperson, NCC Department of Music
Lawrence Van Oyen, NCC Director of Bands
George Blanchet, 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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