Thursday, April 7 2022 | 7:30 pm | Wentz Concert Hall | Naperville, Illinois
With Special Guest, the Plainfield South High School Wind Ensemble
Jerrod Cook, conductor
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 South High School Wind Ensemble
Morceau de Concert for Horn and Wind Ensemble
Camille Saint-Saens (1835-1921)
As with Schumann’s Concert Piece for Four Horns, op. 86, Saint-Saëns’ Morceau de Concert was also composed with the idea of exploiting the technical possibilities of the new valve-horn mechanism. In this case, the French horn player Henri Chaussier provided the impulse. He had developed a novel “Cor omnitonique” and wanted to demonstrate the merits of his instrument with Saint-Saëns’ composition. Chaussier’s invention did not gain acceptance amongst horn players – although the “Morceau de Concert” did! The popular work with one movement is quite demanding technically; however, Saint-Saëns himself already suggested some abridgements and ossias to simplify the piece, meaning that advanced students can venture to play it.
Contre Qui, Rose
Morten Lauridsen (b. 1943)
arr. Reynolds (b. 1934)
Contre Qui, Rose is the second movement of my choral cycle Les Chansons des Roses, on poems by Rilke (1875 – 1926), a poet whose texts were also used for my nocturnes and Chanson Éloignée. Rilke’s poetry is often multilayered and frequently ambiguous, forcing his reader to use his or her own imagination to grasp the text. This wonderful little poem poses a series of questions, and the corresponding musical phrases all end with unresolved harmonies, as the questions remain unanswered. We have all been in situations where we have given affection and not had it returned, where attempts at communication have been unsuccessful, met by resistance or defenses of some kind. A sense of quiet resignation begins the setting as the stark harmony and melodic line, filled with unresolved suspensions and appoggiaturas, gradually build to a nine-part chord on [“on the contrary”] and then the music folds back on itself, ending on a cluster that simply fades away as does the hope of understanding the reasons for the rose’s thorny protection.
– Program note by the composer
Carl Holmquist (b. 1983)
This is a work that seeks to capture the essence of the word “play,” both as a noun and a verb. Play, as a noun, is a state of being that blends joy, excitement, and innocence. It comes so naturally to young children, but becomes a bit elusive as the years go by. As a verb, play is an action that is completely free and whimsical. And yet at the same time it is a 100% serious outpouring of heart, soul, and imagination. When you play, you hold nothing back! Musically, this expression flows from a simple melodic idea, one that perhaps a child would create out of thin air while skipping along on a sunny day. The tune travels through the ensemble on a winding path of delicate moments and joyous outbursts, with each instrument adding its own character to the mix. The work is flavored with a bit of Cajun seasoning, as the rhythms and drum cadences are derived from the New Orleans second-line style that the brass bands play as they parade down Bourbon Street.
– Program note from University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire University Band concert program, 26 November 2018
Intermission (12 minutes)
The Naperville Winds
Fantasia in G Major
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
The great G Major Fantasia for Organ was composed between 1703 and 1707 during Bach’s residence in Arnstadt. It was here, at the beginning of his career, that his music was found to be too full of “wonderful variations and foreign tones” and certainly the Fantasia is strikingly dissonant in its constant texture of suspensions. But the breadth of the five-part polyphonic writing and the richness of the harmonic sonority make the Fantasia one of the grandest of all Bach’s compositions for organ. It is also one that lends itself most perfectly to the sound and sonorities of the modern wind band.
– Program note by musicexpert.com
Symphony No. 4
David Maslanka (1943-2017)
The sources that give rise to a piece of music are many and deep. It is possible to describe the technical aspects of a work — its construction principles, its orchestration — but nearly impossible to write of its soul-nature except through hints and suggestions.
The roots of Symphony No. 4 are many. The central driving force is the spontaneous rise of the impulse to shout for the joy of life. I feel it is the powerful voice of the Earth that comes to me from my adopted western Montana, and the high plains and mountains of central Idaho. My personal experience of the voice is one of being helpless and torn open by the power of the thing that wants to be expressed — the welling-up shout that cannot be denied. I am set aquiver and am forced to shout and sing. The response in the voice of the Earth is the answering shout of thanksgiving, and the shout of praise.
Out of this, the hymn tune Old Hundred, several other hymn tunes (the Bach chorales Only Trust in God to Guide You and Christ Who Makes Us Holy), and original melodies which are hymn-like in nature, form the backbone of Symphony No. 4.
To explain the presence of these hymns, at least in part, and to hint at the life of the Symphony, I must say something about my long-time fascination with Abraham Lincoln. Carl Sandburg’s monumental Abraham Lincoln offers a picture of Lincoln in death. Lincoln’s close friend, David Locke, saw him in his coffin. According to Locke, his face had an expression of absolute content, of relief at having thrown off an unimaginable burden. The same expression had crossed Lincoln’s face only a few times in life; when after a great calamity, he had come to a great victory. Sandburg goes on to describe a scene from Lincoln’s journey to final rest at Springfield, Illinois. On April 28, 1865, the coffin lay on a mound of green moss and white flowers in the rotunda of the capitol building in Columbus, Ohio. Thousands of people passed by each hour to view the body. At four in the afternoon, in the red-gold of a prairie sunset, accompanied by the boom of minute guns and a brass band playing Old Hundred, the coffin was removed to the waiting funeral train.
For me, Lincoln’s life and death are as critical today as they were more than a century ago. He remains a model for his age. Lincoln maintained in his person the tremendous struggle of opposites raging in the country in his time. He was inwardly open to the boiling chaos, out of which he forged the framework of a new unifying idea. It wore him down and killed him, as it wore and killed the hundreds of thousands of soldiers in the Civil War, as it has continued to wear and kill by the millions up to the present day. Confirmed in the world by Lincoln, for the unshakable idea of the unity of all the human race, and by extension the unity of all life, and by further extension, the unity of all life with all matter, with all energy and with the silent and seemingly empty and unfathomable mystery of our origins.
Out of chaos and the fierce joining of opposite comes new life and hope. From this impulse I used Old Hundred, known as the Doxology — a hymn to God; Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow; Gloria in excelsis Deo — the mid-sixteenth century setting of Psalm 100.
I have used Christian symbols because they are my cultural heritage, but I have tried to move through them to a depth of universal humanness, to an awareness that is not defined by religious label. My impulse through this music is to speak to the fundamental human issues of transformation and re-birth in this chaotic time.
– Program note by composer
Variations on “America”
Charles Ives (1875-1954)
Variations on “America” was originally a composition for organ. Composed in 1891 when Ives was seventeen, it is an arrangement of a traditional tune, known as My Country, ‘Tis of Thee, and was at the time the de facto anthem of the United States. The tune is also widely recognized in Thomas Arne’s orchestration as the British National Anthem, God Save the Queen, and in the former anthems of Russia, Switzerland, and Germany, as well as being the current national anthem of Liechtenstein and royal anthem of Norway.
The variations are a witty, irreverent piece for organ, probably typical of a “silly” teenage phenom like Ives. According to his biographers, the piece was played by Ives in organ recitals in Danbury, Connecticut and Brewster, New York, during the same year. At the Brewster concert, his father would not let him play the pages which included canons in two or three keys at once, because they were “unsuitable for church performance – They upset the elderly ladies and made the little boys laugh and get noisy!”
This work was transcribed for orchestra in 1964 by William Schuman and for band in 1968 by William Rhodes.
– Program note by the Wind Repertory Project
Omar Thomas (b. 1984)
I played trombone in wind ensembles from the 4th grade through college. This experience has contributed significantly to the life I lead now. I had the pleasure of being exposed to sounds, colors, moods, rhythms, and melodies from all over the world. Curiously absent, however, was music told authentically from the African-American experience. In particular, I couldn’t understand how it was that no composer ever thought to tell the story of a Black worship experience through the lens of a wind ensemble. I realize now that a big part of this was an issue of representation. One of the joys and honors of writing music for wind ensemble is that I get to write music that I wish had existed when I was playing in these groups — music that told the story of the Black experience via Black composers.
Come Sunday is a two-movement tribute to the Hammond organ’s central role in Black worship services. The first movement, Testimony, follows the Hammond organ as it readies the congregation’s hearts, minds, and spirits to receive The Word via a magical union of Bach, blues, jazz, and R&B. The second movement, Shout!, is a virtuosic celebration — the frenzied and joyous climactic moment(s) when The Spirit has taken over the service. The title is a direct nod to Duke Ellington, who held an inspired love for classical music and allowed it to influence his own work in a multitude of ways. To all the Black musicians in wind ensembles who were given opportunity after opportunity to celebrate everyone else’s music but our own — I see you and I am you. This one’s for the culture!
– Program note by composer
Thanks To Our Sponsors
$500 to $1000
Michael & Caroline Kelley
Jeordano “Pete” Martinez
Larry & Lynette Van Oyen
$250 to $499
George A. Quinlan, Jr.
Bruce & Gail Spitzer
Francesca Vanderwall, Financial Advisor with Edward Jones
$100 to $249
Friends of The Naperville Winds
$1 to $99
Harrison J. Collins
Special Thanks To:
North Central College Camps & Conferences Office:
Pete Ellman, Ellman’s Music Center
Liana Finch, TNW Librarian
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