Made In (the) America(s)

Thursday, December 1st, 2022 | 7:30 pm | Wentz Concert Hall | Naperville, Illinois

With Special Guests
The Providence Catholic H.S. Wind Ensemble, Kyle Baltzer conductor
The Homewood-Flossmoor H.S. Concert Band, Sarah Whitlock, 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 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 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 Providence Catholic H.S. Wind Ensemble

Mr. Kyle Baltzer, conductor

Flourish for Wind Band

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958)

This short work (only about 90 seconds long) was scored for military band with numerous clarinets, cornets, saxophones, euphoniums, and timpani. Having been written as an overture to a pageant in the Royal Albert Hall, the score was then lost, only to reappear in 1971. Upon its discovery, the work was adapted twice by Roy Douglas — first for brass band and then for symphony orchestra. The orchestral version is scored for wind instruments, together with double basses, timpani and percussion.

Program note from publisher

Appalachian Morning

Robert Sheldon (b. 1954)

The traditions of Appalachia were largely influenced by settlers from Scotland and Ireland. This reflective piece acknowledges these pioneers and their musical heritage with a musical walk through the woods and mountains of the Cumberland Gap. In addition to solo opportunities, this lovely composition allows for a welcome moment of expression.

– Program note from the publisher

Sweet Sounds of Snowfall

Cait Nishimura (b. 1991)

This winter-inspired piece contains melodic material from two traditional songs: “I Saw Three Ships” and “In dulci jubilo.

– Program note by the composer

Blue Ridge Impressions

Brian Balmages (b. 1975)

This programmatic work follows the path of a single drop of water as it descends from the top of a mountain. At first, the music bubbles joyously. Later, it is calm and serene, as if in smoother waters. The energy builds as the water hurries on to the final waterfall! The skillfully written structure around a 4/4-3/4-4/4 framework offers exciting material from the opening themes through a classic maestoso ending.

– Program note by the composer


Click to view members of The Providence Catholic H.S. Wind Ensemble

The Homewood-Flossmoor H.S. Concert Band

Ms. Sarah Whitlock, conductor (click for bio)


Dana Wilson (b. 1941)

I have always been struck by the contrast between the simple rhythm found in most of the music that ensembles of your musicians perform, and the intricate rhythms of “popular” music that they listen to at home and often sing with their friends.  This is in large part due to the incredible difficulty that would be posed by having to read the rhythmic notation of popular music  Therefore, in “Sang!” I set out to “teach” the complex rhythms in the form of chant.  This chant can be learned by the students aurally, which is an ancient teaching and performing technique and related to how the students learn the rhythms of popular music; the entire piece is based on those rhythm patterns.  The chant incorporates scat singing, which is an old technique found in African American music, particularly blues, jazz, and hip hop.  Its purpose is to vocalize expressively without necessarily singing words or phrases from an established language.  While the text of the chant might lack specific description, it expresses what meaning the performer gives it and the audience receives.  Beyond these elements, the point of the piece is to have fun!

– Program note by the composer

Swing Low, Sweet Chariot

Steve Rouse (b. 1953)

In my arrangement of Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, I have tried to capture the fervent, devotional character of the spiritual while coloring this more religious expression with an earthiness.  In my version, this earthiness is represented by harmonies that some might consider jazz-like.  I wanted to create a rich harmonic web that mingled the simple and the sophisticated, without straying too far from the basic impulse of the original son.  At times the piece is very simple and pure in heart, and at other times the harmonies become luxurious, with expression that cannot be contained or held back. 

-Program note by the composer


JaRod Hall (b. 1991)

A toboggan is a long narrow sled used to slide downhill over snow or ice. The music tells the tale of an epic race down the biggest hill in the neighborhood. As the day begins, the first few snowflakes begin to fall, depicted by the solo bells that start the piece. As the flurries continue to fall, the snow builds, and the tempo picks up, kids begin pouring out of their homes to prepare for the race. While outside, they witness several snowball fights emerge around the neighborhood. The race begins atop a snow-covered hill as the children speed toward the finish line. French horns pave the way through the middle section by illustrating the gorgeous landscape as the racers smoothly slide through the soft snow – a beautiful clear sky on the horizon. As the finish line pops into view, the racers frantically fly through the course, dodging stray snowballs overhead in an exciting finish. The perfect chilly concert opener or closer, I proudly present to you: Toboggan!

-Program note by the composer

Three Wise Guys

Julie Giroux (b. 1961)

“We Three Kings” and “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentleman” are featured in this swing arrangement which is scored for full band.  The three kings are represented by three ever-wise-cracking sections of the band: the trombones, saxes and trumpets.  After the intro and presentation of the “A” section of We Three Kings, the “B” (chorus) section steps away from the swing style and shifts into 1971s Motown with the Baritone Saxophone leading the charge.  The marimba, tenor saxophone and clarinet take solos.  Then, the low woodwinds bring in the melody of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” in straight quarter notes with clarinets doing a swing Bach-style accompaniment over the top.  The piece ends with a sassy recap of the intro.  

-Program note by the publisher


Personnel for Homewood-Flossmoor was not available at the time of publication.

Intermission (12 minutes)

The Naperville Winds

Dr. Sean Kelley, conductor


Cindy McTee (b. 1953)

The title, Circuits, is meant to characterize several important aspects of the work’s musical language: a strong reliance upon circuitous structures such as ostinatos; the use of a formal design incorporating numerous, recurring short sections; and the presence of an unrelenting, kinetic energy achieved through the use of 16th notes at a constant tempo of 152 beats per minute.

– Program note by composer


Silvestre Revueltas (1899-1940)
arr. Frank Bencriscutto (1928-1997)

Sensemayá was originally written for voice and small orchestra in 1937. Recorded for large orchestra without voice, it was premiered by the Orquesta Sinfónica de México, conducted by the composer, at the Teatro de Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, on December 15, 1938. It remains his most recorded and performed score. The transcription by Frank Bencriscutto was premiered by the University of Minnesota Band, conducted by Bencriscutto, at the CBDNA conference in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on February 8, 1967.

This powerful composition is an extremely complex and primitive-sounding work. The challenging rhythms include much use of 7/8, 5/8, 9/8, 5/16 and 7/16 meters. Sensemayá, like many of the composer’s other works, contains compact melodic ideas which are woven into a vibrant texture of dissonant counterpoint and free polyrhythms. Leonard Bernstein called it “the work of a sophisticated composer with a very advanced technique handling an idea of savage primitiveness.” According to the sister of Revueltas, the piece was inspired by a poem about “killing a deadly snake with glossy eyes” by the Cuban poet Nicholas Guillén. The title Sensemayá has no interpretation and no sense. The poet used it solely as an idiomatic rhythm in his poem.”

– Program note from Program Notes for Band

Danzón No. 2

Arturo Márquez (b. 1950)

Arturo Márquez began his musical training in La Puente, California, in 1966, later studying piano and music theory at the Conservatory of Music of Mexico and composition at the Taller de Composición of the Institute of Fine Arts of Mexico with such composers as Joaquín Gutiérrez Heras, Hector Quintanar, and Federico Ibarra. He also studied in Paris privately with Jacques Castérède, and at the California Institute of the Arts with Morton Subotnick, Stephen Mosko, Mel Powell, and James Newton.

In recent years, Marquez has written a series of danzónes, works based on an elegant Cuban dance that migrated to Veracruz, Mexico. His Danzón No. 2 is among the most popular Latin American works to emerge since the 1950s, enhanced by its use by Gustavo Dudamel with the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra in their 2007 tour of the United States and Europe. In February 2006, Arturo Marquez received the Medalla de Oro de Bellas Artes (Gold Medal of Fine Arts), the highest honor given to artists by Mexico’s Bellas Artes. That evening the concert El Danzón según Márquez (The Danzón according to Márquez) was presented at the Palacio de Bellas Artes. The concert included six danzóns, all contained on a forthcoming CD.

Márquez has received commissions from the OAS, the Universidad Metropolitana de Mexico, the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico, Festival Cervantino, Festival del Caribe, Festival de la Ciudad de Mexico, and the Rockefeller Foundation. He has received grants from the Institute of Fine Arts of Mexico, the French government, and the Fulbright Foundation. In 1994 he received the composition scholarship of Mexico’s Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes. Márquez’s Octeto Malandro (Misbehaving Octet) was commissioned and premiered by Philadelphia’s Relâche Ensemble in 1996, and subsequently recorded by Relâche for Monroe St. Records. Márquez’s flute concerto, commissioned by the Rockefeller Foundation and the Consejo Nacional para las Artes, was premiered by James Newton. Other works by Márquez include En Clave for piano, Son a Tamayo for harp, percussion, and tape (featured at the 1996 World Harp Congress),Homenaje a Gismonti for string quartet, and Zarabandeo for clarinet and piano.

– Program note from The Wind Repertory Project

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 Music Manager:
Liana Finch

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, Assistant 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

%d bloggers like this: