What’s Old Is New Again

Thursday, October 12th, 2023 | 7:30 pm | Wentz Concert Hall | Naperville, Illinois

With Special Guest, the Victor J. Andrew High School Wind Symphony,
Mr. Mark Iwinski, conductor

From the Music Director

Welcome to the third 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 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 third 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 two years. 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 Victor J. Andrew High School Wind Symphony

Mr. Mark Iwinski, 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 by the publisher


Eric Whitacre (b. 1970)

October is my favorite month. Something about the crisp autumn air and the subtle change in light always make me a little sentimental, and as I started to sketch I felt that same quiet beauty in the writing. The simple, pastoral melodies and subsequent harmonies are inspired by the great English romantics (Vaughan Williams and Elgar) as I felt that this style was also perfectly suited to capture the natural and pastoral soul of the season. I’m quite happy with the end result, especially because I feel there just isn’t enough lush, beautiful music written for winds.

October was commissioned by the Nebraska Wind Consortium, Brian Anderson, Consortium Chairman. October was premiered on May 14th, 2000, and is dedicated to Brian Anderson, the man who brought it all together.

Program note by the composer

The Free Lance March

John Philip Sousa (1854-1932)

The Free Lance March, taken from Sousa’s operetta of the same name, has a lengthy and unorthodox construction when compared with most other Sousa marches. There were so many spirited march tunes in the operetta that perhaps Sousa felt obligated to include most of them when piecing together the march. Actually, there were enough for two separate marches.

The “free lance” of the operetta was Sigmund Lump, a clever goatherd who hired himself out as a mercenary leader to two opposing armies, maneuvered his forces so that neither side could win, and then declared himself emperor of both nations. The trio of the march corresponds to the song On to Victory in the operetta, and some editions of the march were published under that title.

– Program note by Paul E. Bierley, The Works of John Philip Sousa (Westerville, Ohio: Integrity Press, 1984), 43. Used by permission.


Click to view members of The Victor J. Andrew Wind Symphony

Intermission (15 minutes)

The Naperville Winds


Peter Mennin (1923-1983)

Canzona was commissioned in 1950 by prestigious band director Edwin Franko Goldman. Goldman believed that the future of the concert band required the development of a significant repertoire from contemporary composers. At the time the work was commissioned, many composers felt that they could not advance their careers by writing for concert band. It is not clear if this was a sentiment shared by Peter Mennin, as Canzona is the only work that he composed for concert band.

Mennin chose the title in homage to the late Renaissance instrumental forms of that name. Canzoni were particularly popular with Giovanni Gabrieli, who used the acoustics of the Cathedral of St. Mark in Venice to provide contrasting, antiphonal statements from opposing brass voices. Mennin introduced that same polyphony into this composition and combined it with modern harmony and structure. Woodwinds and brass alternately reinforce and complement each other.

– Program note from Kennesaw State University Concert Band concert program, 19 April 2016

Extreme Make-Over

Johan de Meij (b. 1953)

Extreme Make-Over consists of a number of musical metamorphoses on a theme from Peter Tchaikovsky’s well-known Andante Cantabile (the second movement of his String Quartet No. 1 in D, Op. 11, written in 1871). “Never in my life have I felt so flattered, never have I been so proud of my creative powers as when Lev (this isn’t a typo–his name is actually “Lev!”) Tolstoy sat in the chair next to mine listening to my Andante, and the tears ran down his cheeks,” wrote the composer in the winter of 1876 on the occasion of a special concert organized for Tolstoy at the Moscow Conservatory. In 1888 Tchaikovsky arranged this movement for cello and orchestra.

The main theme of the Andante cantabile is based on a Russian folksong. In Extreme Make-over, this theme is introduced in its original form by a brass quartet consisting of two cornets, alto horn and euphonium. At the theme’s reprise, muted cornets sneak, almost inaudibly, alongside the four soloists and elongate each note of the melody, as though the sustaining pedal on a piano has been depressed. The first metamorphosis emanates from a single tone, to which the two successive tones from the theme are added in bell-like chords. The addition of the lower second results in a completely new sound world, completing the first metamorphosis. Anticipating the canonic theme from the finale, a timpani solo forms the transition to the Alla marcia. This movement is composed in a robust neoclassical style and is peppered with quotes, including fragments from Tchaikovsky’s Fourth and Sixth Symphonies and the Fantasy-Overture Romeo and Juliet.

The following movement features a rather unconventional instrumental group: ten tuned bottles, played by members of the cornet section. This group eventually provides the accompaniment for an extensive marimba solo, gradually producing a sort of gamelan effect. In composing for the tuned bottles I have applied the ‘hoketus’ technique: each player produces a single note of the melody or the chord.

This fragile movement is joined seamlessly to the finale, a canonic treatment of the theme. Hurtling through each instrumental group, it leads us to a festive conclusion.

– Program note by the composer

“Aria” from Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D Major, BWV 1068

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Arranged by Jack Bullock (1929-2022)

Orchestral suites—or Overtures, as they were often called—were immensely popular in Germany during the second quarter of the eighteenth century. These typically follow a plan that had been established around the turn of the century by French composers who assembled instrumental movements from their stage works into standalone suites. They usually began with a “French overture,” a two-part structure in which a slowish, attention-grabbing opening breaks into a quick, contrapuntal main section—and sometimes repeats the slow music to conclude. Then they proceeded through pieces inspired by French court dances, together referred to as galanteries—minuets, courantes, sarabandes, bourrées, gavottes, gigues, passepieds, and so on. Such suites were popular as entertainment music, particularly in German courts with Francophile leanings (of which there were many). That a number of such suites are identified by their composers as Tafelmusik (Table Music) underscores the role they sometimes played at formal banquets.

The Air, or “Aria,” is a beautifully poised achievement in which a “walking bass line” keeps the momentum from being slowed by the subtle interweaving of inner lines. This is one of the most famous movements in all of Bach. It achieved bon-bon status thanks to the violinist August Wilhelmj, who, in 1871, published it in an arrangement for solo violin under the title “Air on the G String” (since his transcription was meant to be rendered entirely on the violin’s lowest string).

– Program note by James M. Keller, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra

Braids Pulses Echoes on Bach

Jonathon Kirk (b. 1975)

Braids Pulses Echoes on Bach is both an homage to the organ chorale preludes of Johann Sebastian Bach and the acrostic and motivic symbolism and metaphorical significance that he employed in his work throughout his life. “Braids” alludes to the intertwining of musical ideas, a nod to Bach’s profound influence on me and the interconnectedness of various ideas and concepts across the fields of mathematics, art, and music that has arisen out of years of analysis of his music. 

The term “Braid” also draws inspiration from Douglas Hofstadter’s influential book “Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid,” which provided a unique source of creative motivation as I composed and analyzed Bach’s works. As Bach so expertly would hide the chorale tunes in his many exquisite chorale prelude settings, I have attempted to braid and weave fragments of his works in and out of an ambient shroud of sound characterized by repetitive patterns, simple harmonic structures, and a focus on rhythm and texture. 

The persistent “Pulses” in the mallet percussion create an immersive sonic backdrop, inviting listeners into an ambient realm that gradually unfolds during the entire piece. These droning pulses serve as the foundation upon which the musical tapestry is built, mirroring the way Bach’s compositions often relied on the undercurrent of hymn and chorale tunes, especially in his large-scale organ works.

The “Echoes” in the title allude to the resonance of Bach’s music in our time, but also the imitative techniques used in his mastery of the Italian contrapuntal style. As the echoes and pulses develop into more shifting harmonic textures later in the piece, fragments of Bach’s works are integrated and hidden within each changing section. In this way, the piece captures the essence of Bach’s own techniques, where hidden details await discovery beneath the surface.

Starting midway through the composition, a sequence emerges, featuring quotations, arrangements, and reinterpretations of Bach’s three chorale prelude compositions based on a tune he greatly admired— “Jesus Christus, unser Heiland” (set in his organ works BWV 665, BWV 666, and BWV 689). This sequence reaches its pinnacle with the inclusion of the composer’s own four-part setting of the original unadorned chorale tune (BWV 363). The musicologist Christoph Wolff once wrote that Bach’s music “resembles a grand cosmos wherein his boundless musical ideas all find their places.” Performing musicians, composers, and attentive listeners alike will, no doubt, continue to push that metaphor further into the imagination, as I have tried to do here.

Program note by the composer

(Homage on B-A-C-H)

Ron Nelson (b. 1929)

Passacaglia (Homage on B-A-C-H) is a set of continuous variations in moderately slow triple meter built on an eight-measure melody (basso ostinato) which is stated, in various registers, twenty-five times. It is a seamless series of tableux which move from darkness to light.

Written in homage to Johann Sebastian Bach, it utilizes, as counterpoint throughout, the melodic motive represented by his name in German nomenclature, i.e. B-flat, A, C, and B natural. Bach introduced this motive in his unfinished The Art of the Fugue, the textures of which are paraphrased (in an octatonic scale) in the fourth and fifth variations. The seventh variation incorporates Gustave Nottebohm’s resolution (altered) of the unfinished final fugue of The Art of Fugue. The famous melody from Bach’s Passacaglia in C minor appears once (also altered) in variation nineteen.

Passacaglia (Homage on B-A-C-H) was commissioned by the Eta-Omicron Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, The United States Air Force Band, and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Wind Studies Department, in celebration of the 125th Anniversary of the founding of The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

– 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

Bronze Sponsor

$100 to $249

Friends of The Naperville Winds

$1 to $99

Special Thanks To:

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
Ethan Dunk (trumpet), Music Manager
Melissa Hickok (clarinet), Public Relations Chair
Barb Holland (flute), Secretary
Nate Dickman (Trumpet), Treasurer
Crystal Szewczyk (Flute), Fundraising Chair
Claudia Andrews (Horn), Melissa Hickok (Clarinet), Ken Kelly (Clarinet), Band Representatives

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