Ithaca College Concert Band
Benjamin Rochford, conductor
Allan McMurray, 2019 Arnald Gabriel Visiting Wind Conductor
Allan McMurray is Distinguished Professor and Professor of Conducting Emeritus at the University of Colorado. He served for 35 years as Director of Bands and Chair of the Conducting Faculty before retiring at the end of the 2013 academic year. Prior to this position, he was on the faculty of the University of Michigan, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville and University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Considered one of the world’s leading teachers of conducting, Professor McMurray has guest conducted and taught conductors in 48 states and 15 foreign countries. He has been a featured visiting professor and conductor at over 200 universities and conservatories internationally.
During his tenure at Colorado, the Unversity of Colorado Wind Symphony performed by invitation at major conferences and conventions, including the First International Conference for Symphonic Bands in Manchester, Englandl the All-Japan Band Conference in Nemo Nu Sato, Japan; the College Band Directors National Association Convention; and the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles in Hamamatsu, Japan. The ensemble has also released two CDs on the Klavier label featuring original works by composers Daniel Kellogg, Carter Pann, and Frank Ticheli and collaboration with the Takacs String Quartet, Patrick Mason, Baritone and Jennifer Bird-Arvidson, Soprano.
With a strong commitment to new music, Allan McMurray has been a strong proponent in commissioning and performing new compositions by American composers. He has won praise for his interpretive and expressive conducting by many composers including Pulitzer Prize winners Michael Colgrass, George Crumb, John Harbison, Karel Husa, and Steven Stucky.
Professor McMurray has performed with the St. Louis Symphony, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, and the Los Angele Debut Orchestra and has guest conducting the Colorado Symphony, the Thai Philharmonic Orchestra and the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra. He also conducted the Prague Chamber musicians in a festival featuring the music of George Crumb in Prague and subsequently in the U.S. McMurray also completed four seasons with the Colorado Ballet Orchestra as conductor of Philip Feeney’s “Dracula.” Professor McMurray’s internationally acclaimed DVD series on the Art of Conducting includes three DVDs with well-known friends and conductors Richard Floyd, Craig Kirchoff and Robert Reynolds. Allan McMurray remains active as an artist conductor, teacher and author.
When he was inducted into the Army in September, 1942, Samuel Barber made efforts to obtain a position in which he might be useful to the war effort and still compose music. Commando Marchwas not only Barber’s first for wind band, but his first work subsequent to entering the Army. There is no extant documentation regarding a formal commission or a direct military order; rather it appears Barber was inspired to compose for the military bands he must have come in contact with during his basic training. In a letter to friend William Strickland, Barber expressed mild frustration at the process:
"I’ve finished a march for band and I think I shall ask Thor Johnson to try it out for me. I wonder how his band is. It must be played in this Service Command first. It was a nuisance to score – millions of euphoniums, alto clarinets and D-flat piccolos to encumber my score page."
Commando March was completed in February, 1943. In spite of its large instrumentation, Barber often referred to the work in letters as his “little march.” Following its premiere, Barber himself led the Goldman Band in several performances in 1943.
Program note by Anderson Collinsworth
David Maslanka wrote the following regarding his work: “A Requiem is a Mass for the dead. This relatively brief instrumental piece with the title Requiemis not a Mass, but serves a parallel function – the need to lay to rest old things in order to turn the mind and heart toward the new. I have an abiding interest in why humans go to war. I have recently read much about World War II, and was confronted once again with the awful fact of fifty million needless deaths. Shostakovich thought of every one of his compositions as a tombstone, and wished that he could have written a separate memorial piece for every person who died in war. I do believe that we are in a major transitional time, and that this transition happens first in each of us. My Requiem is both for the unnamed dead of all wars, and for each person making their own inner step, saying goodbye in order to say hello.”
Program note by David Maslanka
La Mezquita de Córdoba
In 169 B.C. the Romans founded Córdoba. After the fall of Rome, it existed under the rule of the Visigoths and became the capital of Al Andalus, Muslim Spain in 716. The Moors conquered Córdoba in the eighth century and by the tenth century the city boasted a population of 500,000, compared to about 38,000 in Paris. According to the chronicles of the day, the city had 700 mosques, some 60,000 palaces, and 70 libraries – one reportedly housing 500,000 manscripts and employing a staff of researches, illuminators and book binders. Córdoba also had some 900 public baths as well as Europe’s first street lights. Reigning with wisdom and justice, the rulers of Córdoba treated Christians and Jews with tolerance. They also improved trade and agriculture, patronized the arts, made valuable contributions to science, and established Córdoba as the most sophisticated city in Europe. When the Moors conquered Córdoba, they found a Visigoth cathedral, promptly pulled it down and built a mosque complex, the walls of which enclosed about four acres. It was over 40 years in the making. Over the centuries, the Moors roofed-over and developed more and more within the complex. Muslim, Christian, and Jewish faiths alike were practiced within its walls, an unprecedented feat then and literally unheard of today. When the Christians reconquered Córdoba in 1236, the new rulers were so awed by its beauty that they left it standing, building their cathedral in the midst of its rows of arches and columns. Thus it is preserved today, fondly referred to in Spain as “La Gran Mezquita.”
Program note by Julie Giroux
Although most audiences remember Julius Fučik for his Entry of the Gladiators March,an international poll indicated a preference for his Florentiner March. The length and content of this march lead the listener to suspect that Fučik must have attempted to condense the most important material for an operetta into a march. The work opens with a short bugle fanfare and proceeds directly into a strain of repeated notes which seem to picture a flighty Florentine person chatting to their friend from Berlin who is given only enough time to answer a (two-note) “ja-wohl!”occasionally. The work continues with another fanfare; a light and beautiful trio melody; an interlude; and a triumphant repeat with a piccolo duet. This march was originaly titled “La Rosa di Toscana,” but political reasons forced the composer to change his salute from the entire region of Tuscany to its capital, Florence.
Program note by Norman Smith
Created in 2010, Rest is a concert band adaptation of Ticheli’s work for SATB chorus, There will be Rest, which was commissioned in 1999 by the Pacific Chorale, John Alexander, conductor. In making this version, Ticheli preserved almost everything from the original: harmony, dynamics, even the original registration. He also endeavored to preserve carefully the fragile beauty and quiet dignity suggested by Sara Teasdale’s words. However, with the removal of the text, Ticheli felt free to enhance certain aspects of the music, most strikingly with the addition of a sustained climax on the main theme. This extended climax allows the band version to transcend the expressive boundaries of a straight note-for-note setting of the original. Thus, both versions are intimately tied and yet independent of one another, each possessing its own strengths and unique qualities.
Program note by Frank Ticheli
First Suite in E-flat
British composers have produced several exceptionally fine works for the concert band. Of all these, the First Suite in E-flatis generally regarded as the cornerstone. Written in 1909 it is one of the few band originals that has been transcribed for symphony orchestra. It was given its first known public performance by the Royal Military School of Music band, at Kneller Hall in 1920. The opening theme of the Chaconne is repeated incessantly by various instruments as others weave varied filigrees about the ground theme. In the middle of the first movement the principal theme is inverted for several repetitions. The Intermezzois based on a variation of the Chaconnetheme, presented first in an agitated style, then in a cantabile mood, the two styles alternating throughout the movement. The two themes of the March, one dynamic and the other lyric, are also taken from the Chaconne theme.
Program note by Norman Smith
A Mother of A Revolution
A Mother of A Revolution is a celebration of the bravery of trans women, and in particular, Marsha “Pay It No Mind” Johnson. Marsha is credited with being one of the instigators of the famous Stonewall uprising of June 28, 1969 – one of the pivotal events of the LGBTQ liberation movement of the 20thcentury – which is commemorated annually during the worldwide Gay Pride celebrations. Existing as a trans women, especially a trans woman of color, and daring to live authentically, creating space for oneself in a transphobic world is one of the bravest acts Thomas can imagine. Over 20 trans women were murdered in the United States in 2018 alone. There is no demographic more deserving, and frankly, long overdue for highlighted heroism and bravery. The disco vibe in the latter half is meant to honor a sacred space held amongst LGBTQ persons – a space to love, live, mourn, heal, strategize, connect, and dance in defiance of those outside forces who would seek to do LGTBG persons harm simply for daring to exist and take up space.
We pump our fists to honor the life, heroism, activism, and bravery of Marsha P. Johnson, to honor the legacy of the Stonewall revolution, to honor the memory of the trans lives violently ended due to fear and hatred, and in honor of trans women worldwide who continue to exist unapologetically and who demand to be seen.
Program note by Omar Thomas
Emily Mildner, bass
Morgan Volk, bass
Zachary Yip, E-flat
Hannah De Oliveira
Adam Battershell, alto
Alice DeRagon, baritone
Alex Dietz, alto
Louis Disen, alto
Nikki Millman, alto
Stephanie Pond, tenor
Karl Paulnack, Dean, Ithaca College School of Music
David Pacun, Associate Dean, Ithaca College School of Music
Erik Kibelsbeck and Molly Windover, Managers of Concerts and Facilities
Becky Jordan, Manager of Library of Ensembles Music and Kinyon Music Education Collections
Kristina Shanton, Music Librarian
Ithaca College School of Music Woodwind, Brass, Percussion, String, and Keyboard Faculty