Ithaca College Wind Ensemble
Christopher Hughes, conductor
Julia Muller (Piccolo)
Laura Sefcik (E-Flat)
Jenna Beaudoin (Bass)
Morgan Volk (Contra)
Jake Oztan (Contra)
Tim Coene (Tenor)
Alex Kelsey (Baritone)
Alex Felker (Bass)
Da Sol Um
Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman, No. 1 was inspired by Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man and employs, in fact, the same instrumentation. In addition, the original theme resembles the first theme in the Copland. It is dedicated to women who take risks and who are adventurous. Written under the Fanfare Project and commissioned by the Houston Symphony, the premiere performance was on January 10, 1987, with the Houston Symphony, Hans Vonk, conductor. This work is dedicated to the conductor Marin Alsop.
- Program Note by Joan Tower
Commissioned by Donald Hunsberger and the Eastman Wind Ensemble with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the mountains rising nowhere was Joseph Schwantner’s first composition for wind ensemble (and is part of a "trilogy" that includes From a Dark Millennium and In evening's stillness). The premiere was given in College Park, Maryland, at the 1977 National Conference of the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) by the Eastman Wind Ensemble, Hunsberger conducting. It is dedicated to children’s author Carol Adler; its title inspired by a line in her poem Arioso:
an afternoon sun blanked by rain
and the mountains rising nowhere
the sound returns
the sound and the silence chimes
- Program Note by Nikk Pilato
To me, the saxophone is a kind of hybrid instrument; it’s essentially a brass instrument with a woodwind reed on it. Instead of valves like a brass instrument has, the sax has keys like a woodwind. (Many sax players even switch effortlessly from sax to a woodwind like a clarinet, and back again in the same concert.) So, I had an instrument made of three materials: felt (the pads of the keys), metal (the body), and wood (the reed). In fact, every instrument in the band can be placed into one (or more) of those “categories.” The brass section is made of metal, the harp is made of metal and wood, the wind section has keys, and so on. This realization gave me the central idea for the piece: a multi-movement work with the inner movements called Felt, Metal, and Wood, and with instrumentation chosen to essentially match those materials for each movement. The outer movements would be scored for the entire ensemble.
Concerto for Soprano Sax was commissioned by The Dallas Wind Symphony, University of Texas at Austin, The United States Navy Band, Cleveland State University, Illinois State University, Boston College, University of Illinois, University of Arizona, Texas A&M Kingsville, Riverside Community College, University of Georgia, University of North Florida, University of South Florida, Kansas State University, University of Kansas Bands, Ridgewood Concert Band, Louisiana State University, Azusa Pacific University, Arizona State University, California State University Los Angeles, Peabody Conservatory of Music, University of Toledo, Texas Tech University, University of Washington, Baylor University, University of Regina, University of Oregon, and Florida State University.
The work received its premiere October 23, 2007, The Dallas Wind Symphony, conducted by Jerry Junkin. Don Fabian, soloist. Meyerson Symphony Center, Dallas, Texas.
- Program Note by John Mackey
Although the period of Harmoniemusik activity spans from 1760 to 1837, this musical tradition enjoyed its most considerable popularity in Vienna and Prague around 1780-1800. The roots of Viennese Harmoniemusik stem from the French practice of excerpting the best-loved parts of an opera or ballet (or several disparate works), re-arranging them for the available instrumental forces, and performing them as musical entertainments in the French courts. Prior to 1782, these ensembles consisted primarily of three pairs of instruments, usually oboes, bassoons and horns.
In 1782, Emperor Joseph II, who delighted in the timbres of wind instruments, established the Kaiserlich-Königliche Harmonie, setting the standard instrumentation of pairs of oboes, clarinets, bassoons and horns. This Viennese configuration was quickly emulated by Maximillian Franz, Elector of Bonn (and the Emperor’s brother) and by several other noble families in the region. Although opera and ballet transcriptions were the mainstays of Harmonie repertoire, many original works were composed as well. While the majority of these were loose collections of dance movements with titles such as '"Serenade,” “Cassation” or “Divertimento," works with the title “Parthia” often followed a more symphonic, four-movement form.
Mozart contributed three compositions to the original Harmonie repertoire: Serenade No. 10/n B flat Major, K. 361/370a, Serenade No. 11 in F-flat Major, K. 375, and Serenade No. 12 in C minor, K. 388/384a. These pieces remain the archetypal realization of the ensemble’s inherent musical possibilities. Although all were written within a rather short period (1781-1784) coinciding with the formation of the Kaiserlich-Königliche Harmonie, there is still much scholarly debate as to the exact dates (and therefore, order) of their composition.
The Serenade No. 12 in C Minor K. 388/384a is most likely written in late 1782 or 1783. This serenade is the only serenade or divertimento set in a minor key and employs somber conflicts and dramatic juxtapositions of emotion found in his most serious and mature works, while closely following the tight-knit, four-movement symphonic form.
- Program Note by Brian K. Doyle for Temple University Wind Symphony
On March 5, 1988, Susan Eck Lichtenwalter passed away at the age of 44 following a thirteen-month illness. Shortly after her premature death, the students of Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma at the University of Texas at Arlington approached her husband, Director of Bands Ray C. Lichtenwalter, expressing their desire to honor her memory by commissioning a major work for the UTA Wind Ensemble and the wind band repertoire. This work by David Maslanka is the result of the students' expression of love and caring.
The opening declamatory statement of the hymn-tune by the brass and percussion, and then by the full ensemble, sets the stage for a work which dramatically captures the conflict and celebration of human life and emotion. The main body of In Memoriam is a large fantasia interweaving variations on the hymn-tune with related thematic material. The quiet conclusion continues the variation process. It offers the listener a sense of peace and strength as expressed in the text of the 17th-century hymn:
If you but trust in God to guide you
And place your confidence in him,
You'll find him always there beside you,
To give you hope and strength within.
For those who trust God's changeless love
Build on the rock that will not move.
- Program Note by Ray C. Lichtenwalter
In setting Molly on the Shore I strove to imbue the accompanying parts that made up the harmonic texture with a melodic character not too unlike that of the underlying reel tune. Melody seems to me to provide music with initiative, whereas rhythm appears to me to exert an enslaving influence. For that reason I have tried to avoid regular rhythmic domination in my music -- always excepting irregular rhythms, such as those of Gregorian chant, which seem to me to make for freedom. Equally with melody, I prize discordant harmony, because of the emotional and compassionate sway it exerts.
- Program Note by Percy Aldridge Grainger
Recognized for his “glowing mahogany tone” (Seen and Heard International) and “breathtaking” (Classical Voice of NC) performances, American classical saxophonist Steven Banks “is at the forefront of musicians of his generation in his display of the highest level of both artistry and pedagogy.” (Taimur Sullivan, Professor of Saxophone, Northwestern University)
Steven Banks is the first saxophonist to earn a place on the Young Concert Artists roster in its 59-year history, capturing First Prize at the 2019 Young Concert Artists International Auditions as well as the special Korean Concert Society Prize (for support of his Kennedy Center debut), Buffalo Chamber Music Society Prize, Saint Vincent College Concert Series Prize, Sinfonia Gulf Coast Prize, Tannery Pond Concerts Prize, Usedom Music Festival Prize, and Washington Performing Arts Prize.
Mr. Banks has an ongoing relationship with The Cleveland Orchestra, having performed with the legendary ensemble in Severance Hall, Carnegie Hall, and at the Blossom Music Center. He has worked with notable conductors including Franz Welser-Most, Jahja Ling, Matthias Pintscher, Alain Altinoglu, Roderick Cox, among others. This season, Mr. Banks is particularly excited to travel to Abu Dhabi with the orchestra to perform a production of Sergei Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, Op. 64, with the American Ballet Theatre.
Banks is the baritone saxophonist of the award-winning Kenari Quartet. The Kenari Quartet has found a home performing on many of the premiere chamber music series in the United States. Recent engagements include appearances at Chamber Music Northwest, the Grand Teton Music Festival, and Chamber Music Tulsa, among others. For many chamber music institutions, the Kenari Quartet has been proud to serve as the first saxophone quartet to be presented. The group has earned top prizes at 7 national and international chamber music competitions. Their debut album, French Saxophone Quartets, was released in December 2016 under the Naxos Records label. Kenari is represented by Jean Schreiber Management.
Banks is an advocate for diversity and inclusion in music education, performance, and newly commissioned works in the classical realm. He gave a talk at the TEDxNorthwesternU 2017 conference with ideas about how to create change in institutionalized prejudices against women and people of color. Since the talk, Banks has written an article for WQXR and given guest lectures on the history of black classical composers. Banks serves as a member of the first Committee on the Status of Women for the North American Saxophone Alliance, and is proud to have been selected as a member of the jury for the first Female Saxophonist Competition.
As a jazz saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist, Banks has performed alongside members and former members of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Buddy Rich Big Band, Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, among others. He has played on professionally-released recordings, including Michael Spiro and Wayne Wallace’s album, Canto America, which was nominated for a 2017 GRAMMY award.
Banks serves proudly as Assistant Professor of Saxophone at Ithaca College. He previously served on faculty at the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory. He has a Master of Music degree from the Northwestern University Bienen School of Music in Saxophone Performance and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Saxophone Performance with a minor in Jazz Studies from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. His primary saxophone teachers have been Taimur Sullivan, Otis Murphy, Jr., and Galvin Crisp.
Banks is an endorsing artist for Conn-Selmer instruments, D’Addario Woodwinds, lefreQue Sound Solutions, and Key Leaves.
Dr. Christopher Hughes is Director of Bands and Associate Professor of Music for the School of Music at Ithaca College in New York. Hughes serves as conductor of the renowned Ithaca College Wind Ensemble while leading the acclaimed graduate program in wind conducting. Prior to this position, Dr. Hughes served as Director of Bands and Graduate Conducting Coordinator at NM State University and as Director of Bands and Chair of the Conducting and Ensembles Faculty for the College of Music at Mahidol University, a conservatory setting in Bangkok, Thailand. Prior to his move overseas, Dr. Hughes held positions on the faculties at Lander University in South Carolina and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Hughes’s former students hold conducting and teaching positions in China, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, The Philippines, Burma, Mexico and throughout the United States.
Born on Bloomsday in Aspen, Colorado, Hughes's interest in the expressive beauty of music began early. He decided to pursue conducting as a profession after experiencing the artistry of many of the legendary conductors who were in residence at the Aspen Music School. In 2005 Hughes was awarded the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in instrumental conducting and literature at the University of Colorado at Boulder where he was a student of world-renowned conductor and Distinguished Professor Allan McMurray. Developing an impressive profile that is both national and international, Dr. Hughes has conducted ensembles in concert on four continents including Europe, Asia, Australia and North America. He is also in constant demand as a guest conductor and clinician. Engagements have taken him to several US states, Washington, D.C. and ten foreign countries including England, Ireland, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Indonesia. In 2017 Hughes was invited as the guest clinician for the Conducting Symposium of the Americas in Costa Rica. Hughes was also invited to conduct in Australia at the Queensland Conservatorium. In his first year at Ithaca College, Hughes lead the IC Wind Ensemble in two major invited performances; one for the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) conference and one at the John F. Kennedy Center for the
Arts in Washington, D.C.
In addition to numerous performances as Resident Guest Conductor for the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra, Dr. Hughes led the Mahidol University Wind Symphony in a critically acclaimed performance during the proceedings of the15th World Saxophone Congress. This subsequently led to an invitation for the musicians to appear as the guest artist ensemble for the Australian National Ensemble Championships. Hughes has conducted at the Southeast Asian Youth Orchestra and Wind Ensemble Festival in Bangkok, Thailand and the Honor Ensemble Festival of the Interscholastic Association of Southeast Asian Schools in Jakarta, Indonesia. Dr. Hughes was honored to serve as guest conductor for the National Symphony Orchestra players of Taiwan during his invited visit to Chiayi City. In 2013 and again in 2014 Hughes ventured to China to conduct the Directors Ensemble of Guangzhou Province and appeared in ShanXi, ShanDong, and Chengdu provinces as well. Known for his sensitive interpretation of music for large and small instrumental ensembles, Hughes's conducting has drawn praise from composers and conductors in the United States, Canada, Southeast Asia, China, and Australia.
A champion of new music, Dr. Hughes has conducted numerous world and regional premieres and he has become a
conductor of choice for contemporary works. Dr. Hughes has, on several occasions, been included in the Who's Who Among America's Teachers publication and, for the past 13 years, he has been listed in Who's Who in America. He was recently honored with induction into Who's Who In The World. Hughes's affiliations include the International Conductor's Guild, College Band Directors National Association, World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, New York State School Music Association, Phi Mu Alpha (honorary), and Kappa Kappa Psi (honorary).
Karl Paulnack, Dean, Ithaca College School of Music
David Pacun, Associate Dean, Ithaca College School of Music
Benjamin Rochford, Associate Director of Bands, Ithaca College School of Music
Erik Kibelsbeck, Manager of Concerts and Facilities, Ithaca College School of Music
Molly Windover, Scheduling and Events Assistant, Ithaca College School of Music
Ford Hall Stage Crew, Ithaca College School of Music Wind, Brass, Percussion, and Keyboard Faculty
Becky Jordan, Manager of Ensembles & Kinyon Music Education Collections and her dedicated staff
Kristina Shanton, Music Librarian
Members of the Ithaca College Concert Band
Ithaca College Concert Band
Wednesday, March 4, 2020
Ford Hall, 8:15pm
Graduate Conducting Recital
Ithaca College Wind Ensemble
Friday, April 3, 2020
Ford Hall, 8:15pm
Ithaca College Concert Band
Friday, May 1, 2020
Ford Hall, 8:15pm
Ithaca College Wind Ensemble
Sunday, May 3, 2020
Ford Hall, 4:00pm