Concerts

‘Beauty and Life’

Saturday, February 3, 2018, 
7:00 p.m.
Lord of Life Lutheran Church
351 Buckwalter Parkway
Bluffton

Sunday, February 11, 2018, 4:00 p.m.
St. John’s Lutheran Church
157 Lady’s Island Drive, Beaufort

— PROGRAM —
The Lowcountry Wind Symphony
February 3 & 11, 2018
Fountainhead: Stephen Melillo
Mvt. 1: Integrity’s First Stand
Mvt. 3: Where Beauty Has No Chance
Mvt. 6: Monument to the Spirit of Man
Olympic Spirit John Williams/Arr. James Curnow
Easter Monday on the White House Lawn John Philip Sousa/Edited Mike Rogers

Intermission

Poet and Peasant Overture Franz von Suppe/Arr. Henry Fillmore
The Gift of Love Stephen Melillo
World of Warcraft Douglas E. Wagner
Arland D. Williams – Anthem Stephen Melillo
for the Souls You’ve Never Heard
Americans We Henry Fillmore

ABOUT THE MUSIC

The winter concert presents works by Franz von Suppe, John Philip Sousa, Stephen Melillo and some of the most dynamic music written and transcribed for Band. This program centers on life as it may be found in many ways, sometimes triumphant and sometimes less so. The repertoire touches on those extremes and the points in between.
Arland D. Williams: Heroism is a ‘riddle’ of human behavior, often without rational or scientific explanation. It is an illogical impulse, and as news stories about tragic events vividly portray, in many cases, heroes as rescuers are as likely to die as the people they are trying to rescue. Such is the case of Arland D. Williams.
Composer Stephen Melillo created a tribute piece dedicated to an American Hero, Arland Dean Williams, Jr. who was a passenger aboard Air Florida Flight 90, which crashed on take-off in Washington, D.C., on January 13, 1982.
A blizzard slowed rescue efforts as icy roads and traffic jams kept emergency vehicles from reaching the scene, and to onlookers, it seemed impossible that anyone could be alive inside the mangled jetliner slowly vanishing into the water. But one by one, six survivors gasped to the surface and grabbed desperately at the tail of the plane. One man in the water that day was Arland D. Williams, Jr.
Twenty minutes after the crash no one had been able to reach the six survivors until suddenly, miraculously, a rescue chopper appeared. It dropped a life ring into the hands of one of the survivors and plucked him from the water.
The next person to receive the ring handed it over to someone else. The chopper lofted her to safety, then wheeled back. The man gave away the ring again; and again. He even gave it away when he knew it was his last chance to live. He must have known, because when the chopper thundered back seconds later, to scoop Williams to safety, they found he’d disappeared under the water along with the sinking tail section of the plane. His body was later recovered. In all, 78 people died that day; five survived the crash and its aftermath.
On that cold and tragic day, Arland D. Williams Jr. exemplified one of the best attributes of human nature, specifically that some people are capable of doing anything for total strangers. Composer Melillo honors Arland D. Williams in this emotional and heartfelt composition.
Poet and Peasant Overture composed by Franz von Suppé or as his parents named him Francesco Ezechiele Ermenegildo Cavalier di Suppé-Demelli at birth in April 1819 in the Austrian-Hungarian Empire (now part of Croatia). Suppé later simplified and Germanized his name.
Suppé was a composer and conductor of the Romantic period, noted for his many operettas. He began studying flute and harmony, and to compose at an early age. By age 16, he had moved to Padua to study law – a field of study not of his choosing – while continuing to study music.
He was invited to Vienna, and following studying music there, he conducted in the theatre, initially without pay, but with the opportunity to present his own operas. Two of Suppé’s comic operas have been performed at the New York Metropolitan Opera, but failed to become repertoire works. He composed about 30 operettas and 180 farces, ballets, and other stage works. Although the bulk of his operas have sunk into relative obscurity, the overtures – particularly Poet and Peasant and Light Cavalry – have survived and have been used in soundtracks for films, cartoons, advertisements, in addition to being frequently played at symphonic “pops” concerts.
The Gift of Love by Stephen Melillo is taken from the two-part musical tribute to renowned Hollywood composer Erich Korngold named simply ‘ERICH’. Korngold was born to a Jewish family in Austria-Hungary (present-day Brno, Czech Republic), the second son of eminent music critic Julius Korngold. A child prodigy, he could play four-hand piano arrangements alongside his father at age five. He was also able to reproduce any melody he heard on the piano, along with playing complete and elaborate chords. By the time he was seven he was writing original music.
In 1934, Korngold’s friend and stage and film director Max Reinhardt, brought him to Hollywood. He returned to Austria for a time, but in 1938, while conducting opera when Korngold was asked by Warner Brothers to return to Hollywood and compose a score for The Adventures of Robin Hood, starring Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland. The film is considered the finest of its kind, with a series of romantic and adventurous sequences propelled by Korngold’s dynamic score, termed by music historian Laurence E. MacDonald as “glorious music.”
Before Korngold began composing the Robin Hood score, Austria was annexed by Germany and his home in Vienna was confiscated by the Nazis. And because all Jews in Austria were at risk, he remained in the U.S., bringing members of his family here until the end of World War II. Korngold noted that the opportunity to compose the score for Robin Hood saved his life.
It also gave him his second Academy Award for Best Original Score and established the symphonic style later used in action films during Hollywood’s Golden Age. Korngold incorporated the harmonies, lush instrumental effects, and passionate climaxes resembling the compositions of late 19th and early 20th century German symphonic tone poems. Modern epics such as the Star Wars and Indiana Jones trilogies similarly included original symphonic scores. Composer John Williams has cited Korngold as his inspiration in scoring the Star Wars series.
In his notes on Korngold, Mr. Melillo says: “Erich Korngold, far and beyond his history or critical acclaim is a man who I have come to love and admire… because of his Music! In his out-pouring I can hear the valiant stance against the un-Romantic. I hear him take on the mantle of honesty and sincerity and giving. He offered to us, the ‘Gift of Love’. This piece, ERICH!… is a small and humble gift back to him. . . .”
Easter Monday on the White House Lawn (from Tales of a Traveler). The title of this uncharacteristic John Philip Sousa march refers to the annual Easter Egg roll in Washington D.C. The American practice of having children roll Easter eggs on a lawn is no longer widely seen; in fact, it may persist only at the White House, where the President and other politicians come out to be seen smiling at toddlers who may be quite puzzled at this strange sort of game they have been taught to play.
Though less popular than when it was in fashion in 1928, Sousa commemorated one such event held under the dour public persona of President Calvin Coolidge.
This is a very lightly treading march, with high, playful orchestration that paints a charming and sentimental picture of the children enjoying the experience. It even uses some lightly applied “Jazz Age” syncopations.
While there is a ‘quaintness’ to the piece and the institution of White House Egg Rolling, this march shows a good deal of the spirit Sousa often used in his several successful operettas and dance pieces.
The Fountainhead written by Stephen Melillo was inspired by Ayn Rand’s novel of the same name. This performance includes three of the six movements written, and the composer recommends including the following edited notes for you, the audience as a context for the piece.
The Fountainhead, a composition set to paper, a structure which is built in time’s present passing by today’s performers and You, the listener, stands as a testament to the continual ‘Spirit of Man’. The Monument, which we will build together, is a force which remains undaunted despite attitudes displayed by some of Rand’s characters. It has always been timely, but now…more than ever.
Movement 1: Integrity’s First Stand: Howard Roark (Ayn Rand’s principal character), is a hero, and for me, a personal hero. Consciously and as a matter of pure coincidence, ‘our’ lives have been similar. This work, composed as an architectural statement employing the Fibonacci Series, takes but 5 notes, representing the name ROARK. With simple means, the journey begins. Part of that journey embodies the Promise I have made to myself as a composer…on a Bridge, years ago at 3:33 p.m.
Beyond the mathematical significance of the inner message, for Music is always in the ‘beyond’, rests the constant prayer of a boy, on a Bridge, in the past, in the ever-present now and all the futures to come. We are ALL on that Bridge, you see!?
Movement III: Where Beauty Has No Chance: And what of Beauty? Well…there is a certain ambiguity residing in this movement. It is as though, Beauty has no chance…nowhere.
Movement VI: The whole work relentlessly points to its final movement…MONUMENT TO THE SPIRIT OF MAN. I hope you will hear in this Music which I write from Mind, Heart and Soul, that quality which is forever the wellspring of Man’s better side. In this movement, we will build…together. For those of you who can relate to the numerical significance of the fact, we will fall…three times…but in that final climb, we will build the greatest most lasting skyscraper, a structure which forever climbs upward, through the clouds, beyond the Storm…into the Light beyond and Above.
As always, this piece is for You. Godspeed and thank you for listening with the same Love that has urged its creation and performance.
World of Warcraft is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) released in 2004 by Blizzard Entertainment. The first expansion set of the game, The Burning Crusade, was released on January 16, 2007. Expanded sets of the game were made in subsequent releases between 2010 and 2016.With a peak of 12 million subscriptions, World of Warcraft holds the Guinness World Record for the most popular MMORPG by subscribers.
The phenomenally rich symphonic score by Douglas E. Wagner further enhances the dazzling graphics and true-to-life animations. Four of the musical highlights from the dramatic soundtrack are presented in this first-time medley for concert band, World of Warcraft Main Title, March- Silvermoon, 2, Pt.1, Invincible, and Lion’s Pride.
Americans We: Henry Fillmore Wherever events take each of us, it all comes back to Beauty and Life in America – and the common thread throughout is the American spirit. Henry Fillmore is among America’s most famous march composers. In 1928, he was conducting his 24-piece band at a series of concerts in Cincinnati when they performed his new march. While the march was an instant success he had difficulty finding a suitable name for it. When it was published in 1929 it was called Americans We, and was simply dedicated “To All of Us”. Americans We was played at every concert he conducted at the Cincinnati Zoo’s Pure Food and Health Show because he realized it was one of his finest marches.

‘Saluting America’s Veterans III’

Friday, November 10, 2017, 
7:00 p.m.
St. John’s Lutheran Church
157 Lady’s Island Drive, Bluffton

Saturday, November 11, 2017, 7:00 p.m.
Lord of Life Lutheran Church
351 Buckwalter Parkway
Bluffton

— PROGRAM —
The Lowcountry Wind Symphony
November 10 & 11, 2017
Battle Cry For Freedom George Frederick Root/Arr. Noah Taylor
Finest Hour Stephen Melillo
Never Forgotten Stephen Melillo
Let Freedom Ring Kenny Biershenk
When the Boys Come Sailing Home John Philip Sousa

Intermission

The Lowcountry Fife & Drum Trio Program to be announced
God of Our Fathers George W. Warren/Arr. Thomas Knox
Armed Forces – Pride of America Arr. Larry Clark & Greg Gilpin
Those Who Serve Stephen Melillo
America The Beautiful Samuel Ward/Arr. Carmen Dragon
Star Stephen Melillo
Stars and Stripes Forever John Philip Sousa/Arr. John R. Bourgeois

ABOUT THE MUSIC

‘Saluting America’s Veterans III’ honors those who serve in our military. The Roman Numeral ‘III’ signifies the 3rd consecutive year that LWS presents a program of patriotic music to pay tribute to the men and women who have bravely served to defend our nation and the freedom we cherish.
Battle Cry of Freedom: Also known as ‘Rally Round the Flag’, the piece was written in 1862 by George Frederick Root during the American Civil War. A patriotic song advocating the causes of both Unionism and abolitionism, it became so popular that composer H. L. Schreiner and lyricist W. H. Barnes adapted it for the Confederacy.
Due to the song’s popularity, the music publisher’s 14 printing presses could not keep up with demand (estimated to be over 700,000 copies). American composer Louis Moreau Gottschalk thought so highly of the song that in his diary he noted, “it should be our national anthem”.
In defining the Northern cause, ‘The Battle Cry of Freedom’ was purposely open-ended and therefore able to bridge divisions over emancipation. In a New York Times article in 2012, historian Christian L. McWhirter stated that the song’s success and popularity in the Union was due to its balanced references to both abolitionism and unionism. It was in the chorus that Root described why Northerners rallied around the flag. The first line endorsed a perpetual Union – “The Union forever” – followed by a strong dismissal of secession: “Down with the traitor, up with the star.” However, the battle cry Root shouted was one of “freedom.”
Let Freedom Ring: presents some of the nation’s favorite patriotic songs, including the well-known ‘America’, ‘America the Beautiful’, ‘Semper Fidelis’ and ‘Yankee Doodle’. Lesser known works include Chester and To the Colors; The Red, White and Blue (Columbia the Gem of the Ocean). ‘Chester’ is based on a 1778 anthem by William Billings. Adopted by the Continental Army and sung around campfires during the American Revolution, its words express the burning desire for freedom which sustained the colonists through the difficult years of the Revolution.
‘Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean’ was popular in the U.S. during the early 20th and mid-19th centuries, especially during the Civil War era. It was an unofficial national anthem in competition with “Hail, Columbia” and “The Star-Spangled Banner” until the latter’s formal adoption as the U.S national anthem in 1931. ‘Columbia’ was a common poetic nickname for the U.S., and was often represented in illustrations and cartoons as a heroic female figure dressed in flag-like bunting.
Arranger Biershenk has also included the spirited George M. Cohan tune ‘You’re a Grand Old Flag’. According to Library of Congress notes, the original lyric came from Cohan’s encounter with a Civil War and Gettysburg veteran. While seated next to each other, Cohan noticed the vet held a carefully folded but ragged old flag. The man reportedly said to Cohan “She’s a grand old rag.” Cohan thought it was a great line and originally named his tune “You’re a Grand Old Rag.” So many groups and individuals objected to calling the flag a “rag,” however, that he renamed the song “You’re a Grand Old Flag”.
When the Boys Come Sailing Home: Throughout World War I, John Philip Sousa was a national presence and composed some of his most brilliant military marches. As the war reached its conclusion he seized the moment of victory to compose a joyous victory song to welcome home the returning troops, originally for voice and piano (his daughter Helen Sousa Abert wrote the lyrics). Later Sousa scored the music for concert band alone.
God of Our Fathers: This ‘National Hymn’, was written in 1876 for the “Centennial” 4th of July celebration of the adoption of the U.S. Constitution. The hymn is a prayer for the nation and is sung in both religious and patriotic settings. When the lyrics were written, the ‘Russian Hymn’ was used, but the hymn gained popularity when George W. Warren wrote his own music for it in 1892. The new music was unmistakable in its ability to invoke feelings of patriotism. This arrangement by Thomas Knox is acknowledged as a standard for wind bands.
Armed Forces – The Pride of America: America has a long history of honoring those who have served our country. Although these brave men and women who have served this nation do not consider themselves heroes, in our eyes they truly are. Armed Forces – The Pride of America is a medley of the service songs for the 5 branches of the U.S. military – Army, Marines, Navy, Coast Guard and Air Force and is proudly rendered to pay tribute to America’s Veterans.
America the Beautiful: Carmen Dragon has arranged one of the most beautiful and celebrated versions of this glorious composition composed by Samuel A. Ward and the lyrics by Katherine Lee Bates. Ms. Bates’ lyrics were originally written for a poem Pikes Peak in 1895. Ward had written the music ‘Materna’ for the hymn ‘O, Dear Mother, Jerusalem’ in 1882. The Ward and Bates works were combined and published as ‘America the Beautiful’ in 1910.
Stars and Stripes Forever is one of Sousa’s most popular marches, and although many thought that it was Sousa’s favorite, he quickly corrected them – ‘Semper Fidelis holds that honor. Nevertheless, ‘Stars and Stripes Forever’ is one of the most recognized marches in the world. Sousa ‘heard’ the theme echoing in his mind while sailing back to the United States from Europe, and put the notes to paper upon his arrival. Both chambers of the U.S Congress designated ‘Stars and Stripes Forever’ as the national march of the United States of America in December 1887.
Music by Composer Stephen Melillo: The Veterans Day program features 4 compositions by American composer Stephen Melillo. Mr. Melillo is active in a number of veterans activities and has written numerous patriotic compositions.
Finest Hour: As a new member of the ‘Churchill Center’, composer Melillo received a letter indicating that the U.S. Navy was soon to commission the first non-U.S. citizen guided missile destroyer in the name of Sir Winston S. Churchill. One look at the picture of the picture of Churchill that hangs over his desk and Melillo was on the phone with Naval Commander Keller to find out if the Atlantic Fleet Band was playing for the celebration. Indeed, they would be. . . and joined by the British Royal Marine Band. With little time before the official launch of the new ship, Melillo crafted ‘Finest Hour’.
So strong was Churchill’s courage and faith in a new day, that he requested first TAPS and then REVEILLE at his memorial service in January of 1965. The composer has incorporated both themes along with Churchill’s favorite hymn ‘Who Would True Valour See’ into Finest Hour. The piece embodies Churchill’s spirit, and is – in composer Melillo’s words – “dedicated to those of us who look to the forever stalwart, past and present. In them we find the courage to face the insurmountable again and again and again.”
Never Forgotten: is one of more than 50 of his compositions referred to as musical Haikus. Though less than 3 minutes in duration, it hits emotional highs with a stirring theme and delicate reverence, typical of the composer’s style. Paying tribute to the service and sacrifice of veterans, first responders and those who put their life on the line every day, ‘Never Forgotten’ is a fitting tribute.
Those Who Serve: honors the men and women who serve in our armed forces. Beginning with ‘U-S-A’ stated in a rhythmically energized Morse Code, the piece quotes the military themes positioned against each other, the Star Spangled Banner, and ‘snippets’ form several patriotic themes.
Star: is the National Anthem as recorded on ‘Kakehashi: THAT WE MIGHT LIVE’ DVD to honor veterans past and present. This arrangement has been played at NY Giants, Nets and Yankee games, and has brought long-lasting and appreciative applause. The composer often “ends” concerts with this version, a practice begun at the Premiere of Kakehashi: THAT WE MIGHT LIVE in Roswell, NM, and LWS does likewise in this program.

PREVIOUSLY PERFORMED:

‘Around the World’

Sunday, January 29, 2017 
4:00 p.m.
St. John’s Lutheran Church
157 Lady’s Island Drive, Bluffton

Sunday, February 12, 2017 
7:00 p.m.
Lord of Life Lutheran Church
351 Buckwalter Parkway
Bluffton

— PROGRAM —
The Lowcountry Wind Symphony
Procession of the Nobles Nikolas Rimsky-Korsakov
; Arr. Erik W.G. Leidzden
Light Cavalry Overture Franz Von Suppe; Arr. Henry Fillmore
Irish Tune from County Derry Percy Grainger
Florentiner March Julius Fucik

Intermission

Mambo Greats Arr. Paul Murtha
Caribbean Hideaway James Barnes
The Music of Disneyland Arr. Jerry Brubaker
Shenandoah Arr. Frank Ticheli
Alexander’s Ragtime Band Irving Berlin
; Arr. Jeff Taylor

ABOUT THE MUSIC

The winter concert presents takes us on a musical; excursion ‘Around the World’. Works by Rimsky-Korsakov, Von Suppe and Percy Grainger highlight the journey throughout Europe. The second half of the program travels through the Caribbean, Central and South America before finally coming home to America.

Procession of the Nobles: Transcribed from ‘Mlada’ an opera in four acts composed by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov in the late 19th century. This energetic march reflects the composer’s musical impressions of Paris at the 1889 World Exhibition. It reflects on music in Hungarian and Algerian Cafes. This arrangement features brass fanfares and ensemble demands for both woodwinds and brass.

Light Cavalry Overture: is the overture to Franz von Suppé’s operetta Light Cavalry (German: Leichte Kavallerie), premiered in Vienna in 1866. Although the operetta is rarely performed or recorded, the overture is one of Suppé’s most popular compositions, and has achieved a quite distinct life of its own, divorced from the opera of which it originally formed a part. A mainstay for many orchestras around the world, the main theme of the overture has been used frequently by musicians, cartoons and other media.

Irish Tune from County Derry: Among the great musical airs is the ‘Irish Tune from County Derry’. This gem, arranged by Percy Grainger in 1918, is based on the Irish airs in the Petrie Collection of Ancient Music of Ireland. More popularly thought of as “Danny Boy,” this arrangement will have you feeling you’re amid the lush green of the Emerald Isle. In our programming around the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day 2014, the Band presents this ancient Irish tune.

Florentiner March: This bright and energetic march, subtitled ‘Great Italian March,’ was composed in September 1907. The original title was ‘La Rosa di Toscana (The Rose of Tuscany). The composer was initially contemplating an operetta with an Italian setting, taking this witty piece as its starting point. The opening fanfare is intended to represent a Florentine girl, while its two-note answer is her boyfriend’s reply, “Ja-wohl.” The piece maintains a high energy throughout even through the quieter moments in the Trio.

Caribbean Hideaway: As the excursion continues toward its inevitable arrival in the U.S. there is a stop in the beautiful Caribbean.

‘Salute to America’s Veterans II’

Veteran’s Day Program

Sunday, November 6, 2016 
5:00 p.m.
Holy Family Catholic Church
24 Pope Avenue
Hilton Head

Friday, November 11, 2016 
7:00 p.m.
St. Peter’s Church
70 Lady’s Island Drive
Beaufort

PROGRAM

The Lowcountry Wind Symphony
American Flourish
Robert W. Smith
Eternal Father, Strong to Save
Arr. Stephen Melillo

The Lowcountry Brass Quintet | Program to be announced

The Lowcountry Wind Symphony
Battle Hymn of the Republic
Arr. James D. Ployhar

Death or Glory
Robert Browne Hall

Intermission

God of Our Fathers
George W. WarrenArr. Thomas Knox

Irving Berlin’s Songs for America
Irving BerlinArr. James Swearingen

Armed Forces – Pride of America
Arr. Larry Clark & Greg Gilpin

America The Beautiful
Samuel WardArr. Carmen Dragon

Stars and Stripes Forever
John Philip Sousa, Arr. John R. Bourgeois

 

ABOUT THE MUSIC

‘Saluting America’s Veteran’s II’
The November program ‘Saluting America’s Veterans II’ honors those who serve in our military. Since the early days of the American Revolution, men and women have bravely served to defend our nation, reminding us the sad truth that Freedom is not Free. It is paid for by the sacrifices of those who serve and have served that we may enjoy the freedom we cherish. Here is a sampling from the program the LWS is proud to present.

American Flourish: Robert W. Smith’s ‘American Flourish’ is based on folksongs from the American experience. These timeless melodies including ‘Yankee Doodle’, ‘When Johnny Comes Marching Home’ and ‘Shenandoah’ have become synonymous with the history of the United States. ‘American Flourish’ is a light, yet musically substantive opener to the program.

Eternal Father, Strong to Save: Often referred to as ‘The Navy Hymn’ this beautiful theme is traditionally associated with seafarers, particularly in the maritime armed services. Originally written in 1860, its author William Whiting was inspired by the dangers of the sea described in Psalm 107. It was popularized by Britain’s Royal Navy and the United States Navy in the late 19th century. Variations of it were soon adopted by many branches of the armed services in both countries, and it is accordingly known as the Hymn of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces, the Royal Navy Hymn, the United States Navy Hymn (or just The Navy Hymn).

Death or Glory: Although this energetic march is often assumed to be written for British wind or brass band, Robert Browne Hall composed it to honor the 15th Regiment from Albany, New York. R.B. Hall as he was commonly known was a leading composer of marches and other music for brass bands. A principal American composer of marching music, he was born in Bowdoinham, Maine and although he seldom left his native state during his lifetime, his music has traveled around the world. He is particularly popular in the United Kingdom, so much so that many lovers of brass band music there mistakenly imagine that Hall is an English composer. His celebrated march “Death or Glory”, written in 1895, is a well-known staple of brass band concerts and competitions all over the UK.

Battle Hymn of the Republic: Also known as “Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory” outside of the United States, is a song by American writer Julia Ward Howe using the music from the song “John Brown’s Body“. Howe’s more famous lyrics were written in November 1861, and first published in The Atlantic Monthly in February 1862. The song links the (biblical) judgment of the wicked at the end of the age with the American Civil War. Since that time, it has become an extremely popular and well-known American patriotic song.

God of Our Fathers: This ‘National Hymn’, was written in 1876 for the “Centennial” 4th of July celebration of the adoption of the Constitution at Brandon, Vermont. The hymn is a prayer for the nation and is sung in both religious and patriotic settings. When the lyrics were written, the ‘Russian Hymn’ was used, but the hymn gained popularity when George W. Warren wrote his own music for it in 1892. The new music was unmistakable in its ability to invoke feelings of patriotism. This arrangement by Thomas Knox is acknowledged as a standard for wind bands.

Irving Berlin’s Songs for America: The revered composer, songwriter, author and publisher came to America from his birthplace in Belarus at age 5. He was educated in the New York schools, and earned honorary degrees from Bucknell and Temple Universities. His early music career began as a song-plugger and singing waiter, and later as a staff lyricist.

In 1910, he began doing vaudeville appearances in the United States and abroad, and also appeared in the Broadway musical “Up and Down Broadway”. Berlin enlisted the United States Army infantry in World War I, and was a sergeant at Camp Upton, New York.

Berlin began writing his own compositions, and his songs received critical and popular acclaim, making him one of America’s most beloved composers. Among his many awards was the Medal for Merit for his 1942 all-soldier show “This Is the Army”, which toured the United States, Europe and South Pacific battle zones. Berlin was also a member of the French Legion of Honor and held the Congressional Medal of Honor for “God Bless America”,

‘Irving Berlin’s Songs for America’ feature some of his most iconic works including ‘This is the Army’ and God Bless America.

Armed Forces – The Pride of America: America has a long history of honoring those who have served our country in both peace time and in war. Although to a person the brave men and women past and present who have proudly served this nation say “no” when we call them heroes, in our eyes they truly are. Armed Forces – The Pride of America is a medley of the service songs for the 5 branches of the United States military – Army, Marines, Navy, Coast Guard and Air Force and is proudly rendered to pay tribute to America’s Veterans.

America the Beautiful: was composed by Samuel A. Ward and the lyrics by Katherine Lee Bates. Ms. Bates’ lyrics were originally written for a poem Pikes Peak in 1895. Ward had written the music ‘Materna’ for the hymn ‘O, Dear Mother, Jerusalem’ in 1882. The Ward and Bates works were combined and published as ‘America the Beautiful’ in 1910. One of the most beautiful and celebrated versions of this glorious composition has been arranged by Carmen Dragon, and the band proudly presents it in this season’s programming.

The program concludes with ‘Stars and Stripes Forever’, one of Sousa’s most popular marches. Although newspapermen of the age wrote that this was Sousa’s favorite, he quickly corrected them – it is ‘Semper Fidelis’ holds that honor. Nevertheless, ‘Stars and Stripes Forever’ is one of the most recognized marches in the world. Sousa ‘heard’ the theme echoing in his mind while sailing back to the United States from Europe. He put the notes to paper after arriving in the States. Both chambers of the U.S Congress designated ‘Stars and Stripes Forever’ as the national march of the United States of America in December 1887.

 

‘Stage & Screen’

Sunday, April 17th, 2016  |  4 p.m.
Sea Island Presbyterian Church  |  81 Lady’s Island Drive, Beaufort, SC

The spring program features the music of the Broadway Stage and the Silver Screen. The first half showcases music from hit Broadway shows including, ‘The Wizard of Oz’ and ‘South Pacific’ among others. After achieving acclaim in their long runs on the ‘Great White Way’ some shows were scripted for equally popular movies.

Golden Age of Broadway: opens the program with music from the legendary composing teams. Some of the most well-known songs from the grand musicals are showcased in this classic arrangement. Bali Hai from ‘South Pacific’, the title song from ‘Oklahoma’, Getting to Know You from ‘The King and I’ the ‘Carousel’ Waltz and Climb Every Mountain from ‘The Sound Of Music’ rekindle memories of the Golden Age of the Broadway stage.

Symphonic Dances from Fiddler on the Roof: remains among the most popular and enduring musicals in history. This arrangement by Ira Hearshen presents a sampling of the dances including, ‘Tradition’, ‘Wedding Dance #1’ the tender ‘Chava’ sequence and ‘To Life’.

The Wizard of Oz: celebrated its 75th birthday in 2014. One of the most engaging scores ever written, ‘The Wizard’ is truly cross-generational. The arrangement by James Barnes takes us on a fun journey along the Yellow Brick Road. The familiar ‘We’re Off to See the Wizard’ sets the stage for the trip to the Land of Oz. Ding Dong the Witch is Dead and a wonderful tuba solo – ‘If I Only Had a Brain’ are among the familiar melodies in this masterpiece.

The Great Escape March: is the title theme from the movie of the same name. The movie is based on a true story in which some two hundred Allied prisoners of war planned and executed an escape from the ‘escape-proof’ Stalag Luft 17 camp. Though many were returned to prison camp, the killing of some fifty of the re-captured men remains a sad testament of the times. Arranger Robert W. Smith’s adaptation of Elmer Bernstein’s movie score captures the main theme and brings to mind star Steve McQueen’s many attempts to escape.

Eternal Father, Strong to Save: Often referred to as ‘The Navy Hymn’ this beautiful theme is traditionally associated with seafarers, particularly in the maritime armed services. Originally written in 1860, its author William Whiting was inspired by the dangers of the sea described in Psalm 107. It was popularized by Britain’s Royal Navy and the United States Navy in the late 19th century. Variations of it were soon adopted by many branches of the armed services in both countries, and it is accordingly known as the Hymn of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces, the Royal Navy Hymn, the United States Navy Hymn (or just The Navy Hymn).

Used in the movie ‘Crimson Tide’ starring Gene Hackman and Denzel Washington, the Navy Hymn is heard in full verse. Stephen Melillo’s arrangement of the Hymn is treated with the solemnity inherent in this great Psalm.

Bond…James Bond: In February 1952, Ian Fleming began writing his first James Bond novel, Casino Royale at his Goldeneye estate in Jamaica, [where he wrote all his Bond novels during the months of January and February each year. A mainstay in each Bond movie was the music, including the familiar Bond theme and a song which found its way onto broadcast radio. The ‘Bond…James Bond’ arrangement brings together some of those popular songs. After opening with the familiar Bond theme, arranger Stephen Sulla presents a medley of popular favorites, ‘Goldfinger’, ‘Nobody Does It Better’, ‘Skyfall’, and Live and ‘Let Die’.

Chicago: is a 2002 American musical comedy crime film based upon the musical of the same name, exploring the themes of celebrity, scandal, and corruption in Jazz Age Chicago. Richard Gere, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Renée Zellweger, and Queen Latifah head an all-star cast.

The story centers on Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart, two murderesses who find themselves in jail together awaiting trial in 1920s Chicago. Velma, a vaudevillian, and Roxie, a housewife, fight for the attention of lawyer Billy Flint and the fame that will keep them from the gallows.

Chicago won six Academy Awards in 2003, including Best Picture, and was the first musical to win Best Picture since Oliver! in 1969. The Ricketts arrangement swings throughout with high energy and outstanding treatments of themes from the movie.

‘Concert Classics’

Sunday, Jan. 31st, 2016  |  3 p.m.
St. John’s Lutheran, 157 Lady’s Island Dr.


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The winter concert presents works by Percy Grainger, Leroy Anderson, Robert Sheldon and John Philip Sousa and some of the most dynamic music written and transcribed for Band.

National Emblem: Composer E.E. Bagley was a self-taught cornetist and trombonist in several New England bands and the newly formed Boston Symphony Orchestra. In 1905 he wrote one of the finest marches, one which has been performed by every type of marching and concert band throughout the world. John Philip Sousa included the ‘National Emblem’ on a short list of the very best parade marches.

Triumph of the Argonauts: Composer Robert Sheldon tells the story of this epic adventure in ancient times Jason is the ancient Greek mythological character who is famous for his role as the leader of the Argonauts. This triumphant piece was inspired by Jason’s legendary journey as he and his crew overcame numerous challenges during their quest to capture the Golden Fleece.

Country Gardens: Grainger finds himself on the program for a second time in the familiar theme from ‘Country Gardens’. John Phillip Sousa. Sousa wrote to Grainger asking for permission to arrange this work. In a number of letters between the two, Grainger was excited to have one of his works arranged by the great Sousa.

Amazing Grace: is a well-known hymn with words written by the English poet and clergyman John Newton. First published in 1779, ‘Amazing Grace’ is one of the most recognizable songs in the English-speaking world. From gentleness to powerful grandeur, this version arranged by Frank Ticheli makes use of the full range of symphonic colors and accurately captures the spiritual mood of this beloved melody.

Syncopated Clock: Leroy Anderson penned some of the most widely recognized tunes in all of music. He wrote the Syncopated Clock in 1945 while serving in the Military Intelligence Unit of the U.S. Army in Washington D.C. The piece was premiered by Arthur Fielder and the Boston Pops in May 1945. After its initial recording in 1950, the ‘Clock’ was noticed by producers of a new TV offering, ‘The Late Show’, and became the theme song for the next twenty-five years.

America the Beautiful: was composed by Samuel A. Ward and the lyrics by Katherine Lee Bates. Ms. Bates’ lyrics were originally written for a poem Pikes Peak in 1895. Ward had written the music ‘Materna’ for the hymn ‘O, Dear Mother, Jerusalem’ in 1882. The Ward and Bates works were combined and published as ‘America the Beautiful’ in 1910. One of the most beautiful and celebrated versions of this glorious composition has been arranged by Carmen Dragon, and the band proudly presents it in this season’s programming.


 

‘Honoring America’s Veterans’
Sunday, Nov.8, 2015
Veteran’s Day Program | St. John’s Lutheran Church
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The November 2015 program ‘Honoring America’s Veterans’ honors those who serve in our military. Since the early days of the American Revolution, men and women have bravely served to defend our nation, reminding us the sad truth that Freedom is not Free. It is paid for by the sacrifices of those who serve and have served that we may enjoy the freedom we cherish. Here is a sampling from the program the LWS is proud to present.

American Flourish: Robert W. Smith’s ‘American Flourish’ is based on folksongs from the American experience. These timeless melodies including ‘Yankee Doodle’, ‘When Johnny Comes Marching Home’ and ‘Shenandoah’ have become synonymous with the history of the United States. ‘American Flourish’ is a light, yet musically substantive opener to the program.

Goin Home: The melody for this hymn was written by Czech composer Antonin Dvorak, and adapted from the second movement of his ‘New World Symphony’, commissioned by the New York Philharmonic. Dvorak, who emigrated to America was inspired by the music of North America. He stated, “I am convinced that the future music of this country must be founded on Native American and African-American music. These can be the foundation of a serious and original school of composition, to be developed in the United States. These beautiful and varied themes are the product of the soil. They are the folk songs of America and your composers must turn to them.”

God of Our Fathers: This ‘National Hymn’, was written in 1876 for the “Centennial” 4th of July celebration of the adoption of the Constitution at Brandon, Vermont. The hymn is a prayer for the nation and is sung in both religious and patriotic settings. When the lyrics were written, the ‘Russian Hymn’ was used, but the hymn gained popularity when George W. Warren wrote his own music for it in 1892. The new music was unmistakable in its ability to invoke feelings of patriotism. This arrangement by Thomas Knox is acknowledged as a standard for wind bands.

Elegy for the USS Arizona: On December 7, 1945 the USS Arizona sank during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Among the many American sailors lost were the 22 musicians attached to the Arizona. Larry MacTaggart’s ‘Elegy’ pays tribute to all those lost on the Arizona and salutes the sailors who have carried the Navy banner proudly to this day. Into the main theme, MacTaggart has woven the familiar ‘Navy Hymn’ and ‘Taps’.

Armed Forces – The Pride of America: America has a long history of honoring those who have served our country in both peace time and in war. Although to a person the brave men and women past and present who have proudly served this nation say “no” when we call them heroes, in our eyes they truly are. Armed Forces – The Pride of America is a medley of the service songs for the 5 branches of the United States military – Army, Marines, Navy, Coast Guard and Air Force and is proudly rendered to pay tribute to America’s Veterans.

God Bless America is often considered the ‘second National Anthem’, and Irving Berlin’s composition is recognized and loved by Americans everywhere. Early in World War II, the first three words of the composition were quietly hummed by the heroic men who endured the Bataan Death March to give strength to others when hope of survival waned. They did so knowing that if their captors should hear them, they would be killed instantly. We hope you will join in singing this stirring song of praise for America.

The Marches: It is hard to imagine a band concert without a sampling of American Marches, and this program has three. Americans We: Henry Fillmore is among America’s most famous march composers. In 1928 he was conducting his 24 piece band at a series of concerts in Cincinnati when they performed his new march. While the march was an instant success he had difficulty finding a suitable name for it. When it was published in 1929 it was called Americans We, and was simply dedicated “To All of Us”.

John Phillip Sousa finds his way on the program with two of his famous marches. ‘El Capitan’ is the march from his three act operetta of the same name. This was Sousa’s first successful operetta and his most successful stage work. El Capitan is comprised of themes from the operetta, and has become a standard for brass bands and crossover to other genres.

The program concludes with ‘Stars and Stripes Forever’, one of Sousa’s most popular marches. Although newspapermen of the age wrote that this was Sousa’s favorite, he quickly corrected them. In fact ‘Semper Fidelis’ holds that honor. Nevertheless, ‘Stars and Stripes Forever’ is one of the most recognized marches in the world. Sousa ‘heard’ the theme echoing in his mind while sailing back to the United States from Europe. He put the notes to paper after arriving in the States. Both chambers of the U.S Congress designated ‘Stars and Stripes Forever’ as the national march of the United States of America in December 1887.

Notes of Special Interest

Composer Stephen Melillo’s treatment of the familiar Marine’s Hymn was written in 2007 on the 232nd Anniversary of the establishment of the Corps. The inspiration for the arrangement came from Lance Corporal Michael Ashby and the US Marine Corps. Here is how it all unfolded as told by the composer:

Yesterday I was treated to a call from Baghdad. It was Michael Ashby, a Marine serving in Iraq…“Mike, please tell what I can do for you and all your buddies. Maybe there’s something I can put on the website . . . some sort of Thank You note.”

“Steve, well maybe someday could you please do an arrangement of the Marines Hymn.”

“Funny you should say that, Mike. I always wanted to do one. You know. . . something like Star, like God Bless America …” 

“That’s exactly what we want. That would be so cool.”

“Why, Mike?”

“Because we put our hearts into what we do. They’re not just jobs. We’re passionate about what we do. We are leaving so much of ourselves behind for somebody.”

Dear Marines. Inspired not only by Michael, but each and every one of you. Past, Present and Future, here is a small expression of my love, admiration and respect for you and what you do in the name of Freedom. I have a son who was born 24 minutes before the first building was hit on 11 September 2001, and I know that what you do today…may just save my Son from doing it tomorrow. Thank you for your Bravery. Thank you for your Courage and sacrifice. Hopefully, in this small ‘tribute’ you’ll find a sentiment you can relate to. Godspeed! Steve

And now, Michael’s Reaction: “Stephen, that piece was beautiful! It gave me, and every Marine that has listened to it IMMEDIATE goose-bumps. It is greatly appreciated by everyone.” Michael Ashby, Marine.”

As the Band renders this special arrangement, a video provided by the composer honors the men and women past and present who serve in so many roles throughout the world as they have since their founding on November 10, 1775 – 240 years ago.