Burnin' is a fast-paced, white-knuckled musical thrill ride for accomplished bands. The music is continuously propelled forward by driving rhythms and challenging ensemble passages that dart and soar like a high-speed roller coaster of sound. As the melodic lines fly by they're constantly fueled by a steady influx of jazz-styled figures that dash through a variety of musical influences including Latin, flamenco, and tango. Caution! Contents contain a volatile mix of musically flammable materials!
Echoes of the Morning Trumpet is based on a hymn tune entitled Morning Trumpet by B.F. White that was first published in The Sacred Harp Hymn Book of 1844, a book that was originally printed in shaped notes. The Sacred Harp style of singing is characterized by stark chords with plenty of open fifths and equal participation by all performers who sit and stand in blocks, by section, facing the leader in the middle. This piece features a trumpet solo in the opening, accompanied by the singing of the members of the ensemble. Various treatments of the hymn that highlight the ensemble colors follow before the magnificent close.
This work was written to honor the distinguished career of Robert E. Foster, trumpeter and music educator.
In commenting about this march, Sousa is reported to have said "(it's) addressed to no particular nation, but to all of America's friends abroad." His words couldn't have been more prophetic as it has become the musical symbol of international friendship and goodwill. As director of the Marine Band, Col. John R. Bourgeois has performed this march on numerous historic occasions such as the 100th anniversary of the dedication of the Statue of Liberty and the International Parade of the Tall Ships (1986), the Marine Band's first overseas appearances in Ireland (1986) and Norway (1989), and their historic tour of the former Soviet Union (1990). It is only appropriate that Col. Bourgeois' edition of Sousa's Hands Across the Sea has been designated the official march of the inaugural Cuba/United States Wind Band Symposium.
The Heart's Reflection was originally written for eight-part mixed chorus as a sort of tone poem to Proverbs 27:19: "Just as the water reflects the face, so one human heart reflects another." Broad and symphonic in nature, it reflects these words freely, exploring the emotions behind each. From the original program notes: "It serves as a poignant reminder of the spiritual kinship that exists within humanity and the necessity that we must see ourselves in the hearts of others." The variety of textures and instrumental colors enhance the tonal spectrum of the original and bring out the expressive nature of the work.
Composer Semeon Alexanderovich Chernetsky was born in 1881 and died in 1950. A trombonist and a composition student of Alexander Glazunov, he was also a prominent military bandmaster. He was named Director of the Band of the Soviet Army in 1932, and in 1935 he founded the Band of the Ministry of Defense. He composed over 70 marches including March of the Tankmen, which he wrote in 1946, as well as other works for band. The stately manner of this stirring march displays a profound sense of loyalty and national pride that is unmistakable.
Chivalry dates back to the medieval institution of knighthood; while its meaning has changed over time, Of Chivalry and Valor celebrates some of the central tenets deeply rooted in the original chivalric code. The militaristic opening depicts a courageous battle where knights demonstrated their loyalty, bravery, and valor, followed by softer and gentler values such as generosity and selflessness. For the finale we return to the battlefield to witness the chivalrous warriors' heroic triumph. Of Chivalry and Valor was commissioned and premiered by Anthony Rivera, Eastern Technical High School, Baltimore County Public Schools and won the National Band Association Merrill Jones Composition Contest in 2014.
"Parsifal", written in 1882, was the final opera by composer Richard Wagner (1813-1883). The prelude is a miniature masterpiece consisting of only 116 measures. The form of the prelude is similar to that of the classical three-movement overture and consists of four musical motives: the mystical realm of the Holy Grail; the Grail itself in the Dresden Amen; Faith, represented by the brass chorale; and the Agony of Amfortas. This transcription by John R. Bourgeois faithfully adheres to Wagner's intent both in key relationships and orchestration.
Franz von Suppe was born Francesco Ezechiele Ermenegildo Cavaliere di Suppe-Demielli on April 18, 1819. His father and grandfather were both civil servants, and he was distant relative of Gaetano Donizetti. He displayed his talent at an early age when he began to compose music as a young boy, but despite this he received no encouragement from his father to pursue a career in music. He went on to compose many operas, most of which remain relatively obscure; however, the overtures to "Poet and Peasant" and "Light Cavalry" are well known and have been quite popular in transcriptions for concert band and widely used in movies and cartoons. Highly exuberant and spirited, Vienna Jubilation Overture contains all the thrilling elements that are evident in all of von Suppe's remarkable overtures.