Thursday, March 30, 2023

Community band holds concert March 22

| March 17, 2023 12:00 AM

The Flathead Valley Community Band presents its “Spring has Arrived” concert on Wednesday March 22 in the Flathead High School Auditorium.

Concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. The band is under the direction of Allen Slater and Matt King.

The concert will feature several energetic pieces that bring out the promise of a new beginning. “Hounds of Spring” by Alfred Reed is an exciting, rhythmic overture for the band is in the fast-slow-fast format of the early 18th-Century Italian opera overtures.

The composer's purpose was to capture the twin elements (exuberant, youthful gaiety and the sweetness of tender love) found in the poem Atlanta in Calydon, written in 1865 by the English poet Algernon Charles Swinburne. According to Reed, he wanted to capture the twin elements of the poem, exuberant youthful gaiety and the sweetness of tender love, in an appropriate musical texture.

“Seventh Night of July” by Japanese composer Itaru Sakai was written to commemorate the holiday known as Tanabata which falls on July 7, with large celebrations being held throughout the country. The holiday is based on a legend about a young man and a young woman who are separated by the Milky Way and can only see each other once a year on this night. His musical interpretation of this romantic legend features solos by alto saxophone and euphonium during the middle movement representing the two main themes from the legend.

“Arabesque” was commissioned by the Indiana Bandmasters Association and written for the 2008 Indiana All-State Band. Arabesque is based in the mystical sounds of Middle Eastern music and it is composed in three parts. “Taqasim” (tah’-zeem), “dabka” (dupp-keh) and “chorale.” The opening flute cadenza, is meant to sound like an Arabic taqasim or improvisation. The second section, a dabka, is a traditional Arabic line dance performed at celebrations, most often at weddings. Its drum beat, played by a dumbek or durbake hand drum is unmistakable. Even though rhythmically simple, it is infectious in its ability to capture the toe-tapping attention of the listener. The final section, the chorale, is a recapitulation of previous mystical themes in the composition, interwoven with a grandeur of a sparkling ending.

At age 11, Arthur Pryor received a used slide trombone that was given to his father in payment of a debt for a printing job. Slide trombones were considered a novelty, relegated to use in some symphonic groups, and therefore not commonly used in bands. Samuel, Arthur’s father, encouraged him to figure the thing out and practice at it, which he often did at up to ten hours per day. He eventually found out some necessary details from other players, such as using the entire slide, not just one third, and the necessity to keep the slide oiled. Arthur is said to have popularized the use of the trombone glissando, a very well controlled refinement of the slide. One of the problems with being a brilliant soloist on an instrument like the trombone is that little repertoire existed at that time featuring the instrument. So Arthur set out to change that by writing his own band arrangements with trombone lead. He was a soloist with all best groups including Gilmore’s band and the great John Philip Sousa Band. “Kansas Two Step” written in 1895, features the trombones as well as all the low brass.

The Battle of Midway was a victory that some say was the turning point of the U.S. war against Japan during World War II. The jaunty nature of the march celebrates the victory but omits the high cost of a battle. Key to the victory was the breaking of the Japanese Naval encryption codes. Williams references the code in his march with a repetitive set of staccato notes in the brass. The march was composed in 1976 as part of the soundtrack for an epic movie. The musical score produced one of Williams’s most popular marches, Midway March.

The concert also includes several marches, such as “March Op. 99” by Sergei Prokofief, “Valdres” by Johannes Hannsen and a John Philip Sousa classic, “The Glory of the Yankee Navy”, as well as a medley of pop tunes from the 50s.

There is no admittance charge for the concert but there will be a free will donation to help cover the cost of the concert. There will be a reception in the commons following the concert.

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