April 19, 2004
Conducted by Dean R. Immel
Interim Band Director
Chester (Overture for Band)
Based on William Billings' Hymn and Marching Song of the American Revolution
Touch of Tuba
Steve New, tuba soloist
Art Dedrick Four Pieces For Band Bela Bartok Symphonic Psalm Claude T. Smith Delirio
Carlos Hernandez, tenor saxophone solo
Cesar Portillo de la Cruz
The Light Eternal
James Swearingen The Fairest of the Fair John Phillip Sousa
Chester: The Tune on which this composition is based was born during the time of the American Revolution, appearing in 1778 in a book of tunes and anthems composed by William Billings. It became the song of the American Revolution, sung around the campfires of the Continental Army and played by fifers on the march. The music and words express perfectly the burning desire for freedom which sustained the colonists through the difficult years of the war.
A Touch of Tuba: Steve New, Instrumental Music Director at John Muir Middle School in Burbank, California, is a graduate of the University of Southern California. Following a twenty-year hiatus from teaching, Mr. New returned to school to complete his teaching credential and Masters degree in Education.
Four Pieces for Band: This is an arrangement of four selected pieces from FOR CHILDREN, a collection of eighty-five Hungarian and Slovakian folk songs transcribed for piano solo by Bela Bartok.
Symphonic Psalm: This piece was commissioned by the 1979 Texas AA Honor Band, Bellville, H.S., Robert McElroy, conductor.
Delirio: Carlos Hernandez is backed up by Jose Blackman (bass), Mike Senescu (bongos), and Angelo Salazar (guitar).
Country Gardens: The world famous pianist, Percy Grainger, first performed an improvisation on an English morris dance called "Country Gardens" in 1918. This "ditty" became wildly popular, and was to become his best-known composition.
The Light Eternal: On February 3, 1943, the S.S. Dorchester, an American troop transport vessel, sank in the icy waters off the coast of Greenland, the victim of a German U-Boat. Of the 904 men aboard, 605 were lost. Among those who perished were four army chaplains, each of a different faith, each called to the same duty. The testimony of the survivors tells the story best: "As overcrowded lifeboats capsized, as rafts drifted away empty and men milled around the deck on the ragged edge of panic, the only fragment of hope came from these four men...and when the life jackets were gone, they gave away their own." As the survivors swam away, they remember the chaplains standing, their arms linked, braced against the slanting deck. They were praying words in prayer in Latin, Hebrew and English, addressed to the same God. "The Light Eternal," based on the well-known hymn, "God of Our Fathers," is a reflective work that musically recounts this magnificent story.
The Fairest of the Fair March: This is the authentic original composition by John Phillip Sousa, with special drum arrangements by August Helmecke, drum virtuoso with the Sousa Band.