Canberra Wind Symphony
‘Lest we forget’
An evocative musical dedication to all who have served in uniform
St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Forrest
11 November 2016
Masque, Opus 44
William Francis McBeth (1933–2012)
Composed in 1967
From 1957 until his retirement in 1996, Texan Francis McBeth taught at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, USA. His wind band works are highly respected and he has travelled to conduct performances of his compositions in 48 states of the USA, three provinces of Canada, Japan and Australia. He served in the US military from 1954 to 1956 with the 101st Airborne Band at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, and the 98th Army Band at Fort Rucker, Alabama. In 1975, McBeth was appointed Composer Laureate by the Governor of the State of Arkansas, the first Composer Laureate named in the United States. In addition to his numerous works for wind bands and wind symphony, he has written four orchestral symphonies.
This work is a rousing start to our commemoration.
The Heart’s Reflection
Daniel Elder (1986– )
Composed in 2016
Originally written for 8-part a capella choir in 2013, the words of the choral work were based on a paraphrase of Proverbs 27:19 from the Old Testament of the Bible: ‘See the waterfront shine forth resplendent; so the heart of humanity to all the earth reflects.’
The newest work on our program, tonight you will hear the version written for wind symphony this year. It is a ‘fantasia’, meaning it is free-form, and takes you on a journey of love, wonder and spirituality, celebrating the bonds we share with our fellow humans.
The 30-year-old composer Daniel Elder is from Athens, Georgia, USA. While predominantly a composer of choral and vocal works, his choral works have recently been performed by the Eric Whitacre Singers, including ‘The heart’s reflection’ – and, as Eric Whitacre is another renowned composer for wind symphony, we suspect Eric may have been the inspiration for this instrumental version.
Reflective reading 1: Anthem for doomed youth: Wilfred Owen
– read by Leading Seaman Saif Shamkhi
Jan Van der Roost (1956– )
Composed in 1994
In the most literal sense, this is a piece for an occasion, commissioned of the Dutch composer Jan Van der Roost. It was written as a surprise piece for the top Dutch brass band, Soli Deo Gloria, for the 20th anniversary of their conductor Jan de Hann who loved the theme from Camille Saint-Saens’ famous ‘Organ’ Symphony, which is instantly recognisable here and most recognisable to Australian audiences from its use as the theme in the classic Australian film fable of a young pig’s life, Babe.
Since 1984, Jan Van der Roost has been a professor of counterpoint and fugue at the Lemmensinstituut. He is also currently a guest professor at two universities in Japan. He has composed over 90 works, mostly for winds – brass band, fanfare and concert band – including some for orchestra or choir.
Hymn for Colin
Composed in 2012
Australian composer Martyn Hancock moved to Australia from his native England in 2007 after serving 17 years in the British Royal Marines Band Service. He has written a number of works for wind ensembles. In 2011, he was awarded an Australia Day Medallion for his musical compositions and arrangements and, in 2014, he was awarded a Conspicuous Service Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
‘Hymn for Colin’ was composed in memory of Leading Seaman Colin Hughes, who was tragically taken in September 2012.
The music is loosely based on the theme to the TV series, The Watermill, which Colin used to perform as a solo on the oboe. Towards the end of the piece, there is also reference to the Naval hymn, ‘Eternal Father’, reflecting on Colin’s background within both the Royal Marines and the Royal Australian Navy.
‘Lest we forget.’
Reflective reading 2: For the Fallen: Laurence Binyon
– read by Corporal Liza Haynes
Samuel Robert Hazo (1966– )
Composed in 2009
This poignant and moving work musically tells the tale of a chorus of angels as they accompany two souls to the next world. Composed as a memorial piece, the music evolves from the initial ‘angel’s song’, their journey to heaven and their return to comfort those who mourn. There is a wonderful ethereal quality to this work.
This impressive work was originally commissioned by the new band director at Hereford High School as a tribute to the previous band director and his wife, Joey and Audrey Baseman.
Samuel Hazo lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA and became the first composer to win both the National Band Association’s composition contests. A music teacher at all levels, he was twice named ‘Teacher of Distinction’ by the southwestern Pennsylvania Teachers’ Excellence Foundation.
Reflective reading 3: Death is Green: Lorinda Bond
– read by Lieutenant Lorinda Bond RAN
Eventide (Abide with me)
William Henry Monk (1823–1889)
arranged by Jay Dawson
Composed in 2005
Composer William Monk was an English organist, church musician and music editor who composed popular hymn tunes, including this one, his most famous, ‘Eventide’. It became known as ‘Abide with me’. In 1847, Monk became the choirmaster at Kings College London. Ten years later, he was appointed the musical editor of Hymns modern and ancient, first published in 1861, which became one of the best-selling hymn books of all time, in which ‘Eventide’ was first published.
The arranger of the version you hear tonight is Jay Dawson from Nashville, Tennessee, USA. His teaching experience includes public high schools and college level. For ten years he was a French hornist in the Nashville Symphony Orchestra before becoming assistant conductor in 1977 for three years, as well as conductor of the Nashville Youth Symphony. He is widely known as an arranger of works for wind bands and wind symphony and is president of the Arrangers Publishing Company. He is founder and conductor of the Tennessee Winds, a professional concert band.
In the spring: At the Time When Kings Go Off to war
David R Holsinger (1945– )
Composed in 1986
The 1986 American Bandmasters Association Sousa/Ostwald Prize winner, ‘In the spring’ tells a story from the Old Testament of the Bible (from 1 Chronicles 20:1–3), which depicts in music the assault of the cities of the Ammonites by King David’s army, led by his commander Joab. This episode covers the siege of Rabbah and its destruction, King David’s seizure of the jewel-encrusted crown of the Ammonite king, the plunder of the doomed Ammonite towns and the enslavement of the survivors, and the triumphal return of David’s army to Jerusalem.
You will hear an amazing soundscape of the army’s preparation for battle, its colourful departure from Jerusalem, the warfare, chaos, pathos – and ultimate triumphant return to Jerusalem.
Composer David Holsinger was born in Hardin, Missouri, USA and has won the ABA’s Sousa/Ostwald Prize twice and lives in Grand Prairie, Texas, USA, as the resident composer and Chief Musician of the Shady Grove Church.
Many thanks to David Whitbread for his program notes for this performance.