MEYZEEK   BANDS

Subtitle

 

The hearts indicate a "Director Favorite!"

These are some of my favorite concert band recordings,
some of the most famous works for band,
as well as pieces currently being rehearsed by our Bandlings.


You MUST listen to this:

PROGRAM NOTES

     An American Elegy is, above all, an expression of hope. It was composed in memory of those who lost their lives at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999, and to honor the survivors. It is offered as a tribute to their great strength and courage in the face of a terrible tragedy. I hope the work can also serve as one reminder of how fragile and precious life is and how intimately connected we all are as human beings.


     I was moved and honored by this commission invitation, and deeply inspired by the circumstances surrounding it. Rarely has a work revealed itself to me with such powerful speed and clarity. The first eight bars of the main melody came to me fully formed in a dream. Virtually every element of the work was discovered within the span of about two weeks. The remainder of my time was spent refining, developing, and orchestrating.


     The work begins at the bottom of the ensemble's register, and ascends gradually to a heartfelt cry of hope. The main theme that follows, stated by the horns, reveals a more lyrical, serene side of the piece. A second theme, based on a simple repeated harmonic pattern, suggests yet another, more poignant mood. These three moods - hope, serenity, and sadness - become intertwined throughout the work, defining its complex expressive character. A four-part canon builds to a climactic quotation of the Columbine Alma Mater. The music recedes, and an offstage trumpeter is heard, suggesting a celestial voice - a heavenly message. The full ensemble returns with a final, exalted statement of the main theme.


     --Frank Ticheli

This is the University of Texas, with soprano and ORGAN!


Also, this is a true WIND ENSEMBLE...one person per part.  Notice how small the sections are, and, yet, they still have an amazingly powerful sound!

A newer "classic," this has a GREAT flute solo!  Fun tune!

Ever wonder what the conductor is looking at?

     This is a GREAT video, from the conductor's point of view.

     OH!  5:45 = AWESOME chords!

 

Perhaps not the BEST recording in the world (hand-held camera in a large room), but it is the arrangement that we have at Meyzeek.



CONCERT MARCHES:




     I've assembled some of the most famous and my favorite marches.  These are CRITICAL to the development of concert band as we know it, today.  These works are our ancestors.  We must know and appreciate their role in the development of the American sound tapestry.

     (It loads to a weird web page...scroll DOWN to see the next page...)

Ever wonder what the conductor is looking at?

     This is a GREAT video, from the conductor's point of view.

The poetry was written by the composer's father.  Narrated, here, by the actor Edward James Olmos.

Great video.  Another "standard" in the band world.  (It's pronounced "ray-ALL.")

An easier arrangement of the original...

HUGE FL, OB, CL, & other solos!  One of the most famous pieces for band, this is a "transcription" from an opera composed by Richard Wagner.

One of the CLASSICS!  I DARE you to be in a bad mood after listening to this!

Really cool CL & OB solos

     I never had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Campbell, personally.  He passed just before I moved to Kentucky.  The shadows that he cast on the current musicians of the Commonwealth speak volumes to his quality of character and musicianship.  I wish I'd had the chance to know him in life...

The following are program notes written by Samuel Hazo:

In memory of Charles F. Campbell. Jr.
2012 Posthumous Inductee, Bands of America Hall Of Fame.  Accepted by Judy Campbell.

Chuck Campbell was my friend. I could end these notes with that one sentence, but the greatness of Chuck’s spirit and the breadth of his legacy demands so much more. What I can’t say in these words, I hope I have said, more poignantly, in my music.

The Title

There was a line from the movie “Sleepless In Seattle” when Tom Hanks’ widowed character is describing his wife. About her, he said, “She made everything beautiful.” That IS Chuck Campbell. I often heard Chuck humbly say about himself that he was not the greatest teacher or conductor or musician, even though he truly was top-shelf in all of those categories. What I can say, unequivocally, is that Chuck Campbell was the greatest at making everyone feel like their whole selves in his presence. I have thought for a long time, and I cannot define a better quality for a music educator than that precise one. His students would perform beyond themselves. Under his direction, two bands from two separate schools (George Rogers Clark HS and North Hardin HS) were invited to present concerts at the prestigious Midwest Clinic. Then, the Midwest Clinic invited his former student, Teresa Elliott, to bring her Beaumont Middle School Band. As impressive as that is, it is just a small piece in the inspiring story of Charles Campbell.

Movement I – The Stillness of Remembering

I distinctly remember learning of Chuck’s passing in an email from Jacqueline Metry, a dear friend of mine from college who now teaches at Assumption High School in Louisville. The grief was great enough that I immediately went to my piano and began to play. The notes matched my feelings so perfectly that I sketched out exactly what I played, never knowing I’d be asked to compose Chuck’s requiem. There are very few textures that express pain and joy simultaneously; holding that balance between the optimism of open voicing and the introspection of subtle note clusters. My fingers just happened to land in the perfect places. Months later, I was able to find my sketch and, beginning to end, it is the first movement. I am convinced Chuck was with me.

The title of this movement is taken from the poetic song, Dreams, penned in 1976 by Stevie Nicks in Sausalito, CA. The verse reads:

     Like a heartbeat drives you mad
     In the stillness of remembering
     What you had and what you lost,
     And what you had, and what you lost

CLASSIC!!!  HUGE French Horn solis, AWESOME piccolo and bassoon soli, bass clarinet solo, euphonium solo, tuba solo, timpani solo, etc., etc., etc.!


     One of my all-time favorites!!!  (I also made this into a ring tone!)

Another CLASSIC!  The "President's Own" United States Marine Band performs this very important work.

One of the CLASSICS!  This is performed by the LEGENDARY Eastman Wind Ensemble.

OK...long story.  Dr. Joseph Scagnoli is a wonderful man, and one of the most influential band directors in the Midwest.  I had the pleasure of studying with him while at Ball State University in the early 90's.  "Doc" frequently brought the composer Stephen Melillo to BSU, where he rehearsed and conducted several of his pieces, all of which were wondrous and intense, much like Mr. Melillo, hisself!  During the Indiana Music Educators' Association convention in Indianapolis one year (1995?), Stephen asked Doc to pick three notes out on a piano in a hotel lobby.  One year later, this piece was premiered at the next IMEA convention.  Dr. Scagnoli had no clue that he had picked the 3-note motif that is featured so prominently in "Giving!" a full year earlier!  The title is appropriate, for Dr. Scagnoli, just now retired, will always be known by his students as a giving person.

McBeth is a legendary composer...a hero in the band world.

This took the band world by storm...there were even 3 or 4 MARCHING bands using this melody (heard at 1:21 in the original) in Kentucky, alone, during the 2014 season!

The tune is also known as "Danny Boy" or "Londonderry Air."
This is everyone's favorite band piece.  If they say otherwise, they're lying or mistaken.

What is the difference between these two?

McBeth is a legendary composer...a hero in the band world.

A beautifully composed tribute to the indigenous peoples of Pacific Northwest.

Have fun, clarinets!  Bass CL and Bari Sax, too!

(Feat. AS, FH, PC, etc.) Dedicated to Rosa Parks, the theme is "We Shall Overcome."  An AMAZING piece!

What do you think that the ending means?

Opens with a LUSH melody.

Oboe and EUPHONIUM solos!!!

Another newer classic.  The ensemble performing on this recording is one of the best....North Texas.

McBeth is a legendary composer...a hero in the band world.
Many people think that this piece is MANY years old, but it's realatively new!  H. Robert Reynolds is another BIG name in the band world.  The Eastman Wind Ensemble is one of the BEST.  Any recording they do is near perfection.

This was performed by our 8th grade band during my first year at Meyzeek.  I have included a link to one of the pages of our program with commentary.  Hazo has given us a very thoughtful composition, and it's one of my favorites!  Grab a tissue!

I DARE you to be in a bad mood after listening to this!!!  CL solo, COOL perc. parts!

One of the most famous band pieces.  HUGE English Horn solo!  Everyone who plays this remembers it for years...it's that kind of experience to push towards the end

Same composer as "First Suite in E-flat" and "The Planets."  HUGE euphonium solos!

I cry every time I hear this...Kristen D., you know why...

Lots of Ticheli pieces on this list, aren't there?  This arrangement of the classic American folk song is my favorite for band.

This might not belong on some people's lists of concert band music, but is one that I hope ALL of our students get to play!

 
 
From Mackey's program notes, with minor alterations:

     This piece is an adaptation of the middle movement of "Wind-Dark Sea: Symphony for Band."  The full symphony tells the tale of Odysseus and his journey home following his victory in the Trojan War.  But Odysseus' journey would take as long as the war itself.  Homer called the ocean on which Odysseus sailed a wine-dark sea, and for theGreek king it was as murky and disorienting as its name; he would not find his way across it without first losing himself.

     "This Cruel Moon" is the song of the beautiful and immortal nymph Kalypso, who finds Odysseus near death, washed up on the shore of the island where she lives all alone.  She nurses him back to health, and sings as she moves back and forth with a golden shuttle at her loom.

     Seven years pass.  The tapestry she began when she nursed him becomes a record of their love.

     But one day Odysseus remembers his home.  He tells Kalypso he wants to leave her, to return to his wife and son.  He scoffs at all she has given him.  Kalypso is hearbroken.

     And yet, that night, Kalypso again paces at her loom.  She unravels her tapestry and weaves it into a sail for Odysseus.  In the morning, she shows Odysseus a raft, equipped with the sail she has made and stocked with bread and wine, and calls up a gentle and steady wind to carry him home.

     Shattered, she watches him go...

     he does not look back.

She is one of the HOTTEST composers, right now!!  This piece depicts the history of manned flight, with all of it's, well...missteps along the way, which you will hear!

Another of the "classic" band pieces.  A MUST-PLAY for all who can!

0:00 I. Pon Farr

3:50 II. Mind Meld

6:59 III. Vulcan's Forge

A classic piece.  Please take time to read the history behind the piece here: