The Wind Symphony and the Symphonic Band at Stephen F. Austin State University will present their first concert of the spring semester at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 6, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.
The program will feature early band classics by British composers.
Under the direction of Dr. Tamey Anglley, assistant director of bands at SFA, the Symphonic Band will open the concert with “Marching Song” by Gustav Holst. “Marching Song” is the second movement of “Two Songs Without Words,” Op. 22, H. 88, composed by Holst for orchestra in 1906. Holst subsequently rescored the orchestral version of “Marching Song” for military band, Anglley explained.
“Rhosymedre,” composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams and arranged for band by Walter Beeler, is also on the program.
“In 1920, Williams composed three preludes for organ based on Welsh hymn tunes, a set that quickly established itself in the organ repertoire,” Anglley said. “Of the three, ‘Rhosymedre,’ sometimes known as ‘Lovely,’ has become the most popular.”
“Three Ayres from Gloucester” by Hugh M. Stuart was completed in 1969.
“Each of the three movements are in early English folk song style and are designed to capture the mood of the peasants and their life on the fiefs of Wembley Castle,” Anglley said.
The Symphonic Band will close the first half of the concert with “Themes from Green Bushes” composed by Percy Grainger and arranged for band by Larry D. Daehn. “Green Bushes” was a widely known melody of which Grainger accumulated 10 different variations during his folk song-collecting career, Anglley explained.
“Grainger used it as the final movement of his ‘Lincolnshire Posy,’ Ralph Vaughan Williams used it in the Intermezzo of his ‘Folk Song Suite,’ and George Butterworth in ‘The Banks of Green Willow,'” she said.
The Wind Symphony, directed by Dr. David Campo, associate director of bands at SFA, will open the second half of the concert with the Ralph Vaughan Williams classic “Flourish for Wind Band.”
“Along with Holst, Williams’ works for wind band form a foundation for the serious literature in that medium,” Campo said.
Williams wrote “Flourish for Wind Band” in 1939 as the opening to the pageant “Music and the People” performed in the Royal Albert Hall in London. It was subsequently lost only to be rediscovered and finally published in 1971.
“Arranger Roy Douglas created versions of the piece for brass band and for symphony orchestra, but it has become part of the basic literature of the wind band for which it was created,” Campo said. “It opens with a simple brass fanfare. This gives way to a lyrical melody before the fanfare returns to end the piece. At just under two minutes long, ‘Flourish for Wind Band’ is a concise gem of Vaughan Williams’ output.”
The Wind Symphony will also perform one of the true cornerstones on the wind band medium, according to Campo. Holst wrote “Second Suite in F for Military Band” in 1911, but it wasn’t until 1922 that the suite received its premiere performance in Royal Albert Hall.
“Unlike his First Suite, Holst’s Second Suite relies on English folk songs as the source material for its four movements,” Campo said.
Closing the concert will be Frederick Fennell’s edition of Kenneth Alford’s poetic march “The Vanished Army.” Alford wrote the march in memory of the losses suffered by the British Expeditionary Force as they defended Belgium from invasion by the German Army in World War II.
Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit www.finearts.sfasu.edu.