Wednesday, May 21 9:00 am
2003 ITG Conference - Opening Concert
Ed Landreth Auditorium
Joel Treybig, reporter
After the TCU Trumpet Ensembles opening performance, conference host Jon Burgess warmly welcomed the audience and introduced Richard Gipson, the Director of the TCU School of Music, and Scott Sullivan, the Dean of TCUs College of Fine Arts. Both of these gentlemen gladly expressed their privilege to host the conference and gave much credit to Jon Burgesss dedication and hard work organizing the event. Sullivan went on to express his appreciation of the importance of the ITG conferences, and aptly expressed how such events not only enhance us all as players and pedagogues, but also embody that which is essential and good in the human spirit.
The United States Air Force Band of the West then took to the stage, and after performing the national anthem, they began their program with a colorful and stirring arrangement of a suite of music culled from John Williams Soundtrack to The Cowboys. Composed in the early 70s, Williamss score allowed the players to show the palette of colors available to the wind band. The bold, articulated fanfare figures in the brass were contrasted by jaunty, melodic woodwind figures, and captured the sound (pioneered by Copland) that we now associate with the old west. As the band played, I could not help but think that this ensemble embodies that which we hear with the finest military bands performances that are musically expressive, well balanced, and remarkably in tune!
SSgt Nicholas Cooper Tommy then came to the front of the stage to perform as soloist in Tommy Newsomes A Tribute to Louis Armstrong. Originally arranged for Doc Severinsen, the piece included a medley of standards to be performed in Armstrongs style, of which Sgt Coopers performance showed an understanding and appreciation. Coopers tonal shadings, note lengths, vibrato, shakes, and most subtle nuances exhibited his knowledge of Armstrongs style, and provided the audience with a winning and exhilarating performance in the jazz style.
Henry Fillmores Americans We was removed from the program to include an international march, Valdres. This Norwegian march was played both broadly and gently by the band, affording welcome (particularly with this audience!) solo statements from within the trumpet section.
The Stoneback Sisters, 21-year-old identical triplets, joined the band to perform a pair of trumpet trios. As their first selection, the trio performed Raphael Mendezs arrangement of Por la Espana Cani, which afforded them an opportunity to play in tutti and solo capacities and exhibit their multiple tonguing skills. Like many of Mendezs arrangements, the work is written in an exciting Spanish style. The talented sisters went on to perform Harold Walters Trumpet Filigree, a crowd-pleasing trio that reminded the listener of Leroy Andrersons more successful compositions. On both of these pieces, the Stonebacks were well balanced with each other, and with the band accompaniment.
Next on the program was a new composition Alfred Reed, his Seventh Suite for Band. The work was composed for the opening of an airport in 2003, and is dedicated to a century of flight. This concept came vividly through in the bands strong performance of the suite. The first movement consisted of broad fanfares and melodies, the second was more gentle and expansive, and the third movement was more martial and majestic; all three effectively captured the feeling of speed, freedom, and vastness that one would associate with being in flight. Those fond of Reeds style will be not be disappointed with this work, and it is certainly an exciting new piece in the band repertoire.
At this point in the program, the Stoneback sisters returned to the stage to perform two more trios with the band to conclude the AFBs portion of the program. The sisters seemed to enjoy performing Albert O. Daviss Three Cardinals, which was written in three brief contrasting sections in the style of a lounge jazz band. The group went on to play Mendezs arrangement of Flight of the Bumblebee, again allowing the sisters a chance to play as a trio as well as in brief solo statements that were effortlessly passed from one to another. Of course we all know this piece, yet their performance of Mendezs arrangement was exciting and of great interest. The fact that these sisters have studied with some excellent pedagogues (Ron Stoneback, Stan Friedman, and David Hickman) is evident in their clean execution of all of these works, and I am sure well be hearing more from them in the near future.
After a brief break, the TCU wind symphony took the stage to perform the premier of the complete wind band transcription of Curt Wilsons Concerto for Trumpet. LA studio trumpeter Jon Lewis joined the band as the featured soloist, and what a performance it was! This three-movement concerto was new to me at this performance, but I was immediately drawn to the work. The compositional language of the piece was simultaneously tonal and dissonant. The trumpet part was relentless in repeatedly covering the range of the horn, and Lewis navigated the part with ease and prowess. All three movements were built upon melodic material that included many wide intervals in differing ranges yet Lewis slurred through these lines with great facility and agility. The outer movements included cadenzas in the style of recitatives, and I found Lewiss interpretation of these to be simultaneously commanding, introspective, and overtly musical. The TCU Wind Symphony performed the accompaniment with both energy and care, and never overbalanced the soloist, even at their biggest moments. The last movement allowed Lewis to switch to piccolo trumpet, where he was equally at ease, and portions of this movement allowed the trumpet section players in the band moments to shine with the soloist in brilliant soli passages. This was a very powerful and remarkable performance of this concerto by any standard (about Lewis, someone near me remarked What a player!), and at the conclusion of the piece, the crowd jumped to its feet to provide an enthusiastic and well-deserved standing ovation. It was a pleasure to hear the contrasting music on this program performed so well, and provided a magnificent start to the 2003 conference!
Pasodoble for 12 trumpets - Gerald Gabel
TCU Trumpet Ensemble
Dr. Jon Burgess, director
Justin Barbee, Micah Bell, Matthew Cyr, Danielle Cash, Amy Francen, Wasey Herbort, Daniel Hardaway, Eric Higginbotham, Kirk Lemmerman, Chris McNabb, Chris Sciacca,
Troy Williams, Michael Vick
2003 ITG Conference Host
Air Force Band of the West
Major Dean L. Zarmbinski, Commander
Celebration Overture - Paul Creston
A Tribute to Louis Armstrong - arr. Tommy Newsome - SSgt Nicholas Cooper, Trumpet Soloist
Americans We - Henry Fillmore/Frederick Fennell
Por la Espana Cani - P. Marquina/Rafael Mendez
Trumpet Filigree - Harold Walters - Stoneback Sisters
Seventh Suite for Band - Alfred Reed
Three Cardinals - Albert Oliver Davis
Flight of the Bumblebee - Rimsky-Korsakov/Koff/Mendez - Stoneback Sisters
Dr. Richard Gipson
Director of the School of Music
Dr. Scott Sullivan
Dean, College of Fine Arts
President, International Trumpet Guild
Texas Christian University Wind Symphony
Conductor Bobby Francis
Concerto for Trumpet - Curt Wilson
Jon Lewis, soloist
(Premiere of the Wind Band transcription)
SSgt Nicholas Cooper Tommy