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Bernard Fitzgerald Commemorative Concert September 17, 2006 
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Front row L-R: Gresham, Lewis, Holtz, DiMartino, Clarke; 2nd row L-R: Clodfelter, Martin, Wing, Byrd, Craswell
Front row L-R: Gresham, Lewis, Holtz, DiMartino, Clarke; 2nd row L-R: Clodfelter, Martin, Wing, Byrd, Craswell

On Sunday, February 19, 2006, brass players from throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky, family members, and community members at large gathered at Centenary United Methodist Church in Lexington, Kentucky for a commemorative concert to pay tribute to Bernard Fitzgerald (1911-2005) at the first anniversary of his death.

There could be no more fitting way to honor the life and work of such a distinguished journeyman in the music world than to celebrate his life through his music. When he died at age 93, he left a legacy of 45 years of teaching, having retired from the University of Kentucky School of Music in 1976. During his 20-year tenure at UK, Fitzgerald served as Director of Bands, Professor of Trumpet, and even Chairman of the Department of Music. Prior to UK, Mr. Fitzgerald also taught at Jordan College of Music, Emporia State Teachers College, University of Idaho and the University of Texas.

The selections performed on the afternoon’s concert featured the works of Bernard Fitzgerald and included:

  • The Star Spangled Banner (arr. John Williams/Stephen Bulla)
  • Fanfare (1982) for The International Trumpet Guild (Bernard Fitzgerald)
    Trumpet Choir (W. Harry Clarke, conductor)
  • Prelude (Excerpt) from Parsifal (Richard Wagner/B. Fitzgerald/R.W. Holz)
  • Dramatic Essay ( Clifton Williams/R.W. Holz)
    Vincent DiMartino, Trumpet Soloist
  • The Call from A Modern Suite (Bernard Fitzgerald)
    H.M Lewis, Cornet Soloist; Tedrin Lindsay, Piano
  • Three Fanfares for Two Trumpets (Bernard Fitzgerald)
    1. Maestoso: Mark Clodfelter and Brandon Craswell
    2. Allegro: Rych Byrd and Greg Wing
    3. Allegro: Jonathan Martin and Jonathan Gresham
  • Antiphonal Suite (Bernard Fitzgerald)
    1. Antiphony; 2. Fanfare
  • A Purcell Suite (Henry Purcell/Bernard Fitzgerald)
    1. Intrada 2. March 3. Rondo
    Victory Brass Quintet
  • Antiphonal Fanfare for Trumpets and Snare Drum (Bernard Fitzgerald)
    Trumpet Choir ( Ronald Holz, conductor)
  • Ballad for Trumpet and Band (Bernard Fitzgerald/R.W. Holz)
    Vincent DiMartino, Trumpet
  • A Tribute: Dr. Hubert Henderson
  • March: Tribute (James Curnow)
    Conducted by the Composer
  • Scherzino (Bernard Fitzgerald)
    Trumpet Choir (W. Harry Clarke, conductor)
  • Concerto in A Flat Minor for Trumpet (Bernard Fitzgerald/R.W. Holz)
    3. Scherzo and Finale
  • The Irish Blessing (Joyce Eilers Bacak/Stephen Bradnum)

The participating artists were:

  • Vincent DiMartino, Trumpet Soloist
  • H.M. Lewis, Cornet Soloist/ Tedrin Blair Lindsay - accompanist
  • James Curnow, Guest Conductor
  • W. Harry Clarke, Guest Conductor
  • Victory Brass Quintet, whose members include: Trumpet: Arlo Thompson, Scott Heersche; Horn: Fred Williams; Trombone Brad Kerns; Tuba: Andy Critz
  • A collegiate teachers’ trumpet choir consisting of:
    Richard Byrd, University of the Cumberlands
    Mark Clodfelter, University of Kentucky
    Brandon Craswell, University of Kentucky
    Jonathan Gresham, Northern Kentucky University
    Paul Hickner, Asbury College
    H.M. Lewis, Georgetown College
    Jonathan Martin, Eastern Kentucky University
    Greg Wing, Morehead State University
  • The Lexington Brass Band under the direction of Ron W. Holz.

In all, this was a concert with great appeal and diversity in programming. Everyone who participated deserves accolades beyond which practicality in this article permits, but suffice it to say that all present were uplifted and moved by the musical offerings. It was well planned by Ron Holz, who did a masterful job of leading the Lexington Brass Band in both their featured selections as well as being a sensitive accompanist behind the virtuosic artistry of Vincent DiMartino, whose playing was, true to form, a joy and an inspiration! Ron submitted the following when asked about his relationship with Mr. Fitzgerald:

Bernie Fitzgerald greatly encouraged me in my early years as a college teacher.  He had a remarkably open, inquisitive mind, and a joyful, witty spirit.  It was joy for me to know him, to work him.  And it also was a joy to put on this tribute to him.”

Previous ITG News story:
R. Bernard Fitzgerald 1911 - 2005

Source: Mark Clodfelter, Professor of Trumpet, University of Kentucky
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