Attack of the Garden Gnomes
Gnomes are mischeveous little creatures. Click HERE (please not during the performance) to watch a short clip from Malcom In The Middle.
This piece tells the story of angry garden gnomes that carry out an attack against humanity. A bugle call sounds the charge as the diabolical mob marches into battle. Interesting percussion effects, accompanied by foot stomps and screams. Run for cover!
In his youth, James Henry Fillmore mastered piano, guitar, violin, and flute, as well as the slide trombone, which at first he played in secret, as his conservative religious father believed it an uncouth and sinful instrument. Fillmore entered the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music in 1901. After this, he traveled around the United States as a circus bandmaster with his wife, (whom he married in St. Louis). A prolific composer, Fillmore wrote over 250 tunes and arranged over 750 more. Careful not to flood the band music market and to avoid nepotism from his fathers gospel music publishing company, Henry Fillmore used pseudonyms such as Harold Bennett, Ray Hall, Harry Hartley, Al Hayes, and the funniest, Henrietta Moore.
The Cave You Fear
Joseph Campbell's book The Hero With A Thousand Faces is required reading for filmmakers, screenwriters, and storytellers because Campbell has single-handedly identified what we refer to as "The Hero's Journey" — the series of events and conflicts that arise along a character's path as he or she fights their way to some ultimate goal. After studying Campbell, it's easy to question where we are on our own paths. What is our own story? What are we fighting for? What does it mean to be a 'hero' and how can we be more 'heroic' ourselves? When we hear our own call-to-adventure, will we jump up, prepared, or will we ignore it, sit idly and take the easy way out because we would rather life be quiet and comfortable? According to Campbell, each of our adventures are already out there, waiting for us. That's not the problem. For him, "the big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty 'yes' to your adventure."So for the next four minutes, let's take a chance, let's venture into the dark unknown, let's fight whatever monsters we find in there. And although we might not always prevail, at least we'll have a story to tell by the end.
Rock, River, Tree
Drawing inspiration from Maya Angelou's inspirational poem “On the Pulse of Morning,” this unique work for band offers challenges and rewards for young players. Using the imagery of “a rock, a river, a tree,” Angelou challenges us all to work for unity and peace. The music ranges from an energetic percussive pulse (rock) that utilizes plastic buckets played throughout the ensemble, to a flowing chorale theme (river) that's heard near the beginning and again at the end. Throughout, the piece grows and intensifies (tree) as various musical elements are combined and varied.
To hear Maya Angelou present her poem click HERE. (please do not listen during performance)
Nobles of the Mystic Shrine
Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (1923) is unique among Sousa’s marches in that it is the first and only time where the harp (which we are recreating by using a synthesizer) is scored into one of his famouos marches. Fearing that bands other than his might not boast this clearly sit-down instrument, Sousa cautiously labeled the part as “optional”. Not so, however, the triangle and tambourine, for they are indispensable to this music in providing touches of color that are such an integral part of the “Turkish Music” associated with the Shiners, which it was Sousa’s intention to recreated in the first strain.There are violent outbursts of sound in keeping with the "Turkish music" character of its intent.
Chorale and Shaker Dance
Can you read music? Click HERE to download the score (this is what the conductor sees) and follow along with our performance.
Themes from "Green Bushes"
Green Bushes (Passacaglia on an English Folksong) was written by Percy Grainger in 1905. Though the song is of English origin, it has also been found in Ireland and America. Ralph Vaughan Williams used it in the Intermezzo of his Folk Song Suite, as did George Butterworth in The Banks of Green Willow. For it's premeir, Grainger wrote: “Among country-side folksongs in England, Green Bushes was one of the best known folksongs—and well it deserved to be, with its raciness, its fresh grace, its manly clear-cut lines…Green Bushes strikes me as being a typical dance-folksong-a type of song come down to us from the time when sung melodies, rather than instrumental music, held country-side dancers together. It seems to breathe that lovely passion for the dance that swept like a fire over Europe in the middle ages—seems brimful of all the youthful joy and tender romance that so naturally seek an outlet in dancing.
To hear a vocalist sing the English folk song "Green Bushes" click HERE. (please do not listen during performance)