Columbia University Wind Ensemble
This purpose of this page is to provide background information and insight into the music that we play in the Columbia University Wind Ensemble. It contains primarily links to available internet resources pertaining to any given piece, as well as any information that I come up with on my own. Feel free to e-mail me if you have anything to add! misterpease at gmail.com
TRANSFORMATIONS - October 17, 2010>
**One note before this year begins: given the 13 seniors we have in the band this year, I've decided to spread out the usual Senior Choices throughout the entire season. So each concert will have a handful of senior contributions, rounded out by own picks (so far a whopping 4 for the entire year). Senior picks will be noted, and any that aren't are mine.**
This concert looks at music that somehow experiences change in the course of a piece. Obviously this would be true of a theme and variation (Variants) or what amounts to a Gilbert & Sullivan mashup (Pineapple Poll). But change is in the air as Holsinger gives a melody his treatment (On an American Spiritual), Ticheli puts cataclysm in music (Vesuvius), and most subtly as John Barnes Chance lets his swan song unfold (Elegy).
On an American Spiritual - David Holsinger (for tubist and arranger Elizabeth Laberge)
Variants on a Medieval Tune - Norman Dello Joio
Vesuvius - Frank Ticheli (for chemistry whiz and multi-sax player Jason Pflueger)
Elegy - John Barnes Chance
Pineapple Poll - Sir Arthur Sullivan, arr. Charles Mackerras (for CUWE president and trumpet-trombone-sax player Paul Lerner)
SENIOR CHOICE 2010 - April 25, 2010
The Senior Choice tradition continues for the seventh year. This year's seniors have chosen another exciting and varied program, and this time with very little help from me. Enjoy!
Scootin' on Hardrock - David Holsinger (for clarinetist Rachel Langlais)
Theme from Schindler's List - John Williams, arr. Custer (for flautist Jacquelyn La Torre, who will take the famous solo in the piece)
Santa Fe Saga - Morton Gould (for flautist and sadist Jessica Salinas)
October - Eric Whitacre (a recent repeat for oboist and CUWE President Leonore Waldrip)
Summer Day Suite - Sergei Prokofiev, arr. Leidzen (for euphonium whiz Rebecca Johnson)
"The Hut of Baba Yaga" and "The Great Gate of Kiev" from Pictures at an Exhibition - Modest Moussorgsky, arr. Hindsley (for clarinetist and twin Svetlana Zaitseva)
COLUMBIA FESTIVAL OF WINDS - March 7, 2010
The Columbia Festival of Winds is back for another year in 2010. The 2009 festival allowed us to start the Making Music Matter program at PS 123, where a group of fourth graders is learning woodwind and brass instruments under the tutelage of CUWE members. To attract a big audience, we're playing some of the most classic band music there is, plus some newer works, including a world premiere!
Pentium - Peter Graham
O Magnum Mysterium - Morton Lauridsen, arr. H. Robert Reynolds
Lincolnshire Posy - Percy Grainger
Overture in E-flat - Edward Green
SING ME A SONG - December 6, 2009
Of course a wind band can't REALLY sing you a song (although we came darn close in the Grainger Children's March). But all of the repertoire found here was either inspired by an existing tune or was conceived with a song in mind. The impetus for this program was William Bolcom's excellent Song (for Band), suggested by our frequent guest conductor Bill Tonissen. The program has grown from there to encompass repertoire young (Ticheli's Amazing Grace), old (Ives's Variations on America) and everything in between (a little Persichetti, Bennett and Gould snuck in as well).
American Salute - Morton Gould
Amazing Grace - Frank Ticheli
Psalm - Vincent Persichetti
Variations on America - Charles Ives
Song (for Band) - William Bolcom
Symphonic Songs for Band - Robert Russell Bennett
JOURNEYS - October 25, 2009
The idea for this concert came from the Grainger Children's March which is subtitled "Over the Hills and Far Away". This got me thinking about what sorts of places could be on the other side of those hills. So we'll be taking our audience on a variety of journeys to far away places (The Pathfinder of Panama, Blue Lake Overture) and through subconscious states (Sleep). We will even go on a purely musical journey via. the Giannini Symphony no. 3.
The Pathfinder of Panama - John Philip Sousa
Blue Lake Overture - John Barnes Chance
Sleep - Eric Whitacre
Children's March - Percy Grainger
Symphony no. 3 - Vittorio Giannini
SENIOR CHOICE 2009 - April 26, 2009
a tradition we started with the class of 2004, each senior in the CUWE
gets to choose one piece that we play in the final concert of the year.
Often they have ideas well in advance. Other times
them in their choices. And this year for the first time I've
thrown in one choice of my own to round out the program and give us
something that's playable outdoors for our appearance in the Riverside
Park concert on May 3. Even so, without fail the seniors
choose an eclectic array of literature that is great fun to put
together into a coherent program. This year is no exception.
The Gallant Seventh - John Philip Sousa (my contribution)
Four Scotish Dances - Malcolm Arnold, arr. John Paynter (chosen by trombonist Emanuel Asiedu)
Perthshire Majesty - Sam Hazo (chosen by tenor saxophonist and aspiring trumpeter Jeremy Seltzer)
Alligator Alley - Michael Daugherty (chosen by bassoonist Eric Hirsch)
Fantasia for Band - Vittorio Giannini (chosen by clarinetist Isabel Teitler)
"Mars" and "Jupiter" from The Planets - Gustav Holst (chosen by French hornist and percussionist Jeff Petriello and French hornist Margot Schloss, respectively)
Berceuse and Finale from The Firebird - Igor Stravinsky (chosen by French hornist Justine Ordinario)
COLUMBIA FESTIVAL OF WINDS - March 1, 2009
The Columbia Festival of Winds is a large undertaking: we're trying to bring as many bands as possible together to fundraise for inner-city music education. The audience could potentially be huge! So instead of choosing a theme, I've gathered some of what I think are the best pieces out there for band, with a couple of conditions: they must be easily audience-accessible, we should be able to play them quite well by concert time (as always!), and we should show off our new marimba. Also, 2008 was Leonard Bernstein's 90th birthday. So we're a little late on that, but West Side Story made it into the mix as a result.
Cityscape - Scott Boerma
Handel in the Strand - Percy Grainger
An Original Suite - Gordon Jacob
Enchanted Night - Patrick Burns
Four Dances from West Side Story - Leonard Bernstein, arr. Ian Polster
Rocky Point Holiday - Ron Nelson
MONUMENTS - October 19, 2008 (and September 28, 2008)
The music for this concert was chosen because it represents something big, something important, or something truly monumental. Some, like Huntingtower, Canterbury Chorale, and Liberty Bell March, represent a physical monument. Others pay homage to a monumental person (Smetana Fanfare, Belle of the Ball) or event (Victory at Sea). Still others are important enough musical pieces in their own right to be included among monuments (First Suite).
Liberty Bell March - John Philip Sousa
Huntingtower - Ottorino Respighi
Victory at Sea Symphonic Scenario - Richard Rodgers, arr. Robert Russell Bennett
Canterbury Chorale - Jan Van Der Roost
First Suite in E-flat - Gustav Holst
Belle of the Ball - Leroy Anderson
FANTASY - November 16, 2008
I put this repertoire together with Star Wars as the centerpiece, hoping to show other ways in which composers and artists have let their imaginations wander. Movie soundtracks (Star Wars, Red Pony) dominate the concert. In a similar vein, March to the Scaffold is Berlioz's terrifying portrait of a young man dreaming of his own execution. Esprit de Corps takes perhaps the most purely musical approach to fantasy, using the Marines Hymn as the source for its abundant musical material.
Esprit de Corps - Robert Jager
Red Pony Suite for Band - Aaron Copland
March to the Scaffold - Hector Berlioz
Star Wars Trilogy - John Williams, arr. Donald Hunsberger
Smetana Fanfare - Karel Husa
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