The Cascade Winds Symphonic Band, under the direction Michael Gesme, will present the opening concert of the 2015-2016 season on November 22, 2015, 2:00pm in the Summit High School Auditorium. Half of the concert repertoire has a tie to the east coast beginning with the “Appalachian Overture” by James Barnes, one of the most respected contemporary band composers active today. Also with settings in the east is a tone poem describing the state of “Virginia” by Jacob de Haan and a set of “Colonial Airs and Dances” by Robert Jager. The latter are based on songs from the American colonies composed in the seventeenth century, each with a decidedly British flavor a quirky title, set for concert band with clever, colorful, and contemporary orchestration by the composer.
A concert band performance would not be complete without a march, and Edwin Bagley’s “National Emblem March” will stir the patriotic spirit with its quotes from the Star-Spangled Banner. One of the great band directors of the twentieth century, Frederick Fennell, called the work “as perfect a march as a march can be.” Alfred Reed’s “Fifth Suite for Band” and Philp Sparke’s “Orient Express” will round out the program. The Reed is a set of four wildly contrasting dance settings from around the world, including Hoe Down from America, Sarabande from France, Yamabushi Kangura from Japan and Hora from Israel and Rumania. The “Orient Express” is exactly as one would expect with the title: a musical description of the hustle and bustle of a busy train station, the slow lurching forward of the train as the journey gets underway and the resplendent grandeur of traveling across Europe on this most famous and luxurious mode of transportation. Train whistles most certainly included!