Concert 1 2024: Celestial Light

7.00pm Saturday 2nd March 2024

This page will show the program in order of performance and program notes.

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To download the printed program (219KB) click here

The following are program notes for each work being performed. Please note that the order of works is subject to change.

Music by Gene Roddenberry, Courage and Giacchino, this suite is arranged by Jay Bocook. Boldly go where no band has gone before! The 2009 blockbuster movie features spectacular new and exciting themes in a dramatic soundtrack by Michael Giacchino. In addition, the original classic TV theme is reworked in a creative fashion. Here’s an impressive setting for the concert stage.

Music by Ron Grainger, Delia Derbyshire & Murray C. Gold arr. Robert Buckley. Ron Grainger and Delia Derbyshire were employees of the BBC Sound Studio who created the series. Typically, institutional policy did not acknowledge individual contributions. However of particular interest is that Ron was an Australian! From the long-running and iconic BBC television series Doctor Who, composer Murray Gold brought a new dimension of dramatic and evocative musical themes dating from 2005 to present. Here’s a masterful setting for band featuring familiar themes for the Doctor, along with the alien monsters Cybermen and Daleks, and also memorable companion themes for Rose and Martha.

Michael Brand wrote Fragments of Jupiter in 2019 when British society was deeply divided by political rifts. The unsettled and unexpected sound-world of some of the fragments of from Holst’s ‘Jupiter’ is deliberately at odds with the patriotic hymn to reflect this mood. The piece draws its inspiration from the ‘Jupiter’ movement of Holst’s The Planets. It uses elements of the thematic material as its starting point, such as the opening rhythm on the tenor drum which continues through much of the piece, and the initial three note pattern from one of Jupiter’s themes, and sets them with insistent rhythm and hints of bi-tonality against the Medieval-like dance-tune which is part of ‘The Bringer of Jollity’, and also the broad hymn ‘I vow to thee my Country’. Although Holst had created this tune for The Planets (first performed in 1918) it did not acquire its patriotic role as a British anthem until he adapted it to fit the words of a poem by Cecil Spring Rice, who was the British Ambassador the USA during much of World War 1. Now it is often sung at ceremonial occasions and at the Last Night of the Proms. From Brolga Music

Music by the person who has received the largest number of Academy Award nomination, John Williams. To the Suite arranged by the late Robert W. Smith, we have inserted after the 3rd movement, Rey’s Theme. So each movement is numbered sequentially Episode 4, 5, 6, and with Rey’s Theme, Episode 7. We finished the suite with the Star Wars Main Theme. Included in our performance are “Princess Leia’s Theme” (from Episode IV: A New Hope), “Imperial March/The Forest Battle” (from Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back) and The Forest Battle (from Episode VI: Return of the Jedi), Rey’s Theme (from Episode VII The Force Awakens) and the Star Wars® Main Title. May the force be with you as you enjoy listening to this classic collection.

Composed by Frank Ticheli, the symphony’s three movements refer to celestial light — Shooting Stars, the Moon, and the Sun.

Although the title for the first movement, “Shooting Stars”, came after its completion, I was imagining such quick flashes of color throughout the creative process. White-note clusters are sprinkled everywhere, like streaks of bright light. High above, the Eb clarinet shouts out the main theme, while underneath, the low brasses punch out staccatissimo chords that intensify the dance-like energy. Fleeting events of many kinds are cut and pasted at unexpected moments, keeping the ear on its toes. The movement burns quickly, and ends explosively, scarcely leaving a trail.

The second movement, “Dreams Under a New Moon,” depicts a kind of journey of the soul as represented by a series of dreams. A bluesy clarinet melody is answered by a chant-like theme in muted trumpet and piccolo. Many dream episodes follow, ranging from the mysterious, to the dark, to the peaceful and healing. A sense of hope begins to assert itself as rising lines are passed from one instrument to another. Modulation after modulation occurs as the music lifts and searches for resolution. Near the end, the main theme returns in counterpoint with the chant, building to a majestic climax, then falling to a peaceful coda. The final B-flat major chord is colored by a questioning G-flat.

The finale, “Apollo Unleashed”, is perhaps the most wide-ranging movement of the symphony, and certainly the most difficult to convey in words. On the one hand, the image of Apollo, the powerful ancient god of the sun, inspired not only the movement’s title, but also its blazing energy. Bright sonorities, fast tempos, and galloping rhythms combine to give a sense of urgency that one often expects from a symphonic finale. On the other hand, its boisterous nature is also tempered and enriched by another, more sublime force, Bach’s Chorale BWV 433 (Wer Gott vertraut, hat wohl gebaut). This chorale — a favorite of the dedicatee, and one he himself arranged for chorus and band — serves as a kind of spiritual anchor, giving a soul to the gregarious foreground events. The chorale is in ternary form (ABA’). In the first half of the movement, the chorale’s A and B sections are stated nobly underneath faster paced music, while the final A section is saved for the climactic ending, sounding against a flurry of 16th-notes.

My second symphony is dedicated to James E. Croft upon his retirement as Director of Bands at Florida State University in 2003. It was commissioned by a consortium of Dr. Croft’s doctoral students, conducting students and friends as a gesture of thanks for all he has given to the profession. By Frank Ticheli.

The Grainger Wind Symphony performed the Australian Premiere in July 2004 under the baton of the dedicatee James E. Croft.

Music composed by Hoagy Carmichael in 1927, with lyrics later added by Mitchell Parish, this setting for wind band is by Sammy Nestico. Nestico was an American composer and arranger. Many of his works were for the Count Basie Band. When composing the song, Carmichael was inspired by the end of one of his love affairs, and on the suggestion of a university classmate, he decided on its title.

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