Concert 5 2022: Alleluia! It’s Christmas

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Our final concert for the year is a celebration of the season and a celebration that we have been able to present a full year after the lockdowns and COVID hesitancy experienced by everyone around the world. Join us and have fun experiencing the joyous music live!

Venue: St Peter’s Anglican Church, 1038 Whitehorse Road, Box Hill 3128

Date: Saturday 7.00pm 3rd December 2022

Tickets: Full general admission $25, Full time students and seniors $20, 10 x Full-time students plus a free supervising teacher $100.

Enquiries: 9890 5646

To book a ticket via TryBooking click here or pay cash at the door.


Proposed program, in order of performance.

A Christmas Festival by Leroy Anderson

Composed in 1950, this is a concert overture built upon traditional Christmas songs. Originally recorded by the Boston Pops, it is the Christmas medley that sets the standard for all others. Anderson has encompassed the joy, celebration, and solemnity of Christmas in his arrangements of Joy To The World • Deck the Halls • God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen • Good King Wenceslas • Hark! The Herald Angels Sing • The First Noel • Silent Night • Jingle Bells and O Come, All Ye Faithful.

Romanian Carols No. 1 by Bela Bartok arr. Andreas van Zoelen

Romanian Christmas Carols, Sz, 57, BB 67 (HungarianRomán kolindadallamok) is a set of little colinde, typical Christmas songs from Romanian villages, habitually sung by small groups of children, adapted in 1915 by Hungarian composer Béla Bartók to be played on the piano after hearing them sung in the below villages.

We are performing the first set of 10 as follows.

Series A

  1. “Pă cel plai de munte” (from the region of Várhely, in Hunyad). Allegro
  2. “Intreabă si-ntreabă” (from the region of Malomvíz, in Hunyad). Allegro
  3. “Doi roagă să, roagă” (from the region of Malomvíz, in Hunyad). Allegro
  4. “Ciucur verde de mătasă” (from the region of Temesmonostor, in Temes). Andante
  5. “Coborâto, coborâto” (from the region of Alsóvisó, in Máramaros). Allegro moderato
  6. “În patru cornuți de lume” (from the region of Görgényorsova, in Maros-Torda). Andante
  7. “La lină fântână” (from the region of Sárafalva, in Torontál). Andante
  8. “Noi umblăm da corindare” (from the region of Sárafalva, in Torontál). Allegretto
  9. “Noi acum ortacilor” (from the region of Bisztra, in Torda-Aranyos). Allegro
  10. “Trei crai de la Răsărit” (from the region of Rogos, in Bihar). Più allegro

Alleluia by W.A. Mozart arr. John Boyd

Is from the motet “Exultate, jubilate”

This religious solo motet was composed when Mozart was staying in Milan[1][2] during the production of his opera Lucio Silla which was being performed there in the Teatro Regio Ducale. It was written for the castrato Venanzio Rauzzini,[3][4] who had sung the part of the primo uomo Cecilio in Lucio Silla the previous year.[5] While waiting for the end of the run (from 26 December 1772 to 25 January 1773), Mozart composed the motet for his singer, whose technical excellence he admired. Its first performance took place at the Theatine Church on 17 January 1773

The Alleluia is the fourth movement.

The lyrics of the first three movements are as follows.

Exsultate, jubilate,
o vos animae beatae,
dulcia cantica canendo,
cantui vestro respondendo,
psallant aethera cum me.
Rejoice, resound with joy,
o you blessed souls,
singing sweet songs,
In response to your singing
let the heavens sing forth with me.
Fulget amica dies,
jam fugere et nubila et procellae;
exorta est justis
inexspectata quies.
Undique obscura regnabat nox,
surgite tandem laeti
qui timuistis adhuc,
et jucundi aurorae fortunatae
frondes dextera plena et lilia date.
The friendly day shines forth,
both clouds and storms have fled now;
for the righteous there has arisen
an unexpected calm.
Dark night reigned everywhere [before];
arise, happy at last,
you who feared till now,
and joyful for this lucky dawn,
give garlands and lilies with full right hand.
Tu virginum corona,
tu nobis pacem dona,
tu consolare affectus,
unde suspirat cor.
You, o crown of virgins,
grant us peace,
Console our feelings,
from which our hearts sigh.
Alleluja, alleluja![2]

Christmas Overture by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor arr. Andre Bodin

The Christmas Overture was originally conceived as incidental music for a ‘charming poetical fairy drama’ by Alfred Noyes, The Forest of Wild Thyme. It is a nicely put-together piece, being more than just a potpourri of Christmas tunes, but cleverly integrating some famous carols like Hark the Herald Angels Sing and God Rest You, Merry Gentlemen into a pleasantly coherent work. Program Note from Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music

Tuscan Serenade by Gabriel Faure, arr. Percy Grainger

Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924) reveals himself most fully in his songs, which number nearly 100. They include Après une Rêvé, (1865) and Clair de Lune (1887).

Tuscan Serenade, like Après une Rêvé, is a setting of an Italian poem, translated into French by Romain Bussine, himself a singer. It was published in 1879 and Faure set it at some point during the preceding ten years. (Scholars differ as to the exact date.)

Grainger heightens the contrast between verses: he scores the first as a euphonium solo, but scores the second for band; the euphonium takes the accompaniment, returning to the fore for the last, crucial, four lines. His instrumental color concept is as strong as ever in this score; who else but Grainger would have asked for “Harps, Pianos, Marimbas” played “massed if possible,” thus capturing the mood of Tuscany as well as the content?

– Program Note from score

Grainger met Fauré for the first time in 1908. In March of that year, Fauré was staying in London with the artist John Singer Sargent and a meeting with Grainger was arranged. In a letter to Roger Quilter dated March 25, 1908, Grainger quoted Fauré’s reaction to his music: “Il a beaucoup de flamme . . . C’est une energie suprême.” Grainger reciprocated with these comments about Fauré (from the same letter): “The more I see of him, the kinder and more lovable I find him . . . . he can be a great genius, sometimes, it seems to me.”

Grainger had set two other vocal works by Fauré for solo piano dating from the same period as the Tuscan Serenade. Not surprisingly, given the admiration Grainger had for Fauré and his music, he would eventually score the Tuscan Serenade for the band at the Interlochen Music Camp during the summer of 1937.

Chaconne by J.S. Bach arr. Larry Daehn

This beautifully slow and melodic piece consists of eleven variations built on two eight measure themes. Like many of Mr. Daehn’s other pieces for young bands, the technical and range challenges have been eliminated so musicians can concentrate on the musical aspects of creating beautiful sounds. This is truly music meant for the heart.


Children’s March by Percy Grainger

Children’s March “Over the Hills and Far Away” is one of the earliest works written for piano and wind band, and the first of many such works by Percy Grainger. Written while Grainger was serving in the American army as a bandsman, it was intended to make full use of all the instrumental resources available at Fort Hamilton where he was stationed. The First World War ended in November 1918 before Grainger had the chance to perform the work as originally planned. Its first performance did not take place until June 1919 at Columbia University, featuring the Goldman Band conducted by the composer with Ralph Leopold playing the piano part. It was subsequently published in an edition which allowed it to be used by the wind section of the symphony orchestra with the piano part being cued into the wind parts. Another innovation in this score calls for certain members of the band to sing or “vocalize” in two passages where they are not employed with their own instruments.

With the dedication, “for my playmate beyond the hills,” she is believed to be a Scandinavian beauty with whom the composer corresponded for eight years but did not marry because of his mother’s jealousy.

– Program Note by Barry Peter Ould

Mancini! by Henry Mancini arr. Stephen Bulla

The creative genius of Henry Mancini has given us some of the most recognizable themes from television and movies throughout the years. Here is a symphonic showstopper made up of some of his biggest hits. Includes: The Pink Panther; Moon River; Baby Elephant Walk; Dreamsville and Peter Gunn.

A Country Mile by Naomi Crellin arr. Ed Fairlie, conducted by Rowan Taylor

Originally a song in four parts for acapella vocal ensemble. A Country Mile is written in the style of an old-world jazz ballad. Its lyrics conjure a mood of peace, contentment and homecoming.

I strode a country mile, and when I stopped to look around,I did not recognise the place I found, And so I stayed awhile.

Savouring the day, A different sight, a different view, A different colour to explore anew, So glad I turned that way.

High in the trees, where the wind is a poet, Dancing along the beat of the sky, Held in the breeze in the branches below it, sunlight gleaming, moonlight dreaming nigh.

And when I turn to go, I found I’d been here all along, a shy new chorus of the same sweet song, that golden feeling I’m where I belong, so glad at last I know.

Clarinet Concerto by Artie Shaw

The Concerto for Clarinet is a composition for clarinet and jazz orchestra by Artie Shaw. The piece ends with a “legendary” altissimo C. The piece is a “pastiche thrown together out of some boogie-woogie blues, clarinet-over-tom tom interludes, a commonplace riff build-up towards the end, all encased in opening and closing virtuoso cadenzas for the leader’s clarinet”, according to Gunther Schuller. Before his enlisted service in World War II, Artie Shaw was tasked with providing music for the movie Second Chorus which featured Fred Astaire. The film proved to be a failure, but Shaw extracted one of his works from the soundtrack, the Swing Concerto, and reworked it into his Concerto for Clarinet. The concerto was completed in 1940.

A Christmas Pastiche Traditional arr. Douglas McLean

Three Christmas Carols arranged by the American arranger Douglas McLain : ‘Zither Carol’, ‘Veni, Veni, Emmanuel’, ‘Ding, Dong Merrily on High’.


Thank you for your support in 2022!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! See you in 2023!