Brass ensemble’s debut to aid church restoration fund

THE Derwent Valley Concert Band’s new brass ensemble’s debut performance this Sunday afternoon will benefit the St Matthew’s Church restoration fund. The ensemble has 11 players, mostly from the concert band, with special guests Marty Smith (trombone) and Carla Ward (trumpet) from the Glenorchy City Brass.

Nic Courto will conduct the August 27 performance in St Matthew’s Church, Burnett St, New Norfolk, with an eclectic mix of music showcasing the sounds of brass instruments. “Some pieces were composed more than 400 years ago and one was composed as recently as 2015,” DVCB president Jim Taylor said.

“We have included sacred and secular music by famous composers such as Gabrieli and Corelli from the Renaissance period, and Bach from the baroque period, as well as atmospheric music by contemporary composers Eric Whitacre and Caleb Hudson (Canadian Brass),” Mr Taylor said.

“Also included are two traditional hymns and some slightly up-tempo pieces. We are hoping the program will have wide appeal and that there will be something for everyone.”

Tickets are available at and the proceeds will aid the ongoing church restoration.

Program Notes

Music that is Ceremonial and Brilliant

  • Fanfare pour preceder la Peri – Paul Dukas (1865–1935). La Peri is a ballet, written in 1909, with the Fanfare dedicated to the ballerina Natasha Trouhanova. Iskander (the name of Alexander the Great in Persian) goes in search of immortality and meets a peri (a female fairy in Iranian mythology) holding in her hand the Flower of Immortality. Dukas had almost thrown his score into the fire before the first performance, when his relatives prevented him from doing so.

Music that is Sacred and Secular

  • Concerto in G major – Andrea Gabrieli (c.1533-1585) arr. Michel Rondeau. An Italian composer of the Venetian school, Gabrieli studied with Adrian Willaert, and was the uncle and teacher of Giovanni Gabrieli.  After extensive travel in Germany and Bohemia, Andrea became organist at St Mark’s in Venice, where he achieved a great reputation as organist.  He was a prolific composer of both choral and instrumental music, ranging from massive sacred works to madrigals.  Many of his larger compositions exhibit the polychoral tradition of the Venetian school established by Willaert.
  • Canzon Duodecimi Toni – Giovanni Gabrieli (c. 1554–1612) arr. Michel Rondeau. Giovanni Gabrieli was born in Venice. He was one of the most influential musicians of his time, and represents the culmination of the style of the Venetian School, at the time of the shift from Renaissance to Baroque idioms. He was an organist of the late Renaissance period. He was the first internationally renowned member of the Venetian School of composers and was extremely influential in spreading the Venetian style in Italy as well as Germany.
  • Pastorale in F Major – Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713) arr. Michel Rondeau. Corelli was an Italian composer and violinist of the Baroque era. His music was key in the development of the modern genres of sonata and concerto, in establishing the pre-eminence of the violin, and as the first coalescing of modern tonality and functional harmony. He was trained in Bologna and Rome and spent most of his career there with the protection of wealthy patrons. Though his entire production is limited to just six published collections he achieved great fame and success throughout Europe, in the process crystallizing widely influential musical models.
  • Notenbuchlein Suite – Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) arr. Michel Rondeau. J.S. Bach was a one of the great composers of the late Baroque period. He is known for his orchestral music; instrumental compositions, keyboard works, organ works and vocal music. The title Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach (German: Notenbüchlein für Anna Magdalena Bach) refers to either of two manuscript notebooks that Bach presented to his second wife, Anna Magdalena. The Notebooks provide a glimpse into the domestic music of the 18th century and the musical tastes of the Bach family.
  • Panis Angelicus – Cesar Franck (1822-1890) arr. Michel Rondeau. Panis angelicus (Latin for “Bread of Angels” or “Angelic Bread”) is the penultimate stanza of the hymn Sacris solemniis written by St Thomas Aquinas for the feast of Corpus Christi. The text was set as a motet by several Renaissance composers but the best known of all is the setting by César Franck.

Music that is Atmospheric and Contemplative

  • October – Eric Whitacre (1970…) arr. David J Miller. Whitacre is an American composer, conductor, and speaker best known for his choral music. He earned a bachelor degree in Music Composition at the University of Nevada in March 2016 and his master’s degree in Composition at the Julliard School. Whitacre noted: “October is my favourite month. Something about the crisp autumn air and the subtle change in light always makes me a little sentimental, and as I started to sketch I felt that same quiet beauty in the writing.” October was commissioned by a consortium of 30 high school bands in Nebraska and premiered in May 2000.
  • White Rose Elegy – Caleb Hudson. Hudson graduated from the Juilliard School with both Bachelor and Master of Music degrees. He is Associate Professor of Trumpet at the Butler School of Music at the University of Texas. Hudson wrote and arranged music for Canadian Brass, having many works performed, published, and recorded. In 2015 his original composition White Rose Elegy was performed as a world premiere in Lincoln Centre by the Canadian Brass and New York Philharmonic Principal Brass. The piece is based on the tragic story of the White Rose Society, a small group of university students in Munich, who tried to oppose the far-right National Socialist German Workers’ Party in Nazi Germany during World War II. They were arrested by the Gestapo, quickly tried and executed.

Music that Proclaims the Christian Faith

  • Be Thou My Vision – Traditional arr. Tony Zilincik. This is a traditional Christian hymn of Irish origin. The words are based on a Middle Irish poem that has traditionally been attributed to  Dallan Forgaill. The best-known English version was translated in 1905 by Mary Elizabeth Byrne, then made into verse by Eleanor Hull and published in 1912. Since 1919 it has been commonly sung to an Irish folk tune, noted as Slane in church hymnals, and is one of the most popular hymns.
  • Crimond Traditional arr. David Marlatt. The Lord’s My Shepherd is a Christian hymn. It is a metrical psalm commonly attributed to the English Puritan Francis Rous and based on the text of Psalm 23 in the Bible. The hymn first appeared in the Scots Metrical Psalter in 1650 traced to a parish in Aberdeenshire. It is commonly sung to the tune Crimond, which is generally credited to Jessie Seymour Irvine. During the Protestant Reformation in Scotland, the practice of exclusive psalmody made Psalm singing a central part of public worship. The Book of Common Order, introduced in the Church of Scotland by reformer John Knox in 1564, contained metrical versions of all the Psalms, adapted from John Calvin’s Genevan Psalter (1539).

Music for No Other Reason

  • Beyond the Sea – Charles Trenet (1913-2001) arr. John O’Carroll. Beyond the Sea is the English-language version of the French song “La Mer” by Charles Trenet, popularizsd by Bobby Darin in 1959. While the French original was an ode to the sea, Jack Lawrence, who composed the English lyrics, turned it into a love song. Trenet was a renowned French singer-songwriter who composed both the music and the lyrics to nearly 1000 songs over a career that lasted more than 60 years.
  • Man of La Mancha (medley) Mitch Leigh arr. John O’Carroll. Mitch Leigh was born in Brooklyn, New York, as Irwin Michnick. He graduated from Yale in 1951 with a Bachelor of Music, and in 1952 received his Masters of Music. He began his career as a jazz musician and writing commercials for radio and television. In 1965, Leigh collaborated with lyricist Joe Darion and writer Dale Wasserman to write a musical based on Wasserman’s 1959 television play, I, Don Quixote. The resulting show, the musical Man of La Mancha, opened on Broadway in 1965 and in its original engagement ran for 2328 performances, and has been revived multiple times.

See more Derwent Valley and Central Highlands news online and read our print edition every second Friday.

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