ECU SYMPHONIC BAND, WIND ENSEMBLE PERFORMING CONCERT MARCH 8
The East Central University Symphonic Band and the ECU Wind Ensemble will present a winter concert Thursday [MARCH 8] with a program ranging from pieces inspired by a Korean folk song, a Dylan Thomas poem and a stuck harmonium key to marches and a 1978 hit single by Earth, Wind & Fire.
The free concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Ataloa Theatre in the Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center. Dr. Allen Correll, ECU director of bands, will conduct both groups.
The Symphonic Band will open with two movements of “Third Suite” by Robert E. Jager, followed by “First Suite” by Alfred Reed and “September” by Maurice White, Al McKay and Allee Willis. “September,” recorded by Earth, Wind & Fire, is full of syncopation and rhythmic drive that characterize the famous funk/rock band.
Earth, Wind & Fire horn licks are vividly captured along with the funk feel of the rhythm section in this hard-hitting Paul Murtha arrangement, Correll said.
The ECU Wind Ensemble, a smaller group selected by audition, will perform Percy Grainger’s “The Immovable Do,” a work inspired in 1933 by a stuck C key on Grainger’s favorite compositional instrument, the harmonium.
Grainger completed the work in 1939 and sent a copy of the unpublished parts to Harlo McCall, then director of bands at ECU, for the world premiere on Feb. 23, 1940. Grainger came to ECU and conducted the East Central University All-Region Honor Band for the piece’s first performance.
The work and the composer’s visit to Ada are the subjects of Correll’s doctoral dissertation.
The Wind Ensemble also will perform “Variations on a Korean Folk Song” by John Barnes Chance. Chance found inspiration for the work when he was stationed in Seoul, Korea, with the 8th U.S. Army Band in 1958. Written in 1965, it is based on the Korean folk song “Geen Arriang (Long Horizon). The words are sung by a woman who does not want the man she loves to leave her.
“Do Not Go Gentle Into That Goodnight,” written in 1979 by Elliot Del Borgo, attempts to recreate the essence of the original poem by Dylan Thomas. Del Borgo borrows the traditional hymn “A Mighty Fortress is My God” and the familiar “In Dulci Jubilo.” An Ives-like use of sound layers calls to mind the struggles and persistence of the human spirit and its refusal to “go gentle.”
The concert will end with “Marche Militaire Francaise,” one of four movements from “Suite Algerienne” by Camille Saint-Saens. The first three movements are Oriental in coloring while the march is quite French. The march was intended to emphasize the contrast found in Algiers between the native culture and the French settlements.