Wind Symphony at Upper Arlington High School (10/03/19)

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October 3, 2019


The Ohio State University

Russel C. Mikkelson, conductor
Alexander Gonzalez, guest conductor
Brent Levine, guest conductor

Karen Pierson, bassoon

7:30 p.m.  •  Thursday, Oct. 3

Upper Arlington High School

1650 Ridgeview Rd  •  Columbus 43221




Fugue á la Gigue

J. S. Bach (1685–1750), arr. Gustav Holst

Brent Levine, guest conductor

When Holst was commissioned to write Hammersmith for the BBC Wireless Military Band in 1928 he felt rather out of practice in orchestrating for the medium. For some years he had had the idea of arranging some Bach fugues for brass and military band, so he set himself the task of scoring the Organ Fugue in G Major BWV 577 (from Preludes, Fugues and Fantasias). He, rather than Bach, called it Fugue à La Gigue.

The piece made an ideal exercise, and Holst’s brilliant dovetailing of the counterpoint between different instruments shows his mastery. The piece is technically demanding and the characteristic unison clarinet writing suggests the orchestral conception of a large wind ensemble rather than a band. It was this conception which the composer carried forward into Hammersmith.

Song for Silent Voices

Wayne Oquin (b. 1977)

Consortium premiere performance

Alexander Gonzalez, guest conductor

In October 2017, I began an unaccompanied choral work to honor the memory of a remarkable man, my long-time friend, Herbert M. Loyd, M.D. The text consisted of one word: Alleluia. I became fascinated with the idea of setting this single utterance hundreds of ways, each repetition portraying some new element of this ancient sacred expression. Even before I knew the ending or how it would arrive, I was certain I wanted to explore an instrumental version. Beyond the affirmative title, beyond the emphatic nature of the repetitive lyric — alleluia...alleluia — the slow harmonic rhythm in the opening, the songlike simplicity of the themes, the long soaring lines of the climax — at times as many as eight singing simultaneously — all urged me to undertake a transcription for the many colors of the wind ensemble. To enter music, this seemingly separate world of pitches, harmonies, rhythms and textures, is to plunge more deeply into life itself. How true of the current work: unresolved dissonances speaking to our collective humanity in all its beauty and many imperfections; frequent modulations reflecting a world of constant change; a single solo voice signifying child-like innocence; the final diminuendo depicting life’s brevity. Words alone would be inadequate. What an honor to have my work premiered by The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Wind Symphony. These brave young musicians, having been through unspeakable tragedy, are an inspiration to all. My hope is that this music somehow merges grief and gratitude; the quiet void from a life lost and the thankfulness for times shared. Song for Silent Voices, inspired by the loss of my friend Herb, and is dedicated to Alex Kaminsky.
Wayne Oquin

Reliable Sources

Nico Muhly (b. 1981)

Consortium premiere performance

Karen Pierson, bassoon

Nico Muhly (b. 1981) is an American composer and sought-after collaborator whose influences range from American minimalism to the Anglican choral tradition. The recipient of commissions from The Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Tallis Scholars and St. John’s College, Cambridge and others, he has written more than 100 works for the concert stage, including the opera Marnie (2017), which premiered at the English National Opera and was staged by the Metropolitan Opera in the fall of 2018.

"I was initially terrified of writing for bassoon and wind ensemble, mainly because of the dearth of previous examples from which I could steal, as I would do with a concerto for violin or piano. I found myself sniffing around the history of the bassoon, and how it often functioned, in sacred music, as a combination of a bass instrument and a tenor instrument — a more acrobatic use of the organ’s pedals. I thought about the period during the reformation when the organ was banned from church, and thought about the effect of that great silencing. This brought me to thinking — as so many of my processes do — about Orlando Gibbons (1583–1625) whose music would have been sung during this time.

I’ve written a great deal of music which could be described as a conversation with (or indeed a love letter to) Gibbons, including setting the text of his autopsy, and I’ve always found a kind of artistic solace and surprise in his music, so the title refers to that music as a source for endless discovery. I took a beautiful piece of his keyboard music (a Pavan in A-minor), and generated from it a cycle of fifteen chords, imagining each one as being a resonance from the original keyboard piece, as if played with the sustain pedal locked down and from a great distance, the original chord structure lost in a haze of its own transitions and interstices. From there, I wrote a set of variations, where the solo bassoon walks through these chords with a series of gaits: linear and calm, a sort of bouncing upwards figure, a berceuse (cradle song), and more virtuosic fast passages."
Nico Muhly

Lincolnshire Posy

Percy Grainger (1882–1961)

1.    Lisbon
2.    Horkstow Grange
3.    Rufford Park Poachers
4.    The Brisk Young Sailor
5.    Lord Melbourne
6.    Lost Lady Found

Lincolnshire Posy was written as a commission for the 1937 American Bandmasters Association convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and was partially premiered on March 7, 1937 by the Milwaukee Symphonic Band. Much to Grainger's chagrin, this mostly-amateur ensemble was not able to perform the entire work, instead premiering only movements one, two, and four — three and five were considered too difficult, and Grainger had yet to finish the final, sixth movement. Adding to the composer's frustration, the premiering ensemble was made up mostly of bandsmen from the workers' ensembles of Milwaukee's Pabst Blue Ribbon and Blatz breweries. Grainger, a famously obstinate teetotaler, would later write angrily in the published score that the performers cared "more about their beer than the music."

Conga del Fuego Nuevo

Arturo Márquez (b. 1950), trans. Oliver Nickel

Following on the success of Arturo Márquez's Danzón No. 2 adapted for band, Oliver Nickel's transcription of Conga del Fuego Nuevo ("Conga of New Fire") gives an added kick to the concert band repertoire. In contrast to the elegant, sinuous Danzón, Conga is an up-tempo celebratory piece, bright and catchy, with the percussion section providing the signature kick at the end of the conga pattern. Márquez slows things down in the middle section to spotlight the first trumpet in a melody that recalls the mariachi tradition. The alto saxes pick it up and relax into a ritard, only to be interrupted by the return of the opening material. The piece ends in fiery fashion.

The Ohio State University Wind Symphony

Russel C. Mikkelson, conductor

Autumn 2019

Jiwoon Choi
Peyton Sandri

Peyton Sandri *
Alex Goad
Yuanzhu Chen
Daniel Zipin
Alison Addie
Grace Forrai

Andrew Gresham *
Suzanne Jennison
Esther Krumm

Suzanne Jennison

Jesse Schartz *
Eric Tyler Barga
Dustin Gourley
Nate Centa

Dustin Gourley
Nate Centa

Vanessa Klassen

Alyssa Powell *
David Brigle
Vanessa Klassen
Erin Dowler
Michael Blaha
Logan Howe
Gabrielle Valladares
Nathan Murta
Noah Wise
William Erickson

Austin Suarez
William Erickson

William Erickson

Francesca Wantuch *
Kevin Ruppert

Lindsay Smithson

Logan Wright

Benjamin Hottensmith *
Trevor Healy
Anna Dorey
Greg Eberwine
Cameron Reed

Alex Sanso *
Brooklynn Howell *
Daniel Brinker
Luke Bingham
Vanessa Rivera
Kaity Catalfina

Jeremy Smith *
Jake Pauley
Melody Harrell

Zach Irwin

Sean O’Brien *
Seth Champion
Grant Booth

Jocelyn Smallwood *
Bennett Deshotels
Bradley Krak

Joseph Spearman
Amelia DuPlain
Ben Shaheen
Hannah Moore
Justin Monroe
Alex Brudnicki

Dallas Carpenter

Changyue Liu

Nathan Hay
Jillian Davis

* principal


This event is part of the Latin American Music Celebration at The Ohio State University, Sept. 23–Oct. 8, 2019.
In celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15–Oct. 15), the Ohio State School of Music and the Organization of Hispanic/Latino Faculty and Staff proudly present a series of musical experiences that highlight the culture of Latin America.
Thank you to our sponsors
Center for Latin American Studies • Department of Spanish and Portuguese • Office of Outreach and Engagement • The Ohio Arts Council •  Ohio State University, Newark campus

Band Department Personnel

Russel C. Mikkelson, director of bands
Scott A. Jones, associate director of bands
Christopher D. Hoch, associate director of bands; director, marching and athletic bands
Phillip A. Day, assistant director of bands; associate director, marching and athletic bands
David Hedgecoth, conductor, Collegiate Winds
Michael Smith, assistant director, marching and athletic bands
Christopher Dent, band office associate


Alexander Gonzalez, doctoral conducting associate
Brent Levine, doctoral conducting associate
Daniel Farr, doctoral conducting associate
Tyler J. Mack, master’s conducting associate

School of Music ​Instrumental Faculty

Katherine Borst Jones, flute
Robert Sorton, oboe
Karen Pierson, bassoon
Caroline Hartig, clarinet
Michael Rene Torres, saxophone
Timothy Leasure, trumpet
Bruce Henniss, horn
Sterling Tanner, trombone
James Akins, euphonium and tuba
Barry Green, double bass
Susan Powell, percussion
Steven Glaser, piano
Caroline Hong, piano
Jeanne Norton, harp


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