Over the next 3 weeks, we will be including notes from conductor Brian Hughes regarding the pieces that will be performed April 28th. Enjoy!
In 1998, NBC journalist Tom Brokaw wrote of those who have lived through the era of the Second World War, those he called the greatest generation. “At the end of the twentieth century the contributions of this generation would be in bold print in any review of this turbulent and earth-altering time. It may be historically premature to judge the greatness of a whole generation, but indisputably, there are common traits that cannot be denied. It is a generation that, by and large, made no demands of homage from those who followed and prospered economically, politically, and culturally because of its sacrifices. It is a generation of towering achievement and modest demeanor, a legacy of their formative years when they were participants in and witness to sacrifices of the highest order. They know how many of the best of their generation didn’t make it to their early twenties, how many brilliant scientists, teachers, spiritual and business leaders, politicians and artists were lost in the ravages of the greatest war the world has seen.”
If I am allowed to editorialize, the wind band movement has its own greatest generation, those composers who actually are closely aligned with Brokaw’s assessment. These are composers whose achievements, had they not chosen to focus on works for the wind band, might be better known. Still, we owe each of them a debt of gratitude for sharing their time, talents, and compositions with us.
The upcoming concert of the Quad City Wind Ensemble pays homage to these significant contributors to our medium.
Howard Hanson, longtime faculty member of the Eastman School, is the earliest member of this lineage and he penned several works for band, the most well known of which is Chorale and Alleluia. Our program opens with Hanson’s Centennial March, written for the 100th anniversary of his home state’s (Nebraska) admittance into the union. We are pleased to resurrect this long out-of-print work.
It was Howard Hanson who led Clifton Williams to write for the wind band rather than the orchestra, counseling Williams that he would get larger audiences and a larger range of organizations to perform his music in doing so. We offer Williams final work, written literally on his deathbed, Caccia and Chorale.
….to be continued next week!