University of St. Thomas Symphonic Wind Ensemble
Matthew George, Conductor
Out of Nowhere
1. Infernal Ride 7:25
2. Out of Nowhere 14:23
Mass of St. Thomas Aquinas
3. Kyrie 3:02
4. Gloria 2:08
5. Sanctus 3:08
6. Benedictus 2:02
7. Agnus Dei 3:35
Armenian Rhapsody for Guitar and Symphonic Wind Ensemble
10. Bar (Dance)
University of St. Thomas Commission Series, Volume II
1. Infernal Ride Kenneth Hesketh
Infernal Ride was commissioned by Matthew George and the University of St. Thomas Symphonic Wind Ensemble. It was premiered in May 2004. Infernal Ride was written in a comparatively short time. Perhaps spurred on by the title, the piece seemed to write itself. In a tripartite form, the piece is mercurial and virtuosic, yet with a more static, 'frosted-glass'-like middle section. The only image that-briefly came to mind when writing the work was that of a mad-cap chase that seemed to recall Ichabod Crane's final ride on his horse Gunpowder in the story by Washington Irving, namely The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Often an atmosphere of driven fear pushes the music forward only briefly stopping for breath. The work closes with flourishes in rapid succession, perhaps with the hapless Ichabod meeting his unfortunate end...! – Kenneth Hesketh
Kenneth Hesketh began composing whilst a chorister at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral and completed his first work for orchestra at the age of thirteen. He received his first formal commission at nineteen for the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra under Sir Charles Groves. He studied at the Royal College of Music, London, with Edwin Roxburgh, Joseph Horovitz and Simon Bainbridge between 1987 and 1992 and attended Tanglewood in 1995 as the Leonard Bernstein Fellow where he studied with Henri Dutilleux. After completing a Masters degree in Composition at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA, a series of awards followed: the Shakespeare Prize scholarship from the Toepfer Foundation, Hamburg at the behest of Sir Simon Rattle, an award from the Liverpool Foundation for Sport and the Arts, and on his return to London in 1999 Hesketh was awarded the Constant and Kit Lambert Fellow at the Royal College of Music, with support from the Worshipful Company of Musicians.
From 2003 to 2005 he was New Music Fellow at Kettle's Yard and Corpus Christi College, Cambridge where he curated a series of new music chamber concerts. The Fondation André Chevillion-Yvonne Bonnaud prize was awarded to Hesketh at the 2004 Concours International de Piano d'Orléans after a performance of his Three Japanese Miniatures by pianist Daniel Becker.
In 2007, Hesketh took up the position of Composer in the House with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra for two years. The scheme, devised by the Royal Philharmonic Society in partnership with the PRS Foundation, is designed to allow composers the time and space to create new work, and to take their place at the heart of the orchestral community. Hesketh's tenure with the RLPO will see the creation of works for many of the instrumental groups within the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society, from the orchestra and contemporary music ensemble (Ensemble 10/10, with whom Hesketh already has a thriving relationship) to youth ensembles, chamber groups and choirs. He will also take part in teaching and outreach projects in Liverpool and Manchester during the two years.
2. Out of Nowhere Rolf Rudin
Out of Nowhere was commissioned by Matthew George and the University of St. Thomas Symphonic Wind Ensemble. It was premiered in March of 2008.
In many mythical stories, the magical people appear “Out of Nowhere.”
So in Irish Mythology it’s said that a group of ancient people known as the Túatha Dé Danaan came to Ireland. They came out of heaven or appeared out of the air and threw darkness for three days over the sun. They drove out the tribes who were living there before and ruled over Ireland for a long period of time.
Later in the mythical history of Ireland the Túatha Dé Danaan were conquered by the Milesian tribes, at which point they became known as the original Irish Fairies and lived in subterranean domiciles - in the underworld.
They disappeared as mysteriously as they appeared, but still ruled out of the life hereafter. A magical fog hid them from the mortal people. – Rolf Rudin
Rolf Rudin was born in Frankfurt/Main (Germany) on 9 December 1961. He studied music-education, composition, conducting and theory of music in Frankfurt and Würzburg. After graduating in composition (1991) and conducting (1992) he lectured 1993–2001 theory of music at the Frankfurter Musikhochschule and lives as a freelance composer at Erlensee near Frankfurt/Main. Apart from his already extensive productions for nearly all classes of music Rolf Rudin has, since 1989, also concentrated on compositions for symphonic wind orchestra.
Rolf Rudin held a scholarship of the “Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes” and in 1990/91 was also awarded a scholarship for a six-month sojourn in Paris at the Cité Internationale des Arts from the Bavarian Ministry for Cultural Affairs. Many of his compositions for chamber music, choir and orchestra have won prizes at German and international competitions and one can find them on concert programs around the world.
Rolf Rudin gets invitations for workshops for composition, analysis and instrumentation, for conducting and about the interpretation of his own works from several countries.
3-7 Mass of St. Thomas Aquinas Martin Ellerby
My Mass of St. Thomas Aquinas was commissioned by Matthew J. George for the Choir and Symphonic Wind Ensemble of the University of St. Thomas at St. Paul, Minnesota, USA in 2006 and completed early in 2007. The work is based on an earlier unaccompanied Missa Brevis and it seemed a good opportunity to extend the work by adding a key role for a wind ensemble and also to give more colour and dynamic range to the original a cappella concept. Colour is indeed a vital ingredient in this refashioned composition and also lends a greater expressive element to its more intimate predecessor. The work is cast in five brief movements:
1: Kyrie – a delicate introductory movement where key motifs are announced that are recycled in later movements. The symbolic sound of ‘bells’ is ever present.
2: Gloria – a rhythmically charged scherzo-esque movement with crisp rhythms and much sense of drama.
3: Sanctus – another delicate affair with divided voices providing contrast between the more energetic surrounding movements.
4: Benedictus - a rousing movement with a jazzy Hosanna second subject that is celebratory throughout.
5: Agnus Dei – the opening Kyrie is recalled with a different text gradually leading towards a concluding quasi-chorale which features a solo soprano voice set against the main body of both singers and instrumentalists. The conclusion is soft and expressive and provides a sense of contemplation and spiritual calm. – Martin Ellerby
Martin Ellerby was born in Worksop in 1957. He studied composition with Joseph Horovitz and W.S. Lloyd Webber at the Royal College of Music in London and later privately with Wilfred Josephs by means of an Allcard Award from the Worshipful Company of Musicians.
He has written a broad range of music for orchestra, band, choir and chamber ensemble including a large scale Requiem, three symphonies, several concertos and suites alongside test pieces for competitions and music suitable for grade examinations. His previous wind band commissions for the University of St. Thomas Wind Ensemble were Dreamscapes, a celebration of imaginary cities and Via Crucis, a reflective work (on the Fourteen Stations of the Cross) featuring a solo cello pitted against the main body of band instruments.
His music has been widely performed and recorded throughout the world including BBC Radio 3, the South Bank and the Proms in the UK along with much coverage in Europe, the USA and the Far East. He is currently Composer-in-Residence to the Regimental Band of Her Majesty’s Coldstream Guards involving writing music for both state and regimental functions. In 2006 the University of Salford awarded him the degree of Doctor of Musical Arts. He is also a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Musicians and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Ellerby currently serves on the Board of Directors for WASBE.
8 Deserts Philip Sparke
Deserts was commissioned for the Symphonic Wind Ensemble of the University of St. Thomas, Saint Paul, Minnesota, by the University’s Director of Bands, Dr. Matthew J. George.
In my initial discussions with him, Dr. George offered me the challenge of writing something outside my normal ‘comfort zone’. My style is usually optimistic and outgoing so we agreed on a ‘sparse’ piece. I decided on the theme of ‘nothingness’ – deserts, so to speak.
During its composition, the piece took on a life of its own. It starts with the musical evocation of a desert (it could be sand, ice or extra-terrestrial) and ties into a theme I had previously explored: the paradox of danger combined with awesome natural beauty. A faster central section goes on to broaden the scope of the subject to deal with 'emotional' deserts, and the dangers we face by isolating ourselves and not sharing our thoughts and emotions with others. It develops into a sort of 'battle' between brutality (emotional and/or physical) and the optimism of the human spirit - a sort of struggle for dominance between pessimism and optimism. The slow music returns, but is transformed by the victory of optimism and the piece ends in tranquil serenity. – Philip Sparke
Philip Sparke was born in London and studied composition, trumpet and piano at the Royal College of Music, where he gained an ARCM. It was at the College that his interest in bands arose. He played in the College wind orchestra and also formed a brass band among the students, writing several works for both ensembles. At that time, his first published works appeared - Concert Prelude (brass band) and Gaudium (wind band). A growing interest in his music led to several commissions, his first major one being for the Centennial Brass Band Championships in New Zealand – The Land of the Long White Cloud.
Further commissions followed from individual bands, various band associations and the BBC, for whom he three times won the EBU New Music for Band Competition (with Slipstream, Skyrider and Orient Express). He has written for brass band championships in New Zealand, Switzerland, Holland, Australia and the UK, including three times for the National Finals at the Albert Hall, and his test pieces are constantly in use wherever brass bands can be found.
A close association with banding in Japan led to a commission (Celebration) from and eventual recording of his music with the Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra. This opened the door worldwide to his wind band music and led to several commissions, particularly from the United States. In 1996 the US Air Force Band commissioned and recorded Dance Movements, which won the prestigious Sudler Prize in 1997. In 2005 Music of the Spheres won the National Band Association/William D. Revelli Memorial Band Composition Contest.
9 – 10 Armenian Rhapsody for Guitar and Symphonic Wind Ensemble Loris Chobanian
I. Dohn (Festival in Armenian)
III. BAR (Dance)
Armenian Rhapsody for Guitar and Symphonic Wind Ensemble was commissioned by the University of St. Thomas Symphonic Wind Ensemble, conducted by Matthew George, with Christopher Kachian, guitar solo. The commission stipulated that the work, for Guitar and Symphonic Wind Ensemble, be based on the Armenian melodic tradition. The three required competencies exactly matched Chobanian’s expertise. Dr. Chobanian first started performing the classical guitar on Baghdad Television in 1955 and after 1960 he performed the guitar regularly on Television in Louisiana and in Michigan. He has taught the classical guitar for the last half a century. He has written two guitar concertos one of which is based on the flamenco tradition. His numerous compositions for Symphonic Wind Ensemble as well as his teaching orchestration have given him intimate knowledge of the symphonic wind and orchestra mediums. For ten years in his youth in Baghdad, Chobanian was a member of the Komitas Choir that specialized in performing Armenian music.
Chobanian set out to make the new work more “Armenian than Armenian.” Instead of using existing Armenian melodies, he has created themes that use motives from many different Armenian folk tunes. Whereas usually an Armenian melody will have one or two motives that would define its character he has juxtaposed several motives from different melodies in close proximity making them intensely Armenian and very rhapsodic. Although the composition is in three movements Armenian Rhapsody is not a concerto but rather its form is reminiscent of that of the Renaissance multi-thematic ricercare where a series of themes are presented in succession. There are passages that may sound like recognizable Armenian folk tunes but they are never presented in their full import. In order to enhance the form of the different movements passages are introduced that use the harmonic background of music from the Armenian Church.
The first movement DOHN (Festival in Armenian) starts with a slow four measure introduction. The ensemble then sets the pace and prepares for the entrance of the soloist. A lively solo cadenza contributes to the overall design of the movement. The second movement DELEYAMAN subtitled (Song) is reminiscent of a traditional introspective theme possibly of peasant origin in which the singer explores imaginary inner thoughts. The third movement BAR (Dance) is set in a driving rhythm that establishes a consistent pulse that rushes to the end of the movement. – Loris Chobanian
Matthew J. George holds a D.M.A. degree in conducting from the University of North Texas, a M.M. degree in music education from Southern Methodist University, and a B.M. degree in music education and trumpet performance from Ithaca College. Dr. George is Professor of Music, Director of Bands and Chair of the Department of Music at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. He has taught in public schools in New York state and in Texas as well as at the University of North Texas and Southern Methodist University.
He is active as a conductor and clinician/lecturer which have taken him across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Cuba, Costa Rica, continental Europe, Ireland and the UK, Australia, Japan, China, Brazil and Argentina. He maintains a busy conducting schedule in both professional and educational settings, and is currently Music Director of Grand Symphonic Winds. He is also the founder and past Music Director of the Banda Sinfonica at the Escuela Nacional de Musica in Mexico City, Mexico. Appearing as a guest conductor, he regularly works with professional orchestras and bands, as well as festival groups of all ages. George has served as the Artistic Director of the international music festival, “bristolive!” which is held in Bristol, England. He is currently the Artistic Director of “Premiering Sydney”, which is held in the famed Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia as well as “Premiering Beijing” in China and “Premiering London” in England. George also serves as Artistic Advisor for Kingsway International.
Dr. George has led his ensembles to performances at major music conferences including those for the Minnesota Music Educators Association, the College Band Directors National Association and the Music Educators National Association. He has led his ensembles on performance tours throughout the United States and abroad, having performed in such venues as Eugene Goosens Hall, Sydney Opera House and Town Hall (Australia), in the national theatres of Mexico, Cuba and Costa Rica and in some of the finest concert halls in Japan and China. Live national radio broadcasts include appearances on National Public Radio (US), IMER (National Mexican Radio) and the Australia Broadcast Company. Under his direction, the UST Symphonic Wind Ensemble appears on the Innova record label.
Active as a clinician and lecturer, Dr. George regularly appears at music conferences speaking on subjects of conducting pedagogy, the performance of wind literature and commissioning new music, the latter most recently at the 2007 Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic.
His credits of commissioned works by prolific national and international composers number near sixty. Included among the composers commissioned are William Banfield, Norman Bolter, Andrew Boysen (5), James Callahan, Loris Chobanian, Nigel Clarke (3), Roger Cichy (3), Randall Davidson, Nicholas D'Angelo, Martin Ellerby (3), Aldo Forte, Cary John Franklin, John Gibson (2), David Gillingham, Joan Griffith, Kenneth Hesketh, Ralph Hultgren (4), Stephen Jones, Timothy Mahr, Dale McGowan, Luis Nani, Hudson Nogueira, Chen Qian, Rolf Rudin, Lawrence Siegel, Dean Sorenson(3), Philip Spark, Frank Ticheli, Kit Turnbull and Guy Woolfenden. Consortium commissions include music by Warren Benson, Carol Barnett, Mary Ellen Childs, Todd Coleman, Adam Gorb, Shelly Hanson, Daniel Kallman (3), David Maslanka, Clark McAllister and Jack Stamp.
A participating member in several professional scholarly organizations, he is Past President of the College Band Directors National Association North Central Conference and was on the Board of Directors for the Minnesota Band Directors Association. He is an elected member of two honorary fraternities, Pi Kappa Lambda and Phi Beta Mu. He is also an active member of the Conductor's Guild, American Composers Forum, National Band Association, Music Educators National Conference, Minnesota Music Educators Association, and the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles.
Christopher Kachian, guitarist, has given over 500 performances in the UK, Ireland, Austria, Italy, Germany, Luxembourg, France, Russia, and Africa and throughout the USA and South America. Since 1986, he has performed with three German orchestras: Heidelberger Kammerorchester, Kammerensemble Cologne and Radio Symphonie Orchester des Hessischen Rundfunks. He has been heard on Minnesota Public Radio, National Public Radio, and American Public Radio (including several appearances on Prairie Home Companion). Dr. Kachian is the founder and Director of the UST Guitar Studies Area, and is a national leader in distance learning (technology- aided teaching) having developed several courses at the college level. He is also the editor of the guitar column for the journal of the Minnesota chapter of the American String Teacher's Association/National String Orchestra Association.
The UST Bands are made up of students who are serious musicians, but whose major course of study may vary from music to medicine, business, biology or foreign affairs. Students may participate in a variety of musical groups – from small chamber ensembles to larger symphonic ensembles. UST Band opportunities include The Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Chamber Winds and a full complement of woodwind, brass and percussion chamber ensembles.
The Symphonic Wind Ensemble is the premiere instrumental group on campus. Each member is auditioned for entry. The band performs regular concerts on and off campus.
While members of the UST Bands study and perform standard and contemporary band music as well as transcriptions of other musical genres, it is dedicated to bringing new literature to the band repertoire. Each year, The Symphonic Wind Ensemble actively commissions and premieres new music by significant national and internationally renowned composers. Since 1991, the UST Symphonic Wind Ensemble has commissioned and premiered over 50 new works for band. This music is being recorded for commercial distribution, and appears on the innova record label.
The UST Symphonic Wind Ensemble has performed highly acclaimed concerts before the Minnesota Music Educators Association, the College Band Directors National Conference North Central Division and the Music Educators National Conference National Biennial Conference. The UST Bands have toured throughout the United States and abroad, having performed in venues such as Eugene Goosens Hall and Town Hall (Australia) and the national theaters of Mexico, Cuba and Costa Rica, Japan and China. Live national radio broadcasts include appearances on National Public Radio (U.S.), IMER (National Mexican Radio) and the Australia Broadcast Company. They have been televised nationally on PBS.
SYMPHONIC WIND ENSEMBLE
Leigh Ann Thul
Mary Beth Beckman
Contra Bass Clarinet
Jeremy (Jay) Steinke
Rebecca Clarke, Christine Prokop, Mary Larson,
Jay T. Koser, Samuel Johnson, Christopher Borgerding,