Carl Grapentine Awarded NCB Lifetime Achievement Award

It gives us great pleasure to announce that WFMT’s longtime Morning Program host Carl Grapentine has been named the winner of the Northshore Concert Band Lifetime Achievement Award.

Past recipients of this award include Harry Begian, Barbara Buehlman, Larry Combs, Ray Cramer, Frederick L. Hemke, Karel Husa and John P. Paynter.

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Carl Grapentine is the host of the Morning Program on WFMT/ 98.7 FM, Chicago’s Classical music station, weekdays from 6-10 a.m. He joined WFMT in 1986 after serving as the morning host of the classical music station in Detroit for thirteen years.

An alumnus of the University of Michigan School Of Music, Carl Grapentine has been the “stadium voice” of the University of Michigan Marching Band for forty-eight seasons—his voice being heard on national telecasts of sixteen Rose Bowls and numerous other bowl games. In 2006 he also assumed the responsibilities of game announcer at Michigan Stadium. An accomplished conductor and singer, he has many years of experience as a church music director. Currently, he sings in the choir of Grace Lutheran Church in River Forest. He also has sung the national anthem for professional and collegiate sporting events at Wrigley Field, old and new Comiskey Park (now Guaranteed Rate Field), Tiger Stadium, the Pontiac Silverdome, and the University of Michigan’s Crisler Arena.

Mr. Grapentine presents pre-concert lectures for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Music of the Baroque, and many other groups. He has also performed as narrator with the Chicago Pro Musica (members of the CSO) and hosts concerts for numerous community orchestras and bands. He has been the host for the nationally syndicated broadcast concerts of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra on the WFMT Radio Network, and he hosts the National Concert Band Festival in Indianapolis each spring.

Carl Grapentine has been a member of the Northshore Concert Band Advisory Board since 2012. We recently sat down with him and talked about his musical influences, memories, and thoughts on the future of classical music.

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Please tell us a bit about your musical and life journey. I was born here in Chicago, but we moved to Michigan when I was 6. My mother was a music teacher and my father was a minister

At the University of Michigan, I was a music education major and played oboe and sang. My initial goal was to be a band director, though I mostly played in the orchestras at Michigan. Then I was considering being a choral director. Then I was planning to go to seminary to become a minister.

Instead, I “ran away to be in show business!”

I started my first radio job in 1972 on the overnight shift at WBFG in Detroit (98.7FM). The next year I started a 13 year run on the morning show on WQRS, the Classical station in Detroit. I moved to 98.7 WFMT Chicago in January of 1986.

As I approach retirement at the end of July, my stats are: 46 years in radio; 42 years of morning shows; 32 years in Chicago.

In addition to my WFMT role, I present pre-concert lectures at the CSO and Lyric Opera and have served as music director for a number of local churches. I have served as the stadium voice of the University of Michigan Marching Band for 48 years, including 16 Rose Bowl appearances.  Since 2006, I have also served as the stadium game announcer at Michigan Stadium. I also host the National Concert Band Festival every year in Indianapolis.

What have been some of your musical influences? My Mother was my first musical influence. She was my first piano teacher, elementary school music teacher, and my first choir director. I still remember the first time I filled in for her for a week as our church choir director. My high school choral director was also very important in imbuing a love and passion for making music.

 At The University of Michigan, it was William D. Revelli. Just listening to his band rehearse was a revelation. I played oboe in his last Symphony Band during the year leading up to his retirement. This included our 4-week tour of Europe and also his retirement concert at Carnegie Hall in May 1971.

Please share a bit about your favorite musical memory? Oh, so many. Here’s an early one and a recent one:

A 7th grade junior high band trip to hear the Michigan Symphony Band concert with Rafael Mendez as trumpet soloist. Sunday afternoon band concert with 5,000 in the audience–I had to sit on the stairs!

I heard Bach’s St. Mathew Passion at the Thomaskirche in Leipzig, Germany in 2005.

Which composer would you most like to meet? J.S. Bach. There are about 200 Bach Cantatas in existence. But there are estimates of another 300-400 cantatas that did not survive. I’d love to see those

What are your thoughts on the future of classical music? People have been concerned about the “graying” and loss of the classical music audience for many years. Not so long ago, Henry Fogel quoted an article about being at a symphony concert and being dismayed because of the prominence of gray hair, etc. And then Henry revealed that the article had been written in 1935. But that’s not to say there is nothing to worry about.

The younger generation today does not really listen to the radio that much. They are listening online, with iTunes and Spotify. But that can limit one being introduced to new pieces of music. I think the most common way for folks to get introduced to classical music has historically been in their school music programs. The reductions we now see in funding for school music are a threat to the development of future audiences.

What music do you listen to when not programming WFMT? In the car, either WFMT, sports talk, or maybe some oldies pop music. We all like the music from our high school/college days…..late 60’s early 70’s is my era – Beach Boys, Beatles, Supremes, Simon & Garfunkel, etc. I was a big Blood Sweat &Tears fan too. Some jazz/big band – I was a big Stan Kenton fan

What inspires you?  “Greatness.” The sense of something greater than ourselves. Greater than our everyday existence.  Greatness in music; greatness in worship; even greatness in sports.

The music still moves me. There are times when I’m on the air and have difficulty with a “back announcement” because the music chokes me up..

What do you do to relax?  I watch sports. I am a big Cubs fan and still a Detroit Tigers fan. Mainly, I live and die with Michigan football. I also read about music. And I’m a bit of a news junkie, too.

Do you have any advice for young musicians?  Learn all you can. Learn from the best–and then strive to do the same. But love the music even as you’re working hard.

Please share any thoughts you may have about wind music.  High school band programs seem to still be flourishing. I am amazed at the repertoire played by HS bands at the National Band Festival – pieces like Husa’s “Music For Prague 1968,” and new music by David Maslanka and Frank Ticheli among others. School band programs are important because they remain the most likely introduction to music for many students. Dr. Revelli and the people he hired in the 1930s and 1940s were not only concerned about the University bands, but also the high school band programs in the state of Michigan.

Please share any thoughts that you may have about the Northshore Concert Band.  I was aware of the Northshore Band even before moving to Chicago. Its reputation preceded it!  And those early years of the National Concert Band Festival gave me the opportunity to work with some of the legends of the band world: John Paynter, William Revelli (again), Frederick Fennell, etc. I think the Northshore Band is a great model to inspire kids. They can learn a wide range of the very best repertory…and they have that standard of excellence to hear.


The award presentation will be during the June 17, 2018 concert A LONG TIME AGO…at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, Evanston, Illinois. Mr. Grapentine will retire from WFMT on July 27, 2018.

Audience members will have the opportunity to meet Carl Grapentine at a post-concert reception, congratulate him on his award, and wish him a happy retirement!


A LONG TIME AGO…

Sunday June 17, 2018 at 3:00 pm

Pick-Staiger Concert Hall

Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois

RECEPTION TO FOLLOW PROGRAM


Tickets are $20 each, $15 each for seniors and $10 each for children/students.

Tickets available online at http://www.northshoreband.org or call 847-432-2263.

Bring a group and save! Call us today to learn about discounted group tickets!

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Composer Michael Gandolfi

Flourishes and Meditations on a Renaissance Theme by composer Michael Gandolfi is a highlight of our Summer 2018 program.

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Mr. Gandolfi describes this work:

‘Flourishes and Meditations on a Renaissance Theme’ is a set of fantasy-variations, on an anonymous Renaissance lute piece titled ‘Spagnoletta’ that I played on my guitar for decades throughout my youthful years. I chose to write this piece upon being commissioned by the President’s Own United States Marine Band, directed by Michael Colburn, at the time of composition. I intended it to be a showpiece for that ensemble.

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A self-taught guitarist, Michael Gandolfi began playing rock and jazz at age eight and eventually began formal instruction in composition during his teens. He earned his bachelor and master of music degrees from the New England Conservatory and studied with Oliver Knussen at the Tanglewood Music Center. He currently serves on the composition faculty at both institutions. Gandolfi has collaborated with many important figures in contemporary American music, participating in the Composers Conference at Wellesley College with Mario Davidovsky and Ross Lee Finney and teaching composition at Tanglewood with Osvaldo Golijov. His catalog contains several works for orchestra, including Impressions from “The Garden of Cosmic Speculation,” which has been championed by conductor Robert Spano, with recent or upcoming performances by the New World Symphony and the symphony orchestras of Atlanta and Houston. Gandolfi has also written for chamber, theater, and jazz/funk ensembles.

We contacted Mr. Gandolfi and asked him to share with us his journey in music, musical influences and inspirations, and words of advice that he has for young musicians.

Please tell us a bit about your journey in music and in life.  I was fortunate to have been born into a musical household, with my two older sisters studying classical piano. There were two pianos in the house where I was born and lots of music making there. However, I was more interested in the Beatles than Beethoven, Bach or Brahms in those days. I taught myself to play the guitar and formed rock bands in grade school, blues bands in junior high school and jazz bands in high school. I loved to improvise (and still do). I sought formal lessons in junior high school and was fortunate to find a guitar teacher in my town of Reading Massachusetts, Edward Marino, who was also a composer. He introduced me to music theory and 20th-century music (Bartok, Stravinsky, Hindemith, Schonberg, et al). I always sought the most cutting-edge music then. In high school I met William Thomas McKinley, a fine composer, pianist, and professor of composition at the New England Conservatory of Music. I had lessons with him, became his assistant, and eventually enrolled in the New England Conservatory of Music after briefly studying at the Berklee College of Music. My other mentors were Donald Martino, John Heiss. Malcolm Peyton (all of whom I met at NEC), Ross Lee Finney, Mario Davidovsky, and Oliver Knussen (all of whom I worked with as a fellow at various Summer programs – Yale, the Composers’ Conference, Tanglewood, etc.). After graduation from NEC my musical life revolved around New York City, where groups such as Speculum Musicae, Parnassus, and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra commissioned and performed works of mine. I survived in those days on a few commissions and a healthy dose of part-time teaching at Phillips Academy – Andover. I took my first college teaching appointment at Harvard University in 1996 and later joined the faculty at the New England Conservatory. I also joined the faculty of the Tanglewood Music Center in 1997, having been a visiting composer and performer at Tanglewood every year (except one) following my 1986 fellowship year. I was fortunate to have had so many fine musicians and ensembles commissioning, performing and recording my music, starting with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra in 1988 and continuing to this day with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. I have had too many fine affiliations to list them all, but I will also credit the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Boston Musica Viva, the Melrose Symphony Orchestra (I also have had very fruitful creative collaborations with community orchestras), The New England Philharmonic, the Grant Park Orchestra, the Chicago Sinfonietta, the Houston Symphony, the New World Symphony and the Cabrillo Festival, as among those with whom I have had a lasting relationship. Oddly, I did not write my first wind ensemble or concert band piece until my mid-career. That piece, ‘Vientos y Tangos,’ was commissioned in honor of Frank Battisti’s 70th birthday and received its premiere under the baton of Michael Colburn and the United States marine Band. They subsequently recorded it and toured with it, and on the success of that piece, the President’s Own USMB commissioned what became ‘Flourishes and Meditations on a Renaissance Theme. As for my non musical life, I have a very keen interest in astronomy, physics, mathematics, and all things technology related. I am an avid baseball fan, love to read (mostly on Kindle these days, which has solved my bookshelf-space problem), and I continue to gain from teaching my students.

What have been some of your musical influences?  The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, Allan Holdsworth, Van Halen, Sting, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, John Schofield, Pat Metheny, Joe Pass, Wes Montgomery, Mike Stern, J.S. Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Brahms, Shostakovitch, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, Ives, Harbison, Bolcom, Knussen, Ruth Crawford- Seeger, Ligeti, Stockhausen, Boulez, Schuller, Joan tower, Donald Martino, Babbitt, Carter, Reich, Glass, John Adams, John Corigliano, Sofia Gubaidulina, etc., etc. I have eclectic tastes, far too numerous to indicate in this short list.

Please share a bit about your favorite musical memory?  I had a masterclass with Leonard Bernstein while I was a fellow at Tanglewood in 1986. It was surreal. It was a pot-luck masterclass, nine fellows, a visiting composer (Robert Saxton) and Oliver Knussen as host. The ‘class’ started at 5:00 PM and was still going-strong at 2:00 AM when I left. The following day I learned that it concluded at 3:00 AM! Later that morning, 10:00 AM to be precise, Maestro Bernstein conducted ‘The Rite of Spring’ with the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra. Amazing! I learned a great deal that evening and at that rehearsal.

What’s on your iPod?  All of the Haydn symphonies (they’re ALL good by the way – no weak ones), all of the symphonies of Nikolai Myaskovsky, and all of the Shostakovich, Bruckner, and Prokofiev symphonies, as well as Alfred Brendel’s complete Beethoven piano sonatas. I place these giant oeuvres on my iPhone and listen to them in a loop whenever I am out-and-about. I rotate the list to other repertoire as time progresses.

Which composer/musician – past or present – would you most like to meet for a coffee and why?  J.S. Bach. My all-time favorite.

What inspires you?  Notes! Physics. Structure. Beauty (defined as anything that creates goosebumps)

What do you do to relax?  ? I’m not sure that I ever do. I love exercise and long vigorous walks that I do on a daily basis. I used to find playing golf relaxing, but then I got too score-conscious and I no longer found it relaxing so I stopped playing. I do go to the range in the summertime at Tanglewood. I find that relaxing.

Do you have any advice for young musicians?Work hard but engage your mind in whatever takes you beyond the ordinary.

Please share any thoughts that you may have about the Northshore Concert Band.  I have known the Northshore Concert Band to be one of our nation’s finest community concert bands. They set the best example of the heights that can be achieved by applying hard work and dedication to the art of music-making. They also show other concert bands the riches and rewards of performing challenging and wide-ranging repertoire.

Please add anything else that you would like our audience to know about youThat I love life, music, and storytelling. I believe that storytelling is the principal expression of being human. It is what separates us from the rest of the work and art (especially music) is the pinnacle of this story-telling.

A special thank you to Mr. Gandolfi for speaking with us and giving permission to reproduce this material.  Please visit his website www.michaelgandolfi.com to learn more about this great composer.

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A Long Time Ago…

Sunday, June 17, 2018, 3:00 pm

Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, Northwestern University

50 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston, Illinois

Learn more about the Northshore Concert Band at www.northshoreband.org

Follow this blog to receive more informative and entertaining interviews.

 

 

Composer Frank Ticheli

Sanctuary is a highlight of our spring 2018 program.  Written in 2005, Sanctuary was composed for conductor H. Robert Reynolds.

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Composer Frank Ticheli’s thoughts on this beautiful piece:

sanctuary_smI composed Sanctuary for Bob Reynolds. I wanted Sanctuary to be stylistically far removed from Postcard, which I had composed for Bob many years prior. I wanted something more soulful, more lyrical, more langorous. The first idea for Sanctuary came to me while improvising at the piano: a simple three-chord progression. The melody did not come right away, but slowly blossomed out of the improvised chord progression. I love the way it gradually and beautifully revealed itself to me.”

We contacted Mr. Ticheli and asked him to share with us his musical influences and inspirations and words of advice that he has for young musicians.

What have been some of your musical influences?  My earliest influences were New Orleans traditional jazz and Cajun folk music. I grew up near New Orleans. From there my influences broadened significantly as I developed as a musician. My greatest influences were composers and conductors: Bill Bolcom, Leslie Bassett, Bob Reynolds, Carl St. Clair.

Which composer/musician – past or present – would you most like to meet for a coffee and why?  I’d like to sit down with Richard Wagner, to try to convince him as lovingly as possible to see the wrong-headedness of his views about people based on their ethnicity.

What inspires you?  Love.

What do you do to relax?  Run, hike, bicycle. I like to move. Sitting does not relax me because I already sit too much in life and work.

Do you have any advice for young musicians?  Keep reminding yourself that all the hard work is still supposed to be fun.

_mhd9535 copyFrank Ticheli’s music has been described as being “optimistic and thoughtful” (Los Angeles Times), “lean and muscular” (New York Times), “brilliantly effective” (Miami Herald) and “powerful, deeply felt crafted with impressive flair and an ear for striking instrumental colors” (South Florida Sun-Sentinel).  Ticheli (b. 1958) joined the faculty of the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music in 1991, where he is Professor of Composition.  From 1991 to 1998, Ticheli was Composer in Residence of the Pacific Symphony.

Ticheli is well known for his works for concert band, many of which have become standards in the repertoire. In addition to composing, he has appeared as guest conductor of his music at Carnegie Hall, at many American universities and music festivals, and in cities throughout the world, including Schladming (Austria), Beijing and Shanghai, London and Manchester, Singapore, Rome, Sydney, and numerous cities in Japan.

Frank Ticheli is the recipient of a 2012 “Arts and Letters Award” from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, his third award from that prestigious organization. His Symphony No. 2 was named winner of the 2006 NBA/William D. Revelli Memorial Band Composition Contest. Other awards include the Walter Beeler Memorial Prize and First Prize awards in the Texas Sesquicentennial Orchestral Composition Competition, Britten-on-the-Bay Choral Composition Contest, and Virginia CBDNA Symposium for New Band Music.

Ticheli was awarded national honorary membership to Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, “bestowed to individuals who have significantly contributed to the cause of music in America,” and the A. Austin Harding Award by the American School Band Directors Association, “given to individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the school band movement in America.” At USC, he has received the Virginia Ramo Award for excellence in teaching, and the Dean’s Award for Professional Achievement.

Frank Ticheli received his doctoral and masters degrees in composition from The University of Michigan. His works are published by Manhattan Beach, Southern, Hinshaw, and Encore Music, and are recorded on the labels of Albany, Chandos, Clarion, Equilibrium, Klavier, Koch International, Mark, Naxos, and Reference.

A special thank you to Mr. Ticheli for generously speaking with us and for giving permission to reproduce this material.  For further information about Frank Ticheli and his music, please visit the composer’s website at www.FrankTicheli.com


Please join us on Sunday, April 15, 2018 at 3:00 pm at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, Northwestern University; 50 Arts Circle Drive in Evanston, Illinois for REBELLIONS ARE BUILT ON HOPE…,  conducted by Artistic Director Mallory Thompson.

Ticket Information:
Individual concert tickets are $20 each, seniors $15, students/children $10.

To make these unforgettable performances accessible for music lovers of all ages we offer special group rates to groups of 10 or more.  Call us at 847-432-2263 or email info@northshoreband.org  to customize your group ticket package today!

Tickets are available in advance or at the box office on the day of the concert.
The box office opens at 2:00 pm on the day of the concert.

For More Information:
Visit www.northshoreband.org or call (847) 432-2263.

 

Composer Viet Cuong

Sound and Smoke is a highlight of our winter 2018 program.  Both the title and concept of Sound and Smoke were derived from a line from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s play Faust, when Faust equates words to “mere sound and smoke” and declares that “feeling is everything.”

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Read the program notes for Sound and Smoke here.

Called “alluring” and “wildly inventive” by The New York Times, Viet Cuong’s music has been performed on six continents by a number of leading soloists and ensembles including the PRISM Saxophone Quartet, Sō Percussion, JACK Quartet, Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, Jacksonville Symphony, Albany Symphony, Gregory Oakes, and Mimi Stillman, in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Aspen Music Festival, International Double Reed Society Conference, US Navy Band International Saxophone Symposium, Midwest Clinic, and CBDNA conferences. Viet’s awards include the ASCAP Morton Gould Award, Suzanne and Lee Ettelson Award, Theodore Presser Foundation Music Award, Cortona Prize, Walter Beeler Memorial Prize, Boston Guitarfest Competition, Dolce Suono Ensemble Competition, and Prix d’Été Competition. He also received honorable mentions in the Harvey Gaul Memorial Competition and two consecutive ASCAP/CBDNA Frederick Fennell Prizes. Viet has held artist residencies at Yaddo, Ucross, and the Atlantic Center for the Arts, and was a scholarship student at the Eighth Blackbird Creative Lab, Copland House’s CULTIVATE Institute, and the Aspen and Bowdoin music festivals. Currently a Diploma student at the Curtis Institute and a Naumburg and Roger Sessions Doctoral Fellow at Princeton, he holds Bachelors and Masters degrees from the Peabody Conservatory.


We contacted Mr. Cuong and asked him to share with us his thoughts on his journey in music, his musical influences and inspirations and words of advice that he has for young musicians.

Please tell us a bit about your journey in music and in life.  There aren’t any musicians in my family that I know of—my mom and brother are engineers and my dad is a scientist. However, my mother thought it would be good for me to start piano when I was quite young, I think around 5. She read somewhere that learning classical music could make me better at math later on in life! I never really enjoyed practicing, so I stopped lessons after about a year. But I thankfully didn’t write off music completely—when I got to middle school I joined band as a percussionist and miraculously remembered how to read music. Around this time I decided to try piano lessons again, and (surprise, surprise) still didn’t like to practice, but I did discover that I really enjoyed making my own music from scratch. One day I downloaded Finale Notepad and began to actually write down my piano improvisations, as well as some of my early attempts to imitate music we played in band. Since I was a percussionist, I was often counting rests and observing how composers wrote for the ensemble; in many ways, this is how I originally taught myself to write for winds. All throughout high school I played percussion and clarinet in the band program, and composing was something I enjoyed doing on the side. I never really had a composition teacher until I went to the Peabody Conservatory for college and majored in music composition. After Peabody I did graduate work at Princeton and right now I’m now at the Curtis Institute pursuing an AD.

What have been some of your musical influences?  Stravinsky, John Adams, Ravel, Ligeti, Bach, and lots of pop music. All of my teachers and their wonderful music have really influential on me as well.

Please share a bit about your favorite musical memory?  I’ve had so many great experiences with music, and it’s really hard to choose…I did recently have a premiere of a percussion quartet concerto with Sandbox Percussion and the Albany Symphony that was a blast!

Which composer/musician – past or present – would you most like to meet for a coffee and why? Beethoven. If his music is any indication, it would be a complex and amusing conversation. They also say he was a big fan of coffee!

What inspires you? Listening to the music of other composers and musicians is always inspiring to me. I’m also inspired by the idea of pushing myself with every new piece to try something I haven’t done before.

Do you have any advice for young musicians? Every so often encourage yourself to listen, perform, or write a piece that you would have originally thought to be unenjoyable.

Please share any thoughts that you may have about the Northshore Concert Band. I’ve been a fan of Northshore for years, and I’m so excited to be a part of this concert. Thank you so much!

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Viet Cuong and Mallory Thompson at The Midwest Clinic, Chicago, 2017

A special thank you to Mr. Cuong for speaking with us and giving permission to reproduce this material.  Please visit his website at www.vietcuongmusic.com to learn more about this notable American composer.


Truly Wonderful The Mind of a Child Is…

Sunday, February 18, 2018, 3:00 pm

Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, Northwestern University

50 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston, Illinois


Learn more about the Northshore Concert Band at www.northshoreband.org

Follow this blog to receive more informative and entertaining interviews.