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 Edward Gregson

Edward Gregson

Edward Gregson is an English composer of international standing, and one of the leading composers of his generation, whose music has been performed, recorded and broadcast in many countries. He has written orchestral, chamber, instrumental, vocal and choral music, as well as music for theatre and television, with his contribution to the wind and brass repertoire being of particular significance worldwide. He has been commissioned by many leading orchestras and ensembles, including the BBC Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, and Halle orchestras, and has been nominated for both a British Composer’s Award and an Ivor Novello Award. (from www.edwardgregson.com)

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His The Sword and the Crown is a highlight of the final program of our 62nd season. Mr. Gregson’s work evokes the image of an early Renaissance court, viewed through a modern lens. It was written to accompany productions by the Royal Shakespeare Company depicting the reign of Henry IV – one of the most turbulent periods of the British monarchy.

Edward Gregson had this to say about our June 17, 2018 concert:

I send my very best wishes to the NCB and the conductor [Dr. Mallory Thompson] for a successful performance!

A LONG TIME AGO…concludes our season of Sonic Stories.  This lively program includes music that draws inspiration from ages past. The following are Edward Gregson’s program notes on The Sword and the Crown.

In 1988 I was commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company to write the music for The Plantagenets trilogy, directed by Adrian Noble in Stratford-upon-Avon. These plays take us from the death of Henry V to the death of Richard III. Later, in 1991, I wrote the music for Henry IV parts 1 and 2, again in Stratford. All of these plays are concerned with the struggle for power (the crown) through the use of force (the sword) and they portray one of the most turbulent periods in the history of the British monarchy.

This work quickly became established in the mainstream repertoire and has received performances worldwide as well as five commercial recordings and many broadcasts. In 2002 I was approached by the Parc and Dare Band regarding their summer festival and commissioned to do a version for brass band. This was given its first performance in Treorchy Hall by the combined bands of Black Dyke and Parc and Dare conducted by Nicholas Childs.

When the Royal Air Force Music Services commissioned me to write a work especially for their British tour in 1991 I immediately thought of turning to this music and transforming some of it into a three-movement suite for symphonic band.

The first movement opens with a brief fanfare for two antiphonal trumpets (off-stage), but this only acts as a preface to a Requiem aeternam (the death of Henry V) before changing mood to the English army on the march to France; this subsides into a French victory march, but the English army music returns in counterpoint. Finally, a brief reminder of the Requiem music leads to the triumphal music for Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York, father of Edward IV and Richard III (the opening fanfare transformed).

The second movement takes music from the Welsh Court in Henry IV (part 1) which is tranquil in mood; distant fanfares foreboding battles to come are heard, but the folktune is heard three times in different variations and the movement ends as it began with alto flute and gentle percussion.

The final movement starts with two sets of antiphonally placed timpani, drums and tam-tam, portraying the ‘war machine’ and savagery of battle. Trumpet fanfares and horn calls herald an heroic battle theme which, by the end of the movement, transforms itself into a triumphant hymn for Henry IV’s defeat of the rebellious forces.


We hope that you can join us for the final program of our 2017-2018 season.

A LONG TIME AGO…

June 17, 2018 at 3:00 pm

Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL.


Thank you to Edward Gregson for giving us permission to reproduce materials from his website.

 

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.

 

The Northshore Concert Band 12th Annual Silent Auction

The Northshore Concert Band is thrilled to announce our 12th Annual Silent Auction!

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Proceeds from our Silent Auction, held on Sunday February 18, 2018 in connection with our Winter concert, will benefit our Lifetime of Music education and outreach initiatives.

Our 11th annual Silent Auction, held on February 12, 2017, was a resounding success thanks to the generous support of the community, area businesses, arts organizations, band members, family members, friends, and others who support our mission!

Please consider donating to this year’s popular annual event!  Gift certificates and tickets from your business and organization will not only enable you to support the Northshore Concert Band, it will allow you to gain new business!

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Our 2017 Silent Auction included items from Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, Ballet Chicago, Begyle Brewing Company, Chicago Bears, Chicago Distilling Company, Chicago Human Rhythm Project, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Chicago White Sox, Costco, Dboehm Photography, DD Guitar Studio, DePaul University Athletics, Ensemble Espanol Spanish Dance Theater, Fix This! Instrument Repair/Horn Stash, Giordano Dance Chicago, Golfsmith, Goodman Theatre, Hackney’s on Lake, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, iO Chicago, Jarosch Bakery, Lou Conte Dance Studio, Music of the Baroque, Northwestern University Athletics, Portrait Innovations, Quinlan & Fabish Music Co., Reverb.com, Shedd Aquarium, Spacca Napoli Pizzeria, The Joffrey Ballet, Weiss Ace Hardware and many generous donations from people like you!

As a thank you for your generous donation, the Northshore Concert Band would like to offer you two complimentary tickets to our Winter concert TRULY WONDERFUL THE MIND OF A CHILD IS… on February 18, 2018. We will also acknowledge your contribution in our Spring concert program book as well as on our social media channels.

Follow this link to the donation form  https://goo.gl/LDd7E

If you have any questions about what you should donate or need help with your donation, one of our Silent Auction committee members would be happy to help!

Email us at info@northshoreband.org or phone 847-432-2263.


12th Annual Silent Auction
February 18, 2018
Pick-Staiger Concert Hall lobby, Northwestern University campus, Evanston
Bidding begins at 2:00 pm!

*There is no fee to attend the Silent Auction but a ticket is required for the concert.


The Northshore Concert Band is a not-for-profit (501c3) organization. Donations may be eligible for a tax deduction.

 

 

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.

Musicians & Music

Meet the extraordinary men and women of Northshore Concert Band who have dedicated their lives to making music!

DIANA ECONOMOU

Diana Economou

Diana Economou plays the Clarinet and joined the Northshore Concert Band in 2017. She is a band and orchestra director and lives in Wilmette.

When and why did you start playing? 12 years old – 5th Grade

What do you enjoy most about playing?  Being able to communicate my inner feeling without words

Do you have a favorite musical memory? Once during a recital I played a piece and everything and everybody around me disappeared. It was just me and my instrument. When I finished my last note, before the audience clapped, somebody said, “Beautiful”

What are your musical influences?  Greek CDs my parents played in the house as a child, my older brother playing classical music loudly while he showered, my high school band teacher.

Who was your most influential music teacher?  Matthew Temple

Does anyone in your family play music?  My brother plays piano

What’s on your iPod?  Classical music, mostly Orchestral.

Do you have any advice for young musicians? Stick with it, and one day you’ll express yourself in a way you never would have imagined.

What makes performing with Northshore Concert Band different from performing with other groups?  Don’t know, yet. I’m new.

List three words to describe the Northshore Concert Band  Northshore, Band, Great….

 

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

Follow this blog to receive more informative and entertaining interviews of Northshore Concert Band members in this Musicians & Music series!

 

Musicians and Music

Meet the extraordinary men and women of Northshore Concert Band who have dedicated their lives to making music!

SANDY ELLINGSEN

Sandy Ellingsen

Sandy Ellingsen plays the Flute and has been with the Northshore Concert Band since 1990. She is a college education license officer and lives in Buffalo Grove.

When and why did you start playing?  When I was 10 years old (5th grade).

What do you enjoy most about playingThe beauty and expression of music. 

Do you have a favorite musical memory?  The NSCB trip to France and a small group of us went to England on the front end.

What are your musical influences?  My parents are very musical and I had great flute teachers and band directors.

Who was your most influential music teacher?  My flute teachers and high school band director.

Does anyone in your family play music?  My Mom played clarinet and my Dad played trombone and they both still sing in a group. I have 2 boys and they play trumpet and trombone.

What’s on your iPod?  All different kinds of music.

Do you have any advice for young musicians?   Have fun and practice. Some of your best friends will be band friends.

What makes performing with Northshore Concert Band different from performing with other groups?  The talent in the group and the caliber of the performances is excellent and fun.

List three words to describe the Northshore Concert Band  Fun, excellent, friends.

 

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

Follow this blog to receive more informative and entertaining interviews of Northshore Concert Band members in this Musicians & Music series!

Karel Husa’s Smetana Fanfare

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The Northshore Concert Band opens its 2017-2018 season with some star works of the  wind band world including Karel Husa’s dedicatory Smetana Fanfare, in memoriam of the great composer’s recent passing.

Karel Husa was born in Prague on August 7, 1921 and immigrated to the United States in 1954. He became an American citizen in 1959 and taught composition and conducting at Cornell University for 38 years until his retirement in 1992. Mr. Husa won the Pulitzer Prize for music in 1969 and the Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition in 1993.  He died at the age of 95 on December 14, 2016 at his home in Apex, North Carolina.

Dr. Mallory Thompson, now in her 12th year as full-time Artistic Director of the Northshore Concert Band, is director of bands, professor of music, coordinator of the conducting program, and holds the John W. Beattie Chair of Music at Northwestern University. Dr. Thompson had this to say about Karel Husa:

“My friendship with Karel Husa began in 1984 and is one that I’ve valued ever since. His Concerto for Wind Ensemble was the subject of my doctoral dissertation and I had the pleasure of interviewing him in person, having him attend a rehearsal with me conducting the Eastman Wind Ensemble, and his attendance at our performance. Karel was a gentle, generous, inexhaustibly positive human being. Through the end of his life, he would send handwritten letters of thanks to anyone who performed his music, which is unbelievable considering his fame and accomplishments. The Northshore Concert Band honored Karel with the Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his singular contributions to the profession.”

Karel Husa was a longtime friend to the Northshore Concert Band.  The following appeared in the program notes of NCB’s November 9, 2008 concert at Pick-Staiger concert hall in Evanston, Illinois.

“In 1970..Mr. Husa was a visiting professor at Northwestern University for the summer session.  The Husa family arrived in Evanston to find that they were unable to get their assigned housing for several days. John and Marietta Paynter invited the Husas to be their guests. This was the start of a lasting friendship.  In fact, Karel Husa often referred to John Paynter as his “Cornish brother”.

In 1996, the Midwest Clinic commissioned Karel Husa to write a composition in honor of its 50th Anniversary Celebration. The Northshore Concert Band was selected to present the premier performance of the work Midwest Celebration, with Mr. Husa as guest conductor.

Mallory Thompson is also a lifelong friend of Husa.  In 2005 the Northshore Concert Band performed at the Midwest Clinic.  After the concert, at Dr. Thompson’s invitation, Mr. Husa attended the Northshore Concert Band’s post-concert party where he met Debbie Durham, principal NCB clarinet…and she asked if he would correspond with her high school theory students.”

Answering the students’ questions, Mr. Husa explained

“Composing is like learning new language. In addition, music writing goes through an interpreter (pianist, quartet, band, orchestra, chorus). This process is not needed in painting, poetry or novel. The painter shows his work, you read a poem or a novel from the writer’s pen.  As a boy I liked painting, poetry and also was learning how to play violin and piano.  I also played tennis, soccer, hockey and other sports! My parents however thought I would be an engineer, building bridges, etc. I enrolled in Prague University {in} 1939 but two months later they were closed due to protests over the killing of one of the students by Nazis. (Czechoslovakia was occupied at the time.) I was {then} lucky to get into the conservatory studio there until 1946.  Certainly my music is influenced by today’s life. We are part of it, and as Jean-Paul Sartre said, ‘We cannot escape.’ I think my music is part of what I have lived through.”

Bedřich_Smetana_monument in formt of the Bedrich Smetana Museum in Prague

Statue of Bedřich Smetana outside of the Bedřich Smetana Museum in Prague

Karel Husa’s Smetana Fanfare for Wind Ensemble was commissioned by the San Diego State University for a 1984 Festival of Music honoring Czech composer Bedřich Smetana. It was premiered by the SDSU Wind Ensemble on April 3, 1984 in San Diego,  The work uses two excerpts from Smetana’s symphonic poem the Wallenstein’s Camp, completed during his exile from Prague in 1859 in Gotenberg, Sweden.


 

STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE

featuring Smetana Fanfare by Karel Husa

November 5, 2017 at 3:00 pm

Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, Evanston, IL.

 


 

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

Composer Aaron Perrine

Tear’s of St. Lawrence is a highlight of our fall 2017 program.  This composition by emerging composer Aaron Perrine, captures the optimistic joy and wonder to be had on a starry night.

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Tear’s of St. Lawrence was commissioned by the McFarland High School 9th Grade Concert Band, McFarland, Wisconsin (Joseph Hartson, Director).  Composer Aaron Perrine’s thoughts on this remarkable piece:

 

Early last summer, my then five-year-old daughter became very interested in astronomy. She read every book in the library on the topic and became obsessed with the idea of seeing a falling star. After scanning the night sky for a few months with no success, she began to give up hope. Fortunately for all of us, the annual Perseids meteor shower—often referred to as the “Tears of St. Lawrence”—was quickly approaching. One clear mid-August night, I woke my daughter a bit after midnight. Without telling her what was to come, we quietly made our way outside. After anxiously waiting for what felt like forever, we saw our first falling star together! In addition to the obvious sense of excitement, however, I couldn’t help but feel a bit nostalgic, because I knew that in a few short weeks, my daughter would be going to school for the first time. As we watched the stars, we took turns telling stories as we wondered what the next year would bring. Two hours and countless meteors later, I finally convinced my daughter to return to bed. Tears of St. Lawrence was inspired by the variety of emotions experienced during that memorable night.

 

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 Aaron Perrine, a two-time winner of the American Bandmasters Association Sousa/Ostwald Award for his compositions Only Light in 2015 and Pale Blue on Deep in 2013, has received degrees from the University of Iowa, the University of Minnesota and the University of Minnesota, Morris and is currently on the faculty at Cornell College. A finalist in the first Frank Ticheli Composition Contest, he was included in the series, Teaching Music through Performance in Band ans his music for band has also been featured at The Midwest Clinic, The Western International Band Clinic, and at numerous all-state, state conference and honor band concerts.

We contacted Mr. Perrine 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 lifeI grew up in a musical family. My grandfather and father were both high school band directors, so music was always around the house when I was a kid. While I always had an interest in writing music, I didn’t really begin to “compose” until the beginning of my sophomore year in college. I entered college as a trumpet major, but at some point during my freshman year, my embouchure changed and I was forced to switch to the trombone. Feeling inadequate for a time on both instruments, my jazz band director asked me to write a chart for our jazz ensemble. While this piece no long exists—aside from the one paper copy I recently removed from my undergraduate institution’s library!—I learned so much about composing from this experience, and was very fortunate to have a director that was so willing to encourage and foster my compositional interests.

I taught high school band for five years in the Twin Cities area and eventually found my way back to graduate school and earned a Ph.D. in composition from the University of Iowa. I currently live in northern Minnesota and spend much of my time composing, but also continue to teach part-time at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa.

What have been some of your musical influences? A few composers that come to mind (in no particular order) are Michael Colgrass, John Luther Adams, David Maslanka, Maria Schneider, György Ligeti, Igor Stravinsky and Johannes Brahms.

Please share a bit about your favorite musical memory? I don’t know that I could say that I have a favorite as there have been so many, but one that is quite memorable is the premiere of a work of mine entitled, “Only Light,” which was commissioned by Mark Heidel and the University of Iowa Symphony Band. It’s a very meaningful work to me, and I don’t think I took a breath during the eight or so minutes it took them to perform the piece!

Which composer/musician – past or present – would you most like to meet for a coffee and why?  John Lennon. The Beatles were my favorite band when I was young, and I think the way in which they impacted music and society was remarkable.

What inspires you?  Nature, poetry, art, live music

What do you do to relax?  Spend time with my family, golf, hike…

Do you have any advice for young musicians? Enjoy the process and joy of making music! It can be incredibly easy to get caught up in the technical aspects of performing, and while these are definitely important, don’t forget the reason you were drawn to music in the first place.

Please share any thoughts that you may have about the Northshore Concert Band.  The NCB is one of the finest groups of its kind. Thank you for the many years of excellence; you inspire me!

 

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


 

Star Wars: A New Hope

Sunday, November 5, 2017, 3:00 pm

Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, Northwestern University, 50 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston, Illinois

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

Follow this blog to receive more informative and entertaining interviews.