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A Noyse of Minstrells: Gordon Jacob (1895-1984) was a British composer who wrote more than 700 compositions and had a special infinity for wind instruments, composing for everything from bassoon and horn, to alto recorder and harmonica. 'A Noyse of Minstrells' was first performed on July 18, 1970. The piece is festive and jubilant and has Jacob's normally effective and varied instrumentation. A music review in Oxford's Music and Letters from July 1973 suggests that 'A Noyse of Minstrells' contains some ideas from Jeremiah Clarke's 'Round O' of 1711, where the full orchestra repeats a refrain in contrast with quieter sections played small groups.
Carol of the drum: A seasonal favorite, 'Carol of the Drum' was written by Katherine Kennecott Davis (1892-1987). Davis was an American classical composer who wrote more than 800 works, mostly for choral groups. The original version of 'Carol of the Drum' was for vocal groups and tells the story of a little boy who played his drum for the infant Jesus. There are more than 220 versions of 'Carol of the Drum' in 7 languages. Tonight the Butte Symphony will play an arrangement for orchestra by Ray Wright that features the oboe on the melody, bells, and of course the drum.
Gloria: Antonio Vivaldi's (1678-1741) 'Gloria', written in about 1715, gives us a glorious taste of Vivaldi’s beautiful music. The BSA orchestra, together with the Anaconda and Butte High School chorales will perform 'Gloria's' first segment, which opens with energetic D-major fanfares by the orchestra. The choir then responds jubilantly with the words ‘Gloria, Gloria...’.
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas: Judy Garland first performed this Hugh Martin/Ralph Blane song in the 1944 musical, 'Meet Me in St. Louis'. The song became popular and eventually was included in the mainstream Holiday Season repertoire. The melody has a nostalgic sense that, together with the lyrics, offers the listener a warm holiday feeling.
I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas: 'White Christmas' was written by Irving Berlin (1888-1989) in about 1940 and first publically performed by Bing Crosby in 1941. It became one of 12 songs included in 1942's 'Holiday Inn', a movie in which Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby were the leads. Berlin received an Academy Award in 1942 for ‘White Christmas’ for the year’s the ‘Best Original Song’ and by October 1942, 'White Christmas' was topping the charts. Bing Crosby's single of ‘White Christmas’ has reportedly sold more than 50 million copies and is thought to be the most popular world-wide selling single of all-time.
Song of the Bells: In 1951 Leroy Anderson (1908-1975) wrote a very 'holiday-seasonish' title called 'Song of the Bells' which, characteristic of Anderson, offers something unique. Leroy Anderson is well known for compositions that in many ways are named for how they sound. Examples include the ‘bells’ in 'Sleigh Ride'; the entirely pizzicato 'Plink, Plank, Plunk' for strings; and 'The Typewriter', for solo typewriter. 'Song of the Bells' is a waltz that features a rare duet between chimes and bells. Perhaps, ’Song’s’ most intriguing parts are two short 'jazzy' segments that seemingly appear out of nowhere to interrupt the waltz’s smooth flow.
Gordon Jacob (1895-1984)
Ralph Blane and Hugh Martin (1914-1995 / 1914-2011)
Leroy Anderson (1908-1975)
Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
Irving Berlin (1888-1989)
Program notes: December 14, 2013
Program notes for tonight’s performance have been abstracted and modified from:http://www.gordon jacob.org;http://en.wikipedia.org; and http://www.leroy anderson.com.
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When You Believe: 'Prince of Egypt' was DreamWorks Animation's first and only traditionally animated film to win Academy Awards; one award was for 'When You Believe' (Steven Schwartz) which in 1999 was named 'Best Original Song'. The movie tells the Biblical story of Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt. The song's lyrics express the hope of Miriam and Tzipporah, sung while they were travelling towards the Red Sea and ultimately the promised land, that 'when you believe' there can be miracles. The Anaconda and Butte High School chorales, accompanied by the Butte Symphony Orchestra, will perform a choral version of 'When You Believe', arranged by Audrey Snyder and John Moss.
Seasonal medleys: Medleys are an arranger’s solution to the challenge of presenting as many 'holiday' melodies as possible, in as many new settings as possible. In addition to tonight’s 'sing-a-long', where everyone gets to sing a verse or two of some holiday favorites, the Butte Symphony Orchestra will present several medleys of well known (and sometimes not so well known) carols.
A Holiday Medley (choral arrangement by Audrey Snyder; instrumental arrangement by John Moss) includes a 'spirited and decisive' Deck the Halls, a 'light and playful' Jingle Bells, a traditionally German O Christmas Tree, and the English traditional carol, We Wish You a Merry Christmas. The Anaconda and Butte High School chorales will perform the vocals.
A Family Christmas Spectacular (Arranged by Douglas Wagner) incorporates Over the River and Through the Woods, Up on the House-top, Jolly Old Saint Nicholas, Winter, and a different take on Jingle Bells. The Anaconda and Butte High School chorales will perform the vocals.
A Christmas Tradition (Arranged by Charles Sayre) includes Joy to the World, Good King Wenceslas, and Hark! the Herald Angels Sing. No vocals in this medley!
German Carol Festival (Arranged by James Christensen) contains some lesser-known, but certainly not unheard carols. A 'fanfarish' introduction leads into O how Joyfully (tune O Sanctissima). Other incorporated melodies are Good Christian Men Rejoice (tune In Dulce Jubilo), Silent Night, The Echo Carol, O Come Little Children, and finally O Christmas Tree.
2013 - 2014 Archived Notes
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