"The Homestead" VMEA Performance ~ "Celebrations" ~ November 16, 2001
Away Day by Adam Gorb
Denton Stokes, Conductor
A seven minute sonata-form movement captures the exhilaration of "getting away from it all" for a few short hours on a bank holiday. The work is likened to a visage of Gershwin, Bernstein, Stravinsky and James Bond traveling together at a hundred miles an hour in an open-top sports car!

Dolce & Dance, by Gary Fagan
Michael Cook, Conductor
Commissioned by the Thomas Harrison Middle School Band in Harrisonburg, Virginia, Dolce & Dance is set in two highly contrasting movements. Though not programmatic, the piece illustrates the differences that can exist between a thriving, active way of life within an area of the country known for peaceful beauty and pastoral quality.

October, by Eric Whitacre
Denton Stokes, Conductor
Mr. Whitacre says "October is my favorite month. Something about the crisp autumn air and the subtle change in light always makes me a little sentimental.... The simple, pastoral melodies and subsequent harmonies are inspired by the great English Romantics Vaughn Williams and Elgar, as their style is also perfectly suited to capture the natural and pastoral soul of the season."

Fire Dance, by David Shaffer
Linda J. Gammon, Conductor
Commissioned by the Georgia Music Educators Association, Fire Dance is dedicated to the "young musicians of District 7." The work contrasts an opening and closing section of high-tempo, high energy material with a darker, more mysterious middle section. Exotic percussion writing and some vocals enhance the multiple colors of the work.

Introduction et Variations sur Le Carnival de Venise, by J. Demersseman, Arr. by Fred Hemke
Ms. Krista Pezold, Conductor
Edward Fraedrich, Soloist
Tracing its origins to an early nineteenth century Neapolitan melody, the Carnival of Venice was first arranged for flute by Jules Demersseman. Dr. Frederick Hemke, introduced this arrangement of saxophone and modern wind band. A technical tour de force, the short introduction is followed by the theme and several variations, each more brilliant than the last.

Carnival from La Fiesta Mexicana, by H. Owen Reed
Denton Stokes, Conducted
A landmark work for wind band, La Fiesta Mexicana celebrates the inherent conflicts and contracts of a social structure as represented by the traditional Mexican Fiesta. The third movement, "Carnival" depicts a day of entertainment for young and old; the itinerant circus, the market, the bullfight, and the mariachi bands of the local cantinas.


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