by Mike Pearce
On August 17, 18, and 19, Lake City Stinger Community Band welcomes musicians from throughout the region to join local performers for the annual Concert Weekend.
A series of rehearsals begins Friday evening, August 17, continues on Saturday and Sunday mornings, August 18 and 19, culminating with a free concert entitled “Potpourri of World Music” which taks place in the Armory starting 3 p.m. on Sunday, August 19.
Visiting musicians taking part in the music weekend represent diverse communities, such as Santa Fe, New Mexico, Springfield and Salem, Ohio, and far-flung Colorado communities including Montrose, Grand Junction, Denver, Pagosa Springs, Parachute, Cedaredge, Lakewood, Arvada, Aurora, Glendale, Winter Park, Gunnison, Golden, Meeker, Ouray, Ridgway, Littleton, and Delta. Visiting musicians provide their own instruments and pay for =their meals and lodging. Musical selections for participants are sent to them a month before the event with the expectation that all will practice their individual parts prior to beginning group rehearsals on Friday night. Participating musicians are primarily unpaid amateur players in their home settings and all typically share several characteristics in common: they enjoy playing their instruments and making music, they like socializing with other like-minded people, they are well trained, experienced performers, and they are willing to devote themselves to practicing and preparing their individual parts in advance of the August weekend.
Repertoire selected for rehearsal and performance during Concert Weekend encompasses a wide range of musical styles and time periods and is chosen to appeal to an equally wide range of audience musical tastes and musicians’ preferences.
The difficulty level of music on the program, titled “Potpourri of World Music, “ can best be described as “medium/difficult,” chosen for the its suitability for rehearsal and performance during a three-day event.
The Concert Weekend ensemble, which can be called a concert band, symphonic band, wind band, or wind ensemble, is typical of a contemporary American concert band, its performance literature is comprised of at least 25 individual wind and percussion parts. Though the wind band is not a marching band, some of its literature , including titles like The Stars and Stripes Forever, Belford’s Carnival March and Them Basses, is drawn from the march music genre. Likewise, though concert bands are not jazz bands, they can, when called on to do so, perform jazz literature. Performers are able to accurately execute musical styles like swing, ragtime, ballad, and more, as this year’s band will do in “Eagles on Tour,” “Kentucky Sunrise,” and others.
One source of symphonic band literature is the large quantity of religious hymns and spirituals, a genre that includes Share My Yoke, written by Salvation Army composer Joy Webb, arranged for solo euphonium and concert band. Also derived from the body of religious literature is Fred Allen’s arrangement of the spiritual, When the Stars Began to Fall, also known as My Lord What a Mornin’, written in an expressive arrangement to reflect slaves’ longing for the end of time, when there would be no sorrow or pain.
Included in this year’s program are several pieces selected to feature individual performers or sections. Bugler’s Holiday, one of Leroy Anderson’s popular band works, highlights a trio of the band’s visiting trumpet players: Dr. Steve Siegel, Dave Menapace, and Dave Reddish. Buddy Laws, professor emeritus of low brass at Wright State University, is showcased on euphonium in his performance of Share My Yoke.
Water Music, written about 1717 during the Baroque Period, features the French horn section: Amanda Montgomery, Chad Buckley, Anne Conklin, Debbie Garfield, Steve Lingenfelter, Dori Smith, and Jan Turner. Visiting flute player, Betsy Nelms, has arranged the traditional Korean folksong, Arirang, for flute choir and concert band. The flute choir, performing on C flute, alto flute, and bass flute, includes Edie Burgess, Joy Cable, Pat Jablonski, Claire Jessee, Kathy Kubinyi, Betsy Nelms, Gwen Powell, and Luci Waldron. Low brasses and low woodwinds, a group comprised of tuba, baritone and euphonium, bass clarinet, baritone saxophone, and bassoon, will be featured in the march Them Basses.
Beguine for Band, written in 1954 by Glenn Osser, is reflective of the Latin rhythms of Central and South America. From England comes the concert band classic, William Byrd Suite, arranged in 1924 by composer Gordon Jacob. This work is based on selections from a 1600s keyboard collection named “The Fitzwilliam Virginal Book” and shows off some of the tone color and technical potential of the concert band.
“Yiddish music of Eastern Europe” provides the folk melodies for Stephen Bulla’s Klezmer Dances, an arrangement that relies heavily on the sounds of the clarinet section: Holly Ray Burgess, Keith Koepsel, Van Merritt, Debbie Zarret, Stacey Ryan, Jerry Mason, and Virginia Bonvicini. “Music of the American Circus” supplies much of the entire concert band repertoire and this year’s Concert Weekend reflects that influence, including titles like Them Basses, Belford’s Carnival March and Kentucky Sunrise. A famous trick horse named Kentucky Sunrise performed with the Barnum & Bailey’s Circus and provided the inspiration for Karl King’s ragtime march of the same name.
Patraick Roszell’s arrangement of 1970s popular music “The Eagles on Tour” opens with big band swing sounds by the trombone and baritone sections (Bill Goodwin, Paul Ward, John House, Betty Betz, Don Mort, Buddy Laws, and Tom Allen) performing Heartache Tonight. Following, the balance of the ensemble continues in the swing style. For a rendition of Desperado, the musical style shifts to ballad and features Dr. Steve Siegel, flugelhorn, and Yvonne McChesney, alto sax. When the music shifts to Hotel California, Dave Menapace is showcased playing a solo indicated in the score as “jazz trumpet-ad. lib.”
New for 2018 is an event, spearheaded by Barbara Hoaglin, in which members of the community will provide a meal for band musicians at 6 p.m. on Saturday, August 18. This meal not only provides food but also allows visiting musicians, many of whom are unfamiliar with each other, to socialize and develop or renew friendships with other performers with similar interests.
Exhaustive organizational work on the Concert Weekend has been supplied by band president Lorie Stewart, assisted by Claire Jessee, Bill Goodwin, Ken Matzke, Jay and Mary Farrar, Dan Wampler, Gwen Powell, and Jim Rowe. Extensive music library work has been provided by band librarian Bill Stewart. In all cases, participating band member have benefitted from the support and able assistance of their spouses.
Sheet music and other event expenses, totaling over $1,000, are borne by the Lake City Stinger Band, which relies on membership fees and donations during the concert. Anyone wishing to support the Stinger Band can contact Mike Pearce, at firstname.lastname@example.org, Lorie Stewart at email@example.com, Claire Jessee at firstname.lastname@example.org, or any other band member.
Membership in the Stinger Band is open to residential community or visiting musicians. Learn more about the band by checking the organization’s website or contacting the individuals listed above.
by Mike Pearce