Fred Ebb

Cabaret, Selections for Concert Band

From the 1966 Tony Award-winning Broadway musical and the 1972 motion picture success, this rousing John Kander score has been competently arranged for concert band by Norman Leyden. The show is set in Berlin in 1930 and reflects a picture of decadent Germany in the years just before the rise of Hitler. The listener will recognize the tunes of Willkommen, Tomorrow Belongs To Me, Cabaret, Pineapple, Meeskite, and Married, before the finale reprise of the theme song. A variety of keys and styles are employed, adding color and contrast to the work. Solo passages are assigned to the French horn, euphonium, and oboe.

Although there had been no musical background in his family, John Kandor (b. 1927) began playing the piano at the age of four. His aunt taught him musical chords, which he credits as the foundation of his musical knowledge. His earliest experiences in the musical theater came from conducting orchestras for stock companies and making dance arrangements for the musicals "Gypsy" and "Irma la Douce."  In 1962, he formed a song partnership with the lyricist, Fred Ebb. Together, they experienced successes with Cabaret (1966), The Happy Time (1968), and Zorba (1968).

see John Kandor

Edward Elgar

Sir Edward William Elgar (1857 - 1934)

Enigma Variations

"To My Friends Pictured Within" was Elgar's dedication for this work for orchestra written in 1899.  As only initials or nicknames were given to the variations, the work remained an enigma of its own for many years to all but the subjects and Elgar's own circle of friends. Earl Slocum has selected six of the fourteen variations to transcribe for winds and percussion.

The theme is notable for its use of a falling seventh (an Elgarian fingerprint) and for the fact that each phrase in the opening and closing sections begins on the second beat of the bar. Variation I is a portrait of the composer's wife, Alice. W.M. Baker, the subject of Variation IV, "a country squire, gentleman, and scholar," is parodied by Elgar for his habit of regimenting guests at country parties. Richard P. Arnold (Variation V) was the son of Matthew Arnold and played the piano "in a self-taught manner, evading difficulties but suggesting in a mysterious way the real feeling." George Robertson Sinclair (Variation XI), organist of Hereford Cathedral, is depicted by an episode on the banks of the Wye, when his bulldog, Dan, fell down a steep bank into the river and found his way up again. The "Nimrod" of Variation IX was Elgar's great friend and publisher A.J. Jaeger (the name means "hunter" in German). The variation "is the record of a long summer evening talk, when my friend discoursed eloquently on the slow movements of Beethoven." The initials E.D.U., which head Variation XIV (Finale), are a paraphrase of "Edoo," Alice Elgar's pet name for her husband.

Frank Erickson

Frank William Erickson (1923 Spokane, WA - 1996 Oceanside, CA) was a composer and arranger who wrote significant works for developing bands. His slow and lyrical chorales possess beautiful moving lines and harmonies that have taught players phrase shaping and emotional effects of rubato figures. He began piano studies when he was eight, but the trumpet, started two years later, was his instrument of choice. Erickson earned his Mus. B. (1950) and Mus. M. (1951) from the University of Southern California. He lectured at the University of California Los Angeles and was a professor at San Jose State University. His book Arranging for the Concert Band has been used extensively in college music courses. He was a member of ASCAP and honored by music fraternities and associations.

Salvation Is Created

Subtitled A Chorale Prelude, this composition is based on a beautiful Russian Orthodox chorale by the Pavel Tchesnokov. A Russian who lived from 1877 to 1944, Tchesnokov was a choral conductor, teacher, and composer with over 400 choral works to his credit. This composition retains the clarity of harmony that characterized Tchesnokov's works. Structured around alternating brass and woodwind choirs, the work maintains a flowing tempo throughout.

Second Symphony for Band (Movements II & III)

The Second Symphony was composed in 1958 and demonstrates the composer's understanding and grasp of wind sonorities.  The second movement, entitled Intermezzo, begins at a moderato tempo with a trumpet solo over a modulated bass line with the solo line passing to a flute. The romance of the composition develops from a wonderfully lyric tutti melody. The horns have a turn at the melody at the andante transition. The brass build on the theme, which returns to the modulation of the beginning moderato and the trumpet lead, finally closing with the full ensemble.

The lydian melodies reach multiple resolutions in the Finale movement. The largo introduction begins with the bassoons, as the melody, building on the colors of the previous movements, is gradually assumed by the ensemble, with a short interruption of an oboe solo. The moderato has a clarinet lead in an up-tempo version of the initial melody. The melody is alive as it builds in structure and volume, gently receding to grow again with a pulsating rhythm to the largo ending.

Victor Ewald

Concerto for Brass Quintet and Band

Victor Ewald (1860-1935) was a Russian civil engineer who participated in music as an avocation. His Concerto for Brass Quintet No. 1, Op. 5 has become a mainstay in the repertoire of virtually every student, amateur, and professional brass quintet. This arrangement, by providing an accompaniment where none previously existed, gives the work the character of a concerto grosso, pitting the small ensemble of the brass quintet against the large ensemble of the concert band. At the same time, it has the form and harmonic style of the Romantic solo concerto.

Henry Fillmore

The eldest of five children, James Henry Fillmore Jr. (1881 - 1956) was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, into a family of composers and publishers of religious music. He had an outstanding singing voice and was encouraged to sing in Sunday School by his father. His natural talent allowed him to learn to play the piano and move on to flute, violin, and guitar with ease. He sought more excitement than could be found with religious music and he became fascinated with the slide trombone. His mother secretly bought him this instrument, which would play a significant role in his future compositions, in hopes that it might give direction to her mischievous son. After graduating from military school, he worked in his father’s publishing business. Frustrated at being unable to get band music published by the firm and drawn by the excitement he felt for the circus, he quit the firm in 1905. He had fallen in love with Mabel May Jones, an exotic show dancer. Following a proposal by mail, the two were married and both found employment with the Lemon Brothers Circus, launching him on a career as musician and bandmaster. 

By 1910, he’d resolved the differences with his father and returned to the family business, persuading them to publish more band music. The business flourished, partly due to the success of Fillmore’s compositional success. Under his name and seven aliases, he composed over 250 works and arranged over 750 others. Named after 15 popular minstrel characters (e.g., Lassus Trombone, Shoutin’ Liza), his trombone rags are some of his most notable work. Americans We, Military Escort, The Circus Bee, Rolling Thunder, and The Klaxon are among is most popular marches. An entertaining conductor, Fillmore led the Syrian Temple Shrine Band for 5 years, before forming his own band in 1927. In his fifties, he developed serious heart problems and was advised to retire. He moved to Miami, Florida, with an expectancy of just a year to live. The warm climate and musical scene revived him and he devoted his time to being a mentor to school musicians. He was rejuvenated for almost two decades, when he died peacefully in his sleep. 

Americans We

After many years as a conductor of circus and fraternal bands and as a member of the family’s publishing business, Henry Fillmore was persuaded to form his own 24-member professional band. Americans We was first performed in 1928 as a part of a series of concerts at the Cincinnati (Ohio) Zoo. At first, he named the march in honor of that institution, but on later occasions he announced it as Pure Food and Health in honor of one of his sponsors. Fillmore finally titled it Americans We, when the march was published in 1929, and dedicated it “...to all Americans.” He often proclaimed that it was his favorite march.

His Honor

Composed in 1933, His Honor was probably premiered by the Fillmore Band at one of their concerts at the Cincinnati Zoological Gardens. The title is a dedication to Cincinnati Mayor Russell Wilson. The march has remained a favorite of many because of its rhythmic and dynamic changes, perhaps reflecting the entertainer that was Henry Fillmore.

Jean Françaix

Jean Françaix was born in 1912 in Mans, the French city famous for its 24-hour automobile race. His parents were musicians who exposed him to their craft. At the age of 12, he could play the works of composers ranging from Dominico Scarlatti, which he adored, to Maurice Ravel. He was awarded the First Prize for Piano at the Academy of Paris at the age of 18. Nadia Boulanger became his instructor in composition at the Paris Conservatoire. His more than 200 compositions are both inventive and elegant and range from concertinos to full symphonic works, solo vocal to choral settings, and includes the music for ten films. He remained active as a composer and pianist until his death, in Paris, in 1997.

Little Quartet for Saxophones

The Little Quartet for Saxophones was composed in 1935. The first of three movements, Gaguenardise, will be performed tonight. The title of the movement can be loosely translated as “mockery” or “ridicule.” The interplay between the instruments is suggestive of a group of friends making playful fun of each other.

Girolamo Frescobaldi

Girolamo Frescobaldi (Ferrara, Italy 1583 - Rome 1643) was the most eminent organist of the first half of the seventeenth century. When he was appointed organist at St. Peter's in Rome in 1603, 30,000 people were reported to have witnessed his first performance. Except for the period 1628-33, when he served as the court organist at Florence, Frescobaldi was the organist at St. Peter's from 1608 until his death in 1643.


(See Gaspar Cassadó)

Julius Ernst Wilhelm Fucik

Julius Ernst Wilhelm Fucik (1872 - 1916)

Entry of the Gladiators

Originally titled Grande Marche Chromatique, this march was retitled Entry of the Gladiators after the composer became fascinated by the culture of the Roman gladiators and their heroic efforts in the Coliseum and Circus Maximus. The theme of man conquering beast and the attendant pageantry has persisted as this march has become associated with the modern circus. Performed at a very brisk tempo, this “screamer” conveys the excitement of the big top, the animal tamers, and the muscular acrobats. The march is also known as Thunder and Blazes.

Unter der Admirals Flagge

This concert march is believed to have been written around 1910. The title translates to Under the Admiral's Flags. Opening with a short trumpet fanfare, the woodwinds then pick up the melody over a pulsating bass background. A vigorous break strain, reminiscent of Fucik's circus marches, interrupts before returning to the original solid march melody. The trio brings an easy melody from the lower registers and slowly adds instrumentation as it builds to a full climax based on the melody introduced at the start of the trio.

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A B C D E F G H I J K L M Wind Band

Last Updated:  3 January 2013
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