By MARTY BECKER
Conductor, Grace College Community Wind Ensemble
The Grace College Community Wind Ensemble under the direction of Martin Becker will present their Fall Concert “Sights and Sounds of the Big Apple” A musical tribute to New York City at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 21, in the Rodeheaver Auditorium, Winona Lake.
Conductor Martin Becker will conduct the 70-piece concert band. The Wind Ensemble has prepared a wonderful evening of music that is connected in some way to that great American City New York.
To begin the concert the wind ensemble performs a medley titled “A Salute to New York” and features are the following musical selections: “New York, New York,” “Give My Regards to Broadway,” “Forty-Second Street,” “The Sidewalks of New York (East Side, West Side),” and “Theme from New York, New York.”
The second selection is considered one of the major classics of the symphonic band repertory. George Washington Bridge, subtitled “An Impression for Band,” was composed by William Howard Schuman in 1951. The composer used the George Washington Bridge for his inspiration for this dramatic and descriptive music.
Conquering New York City in one visit is impossible. Instead, hit the must-sees – the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, the Metropolitan Museum of Art – and then explore off the beaten path with visits to The Cloisters or one of the city’s libraries. Indulge in the bohemian shops of the West Village or the fine dining of the Upper West Side.
The bustling marketplace inside of Grand Central Station gives you a literal taste of the best the city has to offer. The next selection on the program captures the essence of this great city. One can sense the busy sidewalks, the zooming traffic, yellow cabs everywhere and the “cool” side as a sultry alto saxophone solo played by Rod Bollman transports the listener to one of the city’s jazz clubs like the Blue Note or Village Vanguard or the Apollo Theater in Harlem.
Leonard Bernstein was among the best-known American musicians of the 20th century. He was a true musical icon, bringing passion and great skill to his multiple roles as conductor, pianist, teacher and composer. Becker has selected several compositions of Bernstein’s for the concert including: “The Wrong Note Rag” from A Wonderful Town; “Overture to Candide”, and two selections from his legendary work West Side Story-“Somewhere” and “Mambo”.
The evening concludes with a March by John Philip Sousa, titled “The New York Hippodrome”.
In 1915 John Philip Sousa wrote a “barn-burner” from the Big Apple. Sousa’s hustle-bustle “New York March” captures both the brilliant, restless energy and the soaring lyrical themes inspired by mid-town Manhattan in 1915. Arranged with all of the style, excitement, and vividly colorful details of the Sousa Band’s own performances. Sousa’s Band played frequently in New York’s enormous “Hippodrome Theater,” a predecessor of today’s Radio City Music Hall.
Admission is free but an offering opportunity will be available at intermission.