Center For Arts & Equity

May 21, 2024
Show at 7:00 pm
Doors open at 6:00 pm
Suggested Donation: $10 in adv.
same at the door
130 Pine Street, Florence, MA

Bombyx Brass Collective | 5/21/2024

The Bombyx Brass Collective 

With special guests The JFK Middle School 8th Grade Band

May 21, 2024


The final program of the 2023-2024 season will feature a diverse array of ensemble instrumentation and musical genres. From quintets to section features to the full ensemble, every member of the group will be featured. And we are saving the best for last as we invite the 8th Grade Band from Northampton’s JFK Middle School to join us on stage for a big ending! From Thad Jones and Herbie Hancock to Gustav Holst and CPE Bach, there will be something that appeals to everyone. Join us and our guests, the JFK 8th Grade Band, as we celebrate music-making in our schools and in our lives. 

Admission to this performance is free of charge, but donations will be gratefully accepted, with all proceeds going to support the JFK Middle School band program, as well as future Bombyx Brass programming and advocacy in the community.

This program is made possible, in part, by financial support from the Northampton Arts Council and the Mass Cultural Council.

Program Notes

Trumpet Section

March for the ARK, Wotq. 188 | C. P. E. Bach/HM Lewis

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714–1788) was a German composer and musician, the fifth child and Johann Sebastian Bach. He was an influential composer, working at a time of transition between his father's Baroque style and the Classical style that followed it. This well-known fanfare by our trumpet section will serve as a rousing start to this exciting concert. 

Percussion Section

Red Rock Canyon | Alex Stopa

A four-over-three polyrhythm forms the basis for the thematic material in this composition. Images of the "Wild West", horse-drawn carriages, ranchers, and frontier settlers inspired this short, energetic piece.

Brass Quintet

(Dara Adams Smith, Corrin Moss, Ira Brezinsky, Scott Pemrick, Brian Williams)

Fanfare from La Peri | Paul Dukas/arr. Wayne Barrington

The original music to La Péri was written in 1911 by Paul Dukas as a “dance poem in one scene", his last published work. Although not as well-known as his famous symphonic poem The Sorcerer's Apprentice, the ballet is considered to be one of his most mature and skilled pieces. The ballet itself is preceded by a brilliant fanfare that uses the orchestra’s brass section, and is often performed separately.

This Old Man March | Robert Nagle

Robert Nagel (1924–2016) was an American trumpet player, composer, and teacher. He was an early advocate for brass chamber music, especially the brass quintet. Nagel was the founder and director of the New York Brass Quintet, a founding member of the International Trumpet Guild, a faculty member of the Yale School of Music, and a composer and arranger of solo and small ensemble music, trumpet method books, and orchestral works.

Brass Quintet

(Monte Becker, Josh Thomson, Jody Kinner, Mark Turcotte, Mark Hoover)

Without U | Daro Behroozi

Without You was written by Daro Behroozi of Lucky Chops, a band that has been unleashing high-energy brassy funk on the world since forming in NYC in 2006. The original was played with trumpet, trombone, tuba and ... saxophones - but hey, those are brass too!

Beale Street Blues | W.C Handy/ arr. Zach Smith

Beale Street Blues (1917) refers to that street in Memphis, TN, a center of African-American music in the early 20th century.  The tune was written and published in 1917 by African-American composer, band leader, and trumpet player William Christopher Handy (1873-1958), and coincided with the beginning of jazz recordings. Handy was one of the first to publish 12-bar blues, taken from the regional Delta Blues style with a limited audience, to a new level of popularity.

Percussion Section

Waltz for a Rainy Day | Alex Stopa

Rain in the desert is a rare pleasure. In the springtime, after heavy rains, desert wildflowers will often bloom in brightly colored fields as far as the eye can see.

Brass Quintet

(Clayton Brester, Carol Bobbin, Ira Brezinsky, Shelby Serio, Chris Kempf)

Quintet No. 1 in B-Flat Minor (Op. 5), 1st Movement | Victor Ewald

Victor Vladímirovich Ewald (1860-1935), was a Russian engineer, architect, cellist, and composer of music, mainly for conical brass instruments. He also collected and published Russian folk songs. Like other composers of his time, many of these folk themes make their way into his music. Quintet No. 1 in B-Flat Minor was originally thought to be Ewald’s only quintet, however research in the 1960’s revealed this to be the second of 4 brass quintets written between 1888 and 1912.    

Brass Quartet

(Karen Atherton, Meliss Griffin, Lucey Colwell, Tim Atherton)

Just A Closer Walk With Thee | Traditional/arr. Jack Gale

Just a Closer Walk With Thee (arr. by Jack Gale) is a traditional gospel song and jazz standard, which is very frequently played at New Orleans jazz funerals.  It typically begins with a somber march by family and friends to the cemetery.  After the final goodbyes are said, they "cut the body loose" and more upbeat music is played to celebrate the life of the deceased.

Percussion Section

Desert Sunrise | Alex Stopa

An all-night drive through the Mojave Desert: A sliver of sunlight, the new day, is seen on the horizon.

Euphonium & Tuba Sections

Manhattan Suite, 1st and 2nd Movements | John Stevens

I. Rock

II. Slow swing

John Stevens is one of the most renowned American composers for low brass and a former tuba-euphonium professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His compositions are among the most frequently performed original works for tuba and euphonium players. Manhattan Suite is a foundational work in the tuba/euphonium quartet repertoire, and draws upon many of the musical forms familiar to Stevens from his time as a New York session musician in the 1970s to create a compelling improvisational showcase for tubists.

Trumpet Section

Shenandoah | Traditional/arr. James Olcott

The song Shenandoah appears to have originated with American and Canadian fur traders traveling down the Missouri River in canoes and has developed several different sets of lyrics. By the mid-1800’s, versions of the song had become a sea shanty sung by sailors around the world. This arrangement for 9 trumpets was written by James Olcott in 1989.  

Horn Section

Der Freyschütz Fantasie | C. M. von Weber/arr. A E Harris

Carl Maria von Weber's opera Der Freyschütz (1820), literally translated to The Free Shooter or Marksman, is in many respects the prototypical German romantic opera. This arrangement for horn quartet features well-known themes from the opera. 

Frippery No. 10 | Lowell Shaw

According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of Frippery is “something showy, frivolous, or nonessential.” Lowell Shaw has written more than 3 dozen showy Fripperies, although no horn player would consider them frivolous or nonessential. You decide!

Percussion Section

Let the Big Dawg Eat | Chris Brooks

This piece for Marimba Band in a rock-Latin style is nothing short of hip! The middle section features a tasty improvised drum set solo. This one gets the tail waggin'!

Trombone Section

March from 2nd Suite in F for Military Band. (Op 28. No.2)

Gustav Holst/arr. David Werden

Second Suite in F, dedicated to James Causley Windham, was written in 1911 and published in 1922. The March is the first movement of the Suite and divided into three parts - a traditional British Brass Band march using the Morris-Dance song "Glorishears", a solo folk tune titled "Swansea Town" (repeated by the full group), and a 6/8 section using the theme "Claudy Banks". This arrangement by David Werden uses the six trombones to cover all the brass and woodwind parts of the original.

Full Bombyx Brass Ensemble

A Child is Born | Thad Jones/arr. Steve Ferrandino

A Child is Born was written by Thad Jones in 1969 with lyrics added later by Alec Wilder.  It was featured on the Consummation album of the Thad Jones Mel Lewis Big Band.  Jazz historian Mark Stryker states that the tunes were written by Roland Hanna during a break and "gifted" to Thad who orchestrated it for his big band.  The last note represents a pat on the newborn's bottom. Wilder's lyrics are “One small heart, One pair of eyes; Here in my arms; Her he lies; Trusting and warm; Blessed this morn; A child is born”

Watermelon Man | Herbie Hancock/arr. Steve Ferrandino

Watermelon Man, featured on the 1973 Headhunters Album by Herbie Hancock, reflects the experience from Hancock's childhood in 1940's South Side of Chicago.  It was inspired by the sound of the watermelon seller and his horse drawn wagon.  It was his way of pushing back against a stereotype and reclaiming a treasured childhood memory.  The flute-like sounds in the opening of the original recording were made by blowing across tuned beer bottles.

Bombyx Brass Collective and JFK Middle School 8th Grade Band

Chasing Sunlight | Cait Nishimura

Chasing Sunlight, winner of the 2017 Canadian Band Association Composition Competition,

was inspired by the experience of driving west into the setting sun, as if trying to keep up with the earth's rotation to catch the last few rays of light before dusk. The steady eighth note motif throughout the piece represents this sense of urgency, while the soaring, lyrical themes depict the warmth and radiance of the sun low in the sky. Just as the sun will always set, humans must accept the impermanence of all things in life, and make the most of every opportunity before it has passed. Chasing Sunlight also represents the ongoing pursuit of these opportunities.

Fate of the Gods | Steven Reineke/arr. Matt Conaway

Fate of the Gods is a programmatic work for symphonic band, was inspired by tales of Nordic mythology. The original piece, written for advanced bands and published in 2001, has been adapted by Matt Conaway for younger ensembles without losing any of the excitement of the original.

Bombyx Brass Collective
Margaret Reidy
Shelby Serio
Karen Atherton
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