Distinguished composer Donald Grantham will be the guest when Director of Bands J. Eric Wilson conducts the Baylor University Wind Ensemble in a concert on Tuesday, October 23, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in Jones Concert Hall, which is located within the Glennis McCrary Music Building. One of the most prolific and innovative composers of our generation, Dr. Grantham currently serves as Professor of Composition at The University of Texas at Austin.
Opening the program will be Joseph Turrin’s Jazzalogue No. 1. This work was commissioned by the New York Philharmonic for their 1997 Latin American Tour. Its first performance took place just before the tour, at the last concert of the season on May 31, 1997, in Avery Fisher Hall.
George Gershwin’s Three Preludes are short piano pieces, first performed by the composer at New York’s Roosevelt Hotel in 1926. The Baylor Wind Ensemble will play the second prelude, in which Gershwin invokes his Jewish heritage with an almost Yiddish melody floating over gentle, undulating accompaniment. John Krance’s band arrangement dates from 1965.
West Side Story is Leonard Bernstein’s modernization of Shakespeare’s classic Romeo and Juliet, but with an emphasis on social and racial strife. The original Broadway production (directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins, with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim) opened at the Winter Garden Theatre on September 26, 1957. To salute the fiftieth anniversary of the musical, arranger Paul Lavender rescored Bernstein’s symphonic suite for wind ensemble in 2007.
Donald Grantham’s band piece Bum’s Rush was commissioned by the University of Texas Wind Ensemble in 1994 and is winner of the 1995 NBA/William D. Revelli Prize. According to the composer, “bum’s rush” means to forcibly eject a person. “For me,” he says, “the term is evocative of the novels of Raymond Chandler and film noir, and this piece is an attempt to musically recreate the dark, menacing, morally ambivalent atmosphere to be found in them.”
This concert is free of charge and open to the public. For more information, call the Baylor University School of Music at 254-710-3991.