Two of Baylor University’s major instrumental ensembles, the Campus Orchestra and the Symphonic Band, will present a joint concert on Monday, October 14, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in Jones Concert Hall, located within the Glennis McCrary Music Building. The 56-member Campus Orchestra is conducted by Associate Professor of Music Education Michael Alexander, and the 80-member Symphonic Band is conducted by Associate Director of Bands Isaiah Odajima.
Opening the program will be the Campus Orchestra with English composer Gustav Holst’s four-movement St. Paul’s Suite from 1913. Holst was appointed Musical Director at the St. Paul’s Girls’ School (Hammersmith, England) in 1904, and he maintained that post until his death thirty years later. His St. Paul’s Suite was the first composition he wrote while in residence at the school.
Australian-born Percy Grainger penned Molly on the Shore in 1907 as a birthday gift for his mother. He was twenty-five years old at the time and based the work on two contrasting Irish reel tunes: “Temple Hill” and “Molly on the Shore.”
The Symphonic Band will perform Aram Khachaturian’s Armenian Dances, which were originally written for the Red Army Cavalry Band in 1943, then expanded to accommodate full band instrumentation by Ralph Satz. Musicologists are uncertain whether the principal themes are borrowed from Armenian culture or are original pieces by Khachaturian himself.
The program will close with the Symphonic Band playing a band transcription by Guy M. Duker of the popular orchestral poem, The Pines of Rome, by Italian composer Ottorino Respighi. This four-movement work was completed in 1924 and premiered on December 14 of that year at a concert in the Augusteo in Rome under the direction of Bernardino Molinari. It received its American premiere by the New York Philharmonic under Arturo Toscanini on January 14, 1926.
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.