FAMILY CHRISTMAS CONCERT A FESTIVE CELEBRATION
WEDNESDAY 19TH DECEMBER 2012 7PM St Margaret’s Church, Queens Road, Ilkley
YORKSHIRE WIND ORCHESTRA
MUSICAL DIRECTOR KEIRON ANDERSON WWW.YORKSHIREWINDS.CO.UK CH ARI TY 1057170
Welcome to our Family Christmas Concert
’Tis the season to be jolly and that’s exactly what we hope our fun Christmas concert will make you! Our selection of music tonight is all inspired by the joy of Christmas and includes some well known favourites and classic Christmas carols; don’t forget to join in! For more information about the Yorkshire Wind Orchestra and to sign up to our regular newsletter, please visit us online at the orchestra’s website www.yorkshirewinds.co.uk.
A Christmas Overture N igel H ess, arr. Phillip Littlemore
This vivacious and colourful Christmas overture, originally commissioned as an orchestral work by J ohn Rutter for his 2007 Christmas Festival, proved an instant success with audience and orchestra alike. Traditional carols, skilfully juxtaposed and interwoven, provide the thematic material. They are, in order of appearance, Ding Dong! Merrily On High , Deck The Halls, Il Est Né Le Divin Enfant, Infant Holy, Infant Lowly, Personent Hodie, We Wish You A Merry Christmas and Angels, From The Realms Of Glory, which bring the overture to a majestic close. Fragments of other carols appear along the way to enrich the texture of what is surely one of the most attractive pieces written for the festive season.
Themes from The Snowman H oward Blake, arr Stephen Barnwell
The Snowman is the tale of a boy who builds a snowman one winter’s day. That
night, at the stroke of twelve, the snowman comes to life. The first part of the story deals with the snowman’s attempts to understand the appliances, toys and other bric-a-brac in the boy’s house, all while keeping quiet enough not to wake the boy’s parents. The two then venture back outside and go for a ride on a motorcycle, disturbing many animals: pheasants, rabbits, a barn owl, a fox and a brown horse. I n the second part of the story, the boy and the snowman take flight — the song Walking in the Air appears at this point. They fly over the boy’s town, over houses and large public buildings before flying past the Royal Pavilion in Brighton and West Pier and then out into the ocean. They continue through an arctic landscape and fly past many sights and animals such as penguins. Flying into the aurora they reach their destination. The two wander hand-in-hand into a snow-covered forest and attend a snowmen’s party, at which the boy is the only human. They meet Father Christmas and his reindeer, and the boy is given a scarf with a snowman pattern. The story ends after the return journey. H owever, the sun has come out the next morning and the boy wakes up to find the snowman has melted. The boy begins to wonder if the night’s events were all a dream, but he discovers that he still has the snowman scarf given to him by Father Christmas. Realising the night’s events were real, the boy mourns the loss of his friend.
It Came Upon a Midnight Clear Richard Storrs Willis
It Came Upon a Midnight Clear was written by Edmund H amilton Sears in 1849.
The carol started life as a poem written by its author who was a minister living in M assachusetts at the time. The music for It Came Upon A Midnight Clear was composed by American musician Richard Storrs Willis ten years later who was inspired by the words of the poem.
It came upon the midnight clear, That glorious song of old, From angels bending near the earth, To touch their harps of gold: “Peace on the earth, goodwill to men From heaven’s all gracious King!” The world in solemn stillness lay To hear the angels sing. Still through the cloven skies they come, With peaceful wings unfurled; And still their heavenly music floats O'er all the weary world: Above its sad and lowly plains They bend on hovering wing, And ever o’er its Babel sounds The blessed angels sing. O ye beneath life’s crushing load, Whose forms are bending low, Who toil along the climbing way With painful steps and slow; Look now, for glad and golden hours Come swiftly on the wing; Oh rest beside the weary road And hear the angels sing. For lo! the days are hastening on, By prophets seen of old, When with the ever-circling years Shall come the time foretold, When the new heaven and earth shall own The Prince of Peace, their King, And the whole world send back the song Which now the angels sing.
from Lieutenant Kijé Suite Serge Prokofiev, arr. H arold L. Walters
I n 1933, Prokofiev was asked to write a film score for the movie Lieutenant Kijé. This movie appealed to the composer’s sense of humour. The story is about an officer who never existed but who, because of a clerical error, appears on a list of soldiers. When the eccentric Tsar Paul I demands to meet the man, the military invent an officer instead of owning up to their mistake. One thing leads to another and a whole life is created for the non-existent Lt. Kijé, all on paper. “Troika” is a Russian word that means “sleigh”. I n this section of the Lt. Kijé Suite, the fictional officer takes a ride through the snowy country.
Russian Christmas Music Alfred Reed
Reed was commissioned to write a piece of Russian music for a concert in Denver, Colorado. The concert’s aim was to improve Soviet-American relations; as such, it was to include premieres of new Soviet and American works. Prokofiev’s March , Op. 99 was supposed to be the Russian work, but it was discovered that the work had already been performed in the U nited States. Reed was therefore assigned to write a new piece a mere sixteen days before the concert. Although this piece consists of only one movement, it can be readily divided into four sections; Carol of the Little Russian Children (based on a 16th century Russian Christmas carol), Antiphonal Chant, Village Song and Cathedral Chorus are joined in this continuous contemporary setting. The almost overwhelming sound picture with varied tone colours and brilliant brass choir sounds is a classic in every sense.
Interval A selection of festive refreshments are available upstairs in the Parish H all. Please also have a go on our Christmas charity raffle. Tickets are only £1/strip.
A Christmas Festival Leroy Anderson
A Christmas Festival was composed in 1950 at a time when Leroy Anderson was an
arranger with the Boston Pops Orchestra. Their conductor-in-chief, Arthur Fiedler, required a piece of music that would cover two sides of a 45 or 78rpm single for the holiday season. Anderson delivered above and beyond the call of duty for such material. H e wove a tapestry of well-known Christmas songs and carols into an ambitious concert overture. U se is made of Joy to the World, Jingle Bells and O, Come all ye faithful as the main thematic material. H owever the other tunes used are Deck the Halls, Good King Wenceslas, God Rest you Merry Gentlemen , Hark the Herald Angels Sing , The First Nowell and Silent Night. The arrangement of these tunes is actually rather subtle: the composer has not chosen to show off, even although the tunes are exceptionally well orchestrated with a huge instrumental variety given for repeated versions of each carol.
Carol of the Drum Katherine K. Davis, arr. Floyd E. Werle
The Little Drummer Boy (originally known as Carol of the Drum ) is a popular
Christmas song written by the American composer Katherine Kennicott Davis in 1941. I n the original lyrics the singer relates how, as a poor young boy, he was summoned by the M agi to the nativity where, without a gift for the infant J esus, he played his drum with the Virgin M ary’s approval, remembering “I played my best for H im” and “H e smiled at me”. This arrangement for concert band was produced by Chief M aster Sgt. Floyd Werle, who arranged hundreds of musical numbers for The U .S. Air Force Band and who sadly passed away in 2010.
Finnegan’s Wake Archibald J ames Potter, arr. M ichael Kummer
Finnegan’s Wake is one of Potter’s best-known works for concert band. Potter tells the story of the famous Dublin street ballad Finnegan’s Wake through music. This lively arrangement paints a colourful picture of the lovable rogue, Tim Finnegan, who, fond of a drop of whisky, falls off a ladder at work. While laid out in his home before the funeral, a brawl breaks out during which a naggin of whisky is broken, spilling on the body. As Potter described himself, “H aving been thus anointed with the precious spirit, the corpse arose, Lazarus-like and addressed the assembled company in forceful language!”. Definitely a cautionary tale for festive celebrations!
Deck the Halls Deck the Halls or Deck the Hall (which is the original title) is a well-known
traditional Yuletide/Christmas and N ew Years’ carol. The melody is Welsh dating back to the sixteenth century, and belongs to a winter carol, Nos Galan . The lyrics were thought to have been American in origin, dating from the late nineteenth century; however they first appeared in Welsh Melodies, a set of four volumes authored by J ohn Thomas with Welsh words by J ohn J ones and English words by Thomas Oliphant, although the repeated “fa la la” goes back to the original Welsh Nos Galan and may even originate from medieval ballads.
Deck the hall with boughs of holly, Fa la la la la la la la la. ’Tis the season to be jolly, Fa la la la la la la la la. Don we now our gay apparel Fa la la la la la la la la. Troll the ancient Christmas carol, Fa la la la la la la la la. See the blazing yule before us, Fa la la la la la la la la. Strike the harp and join the chorus. Fa la la la la la la la la. Follow me in merry measure, Fa la la la la la la la la. While I tell of Christmas treasure, Fa la la la la la la la la. Fast away the old year passes, Fa la la la la la la la la. Hail the new, ye lads and lasses! Fa la la la la la la la la. Sing we joyous all together, Fa la la la la la la la la. Heedless of the wind and weather, Fa la la la la la la la la.
O Magnum Mysterium M orten Lauridsen, arr. H . Robert Reynolds
O Magnum Mysterium has received thousands of performances and at least 100 professional recordings since its 1994 premiere, making it one of the most performed compositions of the last 20 years in its original setting.
The wind band arrangement by H . Robert Reynolds, retired director of the U niversity of M ichigan Bands, can claim similar accolades within wind band circles. Of his original version, Lauridsen writes:
“For centuries, composers have been inspired by the beautiful O M agnum M ysterium text with its depiction of the birth of the new-born King amongst the lowly animals and shepherds. This affirmation of God’s grace to the meek and the adoration of the Blessed Virgin are celebrated in my setting through a quiet song of profound inner joy. ”
Sleigh Ride Leroy Anderson
During a J uly heat wave and drought in 1946, Leroy Anderson was digging trenches to try to find some old pipes coming from a spring. H e began composing several tunes, including Sleigh Ride, in which he envisioned as a musical depiction of the winter season long ago. According to the composer’s widow Eleanor Anderson, “Leroy didn’t set out to write a Christmas piece when he wrote Sleigh Ride. H is intentions were to convey the entire winter season through the imagery of a sleigh ride, much in the way that M ozart did with his piece of the same name.” Some 60 years after Leroy Anderson created Sleigh Ride, the composition is still ranked as one of the 10 most popular pieces of Christmas music worldwide.
We Wish You A Merry Christmas We Wish You a Merry Christmas is a popular secular sixteenth-century English
carol from the West Country of England. The origin of this Christmas carol lies in the English tradition where wealthy people of the community gave Christmas treats to the carolers on Christmas Eve such as ‘figgy puddings’ that were very much like modern day Christmas puddings. I t is one of the few English traditional carols that makes mention of the N ew Year celebration. I t is often the last song carolers sing to people.
We wish you a Merry Christmas We wish you a Merry Christmas We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Good tidings we bring, to you and to yours Good tidings for Christmas and a Happy New Year. Oh, bring us a figgy pudding Oh, bring us a figgy pudding Oh, bring us a figgy pudding and a cup of good cheer. Good tidings we bring, to you and to yours Good tidings for Christmas and a Happy New Year. We won’t go until we get some We won’t go until we get some We won’t go until we get some so bring it right here. Good tidings we bring, to you and to yours Good tidings for Christmas and a Happy New Year. We wish you a Merry Christmas We wish you a Merry Christmas We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Thank You! Thank you for coming along tonight and we hope you enjoyed the concert. M ay we all wish you the very best wishes for Christmas and N ew Year!
Colour in the pictures below and carefully join the dots to ride in the snow!
Can you spot the differences below? There are 10 to find!
from the Yorkshire Wind Orchestra
Published on Nov 8, 2012