October 2, 2013

Wind Ensemble's Homecoming Concert Completes SoCal Tour

The Sonoma State University Symphonic Wind Ensemble will take its educational outreach to six venues in Southern California, returning home for its fall concert on Friday, Oct. 25, at 7:30 p.m. in Weill Hall. “Each of us is an ambassador,” said ensemble director Andy Collinsworth. “The trip will both further our musicianship and advance the music department to potential students and music teachers,” he said.

Collinsworth will conduct the 60-member ensemble at high schools in Diamond Bar, Fullerton, Westlake Village and Thousand Oaks, and on joint concerts with the CSULA, CSU Northridge, and Fullerton College wind ensembles.

The homecoming concert will feature an appearance by Petaluma’s award-winning Casa Grande High School Symphonic Band under the baton of Arlene Burney.

Tiickets are $10-$15, parking included, and available at the door. To purchase tickets online, click here.

Weill Hall at the Green Music Center is located near the intersection of Rohnert Park Expressway and Petaluma Hill Road. Enter campus from Rohnert Park Expressway and park in Lot O.  

For information call (707) 664-2324.

Program – SSU Symphonic Winds

Nelson: Lauds, Praise High Day
Dello Joio: Variants on a Mediaeval Tune
Bach/Reed: My Jesus, Oh What Anguish
Bates: Mothership
Mackey: Sheltering Sky,
Marquez: Danzón No. 2

Program – Casa Grande High School

Chance: Variations on a Korean Folk Song
Ziek: Nemesis
Sparke: Time Remembered, Elegy for Band
Saucedo: Walking Into History




University Wind Ensembles

Lauds: Praise High Day                                                                                          Ron Nelson
Ron Nelson (b. 1929) is an internationally-recognized composer of band, choral and orchestral works. Born in Joliet, Illinois in 1929, Nelson received his Bachelor of Music degree in 1952, a Master’s degree in 1953, and a Doctor of the Musical Arts degree in 1956, all from the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester. He received a Fulbright Grant to study at the Ecole Normale de Musique at the Paris Conservatory. In 1956 he joined the music faculty at Brown University, where he remained until his retirement in 1993. He currently resides in Scottsdale, AZ.

Lauds is one of the seven divine offices that takes place in the early morning hours in the Catholic Liturgy. While there is no direct religious symbolism within the work, Dr. Nelson notes that Lauds: Praise High Day is “an exuberant, colorful work intended to express feelings of praise and glorification.” The work opens with a stately brass fanfare punctuated with brightly-tinged woodwinds. A rhythmic ostinato in 7/8 meter permeates the work and is juxtaposed with a lyrical chorale in 3/2 meter. The work is energetic and high-spirited throughout.

My Jesus! Oh What Anguish!             Johann Sebastian Bach, trans. by Alfred Reed
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) was a German composer and keyboardist of the Baroque Period. Considered to be one of the greatest composers of all time, his music is revered for its intellectual depth and artistic beauty.

My Jesus! Oh What Anguish (Meine Jesu! Was für Seelenweh) is one of a group of 69 “Sacred Songs and Airs.” These songs were first published in 1736 as part of a huge collection of 954 sacred songs and hymns assembled by Georg Christian Schemelli and edited by Bach himself. In 1832, they appeared as an addendum to the famous 371 four-part chorales published by C.F. Becker.

Composed in a simple two-part form, with each part repeated once, this music is profoundly moving and expressive. Cast in the key of D minor, the melancholic melody combined with chromatically-tinged harmonies create a sonorous blend of beauty and tension in this setting by Alfred Reed.

Variants on a Mediaeval Tune                                                               Norman Dello Joio
Norman Dello Joio (1913-2008) was a highly regarded composer, conductor and educator. A graduate of the Juilliard School, in 1941 he began studies with Paul Hindemith at Yale University, whom he credited as a profound influence on his compositional style. Hindemith told him “Your music is lyrical by nature, don’t ever forget that.” Dello Joio eschewed atonal styles that were prevalent with many other composers in his time, and instead embraced lyrical melodies and the consonance of tonality. He gained international fame as a composer, winning the 1957 Pulitzer Prize for his Meditations on Ecclesiastes and an Emmy in 1964 for his orchestral score to Scenes from the Louvre.

Variants on a Mediaeval Tune is an original work for band commissioned by the Duke University Band in 1963. The composer was inspired by the ancient tune “In dulcio jubilo” (“Sweetly Rejoicing”) to create a theme and five variations, each of which casts the melody in brief vignettes contrasting in tempo, character and style. Dello Joio’s Variants is widely regarded as one of the cornerstone works for the wind band.


Mothership                                                                                                            Mason Bates
Mason Bates (b. 1977) earned degrees in composition from the Juilliard School and UC Berkeley. His composition teachers include John Corigliano, Samuel Adler, David del Tredici and Edmund Campion. Currently engaged as composer-in-residence with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, his music has been championed by many prominent conductors and symphony orchestras nationwide.  His orchestral works are recognized for their unique infusion of computer technology and electronic media with traditional acoustical instruments of the symphonic medium.

Mothership was commissioned in 2011 by the You Tube Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas, and was reset for wind band by the composer in 2012. According to Bates, “the piece follows the form of a scherzo with double trio. But while symphonic scherzos historically play with dance rhythms such as the waltz, Mothership looks to 21st century dance music to enliven its journey. The mothership floats high above, an orchestra pulsating rapidly with a heart of techno. At various moments in the piece, various soloists dock with the mothership.”

Sheltering Sky                                                                                                       John Mackey
John Mackey (b. 1973) is an award-winning composer residing in Austin, TX. Mackey holds degrees in composition from the Juilliard School and the Cleveland Institute of Music. His composition teachers include John Corigliano and Donald Erb. His works for wind band are frequently performed by colleges and universities wind ensembles across the nation.

Sheltering Sky is features a simple, enchanting melody that paints a portrait of serenity and calm. The work begins in a hushed manner, suggesting a suspension of time and place, and subsequently blossoms with sweeping phrases that flow effortlessly. Harmonies are colored with non-chord tones to create a hazy sonic backdrop. Following a huge climactic moment, the music recedes into misty nothingness from which it began.

Danzón No. 2                                                            Arturo Márquez, trans. Oliver Nickel
Arturo Márquez was born in Sonora, Mexico in 1950. He began his musical training in La Puente, California in 1966, later studying piano and music theory at the Conservatory of Music of Mexico and composition at the Taller de Composición of the Institute of Fine Arts of Mexico. In February 2006, Arturo Marquez received the "Medalla de Oro de Bellas Artes" (Gold Medal of Fine Arts), the highest honor given to artists by Mexico’s Bellas Artes.

Danzón No. 2 was commissioned and premiered in 1994 by the Filarmonica de la UNAM in Mexico City. Márquez provided the following program note: “The danzón is a Cuban dance that became very popular in Mexico during the first half of the twentieth century, especially in the state of Veracruz and Mexico City. Because it was developed in a very special way in our country, many of us Mexicans consider it our own national music. The structure in the classical danzón is Introduction--First Theme (first danzón)--Introduction--Second Theme (second danzón)--Introduction--Son (son montuno, cha-cha or mambo). Danzón No. 2, rather than dealing directly with the form and harmony of the classical danzón, pays tribute to the tradition and its people. I decided to start with a slow, sensuous theme instead of an introduction. After that, a rhythmical section continues the elaboration of these materials. The work is dedicated to my daughter Lily.”*

Danzón No. 2 has been described as the most popular work to emerge from Latin America since the 1950’s. The work is also perhaps best known as the piece that brought conductor Gustavo Dudamel to fame. This masterful setting for wind band was completed by Oliver Nickel in 2009.
*Excerpt from program notes by Charley Samson



Andy Collinsworth is the Director of Bands and Program Director for Music Education at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, California. In addition to leading the university Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Chamber Winds Ensemble, he teaches courses in conducting, instrumental music methods and music education. As Director of the Music Education program at SSU, he advises and guides students aspiring to become music educators and supervises graduate students in the single subject credential program in music.

Dr. Collinsworth received the Doctor of the Musical Arts degree in Conducting from Arizona State University, and he holds degrees in music education and in saxophone performance from the University of Nevada at Reno. 

Dr. Collinsworth maintains an active schedule as a guest conductor, adjudicator and clinician.  In addition to his university duties, he is an active member of several professional organizations. He currently serves as President of the Bay Section of the California Music Educators Association (CMEA), and Vice President for the Western Division of the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA). In addition to these organizations, he is a member of the National Association of Music Education, the California Band Directors Association, the Northern California Band Directors Association, and is an honorary member of the Kappa Kappa Psi band fraternity. 

In 2011, was honored by the California Music Educators Association’s  Don Schmeer/Byron Hoyt Band Educator Award honoring excellence in instrumental instruction and performance.

Media Contact:

Ruth E. Wilson
Lecturer in Horn
Music Department Publicity
Sonoma State University
1801 East Cotati Avenue
Rohnert Park, CA 94928