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November 1, 2015 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

November 1st, 2015 will be the opening concert of the Wilmington Symphonic Winds 2nd season.

Crown Imperial – William Walton
William Byrd Suite – Gordon Jacob
Toccata Marziale – Ralph Vaughn Williams
First Suite in Eb for Military Band – Gustav Holst
Awayday – Adam Groth
Colonel Bogey March – Kenneth Alford


Doors open at 6:00 pm, concert will begin at 7:00 pm.

Tickets (includes tax):

Adults $12.00
Students with id: $8.00
Adults aged 65+: $8.00

Tickets on sale at the Kenan Box Office 910.962.3500 M-F 12 -6 pm and one hour prior to performance or 800.732.3643

Click HERE to order tickets!


Crown Imperial

Crown Imperial  is an orchestral march by the English composer William Walton.  It was first performed at the coronation of King George VI in 1937 and was substantially revised in 1953.  Walton originally composed the march for performance at the coronation of King Edward VIII, scheduled for May 12, 1937, but Edward abdicated in 1936.  The coronation was held on the scheduled day, with Edward’s brother being crowned instead.  Crown Imperial was also performed at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, along with another Coronation March written by Walton, Orb and Sceptre.  It was performed again as a recessional piece to the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton on April 29, 2011.


Walton derived the march’s title from the line “In beawtie berying the crone imperiall” from William Dunbar’s poem “In Honour of the City of London”.


William Byrd Suite


Gordon Jacob, a native of London, ranks as one of the foremost contributors to the repertoire of original works for large wind ensembles.  He composed the William Byrd Suite in 1923 as his contribution to the tercentenary of William Byrd’s death (1539 – 1623).  Byrd was the foremost composer of the Elizabethan age and among the three or four English composers since the Renaissance who have stood as equals with their continental contemporaries.


The Suite is Jacob’s setting of six Byrd pieces that he felt were appropriate to the tonal framework of the British military band and at the same time portray the harmonic charm and rhythmic vitality that characterized the English madrigal and keyboard style of Byrd’s time.  The concluding movement opens with a simple two-note rising figure that persists throughout, while a set of variations built on the sounds of bells unfolds and rises above it.


Toccata Marziale


Toccata Marziale was composed to be played by massed bands in the arena at the 1924 Wembley Empire Exhibition.  “Toccata” (to touch) implies keyboard music.  This piece is, in effect, a prelude in martial mood.  It is composed in highly contrapuntal vein, with folk-song and modal roots, vagaries of key, and strings of those academic sins – consecutive fifths.  It is a strangely complex and slightly sinister work which seems to contain overtones of war.


Ralph Vaughan Williams spent two years between school and university in musical study at the Royal College of Music.  After taking a degree at Cambridge, he returned to the Royal College in London for further study, then visited Germany, where he heard the Wagnerian music dramas and stayed to study with Max Bruch.  He returned to England to receive a doctorate in music at Cambridge.  With his friend, Gustav Holst, Vaughan Williams cut the ties that had bound English music to Germany and Italy. Instead of looking for good models on the Continent, these two young Englishmen decided to seek them at home in England’s own past.


First Suite in E-flat


The First Suite in Eb by Gustav Holst is considered one of the masterworks and cornerstones of the band literature.  Although completed in 1909, the suite didn’t receive its official premiere until eleven years later on June 23, 1920, by an ensemble of 165 musicians at the Royal Military School of Music at Kneller Hall.  However, the work was originally conceived to be performed by ensembles significantly smaller than the one at Kneller Hall.  During the time period the piece was written, there was no standardized instrumentation among the hundreds of British military bands of the day, and as a result no significant literature had been previously written for the band medium.  Most British bands up to then performed arrangements of popular orchestral pieces and military marches.  In order to ensure the suite would be accessible to as many bands as possible, Holst ingeniously scored the work so that it could be played by a minimum of nineteen musicians, with sixteen additional parts that could be added or removed without compromising the integrity of the work.


There are three movements in the suite: Chaconne, Intermezzo, and March.  Holst writes, “As each movement is founded on the same phrase, it is requested that the suite be played right through without a break.”  Indeed, the first three notes of the Chaconne are Eb, F and C, and the first three notes of the melody when it first appears in the Intermezzo are Eb, F, and C.  In the third movement, March, Holst inverts the motive: The first note heard in the brilliant opening brass medley is an Eb, but instead of rising, it descends to a D, and then a G; the exact opposite of the first two movements.




In 1988, John Zdechlik was commissioned to compose a work to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Medalist Concert Band of Bloomington, Minnesota, Dr. Earl C. Benson, conductor.  Serving the Twin Cities, this 70-member community concert band was awarded the prestigious Sudler Silver Scroll in 1996.  Celebrations  is a dynamic work that alternates between two themes.  The first theme employs rapid ascending phrases in the woodwinds against a punctuated background tempo provided by the brass and percussion.  A second sustained and majestic theme is interwoven into the composition to provide an opportunity to reflect on past accomplishments.  Both themes combine in a final, stately conclusion.


John Zdechlik is a native of Minneapolis, Minnesota.  While playing trumpet and piano with his high school jazz band, he developed an interest in composition.  He holds degrees in music education, as well as composition and theory, from the University of Minnesota.  He has written numerous commissioned and published works for high school and college concert bands, including Chorale and Shaker Dance, Grand Rapids Suite, Passacaglia, and Psalm 46.


Colonel Bogey
The Colonel Bogey March  is a popular march that was written in 1914 by Lieutenant F. J. Ricketts (a.k.a. Kenneth J. Alford), a British Army bandmaster who later became the director of music for the Royal Marines at Plymouth.  Supposedly, the tune was inspired by a military man and golfer who whistled a characteristic two-note phrase (a descending minor third interval) instead of shouting “Fore!”.  It is this descending interval that begins each line of the melody.  The sheet music was a million-seller, and the march was recorded many times.  English composer Malcolm Arnold added a counter-march, The River Kwai March, for the 1957 dramatic film The Bridge on the River Kwai, set during World War II.  While Arnold did use Colonel Bogey in his score for the film, it was only the first theme and a bit of the second theme of Colonel Bogey, whistled unaccompanied by the British prisoners several times as they marched into the prison camp.


November 1, 2015
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


Kenan Auditorium
601 S College Rd
Wilmington, NC 28403 United States
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