Exploring Music Project

By: Brooke Stewart

Big image

Selected Venue

The Concert I chose was the “Celebrating our Veterans” held at Isothermal Community College on November 10th, 2015 at 7:30 PM. When this project was posted all I did was Google local orchestra concerts and groups. The one that caught my eye was the Symphony of Rutherford County. Rutherford being the county I live in I thought what a good way to support my local groups! So I looked up there concert schedule and I found this concert, also joining them was Gardner-Webb University Orchestra, Rutherford Community Chorus and my High school, Crest- High Chamber Orchestra. Tickets were available at the door the night of, so my mother and I just purchased our tickets when we arrived.


1. Fanfare for the common man- this was the first piece performed. Aaron Copland wrote this piece in 1942. Written for Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Inspired by a speech made earlier that year where Vice President Henry Wallace proclaimed dawning of “Century of the Common man”. This fanfare is written mainly for the bass and percussion.

2. The National Anthem: The Star- Spangled Banner written by Key/Smith Arr. Matt Putnam in 1814 the bombardment inspired by a poem Key wrote after witnessing of Fort McHenry by British ships of the royal navy. It is often hard to sing because of the range of one octave and one fifth.

3. Lincoln Portrait: Written in 1942 by Aaron Copland as a tribute to the President it inspired people in what were the dark early days of World War II. As people mentioned it was a typical Copland work with woodwinds producing soft three –note mottoes in intervals of fourths and fifths. This piece has many cultivating transitions.

4. Hallowed Halls- Amazing Grace- This is an arrangement of beloved hymns by Americans. Meant to be very patriot and somewhat of a grand finale. The setting is by James Swearingen.

5. Variations on God Of Our Fathers : This was Variated (which means it has been repeated in an altered form other than the original written work) by Colt. Brandon Copper of Gardner Webb University. This piece was played by the GWU Broad Rover Brass Quintet, which consisted of five students playing brass instruments. This hymn was traced all the way back to 1876 when it was played during the 100th celebration of signing of the Declaration of Independence.

6. Veterans Day Medley: This medley consisted of Over there, Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, Yankee Doodle Dandy, I’ll be Seeing You, You’re a Grand Old Flag and Strike Up The Band arranged by Bill Holcome. This was sung by Jondra Harmon a mezzo-soprano. Who is an instructor of Voice and Coordinator of Vocal Studies at GWU.

7. Armed Forces Salute- This piece was arranged by Bob Lowden. This song salutes the U.S. Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Air Force, and Navy. When the piece got to their song the veteran’s were asked to stand to be recognized.

8. Semper Fi “Always Faithful” – This piece was played in honor of the United States Marine Corps Birthday that is held on November 10th every year. John Philip Sousa wrote this piece in 1888. The marines refer to this as the Official March of the Marine Corps. Sousa stated, “he wrote Semper Fidelis one night while in tears after my Comrades of the Marine Corps had sung their favorite hymn at Quantico.

9. A Salute to the Big Bands- This piece includes the songs April in Paris; I’m Getting Sentimental Over You, Pennsylvania 6-5000 and Serenade in Blue arranged by Calvin Cluster. This featured Lieutenant Dr. Mark R. Cole, U.S. Navy, Gardner-Webb University. Dedicated to Dennis B. Davis, U.S. Navy Chief, Naval Academy Bands & all armed forces bands.

10. Someone to Watch over Me: George Gershwin, arranged by Bill Holcome. Over the Rainbow: Harold Arlen & Yip Harburg, arranged by Mike Renzi and preformed by Professor Jondra Harmond.

Originally “Someone to watch over me” was supposed to have an up-tempo jazz tune but Gershwin’s brother suggested it might work better as a ballad.

Over the Rainbow- Is a ballad that was written in 1939 for the film “Wizard of Oz”.

11. God Bless America- Irving Berlin, Arr. Bill Holcome. This piece was performed by Thad Harrill, Baritone , VP of Community & Workforce Edu. , College Advancment, & Director of Alumni Affairs, ICC. The Rutherford Community Chorus, Tony Spencer , Directory , Diane Nelson , Accompanist.

The piece actually takes form of a prayer. Groups often protested the song due to Jewish Authorship.

12. America the Beautiful - Kathryn Bates/Samuel Ward, Arr. Rothrock and Scott . Soloists, Choir and Audience. Written in 1893 originally in a form of a poem.

13. Stars and Stripes Forever- Written by John Phillip Sousa on Christmas day in 1896 is written in a Standard American Military March. That being said it starts with a four –bar introduction which if followed by an playful melody.

Song Research

Song Research

Over the rainbow often referred to Somewhere over the Rainbow has a very interesting history and is known by many as the song in the “Wizard of Oz” film. The song, a ballad (a narrative set to music) was written by Harold Arlen with lyrics by E.Y Harburg in 1939 for the film, Wizard of OZ. Judy Garland was the actress who sang this song as her role of Dorothy Gale. The song won the Academy Award for the best Original Song and became Judy Garland’s Signature song.

The song is number one on the “Song of the century” list as well being ranked The greatest Movie song of all times by the American Film Institute. Later on adopted by American Troops in Europe during World War II as a symbol of the United States. Judy Garland herself sang the piece to the troops in 1943 performance.

Harold Arlen wrote over 500 pieces in addition to over the rainbow with many becoming very popular. His music career started at the very young age of 15 when he learned piano and started a band. When he gained local success as a pianist and singer he then moved to New York City in his early twenties. In 1938 is when his real fame would begin. This is the year he and E.Y. Harburg were signed to write the score for the “Wizard of OZ”. The two were chose because the producer of the film felt that Arlen and Harburg’s musical and lyrical fantasies together would be the perfect fit for the film. From the time the two signed they would only have two short months to finish the score. Arlen mentioned that the writing of the score troubled him much and gave him a lot of anxiety. The song actually came to Harlold out of the blue when he was in his car heading to a movie. He jotted it down and said “ It was as the Lord said, “Well here it is, now stop worrying about it!!!” After completing the bridge or the middle of the song he showed it to Harburg. Harburg didn’t respond to it as Arlen had hoped. He felt as if it was to grand for a Kansas girl to sing and it would clash. Though Arlen took it to a second opinion and they liked it so Harburg just wrote the lyrics and titled it “ Somewhere over the Rainbow.”

The film was completed in 1939 and cost some three million dollars to create. The movie and scores were a huge success the following year when the film was released. The songs just seemed to nestle into viewer’s heart and still to this day are favorites of young and old alike.

In 2000 is when the song was recognized as the number one song of the twentieth century. All that fighting Harland did sure did pay off.

Group/Artist Research

The Symphony of Rutherford County began in 1988 as only a fifteen –member string ensemble. Later the group grew to sixty members all volunteers. This number continued to grow and grow. The group is a non-profit organization and funded by private monies from their members, the community and grants. They welcome new members with open arms and there is no audition to join, although they hold high expectations for the performances. They convey a very supportive yet educational atmosphere with time for a little fun as well. They rehearse on Saturday mornings during the school year form 10-12:00 at the First Baptist Church in Spindale, NC. Their Director of Music is Dr. Patricia Sparti she is full of energy and most definitely shows her passion for this group and her job in her performances. That is what caught my eye the most at the “Celebrating Veterans” concert. Dr. Sparti was so enthusiastic and kept the mood lively. She swayed to the music and had such a beautiful words to say throughout the performance. She used the time very well and was sure to recognize each group or individual with the upmost respect.

The Symphony of Rutherford County was amazing in so many ways. First of all I thought the whole thing was very professional and well planned. From the tickets to their attire. They carried themselves in with a very elegant professional matter. Their performance was nothing short of elegant and beautiful either. Their songs flowed so smoothly with such emotion. From a serious time celebrating our honorable men and women that served our country to more of a celebratory party. I loved all the pieces that were performed. The performance started off on a serious note and somewhat transitioned to the more celebratory phase. The beginning pieces had such a deep yet light sound that kicked it off , that caught the attention of the audience for sure. I loved how on some pieces they had the audience clap along or even sing a long. There is nothing worse then sitting though a two-hour concert and not moving a finger. This gave the concert such an uplifting spirit that I am sure made the veterans feel very honored.

The not only honored the veterans by singing songs that portrayed their honor but during the piece “ Armed Forces Salute” they had the veterans stand up and be recognized when the song reached their branch. This was a great thing to sit and look at all the men and women, young and old that have gave the ultimate sacrifice to serve out country. This gave the audience a visual just to look and see just how many people we should be celebrating on Veterans Day.

The concert was impeccable and I left with not one complainant and a new appreciation of our veterans and members of an Symphony .

Big image