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Lindsey's Winter Band Concert gives musical close to holiday

If you missed it, the only other opportunity to hear the band this season will be when it opens the Christmas in Columbia afternoon Carnival inside the LWC Holloway Health and Wellness Center Saturday, December 7, 2019 at 1pmCT.

Thanksgiving weekend in Columbia came to a musical close at the Lindsey Wilson College Winter Concert 2019, entitled The Spirit of Thanksgiving.

Tim Allen, Director of Instrumental Ensembles at Lindsey Wilson College, said, "This is a week earlier than we normally have our Christmas concert, and because it falls during the Thanksgiving weekend, we thought it would be appropriate to open up the concert with a song of Thanksgiving 'We Gather Together' and 'Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow.'

He gave a brief background before each presentation. And the Mountains Echoed: Gloria! was next, a musical work inspired by the Biblical passage that tells of the appearance of the angels to the shepherds in the field, telling them of the birth of Jesus and praising God saying 'Gloria in excelsis Deo!' Later, the French Christmas carol 'Angels We Have Heard on High' is quoted, interspersed with fragments of the opening section.

Divinum Mysterium, followed. He said the origin of this melody is in plainchant, which dates back to Gregorian chant from the Middle Ages. Of the Father's Heart Begotten is a Christmas carol based on a Latin poem. This ancient poem was translated and paired with the medieval plainchant melody. It first appeared in print as a carol in Germany in 1850.

Winter Days, a very special brand new song was introduced - an original composition by his student Benjamen Duncan. Director Allen said, "Part of a music education major's curriculum includes a class called Orchestration and Arranging. The final project for the class is to complete an arrangement for full concert band instrumentation. Ben composed it, rehearsed it with the band, and will now conduct it for you today."

Ukrainian Bell Carol followed, originally a choral composition by a Ukrainian composer in 1916, based on a Ukrainian folk song. An American choir director and arranger by the name of Peter Wilhousky heard the choral work and said it reminded him of bells; so he wrote new lyrics to convey that imagery for his choir. The title chosen by him, "Carol of the Bells" was synonomous with the old Slavic legend that at midnight the evening Jesus was born, all the bells on earth started to sound in his honor. This is Ukrainian Bell Carol.

First Noel featured a combination of two very popular tunes: "The First Noel, and Pachelbel's Canon." The First Noel is a traditional classical English carol, from the 18th century. The word Noel comes from the French meaning "Christmas". Canon in D is the most famous piece of music by German Baroque composer Johann Pachelbel. The Canon was forgotten for centuries and was rediscovered only in the 20th century. Several decades after it was first published in 1919, the piece became extremely popular, and today it is frequently played at weddings and included on classical music compilations. Listen carefully for how each melody is introduced, as well as how they overlap.

Midnight Sleighride was next. It was introduced in this way, the Russian composer, Serge Prokofiev was brilliant at telling stories through music. He has transformed the adventures of "Peter and the Wolf", "Cinderella", and "Romeo and Juliet" into sound. In 1934, Prokofiev wrote the film score for a movie called Lieutenant Kije. He later compiled it into stand-alone musical suite. One of the most popular movements from that suite is called "Troika". A 'troika' is a Russian sleigh drawn by three horses, side by side. So this movement is frequently used in films and documentaries for Christmas scenes and scenes involving snow. Years later, in the 1950s a couple of arrangers named Eddie Sauter and Bill Finegan did a special arrangement for their jazz band of this Troika. So this adaptation for concert band retains all the wit and color of the Sauter-Finegan chart. It's pure holiday fun, with a sophisticated twist! This is Midnight Sleighride.

He introduced I Wonder As I Wander with a personal story. "I have some very vivid memories from my youth, growing up in the Presbyterian church in east Tennessee. One of those memories is sitting in the balcony in the back of the sanctuary so that I could sneak out in the middle of the sermon and go down stairs and get a bottle of Coca Cola out of the coke machine for six cents," he said. "Another wonderful memory I have is hearing my mother sing. She and my father both sang in the church choir, and many times my mother was featured as a soloist. She had a strong, resonant alto voice, and I remember being very moved whenever I heard her sing. One of those songs that made a lasting impression on me was 'I Wonder As I Wander'. I actually played this piece many years ago with the high school band and four years ago here at LWC, and my mother was able to come and hear the piece dedicated in her honor. She's not able to be here today, but I'm hoping to send her a video of the performance."

The last selection of the winter concert was Laughing All the Way. It challenged each section of the band, and has many solos. He had all soloists stand for recognition before the song. After the performance the audience gave the band a standing ovation.

The only other opportunity to hear the band this season will be when it opens the Christmas in Columbia afternoon Carnival inside the LWC Holloway Health and Wellness Center Saturday, December 7, 2019 at 1pmCT. The carnival includes Arts & Crafts’ vendors, children’s crafts, Christmas stories, inflatables, and many other children’s activities and a visit by Santa.

This story was posted on 2019-12-02 07:10:47
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Munrow, Prebble, Hoehler, Price given band honor cords

2019-12-02 - Columbia - Photo by Linda Waggener,
Four band students who are graduating this semester were recognized and given band honor cords at Sunday's Winter Concert. Tim Munrow, Kristen Hoehler, Callie Price, and Keaton Prebble will earn their degrees in less than two weeks at Lindsey's December graduation ceremonies. Director Tim Allen said in addition to their talent as musicians, "Words that come to mind that might best describe these students are: respectful, honest, helpful, personable, loyal, hard-working, dedicated, and most importantly, responsible. These qualities will take you four a long way in this world and I know that you will be a success at whatever you choose to do. Congratulations to you on your upcoming graduation from Lindsey Wilson College."

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Families gathered to hear LWC Band students perform

2019-12-02 - Columbia - Photo by Linda Waggener,
Families gathered with their students for photos after the Lindsey Wilson College Winter Concert, The Spirit of Thanksgiving, Sunday, December 1, 2019. Band member Grant Cockerham's mother, Susan Miller, is at his left, and Barbara Brummett, at right, introduced her grandson as "the best Percussionist in the band!" Grandmothers just know these things.

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