This will be a very short post regarding the repertoire that ICO will be performing on our first concert of the Summer 2015 season. It has been a great first week of the summer and I am looking forward to getting on stage with these wonderful young musicians.
We will open our program with Bold Venture, by M.L. Daniels (published by Kjos). It is a grade 4 string orchestra work that is full of syncopated rhythms in E minor. It was the winner of the 2000 ASTA with NSOA Merle J. Isaac Composition Contest. It is marked "moderato," but I am taking it significantly faster than the suggest quarter = 98 bpm. It begins and ends with a quick, masculine feel and has a brief lyrical section in the middle. I chose this work because one of my favorite pieces to play as a student in the 1970's was another work by Daniels, entitled Festique, which has a similar feel.
Next, we will be featuring two of our section coaches, violinists Brittni Brown and Jacqueline Joves, performing the Double Violin Concerto by JS. Bach. We will be doing this work in its entirety. The well-known first movement provides an opportunity for our violin section to understand the other side of this work, serving as accompanists and truly learning the meaning of performing "terraced dynamic." The cello and bass section have a great challenge performing the continuo part. The 2nd movement is in 12/8 time and offers a great opportunity to really teach compound meter. The Largo tempo also provides ample teaching/learning opportunities and really requires the musician to have a complete understanding of all of the rhythms and associated performance practice. This movement requires great rhythmic patience and maturity from all of the musicians. The third movement is an Allegro in 3/4 time. It moves along very quickly and, again, requires a keen understanding of all rhythms and the concept of tutti vs. ripieno playing.
We will finish our portion of the program with The Faraway Place, by William Hofeldt (published by Kjos). This piece was suggested to me by a member of our viola section back in the fall. I checked out the piece and loved it immediately. It is in E flat major, in 3/4 time, and is a beautiful "unhurried" ballad. There is tremendous opportunity in this piece for me to teach the importance of watching the conductor. The piece allows for a great deal of rhythmic stretch and tug. We discussed the impact that music can have on our emotions and I believe that the students will give a lovely, emotion-filled performance of this beautiful work.
I can't wait for tomorrow. We have about 5 1/2 hours of rehearsal time left before the concert. There is much to do, but we will be ready!
I will let you know how it goes!