Stroll through history at NIC Mother's Day Concert

In the century-old tradition of concerts in the park, the North Idaho College Wind Symphony and Chamber Singers will host its annual free Mother’s Day Concert at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 12 in Coeur d’Alene City Park.

Before movie theaters and shopping malls, city parks were “THE” place to gather for weekends and especially for holiday celebrations. So it is in the footsteps of the great Sousa band and the King band that this celebration is offered. The Mother’s Day Concert typically draws up to 1,000 concert-goers to enjoy music titles picked out to perfectly compliment mom’s special day. NIC Band Director Terry Jones and Choral Instructor Max Mendez will conduct.

“The Star Spangled Banner”           arr. John Williams
            The Star Spangled Banner” holds a unique place in our nation’s musical heritage. As our National Anthem, it has been performed an unfathomable number of times, in every conceivable arrangement, and it stands as an enduring symbol in the collective memory of all Americans. It tells of our flag’s passage through a dark and dangerous night, and as a metaphor, it serves as a prayer for the safe continuation of our country’s journey toward the realization of its best aspirations. Williams’ version of our national anthem was arranged for the 2004 Rose Bowl ceremonies.

“American Barndance”                    by Richard L. Saucedo
            “American Barndance” was commissioned and premiered for the 20th annual Festival of Bands in Loogootee, Ind. As the title suggests, this is a throwback to the days of neighbors coming together to celebrate life on the farm. Those who have attended barn dances will recognize the sense of lightheartedness and playfulness. Even the lyrical section in the middle of the piece projects hopefulness.

“America” from “West Side Story” by Leonard Bernstein, arr. Michael Brown
            In the Bernstein and Sondheim modern version of “Romeo and Juliet,” we find ourselves drawn into the lives and struggles of a young couple that fall in love at first sight. “America” takes us into the private conversation of a one of our lovers and a group of her girlfriends. In the original song, the girls are comparing their past life in Puerto Rico and the dreams for life in America. Dreams we all have. This arrangement makes the comparison musically, using a Latin beat to drive some very catchy melodies.

“Southern Hymn”                 by Samuel R. Hazo
            “Southern Hymn” is an original composition is the style of folk hymn “Amazing Grace” and converted sea chantey “Oh Shenandoah.” The main them is a simple, yet moving melody that re-appears several times throughput the piece. Listen carefully as Hazo alters the harmonies and orchestration for each new statement of the theme. The texture becomes even richer as he fills it out with wonderful moving counter-melody lines. The piece concludes with a moving, full band re-statement of theme.

“Along an English Countryside”                 by Richard L. Saucedo
            “Along an English Countryside” was written as a musical tribute to notable British composer Sir Malcolm Arnold. Saucedo uses numerous little call and answer duets to open this lively and exciting jaunt through the English countryside. Written in 12/8 (think Irish Gig) has a dance feel throughout. The piece takes on a Percy Grainger flare as Saucedo builds in numerous counter-melodies and increases the dissonance in the harmonies. The added complexities never overpower the whimsical them of the piece.

“Lincoln Portrait”     by Aaron Copland arr. Walter Beeler
The composition is roughly divided into three main sections. In the opening section, the mysterious sense of fatality that surrounds Lincoln’s personality is suggested. Also, near the end of that section, something of his greatness and simplicity of spirit. The quick middle section briefly sketches in the background of the times during which he lived. This merges into the concluding section, where the purpose was to draw a simple, but impressive frame around the words of Lincoln.

“As All The Heavens Were a Bell” by Jay Bocook
            “As All the Heavens Were a Bell” is a commissioned piece written as a tribute to the firefighters of New York City for their heroic efforts during the events surrounding Sept.11, 2001. This arrangement of patriot favorites takes the listener through a myriad of emotions. The opening is very fanfare-ish with flourishes in the woodwinds and bold proclamations in the brass. In the second sections of the piece, Bocook calms things down with hints of various familiar tunes. The third section reminds us of the struggles and difficulties we have endured as a nation. In the end, he reminds us of the American spirit with a bold statement of “My Country Tis of Thee.”

“America the Beautiful” by Samuel A Ward, arr. by Carman Dragon
            This piece needs no notes or explanation. Springtime in North Idaho can be full of challenging weather, but in the end, it is one of the most beautiful places in the country.

For More Information
NIC Band Director Terry Jones, (208) 769-3258 or or NIC Choral Instructor Max Mendez, (208) 769-3275 or

Posted: Tuesday, May 7, 2013

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