The NIC Wind Symphony practices Wednesday, March 12 to prepare for their March 19 “Dance Anyone?” production.
North Idaho College invites everyone to a free concert featuring the NIC Wind Symphony at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 19 in Boswell Hall Schuler Performing Arts Center. The concert is an homage to civic bands, much like the NIC Wind Symphony, that have been the center of celebrations though the ages.
“Wind bands have been providing entertainment and, occasionally, leading men into battle since the Middle Ages,” said NIC Director of Bands Terry Jones. “This concert will reflect that period – the dance floor, concert halls and battlefields.”
Jones said some selections are like the Baroque dance suite and the symphonic minuets of the past.
“Some will sound familiar – some won’t,” Jones said, “I hope everyone listens for the underlying rhythms that make them want to get their toe tapping.”
The sections will include, “Dance Suite on Spanish and Latin Rhythms,” by Aldo Rafael Forte; “Suite of Old American Dances,” by Robert Russell Bennett; “Four Dances from ‘West Side Story,’” arranged by Ian Polster; “Puszta,” by Jan Van der Roost; “Prairie Dances,” by David Holsinger; and “Three Celtic Dances,” by Brian Balmages.
Three Celtic Dances is based on three different Scottish dances forms, this works explores a wide variety of Celtic styles using both authentic dances tunes and original material. The first movement, “Reel,” is in cut time as is typical time of all reels. It is based on the tune “The Last Pint of Ale,” a lively, spirited tune. In this case, the melody itself never changes – the movement is constantly developed with surrounding material.
The second movement, “Air,” is based on the tune “Well May I Behold My Faithful Brown-Haired Maid,” a slow lyrical tune in 4/4. It presents the melody in two contrasting settings – the first in a chamber music setting with solo saxophone before a brief transition to full ensemble presentation in an emotional and powerful setting. The movement closes with a brief return to solo saxophone in a delicate texture.
The final movement, “Jig,” is a lively dance in 6/8 and is one of the most recognized Celtic dance forms. Loosely based on the tune “Highlander’s Jig,” the movement weaves in and out of the source material as it also explores original ideas.
The Puszta is the great Hungarian plain or prairie country that was home to nomadic shepherds and fierce horsemen. The region is noted as the home of the celebrated Lipizzaner stallion. In his original composition, Van der Roost reflects the various sides of the nomadic life on the prairie. Written as a dance suite of four Gypsy dances, the music alternates from bright and colorful to tranquil and melancholic, moods typical of Gypsy music.
Prairie Dances: Settled in 1876, Wichita Falls, Texas, became a cattle and grain shipping center after the arrival of the railroad in 1882. One can only imagine the hustle and bustle of this cowboy town in those railroad days where the rambunctiousness of the cowhand came face to face with the businesslike demeanor of the mercantile owners and the frontier gentility of the Ladies Society. This conflict is played out in the melodies and rhythms of Holsinger piece.
The concert is free and open to the public.