Lake Agassiz Concert Band’s 32nd season may be coming to an end, but before they go, the band is performing one more concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 19 at Horizon Middle School featuring music that holds an array of special meanings to the band.
The theme of the concert, “Originals,” stems from Lake Agassiz Concert Band’s participation with the James Barnes’ Ninth Symphony, a piece the band co-commissioned with 24 other institutions in the country. The band previews the first movement titled “Elegy” at the concert as a teaser for the world premiere next season.
“(This theme) provided an opportunity to look at other music that was specifically written for the Lake Agassiz Concert Band or had a deep connection to its members in some way,” says Music Director Dr. Monte Grisé.
For example, one of the songs in the program called “Moods on the Wind” by Susan Clambey was composed specifically for the Lake Agassiz Concert Band in 2007. “West River Jubilee” by John Darling was written in honor of a family member of a percussionist in the band.
But other pieces in the concert also pay homage to original works specifically for woodwinds or original composer voices — like “Irish Tune from County Derry” (aka “Danny Boy”) by Percy Grainger.
“(Grainger) was one of the first composers to treat the wind ensemble as a truly artistic form of art,” Grisé says. “His setting of ‘Irish Tune from County Derry’ is one of the most beautiful pieces in the repertoire.”
Robert Russell Bennett’s “Suite of Old American Dances,” another original in the concert, refers to the dance music he heard as a child at the Electric Park in Kansas City. Grisé says this piece “could be played and danced to in the evenings under the lights,” an apt song to celebrate the blossoming springtime.
Founded in 1987, Lake Agassiz Concert Band is comprised of adult wind and percussion players who perform four free formal concerts every year. The band’s goal is to provide the community with free, outstanding musical performances; to create an artistic outlet for serious wind and percussion performers in the area; and to perform challenging traditional and contemporary wind band music.
Horizon Middle School is located at 3601 12th Ave. S. in Moorhead. As always, the Lake Agassiz Concert Band performance on Sunday is free and open to the public.
Photo courtesy of Lake Agassiz Concert Band.