Program Notes 2022 Summer Concert

Jubilee Overture: composed by Carl Maria von Weber (1786-1826, Germany); Orchestration: 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, timpani, and strings. SATB chorus added by composer Adam Liptak in Austria to the finale ‘God Save the King’

Concerto for Flute and Orchestra: composed by Jacques Ibert (1890-1962); Orchestration: 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 1 trumpet, timpani, flute solo, & strings. If you feel comfortable with music in the classical period (Haydn-Mozart-Beethoven), the harmonies and chromatic passages may be a little strange.

Lohengrin: it is an opera composed by Richard Wagner (1813-1883). You may be familiar with these respective pieces: one is instrumental, the other is choral. You might rarely have a chance to listen to it as a connected one piece. Orchestration: 3 flutes, 3 oboes, 3 bassoons, 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, percussion (triangle, cymbals, tambourine), strings, 2 harps.

Scherzo-Tarantella: a scherzo, which means ‘joke,’ had been part of symphonic movements but gradually tended to be an independent piece. Tarantella is basically a dance. It is wonderful to see the composer combine ‘joke’ and ‘dance’ to be a one movement concert work. Henri Wieniawski (1835-1880, Poland)

Toccata on Hymn to Joy: arrangement by Mark Thallander, organist, based on the hymn tune “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee.”

Mendelssohn’s Fifth Symphony: It was commissioned to commemorate the Reformation by Martin Luther. SATB chorus added by composer Adam Liptak in Austria. This arrangement shines more than the original with its full orchestration including saxophones and percussion instruments.

Felix Mendelssohn was born to a family of prominent Jewish heritage. His parents converted to Christianity and Felix was baptized Lutheran. Felix Mendelssohn was a musical prodigy, and in addition to his prolific composing, he was also a strong advocate for the music of Johann Sebastian Bach and was responsible for reviving the performance of many of his works, including the St. Matthew Passion. Despite his musical successes, Mendelssohn received persecution for his Jewish heritage throughout his 38 years of life. Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 5 (“The Reformation”) was commissioned to commemorate the Reformation of Martin Luther. Ill health created delays in finishing the work in a timely manner, and by the time he finished the symphony, it was too late for it to be included in the original celebration events for which it was intended. Mendelssohn originally called this work his “Symphony to Celebrate the Church Revolution,” but the name “Reformation,” later given by his sister Fanny Mendelssohn, has become the name that stuck. The piece features the prominent hymn of the Protestant Reformation, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.” In this version, SATB chorus and a more full orchestra that includes saxophones and percussion has been added.  

Double Piano Concerto: composed by Mozart (1756-1791) Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed this work in the late 1770’s while living in Salzburg. Although there is no performance record of this, it is thought that Mozart may have composed this work for him and his sister, Maria Anna Mozart “Nannerl”, to play the piano solo parts. The flourishing and beautiful solo piano parts are equal in prominence and difficulty. Mozart gave two performances in Vienna with his pupil, Josephine Auernhammer. playing the solo piano parts. Around this same time, Mozart composed another famous double concert, the Sinfonia Concertante for Violin and Viola, K.364. The orchestration of the double piano concerto includes 2 oboes, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 2 pianos, and strings. 

McBeth: Fanfare & Hymn: Stephen Hill composed it for the graduation ceremonies of California High School, Whittier, CA. Both band and orchestra editions are available.

Program notes from the composer, Stephen Hill:  

This piece was composed for the California High School (Whittier) combined Band and Orchestra to perform as the 2014 Graduation Recessional. My colleague, Doug Nordquist, director of Bands at California High School, was informed that the Administration wanted to have a formal Recessional for the Graduation Ceremonies. Doug and I discussed several possible pieces in the established Band repertoire. With three weeks to go before Graduation, I took out my sketchbook where I write down musical themes and motifs and started to compose a recessional sketch. I sent the short sketch to Doug, and he immediately responded with his approval and asked if I could finish it in time. I completed the piece during two weekends, which then left one week for the Band and Orchestra to rehearse it for the upcoming Graduation. My cherished memory of the evening took place on the way back to the band room after the Graduation Ceremony. Walking near some of the students in the percussion section, I could overhear a few of them humming the “Hymn” tune. I consider having members of the percussion section humming music I had composed a very cool honor indeed. 

The piece begins with a short fanfare that moves into a lyrical hymn tune. The second tune propels the work forward, followed by a brief percussion break. The percussion break gives the members in that section, (the ones who usually end up standing around during Pomp and Circumstance) a chance to play something as they might find in a “Drum-line”. The piece returns to the beginning fanfare with a restatement of both tunes and eventually ending with a massive chordal statement that builds from the lower to the upper instruments in a timbre pyramid.  

The title, McBeth, is a tribute to my composition teacher, Dr. W. Francis McBeth. It was at Ouachita Baptist University that I received the personal attention of Dr. McBeth. He showed genuine interest in both my compositions for his class and in me. One memory took place in the hallway while I was on my way to class. Dr. McBeth came up to me and said, “Stephen, I was thinking about your piece last night, and I have an idea for it.” I was encouraged that he was thinking about my piece outside of class. He was a very kind teacher and friend. Being from California and going to school in Arkansas, I did not go home on weekends, so Dr. McBeth would often invite me to his house to visit with him. We would talk not just about music, but faith in God, purpose in life, and also about a love for fishing. We stayed in touch for over thirty years until his passing in 2012. 

Radetzky March: This concert, the students are challenged to play the original concert work (professional edition). The students might have played it with an easier edition. As it is a well-known piece, it will surely be music to the audience’s ears but the student performers might be a little nervous to play it the same way as professionals.

Johann Strauss, Sr. (1804-1849), father of the famous “Waltz King,” Johann Strauss, Jr., wrote Radetzky March in honor and dedication of Field Marshal Joseph Radetzky von Radetz to commemorate the victory at the Battle of Custoza. Apprently, when Radetzky and his soldiers came back from their victory, they were singing the popular Viennese song, “Alter Tanz au Wien.” Although it is in ¾ time, Strauss incorporate this popular melody in 2/4 time in the trio section of this march. The Radetzky March has become a popular and widely performed work,  and it is often played by the Vienna Philharmonic as an encore piece.  

The Bartered Bride: Christmas in summer? As this opera’s plot starts at the Christmas season, this song reminds me of the seasonal atmosphere. It will be sung in Czech. Translation:

Why should we not be happy when to us Lord God health gives; Which of us knows on journey future, happy so if we’ll find.; And who is a married man and a married woman must do away with joy…

The Battle of Jericho: This SATB mixed choral a capella piece (unaccompanied; no piano) is one of the best known spiritual works by Moses Hogan (1957-2003, American composer) along with ‘Elijah Rock.’ Feel the spirit! Around 2003, he was scheduled to visit L.A. as a clinician but did not make it. His choral music visits all around the world.

Hungarian Dance No. 5: One of the 21 Hungarian Dances composed by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897, Germany) for orchestra. Arranged by Hitoshi Nakamura for piano trio (violin, cello, & piano)

March from “Carmen”: composed by Georges Bizet (1838-1875, France) as “Les Toreadors” the finale of Carmen Suite No. 1; arranged by Charles Woodhouse for an educational full orchestra and edited by me for a wind choir.

French composer, Georges Bizet, is probably best known for his opera, Carmen. The opera was so popular that melodies from the opera were turned into two suites for orchestra.  The opera opened in Paris in 1875, but the suites were published posthumously in 1882. “Les Toreadors” is from the finale of Carmen Suite No. 1. This version was arranged for an educational full orchestra and edited by Dr. Gene Chung for wind choir. 

Yesterday: a popular tune in 1970’s by Paul McCartney (The Beatles); arranged by Adam Liptak who lives in Vienna, Austria, for cello 1, 2, 3, & 4 (cello choir).

This popular tune from the 1970’s was written by Paul McCartney of The Beatles. Adam Lipta, who lives in Vienna, Austria, has provided this arrangement for 4-part cello choir. His arrangement provides balanced and challenging parts for all and features fresh rhythms and countermelodies to accompany the famous tune. The resonance and timbre of the cello lends itself particularly well to the lush melodic and harmonic sonorities of this timeless Beatles song. 

William Tell Overture: composed by Gioacchino Rossini (1792-1868, Italy). “The overture was designed to present the day in the life of a Switzerland in revolt. The prelude, named, “Dawn, starts with a slow, solo passage for the cello. As the piece accelerates, it moves into the second part, “Storm,” with the entire orchestra now fully present…”(quoted from; arranged by David Andrew for an educational orchestra & edited by me for a cello choir. The second part only will be heard.

This overture was composed by the famous opera composer,  Gioachino Rossini. William Tell was Rossini’s last opera. “The overture was designed to present the day in the life of a Switzerland in revolt. The prelude, named, “Dawn, starts with a slow, solo passage for the cello. As the piece accelerates, it moves into the second part, “Storm,” with the entire orchestra now fully present…”(quoted from This version was arranged by David Andrew for an educational orchestra and edited by Dr. Gene Chung for a cello choir. This arrangement features the second part of the overture only.  The fast and galloping rhythms of the work requires advanced bow technique for the cellists. This tune has become famous and used in television and film, including its use as the “Lone Ranger” theme.  

Chorale: Hymn from Symphonic Adiemus: “Symphonic Adiemus presents twelve numbers from the Adiemus series in dynamic new scorings for SATB choir and full symphony orchestra. Since it was first heard in 1994, Adiemus has captured the imagination of music lovers worldwide thanks to its unique combination of classical principales with the flavours of world and ethnic music.” (quoted from the publisher Boosey & Hawkes).

Choral Symphony: commissioned by LAYP, Adam Liptak (Hungarian composer who currently resides in Vienna, Austria) composed his Choral Symphony based on the Hymn “Christ the LORD Is Risen Today” from Lyra Davidica and Text by Charles Wesley. The part II of the symphony only will be heard in this concert. We are still in the progress to overcome the COVID-19 challenges but “Nothing can stop our creative flow of performing arts” as this message was shared by Dr. Brian Alhadeff in 2020 Virtual Summer Concert. (Program notes by Dr. Gene Chung & Dr. Amy Culligan)