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Haydn Classic | Finale from the "Surprise Symphony" (No. 94)
About the Composer
During his lifetime, Franz Joseph Haydn established himself as a prolific composer who will always be remembered for his ability to write a large number (104 total) of memorable symphonies. Symphony No. 94, "Surprise," composed in 1772, is considered to be one of his many classics.
As Seasons Change
As Seasons Change is an original composition designed to assist younger players in the development of expressive playing. In addition, having command of the low register, particularly in the clarinet section, is another educational benifit that will be derived from performing this work. Please make note of the following during your rehearsal time:
Encourage your students to play with a feeling of resistence. In other
words, the temp- tation of wanting to rush should be resisted. Having
them internalize a strong aware- ness of sub-division will greatly help
in solving this problem.
Aventura, which is the Spanish word for adventure, opens with a haunting chorale in the key of F minor. Immediately following is the presto scored in a contemporary setting that features driving brass and percussion. A sudden change to F major allows the flutes to introduce a more lyrical theme, first played by the clarinets and followed by horns and low brass. A lovely middle section features an appealing duet between solo flute and baritone. The recapitulation is presented in reverse order so that the composition runs full cycle by, once again, restating the chorale. A brief driving statement provides Aventura with a thrilling climax.
This work was commissioned by the Clayton High School Band, Clayton, Missouri and dedicated to directors Carol Shannon and Michael Fournier.
Children of the Shrine
Often referred to as the "World's Greatest Philanthropy," the Shrine of North America, an international Masonic fraternity, has, over the years, financially supported the construction of 22 hospitals specifically designed for the care of children. Medical attention for orthopedic problems, severe burns, and spinal cord injuries is available to any child until they reach their 18th birthday, absolutely free of charge. During that time, there is never a charge to the patient or family for any care or services provided. In fact, no insurance monies, third party payment or U.S. government funds (federal, state or local) are accepted for the medical services or treatments provided at these hospitals. Additional information about these unique and special offerings may be obtained by calling 1 (800) 237-5055 in the United States and in Canada, 1 (800) 361-7256.
This inspirational setting of the hymn O Worship the King, All Glorious Above was commissioned by Temple Christian School located in Lima, Ohio. Their band director, Mrs. Jeannine Zwiebel, requested that the work be dedicated to Mr. Lynn Mohler, founder and superintendent of the school, for his twenty-five years of faithful service.
Johann Michael Haydn 1737-1806
Brother of composer Franz Joseph Haydn, Johann began singing as a chorister at St. Stephens in Vienna around 1745. While there, he studied violin, clavier and counterpoint. In 1757, he was appointed to the court of the Bishop of Grosswardein. In 1763, he won an appointment as Konzertmeister to the Archbishop of Salzburg. In honor of his many musical contributions, he was inducted into the Royal Swedish Academy of Music in 1804. Haydn's works include over 400 pieces of religious music.
Many directors and young musicians have agreed that Covington Square is one of the true favorites from the already established list of James Swearingen compositions. Composed in 1985, this piece was commissioned by the Bucklin, Kansas Band Parents and dedicated to their band, directed by Mike Brummett.
This composition utilizes a brief introductory statement that is followed by the woodwinds and Trumpet I playing the main theme. In addition, the development of a second theme provides interesting contrast and interplay throughout the opening section. The middle strain is highlighted by an expressive trumpet solo which is surrounded by lush harmonies and lyrical wrting at its best.
Echoes of Ireland
Echoes of Ireland, by noted composer James Swearingen, is based on a musical setting of three popular Irish folk tunes.
I. The Wearing of The Green
Legend has it that Irish patriot Napper Tandy was forced to flee the country in 1793 in order to save his life. As a result, many people believe that this Irish folk tune, dating back to 1798, is the real "national anthem of Ireland."
II. Cockles and Mussels
The rivers Shannon, Lee, and Boyne, which flow throughout the countryside, are full of salmon, and the lakes and streams are full of trout. The fresh fish, cockles, and mussels were sold from three-wheeled carts in many Irish cities.
III. The Minstrel Boy
Written by Thomas Moore, this battle song is sung to the air of "The Moreen."
It should also be noted that this work was commissioned by the Lancaster (Ohio) Band Boosters, and dedicated to longtime and highly successful Ohio music educator Mr. Gene Teachout. The premiere performance of this piece was presented on February 25, 1999 by the Thomas Ewing 8th Grade Band, Sandra McCoy, Director.
Entrance of the Tall Ships
In 1976, I eagerly watched on television, along with millions of people from around the world, the historic 4th of July celebration that took place in New York City. Crowds of people stood cheering from New York's famous waterfront as an armada of the world's greatest sailing ships, accompanied by a breathtaking display of fireworks, paraded in spectacular review. Even today, the memory of those tall ships entering the harbor stirs a feeling of patriotism that is not easily calmed, nor will ever be forgotten.
This piece represents the composer's first attempt at writing for the school concert band. Written in 1977, and published the following year by C.L. Barnhouse Co., it is respectfully dedicated to Louis E. Marini, Associate Professor-Emeritus at Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio. In talking about his former mentor, James Swearingen stated; "He was an outstanding teacher and a friend to all his students. Even today, his teachings continue to serve as a source of inspiration."
Exaltation employs a contemporary style of writing that is both thematic and highly rhythmical. Although several tonalities are explored, the main key of the composition centers around F minor. Included in the expressive middle section is a lyrical solo for alto saxophone. A recap of the main theme brings the work to an exciting finish.
High Falls Overture
High Falls, located in Rochester, New York, was the center of modern technology during the late 19th century. This urban culture park features the Triphammer Forge, Granite Mills Commons, and the Pont de Rennes Bridge, lending a panoramic view of the spectacular 96 foot High Falls.
Hymn For A Child
On January 7, 1996, my wife and I were blessed with the arrival of our first grandchild, Abigail Louise Swearingen. To commemorate this joyous occasion, I created my own setting of a famous work by Johannes Brahms and titled it A Child's Lullaby. On November 30, 1999, Hannah Dianne Swearingen joined her sister and, once again, we were extremely pleased to have the opportunity to welcome a new grandchild to our growing family. Jesus Loves Me is a popular hymn for children that I would often sing when rocking the girls to sleep. This particular setting, written for Hannah, is titled Hymn for a Child and was premiered on November 12, 2000.
A message to Abby and Hannah from their grandfather:
"I have conducted your music all over the world and, as a result, have shared your picture with countless numbers of people. I hope you realize that, whether near or far, you're always on my mind and in my heart. I love you both very, very much."
Into The Joy of Spring
May 25, 2001, marked my third journey to the city of Ashikaga, located in the Tochigi prefecture of Japan. All of my visits have taken place in the spring and, as before, witnessing the azaleas in full bloom rekindled a spirit of great friendship which had been well established during those previous trips. It was during the concert on May 27 that Into the Joy of Spring, commissioned by The Ashikaga City Wind Orchestra, was respectfully dedicated to the 30th anniversary of this community band's existence and to its current director Mr. Toshiya Saitoh. It should be noted that, with over 1200 people in attendance, many in the audience described the concert as being spectacular and that the performance by the musicians, on this work in particular, was deemed truly inspiring. Without a doubt, a feeling of great joy was transcended, not only to an enthusiastic audience, but to the heart of a grateful conductor/composer as well.
In the Spring of 1981, Invicta was composed as a tribute to Mark S. Kelly, Director of Bands at Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio. Regarding the dedication, James Swearingen expressed the following; "Several times during my eighteen years of public school teaching, Professor Kelly provided me with educational guidance which helped to mold my career as a teacher. Needless to say, I owe many of my successes to this man's valuable advice."
This composition, which utilizes ABA form, is introduced by a bold maestoso fanfare in the key of Bb major. The main theme (allegro con moto) is then passed back and forth between several sections of the ensemble. Having modulated to the key of Ab, a beautiful middle section is masterfully developed before an eventual return to the key of Bb.
The recapitulation then allows the composer an opportunity to display his skill at inter-weaving previously introduced themes simultaneously. Invicta is another classic in the long list of Swearingen favorites.
Lest We Forget
He is my hero...he is my father. Bruce Swearingen, like many other American patriots, served his country with dignity, honor and without expectations of fanfare or glory. It should be noted that he was a soldier in The United States Army during World War II. In 1944, after the Allied Forces liberated France from the German occupation, my father's job was to go in and disarm bombs that had failed to detonate during previous air attacks. The eminent danger of this assignment was heightened when, after being specifically trained to work on German and Japanese armament, the bombs were, in reality, dropped by American and British pilots during the reclaiming of France. In those private moments when I thank him for his courage and valor, he simply says, "I was just doing my job."
Let us be forever mindful that while our great nation looks to the future, we should never forget the sacrifices and contributions of our heroes from the past.
Considered by many to be Swearingen's finest composition, Novena has enjoyed tremendous popularity among school directors and students performers throughout the world. Written and premiered in 1980, this work was commissioned by and dedicated to Rob Hennell and the Antwerp High School Concert Band, Antwerp, Ohio.
The word novena comes from the Roman Catholic Church and is a devotion consisting of prayers or services on nine consecutive days. The reflective adagio section, introduced by chimes, features piccolo, solo clarinet and solo alto saxophone over a sustained pedal point of concert Bb. A brief interlude in G major is introduced followed by a return to the main theme. The percussionists provide the link to the eagerly anticipated allegro section. Powerful brass, lyrical woodwinds and driving percussion give the second half of this composition the touch of musical excitement we have come to expect from this outstanding composer.
Ol' Glory March, an original composition from the pen of James Swearingen, was written and designed to assist younger musicians in learning how to play in the"traditional march style." Please make note of the following during your rehearsal time:
Maintaining a steady march tempo, particularly in the softer rendition
of the trio, is an absolute must.
A variety of dynamic levels is presented throughout this work. Therefore,
be sure to establish appropriate degrees of contrast.
· Work for a proper balance between melody and countermelody.
· The bass line should be played in a light and detached manner.
· Avoid playing the last note of the piece so short that the quality of the chord is not heard.
When Kings Go Forth
This piece is respectfully dedicated to the 2nd annual Winds and Percussion Camp held at Capital University located in Columbus, Ohio. Angela Davoll, James Dowdy, Nancy Youse and James Swearingen served as conductors for this week long event. It should be noted that the premiere performance of this work took place on June 22, 2001.
In days of olde, it was not uncommon for armies of soldies to invade and do battle with neighboring countries in hopes of expanding the boundries of power. The rulers of these various kingdoms played a significant role in uniting the people to protect the land that they felt had been historically and rightfuly established as their own. Today, the results of these confrontations and conquests are a reflection on how we view our modern maps of the world.