Tuesday 28 November 2017

Christmas Concert 2017 - Full Programme

Programme Overview

The Cowboys
Children's March - Over the Hills and Far Away
Tubby the Tuba
Indiana Jones Selection


Let the Bells Ring
Ding-Dong Merrily on High
Minor Alterations 2 : Carols from the Dark Side
I Am The Doctor
The First Noel
The Christmas Song
A Christmas Overture

Saturday 2nd December 2017
Abington Avenue United Reformed Church
Conducted by Graham Tear

Northampton Concert Band  

The Cowboys - John Williams
arr. Jim Curnow
John Williams is probably best known for his music for the Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Harry Potter franchises. While his film composing career started in the late 1950’s the music from the opening titles of The Cowboys (1972), starring John Wayne, shows the then 40 year old Williams already at the top of this game. The music paints a picture of Stetson wearing cowboys, riding spirited horses, rounding up and driving cattle over a vast dry plain.

Children’s March : Over the Hills and Far Away - Percy Grainger
arr. Frank Erickson George
Percy Aldridge Grainger (8 July 1882 – 20 February 1961) was an Australian-born composer, arranger and pianist. In the course of a long and innovative career, he played a prominent role in the revival of interest in British folk music in the early years of the 20th century. He also made many adaptations of other composers' works. Although much of his work was experimental and unusual, the piece with which he is most generally associated is his piano arrangement of the folk-dance tune "Country Gardens".

Tubby the Tuba - Paul Tripp and George Kleinsinger
arr.George F Roach
Soloist: Robert Chadwick
Narrated by Mark Woodham
Made famous by the 1975 animated feature, and also recorded by Danny Kaye, the inspiration for Tubby the Tuba came following the attack on Pearl Harbour. Tripp and Kleinsinger had been performing with a band and after the first piece the tuba player quipped, "You know, tubas can sing, too." With this in mind, Tripp wrote the tale of a tuba who found a melody to play, and the pair then made a song out of it.

Indiana Jones Selection - John Williams
arr. H. van der Heide
We return to John Williams to close our first half of tonight’s concert. This selection features many of Williams’ most memorable themes from the first three Indiana Jones films.

Raiders March | Slave Children’s Crusade | Short Round’s Theme | Love Theme | The Keeper of the Grail | Raiders March reprise


Let the Bells Ring - Robert Buckley
Based on the familiar Ukrainian Bell Carol, Robert Buckley has taken a rhapsodic approach mixing original ideas along with this well-known melody. Originally composed by Mykola Dmytrovich Leontovych, the Ukrainian Bell Carol is part of a large choral work entitled Shchedryk. It was first performed by students of Kiev University in December 1916. The tune is an adaptation of an old ‘shchedrivka’, a song traditionally sung on Ukrainian New Year’s Eve.

Audience Carol 
Ding-dong Merrily on High

Troika - Sergei Prokofiev
arr. Harold C Walters
Prokofiev's Troika is a movement from the orchestral suite; 'Lieutenant Kije'. It was originally composed for the 1934 Russian film of the same name. A Troika is a horse-drawn sledge and the music accompanied a sequence in the film where a ride is taken following a fictional wedding. Invoking the imagery of a short, fast, ride through the snow the piece has become a popular seasonal favourite. Interestingly, this music does not feature any sleigh bells, though a similar effect is created by the percussion accompaniment.

Minor Alterations 2 : Carols from the Dark Side - David Lovrien
Here's a game of holiday music hide-and-seek! Minor Alterations 2: Carols from the Dark Side is a medley of favourite Christmas tunes, transposed from major to minor keys then disguised, layered and morphed even more. From the ominous ‘I Saw Three Ships’ to ‘Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer’. How many do you recognise?

I Am The Doctor - Murry Gold
arr. Robert Buckley
This theme from the long running BBC drama series Doctor Who was introduced during Matt Smith’s tenure as the 11th Doctor. It is usually heard when the Doctor is being heroic or solving a complex problem and has featured heavily during trailers for the program.

Audience Carol 
The First Noel

The Christmas Song  - Mel Tormé & Robert Wells
arr. Jerry Nowak
According to Tormé, the song was written during a blistering hot summer in 1945. In an effort to "stay cool by thinking cool". I saw a spiral pad on Wells' piano with four lines written in pencil", Tormé recalled. "They started, 'Chestnuts roasting..., Jack Frost nipping..., Yuletide carols..., Folks dressed up like Eskimos.' Bob didn't think he was writing a song lyric. He said he thought if he could immerse himself in winter he could cool off. Forty minutes later that song was written. I wrote all the music and some of the lyrics."

A Christmas Overture - Nigel Hess
This vivacious and colourful Christmas Overture, originally commissioned as an orchestral work by John Rutter for his 2007 Christmas Festival, proved an instant success with audience and orchestra alike. Traditional carols, skilfully juxtaposed and interwoven, provide the thematic material.