Sunday, March 31, 2019
Sergei Rachmaninoff began sketches for a ballet based on a Scythian theme while he was in Russia, before moving to the United States during WWI. Though this piece was never completed, his Symphonic Dances repurposed much of that original material and was discussed as a ballet with Michael Fokine before the American choreographer’s untimely death. Rachmaninoff’s use of the saxophone in the orchestra modeled American composer Robert Russell Bennett’s, who was famous for his orchestrations of Broadway musicals of the mid-century and whose Suite of Old American Dances conjures the familiar dance hall tunes of his youth in the Midwest in the early 1900s. Aaron Copland’s Old American Songs recalls a similar era and inspiration. Gazebo Dances was inspired by the many small band stands seen throughout the country, particularly in small towns, where public concerts by town bands can often be heard in the summers. The work was originally performed by the University of Evansville Wind Ensemble in Indiana, of which Capt. Sherlock is an alum. This concert will also feature our annual Concerto Competition winner euphonium player Peyton Sills, a promising high school musician making his debut appearance with the U.S. Marine Band.