Now with our reading session and A.C. auditions over, we have a mere 5 rehearsals to prep for our season opening concert, “Mother Earth.” I’m excited about the tone and maturity of our band this year with the longevity of the members and having no break from the summer - but we do need to refine our symphonic “inside” sound a bit.

Sorry for the late notice, but let’s set it up like this tomorrow:

7:05 Amazing Grace

7:15 Greek Folk Song Suite

7:35 Mother Earth

7:55 Valdres

8:10 Arabesque

8:30 Mermaid

Mother Earth


It was wonderful to see you all last Tuesday and begin work on the Mother Earth concert cycle. I was impressed with your sight reading skills on some very tough music. The CLCB is a very talented and collegial group. I truly enjoy our time.

Thank you for your patience last week as we worked through the year beginning announcements. This coming Tuesday we have the opportunity to meet two associate conductor candidates that the committee is recommending. This is as exciting for us as it is for them. They will be rehearsing Variations on a Korean Folk Song from measures 78 (Larghetto) to 198 (Con Islancio). With the time remaining we will be reading the Maslanka piece, Mother Earth, and work Arabesque and Greek Folk Song Suite (mvts 1 & 3) as time allows.

See you then,




Congrats on an amazing show last night!!! What fun. Terrific performance on a terrific band stand, for a terrific audience in terrific weather. Perfect end to the season. Thank you for your work all summer and all season. #38 was a memorable one.

Thanks to everyone who helped with equipment transfer and setting up.

Recognition to those who played all 6 concerts.

Kudos to all of our soloists including those who covered solos in absence of others.

Congrats to our mighty tuba section for Tiptoe’ing so well.

Gratitude to our section leaders and board.

And thanks to you all for making this band so special.

Have a good ‘rest of your summer’ and I look forward to seeing you next season, in 10 days!


Never Enough


The finale to the Greatest Show tour is upon us at the beautiful Lake Harriet Band Shell. What a way to end the season. I am very impressed that your performances just kept getting better and better over the summer. It’s easy to stagnate when playing the same program 6 times. Thank you for your professionalism and musicianship.

Let’s really enjoy entertaining our wonderful audience next Thursday. It should be fun for all. I’d like to encourage soloists to keep standing. It makes a huge difference visually and musically - especially when we’ll be on a raised stage at Harriet. I can’t wait to hear you perform on a bandstand with good acoustics.

If for any reason this will be your last performance with the CLCB, please let me and/or your section leader know. We want to properly thank you for being part of the team.

Even though it’s never enough, I’m looking forward to what promises to be the Greatest Show of the summer!


From Now On


Thanks for your work during our mini-rehearsal last week before the concert. From now on we will keep the added clapping. It’s been a fun concert to do and it’s getting better every week. I’m looking forward to playing in our old stomping grounds a week from Tuesday at Bryan Square Park. Hopefully we will continue to be blessed with good weather. I’m also busy working on music for next season. Julie, Laura and I will meet soon to review and preview seasons. I’m excited.

Have a great week and see you soon.


It's the Greatest Show!


How good is this? Being able to take our Greatest Show on the road every two weeks and share music with appreciative crowds. It’s so fun performing with all of you. Thank you again for your great musicianship, camaraderie, and dedication to the team. As always, it’s an honor to be associated with each of you and the CLCB.

We’ve had great attendance this year. Thank you all for that. We haven’t had to use many subs. And thank you to those who come early to help set up and help percussion. It’s been a challenge for many to arrive tin time for the call with all of our different schedules, but I appreciate your time. I do have some things I’d like to work on before the Powderhorn concert:


this has been sounding great, no concerns, Last Tuesday was the best performance

E,W & F

Colleen, please stand for your solo

m 69 - change the accent on 3 to a sfz, exaggerate, make it a little shock


Some of the short ww runs are getting away from us, we’re doing the same thing, but not always at the same time



m 1 start from very soft and exaggerate the crescendo

m 125 & 126 we need to work this as an ensemble

TIPTOE - MARCH - all good


I am just loving this char, as are out audiences! My wife said her nieces were singing along and knew all the words. You’ve gotten a lot of great comments on it. I hope you are hearing some as well.

m 3 & 4 the first time - percussion do NOT playing anything during these 2 measures except for accented quarter notes on count 2 & 3 of measure 4


fun at the faster tempo

we will do this at each of our remaining gigs.

The organizer at the Minnetonka concert went out of his way to compliment you on your tone last Tuesday. He is a community band member as well. And for what it’s worth, my wife thinks you sound amazing, and she’s all of your concerts for going on 10 years now.

Thank you for taking time to center your rows. It looked so much better. We still struggle a bit on the arc of the rows. It’s hard for me to describe what I’m looking for I guess. For reference, the back row is getting it best. Generally, keep your rows ‘flatter’ not semi circular. Just a slight arc. It helps get the sound out, helps you and us look better, and makes much better use of the space available. The percussion section ended up off the stage in the grass last week. Thanks for your cooperation with this. Let me know if you have questions.

Now it’s time to take The Greatest Show to Powderhorn,


"Play 'Smoke on the Water!'"


Great work last week at Redeemer. It was easy to see how much the residents and friends enjoyed and appreciated your performance. And our program is coming along. I’d like to go over a couple things on Greatest Showman at our next warm up - then we should be good. I’m looking forward to making music with you in Minnetonka and beyond. Be sure to tell your fans. Have a great 4th!

I appreciate all of you,


Off and running (includes edits)


I hope your summer is off to a great start. Kudos on a good concert at Como. I was impressed with your performance especially since it was our first gig and that we haven’t played some of the pieces in a long time! Thank you to all who help set up and load in/out. The percussion was scrambling to be ready by the downbeat due to a time crunch. Any help you can give them, even if you are not on loading crew that night, will surely be appreciated. And remember everyone, please be on time, seated and ready to play by the call time. If you are coming late or going to be absent, your section leader needs to know. No surprises. Thanks

The Como crowd was certainly not as big as usual. People may not know that we are the old Calhoun Isles Band that they know and love. Keep getting the word out.



m. 1 et al - keep working to make the quarter notes as long as possible while still separated. Make ‘em sizzle as Dr Ben used to say.

m.1 louder on the SD rim shot

A - everyone focus to lock the temp in, we phased between A-B


It’s all about the groove

m 40 NO tempo change here

remember ALL these rock tunes are legato by nature

Keep it earthy, windy and oh so fiery!


Will try a bit faster

m 92-93 eliminate the hairpins, stay soft under trombone solo

m 103 be ready for anything tempo-wise!

we should be able to play this one really tight


m 18 trumpets, thanks for standing, be ready for it and try to stand in unison

m 48-51 soloists stand


This piece has almost entirely 2 measure phrases. work on the ebb and flow. cresc first meas dim 2nd always

m 177 Sam, please stand

m 223 bigger

m 231 have more fun, rock it!


percussion try to cover all the mallet parts

m 15 more on the accents, other notes softer

remember to repeat m 15-18 inclusive, 1st time soft, 2nd time big

remember to repeat m 88-91 inclusive

starting at 61, on LOST, never too soft - nothing below a mf no matter what the part says

m 143 dim to 147

m 154 no rit

m 158 add accent


Always play under the tubas

m 51-59 one on a part in accompaniment, very soft

Would LOVE to see sections or rows do some choreography during this (don’t start until m. 23)


not too slow

keep it clean and tight

bring out inner parts

double SD part with field drum if possible


start with 2 measures of incredible cresc from susp cymbals (as many as possible) and tam tam ending very big then choked. Also, percussion, add a huge accent on ct 3 of meas two from timp, BD (concert and set) and all toms (concert and set)

m 1 fff, glass into 2nd note


1st time thru:

meas 3&4 are tacet for all, even long tones - THIS IS NEW (count them - don’t play them)

on meas 4 I’d like everyone to stomp their feet, clap your hands or slap your knee (whatever) very loud on count 2&3, with BD and all toms also playing accented quarter notes on 2&3 as loud as possible (this is first time only)

2nd time thru:

as written, ww play the written dynamic, not softer as stated earlier

3rd time thru

as written but louder

4th time

only play meas 1&2 (NO PERCUSSION FOR THESE TWO MEASURES!) then skip to meas 5 (do not play or count m. 3&4 this time, they don’t exist)

m 25 change drum set part to 4 quarter note rim shots with bd

repeat m 44-47 inclusive, solo 2nd time

m 62 bring out tambourine thumb roll

m. 76 ALL subito soft, stay soft until cresc at 79

repeat m 86-98 inclusive, solo 2nd time

m 90 add quarter note concert bd accent on count 1 mf

m. 102 “majestic” percussion!

m 111-112 add rit

m 113 a tempo

m 113 “majestic” percussion!

m 122-123 percussion VERY big

repeat m 127-130 inclusive, solo 2nd time

m 138 -4, hard tongue stop release right on count 4, percussion add strong accent on ct 4

m. 145 bring out low tom

m 150 huge drum fill

m 150 on ‘+’ of 4 loud, accented with a hard tongue stop release

m. 152 ‘From Now On’ Party time! literally whoop it up, stomp your feet, clap your hands, have fun and the audience will have fun

m. 194 play as written, do not cut out parts as mentioned before

m 215 we need to work on this transition

m 215 flute, oboe, clar 1, tenor, trumpet 1, euph - bring out count 2, play it long with a cresc

m 215-216 big timp solo, very dramatic

m 219 all start the rit here

all stand after, be sure you have All Night Long ready on your stand


We will start this almost immediately after sitting down. No one wants to wait around for an encore. Be ready.

This almost sounds too clean, Loosen up, have fun, it’s party time and don’t forget to whoop it up at 45

All the changes we made on this for pops are good


exaggerate your dynamics

project your sound, esp in back row

soloists please stand, and remember I may recognize you after the piece

Let me know if you have questions! Our next gig (Tues 6/25) will be a great opportunity to clean the show up. I’m looking forward to it. See you then.

Summer Series


The summer concert series is upon us. I’m excited to see you all and perform for our fantastic audiences. Let’s have some fun.

A few thoughts as we begin:

Please be on time, ready to play at the call time. Come early to set up, warm up and tune. If you are ever going to be late or absent, be sure to inform your section leader.

If you have time for one more practice and or listening session, be sure all the tricky parts are ready.

When you set up, please center your row by counting the chairs and putting the middle chair right on the 50 yard line. Also, please set your row up in an arc as we have been doing lately in concerts, Not the old horseshoe set up where the people on the end are looking at each other instead of the audience.

Things to bring: water (hydrate throughout the day), sunscreen when needed, bug spray, sunglasses, band shirt, your polished horn, needed mutes/extra reeds, your fans, and something to hold your music down as even the slightest breeze will leave us scrambling. Ideas include a sheet of plexiglass, clothespins, clips, paper weight. Some members have been copying off their music then putting them in clear plastic sleeves then into a 3 ring binder. Great idea.

And to fully prepare you for an outdoor concert, please take 8 minutes to watch this classic. You will be entertained and fully prepared for anything:

The Greatest Show


I think we’re ready for the Greatest Show on Earth - taking this thing on the road! Thanks for all your preparation. Mitch will be with you this Tuesday to do a final run through of the program. There will be a lot of packing to do afterward. Thanks to all that have volunteered to help all year. I’m very proud of all the CLCB has accomplished this year. You impressed me again by putting the summer program together so quickly. I can’t wait to debut it at Como. It’s going to be fun.

I can’t go over the edits from last Tuesday here as I left my scores at Justice Page for Mitch. If you were not there Tuesday be sure to contact your section leader for updates. Thanks



Earth, Wind and Fire In Concert

Extra! Extra! Read All About it!

Pinball Wizard

Stairway to Heaven


Tiptoe Through the Tubas 

March of the Belgian Paratroopers

The Greatest Showman




First Day of Summer


Hope your are enjoying the unofficial first day of summer. What a glorious weekend.

Good work last week on Greatest Showman, Latina and Tiptoe thru the Tubas. We have a fun concert in store for our fans this summer.

We will complete the music turning in process this Tuesday. Be sure your folder makes it to rehearsal if it wasn’t there last week.


First and most importantly - listen to the original movie soundtrack version. That will help so much.

Starts with tam and cymbal roll 2 measure before m. 1

m. 1&2 are FFF,m. 3&3 are ppp.

Play measures 1-4 3 times, not 2, then play measure 1&2 once more, then jump to meas 5.

Perc eliminate downbeat note at m. 5

m. 5 etc is solo at mp

m. 7 etc is FF

m. 26 if you play, accent count 3 and up your dynamic 1 level starting here

Play m. 44-47 2 times, solo 2nd time only

Play m 86-89 2 times, solo 2nd time only

m. 11-112 add molto rit

m. 123 change to 4/4 meter

m. 138. cresc to a tongue stop release right on ct. 4

m. 219 add rit



Greatest showman




Stairway to Heaven


Earth Wind Fire

Extra Extra

Pinball Wizard

All Night


That was gnarly dude

Congrats on a wonderful concert last Tuesday. The CLCB sounded great again. As I told the audience, the band effortlessly went from from a Symphony Orchestra to a Rock Band in just 5 rehearsals. Very impressive. You all should be proud of your work and your band.

I LOVED the costumes. That really set the mood. I could not resist having you stand so the audience could see. Very creative.

With great fear and trepidation of leaving someone out, here is the Kudo’s list:

Sara bass clarinet for another professional and aesthetically pleasing program.

Laura and Kelly for emcee’ing. Fun and creative. You kept things moving.

All who came early to set up, and stayed late to tear down.

All who had solos, incidental and otherwise. And thanks for those that stood to play them. Too numerous to mention, especially with the jazz soloists.

The Lakes Jazz Band. That may have been our tightest and most entertaining set yet. I wish we could do it again!

Everyone who helped with advertising. We still haven’t found the secret to getting a full house. You deserve a much bigger crowd.

Mitch for your conducting and friendship over the past two years. You will be missed all.

Everyone for your work on Extra, Extra. What a memorable experience. Both of my brothers were moved to tears and want to hear it again. My family musicians were elated to play with you and thankful for your warm welcome.


I wish I could have been at the Afterglow. Sounds like a large number of the band went and had a great time. Our party of 20 took over a Bakers Square.



With the indoor concert season over, our Summer Series begins. We will have 2 rehearsals to prepare 3 new pieces and polish the others. Please make every effort to be at these important rehearsals and to be on time. Please check your calendar and let your section leader know if you will be gone for either rehearsal. Also, take time to look ahead to our summer dates and let SL’s know of any conflicts. It’s better to know now if we will be short in any sections. It’s important every member does this so there are no last minute changes and no surprises. You matter.

Here is the Summer Series program: - it will be a fun set. 



The Greatest Showman

March of the Belgian Paratroopers

Tiptoe Through the Tubas

Extra, Extra!

PART 2: Rock of Ages

Pinball Wizard

Earth Wind and Fire

Stairway to Heaven (only)


All Night will be the encore when needed

This Tuesday we will pass in: 

A Festival Prelude


Bohemian Rhapsody – all 3 versions!

Naughty music

Jazz music

I think that’s it, let me know if I missed anything.

If you cannot attend this Tuesday, please be sure your folder gets there for the turn in. Mitch needs to bring the music we borrowed from Shakopee back asap.




Tour closing show


Can’t believe the “Divine in ‘1-9’ Tour’” is coming to a close. The band has gotten tight the last few gigs, last show was straight up awesome. It was windy, man, real windy. The tour won’t end at one of our usual stadium concerts, we’re playing a Middle School auditorium in Minneapolis which will be cool cuz lotz of the band is from that area.

The equipment semi will unload around 4p on Tuesday. The set up crew will be there by 6 with a sound check at 6:30. Don’t be late, man. We will run Extra Extra first thing so our Extra special guest artists can play thru it. The hit is at 7, same order as last time. There will be M&M’s in the green room, but no brown ones as in the contract.

The site hired a couple light guys that really know their stuff so be ready for anything. You might want to bring a stand light - and your own stand while ur at it. We’re expecting this one to be sold out so park away - give our fans the sweet spots.

If ur still looking for threads you might want to check out a local thrift store. I’ve shared some ideas in earlier posts, here’s some more: black nail polish, black eye liner, vintage band tee, and scarves always bring the funk.

Laur and Kel will be on lead vocals. They have some great stuff ready. We’re going to have some fun. We’re going to slay it. There will probably be some instrument smashing after the set.

After the show we’re all meeting down at the club. Tell Mar-Mar how many groupies will be tagging. It will be a good time to wish the Tall Man the best as he tests the music scene on the West Coast.

Bring da noise, Bring the funk!


Time . . .

Despite the quick turn around, we are ready for a rockin’ Pops Concert. I don’t think any of us would have given up a rehearsal or two from the Divine Comedy to have more time to prep the pops concert. I am very proud of each of you for getting this next concert ready so fast. Thank you for your work. I really think it’s going to be fun and special. I’m anxious to share it with the large crowd we are inviting.

Keep practicing and listening to original recordings of our tunes. Take some time with ‘Extra, Extra’ to eliminate wrong notes. Consider it an ‘investment’ in the commission. Also, please add a fall on the last note of Led Zeppelin.

In lasst week’s post I gave some ideas for those still wondering what rock attire to wear at the Pops. Here are some additional ideas: jean jacket, hat, temporary tattoos. And a lot of it is about attitude. Have fun with it, let your inner rock star shine!

Here is the order for dress rehearsal this Tuesday and the Pops on the 14th:





(this is where the jazz band will go)





Rock is a legato art form

Team Cool,

It’s been fun working on the Rock of Ages concert with you. The concert is going to be a blast. Be sure your entire fan base knows about this event, let’s pack the place to SRO! “FREE ROCK CONCERT, DUDE!”

Have you decided what to wear yet? Have fun with it. We’re fully committed to dressing like rock stars. If you need ideas, here are some generic Rock Star looks to consider: black or blue jeans (can be ripped), black or white tee, jewelry, sweatbands, boots (tennies work), chains, leather, collar up, neck bandana, women: hair down, make up, men: facial hair. Look for images online and be creative. Maybe do something with section.

Let me know if you have anything we could use as props on stage at the concert.

Extra! Extra! is getting there. It’s taken some time but it’s starting to gel. With the tricky keys and chromaticism, just getting the right notes is the biggest issue remaining. Please take a minute to practice it and mark in reminder accidentals.

My brother Glenn is a newspaper person just like our folks, and he has sent press releases about our premier performance of Extra! Extra! to the Fargo Forum and the Tribune. We’re hoping they contact us for an interview. We’ll see.

All Night Long is a marching band arrangement we started to spice up last week:

Flutes, clarinets and altos feel free to create a 2nd part when your part by taking higher passages down an 8va.

Flutes at 6 play that trill slow, down an 8va and soft

Oboes play flute part down an 8va when possible.

Bass clar should be on the tenor sax or baritone TC part making ova adjustments.

2nd trombones should be on baritone TC part.

3rd trombones should be playing down 8va when possible.

Percussion we are only using set (using sd part as a guide), bells, marimba and tambourine from the written. Everyone else fill in with a variety of shakers, conga, agogo bell and cowbell.


no dim at 20-21

connect sound from 21 to 22. (play the downbeat of 21 as a half note instead of a quarter note) Do not play m. 22 short, rather long with accents.

All cresc at 34, 38 & 42.

43 is big!

Add cresc at 52

Connect 52 to 53 with sound as before

Again, don’t play the quarters in 53 short, play long with accents

add fermata at 69

ALL: use jazz articulation throughout.

Rock, like Jazz, is a LEGATO art form, Longer and connect, ‘dah’ instead of ‘tah.’

We have a lot of quick work to do on Tuesday, our last rehearsal before the dress rehearsal. Please be there on time:











We’re getting closer. Thanks for your work on Tuesday. Two rehearsals and the dress rehearsal remain. With that in mind I feel we need to make some changes.

Led Zeppelin arrangement is just too long. Please mark these cuts:

At meas 66 cut to 78

At meas. 106 cut to the pick up to 122 (if you have 3 8th note pick ups in mea 105, don’t play any of them, play the pick up to 122 instead)

At meas 161 cut to 173

For Bohemian Rhapsody, I think we agree that the Darrol Berry would be fun to play, but we don’t have time to work it up, or to do a mash-up with the Lowden. So we will be doing the Lowden arrangement, which is tons better than the John Berry. We will be turning in the John Berry arrangement this Tuesday. Please erase any and all marks you have made on it. We will keep the Darrol Berry for now, just in case we have time for some mash-up-ing for the summer.

(ps. Plan on turning in all of your March concert music this Tuesday, Except March of the Belgian, keep that)

I think we’re good on everything else. We need you at rehearsal on Tuesday and on time. Please separate from your cell phone (except for tuners) during rehearsal.

Please feel free to come into the band room and set up while the jazz band finishes up on their part of the rehearsal. Do not wait in the hall.

Rehearsal Plan for Tuesday:


All Night Long

Earth Wind and Fire





Pinball Wizard



Fun rehearsal last Tuesday everyone. I was so thrilled to share ‘Extra Extra’ with you. I was concerned how it would go .. and it was just fun! This is going to be an Extra Fun concert. It’s going to connect with our audience. Maybe this is the concert that will be Standing Room Only!

We only have 4 rehearsals left (that includes the dress rehearsal) before the May 14 concert. We can do it, but we truly need every member at rehearsals and on time.

Take some time to revisit original recordings of these rock charts.

We’re going to fully embrace the Rock of Ages theme and encourage everyone to come up with a Rock Star outfit to wear at the concert.

It’s been fun to hear some of your ideas for this concert already. Keep them coming.

We’ll see you Tuesday - maybe in this order (this is the music you should have)

Pinball Wizard


Led Zeppelin



Bohemian Rhapsody

Earth Wind and Fire

and possibly one more chart coming.

Bravi, Tutti!


Congratulations on a magnificent performance on Tuesday. I listened to the recording and feel it is probably the best the band has ever sounded. I am so impressed with your dedication and musicality. You played with a lot of heart. I was impressed with your professional presentation, plus you looked fantastic. We made some memories. It’s not normal for a community band to accomplish this much in just 8 rehearsals. Step back and look what you did. The Divine Comedy demands so much from a group and everyone worked together to make it happen. That says a lot for the CLCB. BRAVI, TUTTI!


 With fear and trepidation re: leaving someone out, here is a list of kudos for individual/section performance:

Libby flute. What a wonderful performance of the Sonata. You’re a pro, and I think it’s the best the accompaniment has done.

The Sonata Ensemble – thanks for learning and performing the extra piece. It was really a nice change of pace.

Mitch – for your conducting, leadership and what you bring to the CLCB (crystals et al). And good job on the tom!

Sara bass clarinet – for the beautiful program. The nicest we’ve had. Thank you for the extra time and expertise you gave us.


The Divine Comedy Soloists:

Ann flute

Emily flute

Megan oboe – our super sub

Dustin alto – a star is born (from audience member: “where you been hiding him?!)

Jason trumpet – literally sounding like the ascension

Kari trumpet

Ryan horn

Margie timpani


Outstanding sections:

Horns – you guys are scary good. Wow! This piece demanded a lot from you and you delivered.

Percussion – You rose to the occasion. Very tight, exciting, dynamic performance. And thank you for always coming early to set up, staying late to set up and tear down.


In addition to:

Leah and Kelli our moaners (others?) – that was exactly what I had in mind

Off Stage Brass

Heavenly Brass and triangle players

Guest percussionists – we literally could not have done this without you

Everyone who brought chains, triangles, crystals, etc…

Dennis – for the laser and fog machines

Everyone who helped set up and tear down and to Julie and Ann for staying to the bitter end.

The Board for all the extra things it took to make this concert a reality from renting timpani to lugging a bass drum and gong around town to recording the concert for us.

And thank you to everyone for all you did and your magnificent performance. For being willing to stand, sing, stomp, etc, in addition to performing with new lights. Truly remarkable.


We had a great and very appreciative audience, Not SRO yet but we’re getting there. You deserve it. After the concert an audience member said “your performance should have been heard by hundreds… thousands!”

I can’t wait to hear comments at our next rehearsal.


There are only 5 rehearsals for our pops concert. The title is Rock of Ages so we will be featuring some great rock music from different eras including Pinball Wizard, music of Led Zeppelin, Africa, music of Earth, Wind and Fire, Coldplay and much more. We will also be performing the new commissioned piece that honors my personal Rock of Ages and one of our biggest fans, my Mom. You have that piece in your folders already. It has a tricky key signature and some difficult woodwind parts. I look forward to sharing it with you.

Have a good spring break.


The P's of Success


Thank you for your good work last night. I am so proud of what you’ve accomplished as I hope you are too. The CLCB sounds amazing. I will be sad to let this music go after Tuesday.


Now is a good time to send a reminder to those you have invited to the concert. You truly deserve a full house on Tuesday, but to get there each of us has to ensure at least 5 attendees with several going beyond that. Work your contacts and social media. And remind them to come early to get a good parking spot and seat. I think if you tell them about our concert and that you’d really like them to attend, they will.


Thank you for coming early to set up last night. We even started early. It would be great to start early every Tuesday. Julie gave us the timeline for this Tuesday last night. Be sure to tell your section leader if you are running late. And try to leave the best parking spots for our fans.


Shine up your horn for the big show and for the pics that follow. And while you’re at it, be sure to take care of yourself too. Plenty of water, gatorade, rest, etc…


I know I still need to practice and listen to those recordings. Et tu?


Remember the concert black dress code. Consider wearing your best concert black, including a coat for the men if you have it. Choose slacks over jeans, etc… And please wear black shoes and socks. Just saying’.


We have had some outstanding March concerts with Carmina Burana, Ireland, Firebird, Planets et al. This one promises to be the best.


We’re using ‘copious’ program notes for this concert, but we’ve had to edit them due to program space. If you’d like to peruse the entire notes, here ya’ go:


A Festival Prelude

Alfred Reed

Written in 1956, this work was dedicated to and premiered by the Phillips University Band of Enid, Oklahoma, with the composer conducting, as part of the 25th anniversary of the Tri‐State Music Festival. Alfred Reed (1921-2005) said, “The work was conceived specifically in terms of its title as an opening kind of piece...the music was to establish a bright and brilliant mood throughout, with no other connotation in mind.” Two fanfare‐like motifs and a main theme occur throughout the composition using the brass and woodwinds separately and combined to impart tone color and majesty. In 1991, the composer commented, “A Festival Prelude was originally written for performance by a university group of players, and I do recall there having been some difficulties with some of the more demanding textures of the work at that time, 34 years ago. I also recall not offering the work for performance for nearly four years after its first performance, despite the willingness of the publisher. I was hesitant to publish on the ground that I did not feel there were a sufficient number of high school bands in the country who could cope with it as a whole.”

Sonata in A minor

Georg Phillipp Telemann (1681-1767)

Arranged by Alfred Reed


Les Plaisirs

Libby Brown, flute

Libby Brown graduated in 2016 from St. Olaf College, where she majored in biology with a concentration in biomolecular science and played in the St. Olaf Band. Currently, she works as a laboratory technician at American Preclinical Services. She has been playing with the City of Lakes Community Band for two years and is excited to share her performance of Telemann’s Suite in A Minor with you.


March of the Belgian Paratroopers

Pierre Leemans

Arranged by Charles Wiley

While Leemans (1987-1980) was serving in the Belgian army during World War I, on a request from his commander he began to write a march, which he did not finish. During World War II, when the Belgian parachute brigade was formed, he was having dinner with a group of paratroopers and was again asked to compose a march. During one single night Leemans composed this march on themes recalled from his earlier effort. The trio of the march originated from a march written for a N.I.R. radio contest. After only winning the consolation prize, the march was abandoned and is known with the competition designation ‘V.’ A quiet, unaggressive essay in the easy-paced European style, it is set in the form of a “patrol,” the music marches on from the distance, plays, and passes.



Gaspar Cassado

Credited to Girolamo Frescobaldi

Arranged by Earl Slocum

A toccata is a rhapsodic form of instrumental music. Originally written for the organ, it is essentially a solo piece which was improvised. The name “toccata” indicates that it was conceived as a “touch piece” characterized by rhapsodic sections with sustained chords, scale passages, and broken figuration. The present toccata consists of three sections with tempos of slow, fast, and slow. The rhapsodic beginning and closing sections enclose a quick middle section, featuring french horns, which is based on a development of a tuneful fanfare motif. The subject is treated antiphonally and is varied continually through the addition of new counter-subjects and accompaniments. The movement concludes with a short, fast coda. 

Girolamo Frescobaldi was originally credited as the composer of the Toccata. Musical scholars in the late 20th century began to question the existence of Romantic references within the Baroque setting of the piece. In 1982, it was discovered that Gaspar Cassadó (1897-1966), the son of Spanish composer Joaquin Cassadó and a student of Pablo Casals, had written the work in 1925 for cello and piano and had attributed it to Frescobaldi to promote the work. Attributing new works to established composers has occurred frequently in musical history. Gaspar Cassadó was an accomplished cellist. In addition to the Toccata, he wrote an oratorio, a cello concerto, a rhapsody, and several chamber works. 



Symphony No. I, The Divine Comedy (1995-1997)

Robert W. Smith

Commissioned by The James Madison University Band and The George Mason University Band


The Divine Comedy is a four movement work based on Dante Alighieri’s celebrated work, now known as The Divine Comedy. “La Commedia”, as Dante originally named it, is an imaginary journey through the three realms of the afterlife: inferno (hell), purgatorio (purgatory) and paradiso (heaven).

Dante wrote the comedy during his exile from Florence between 1302 and his death in 1321. The epic poem is termed a comedy because unlike tragedies that begin on a high note and end tragically, comedies begin badly but end well. The poem indeed ends well, with the protagonist, Dante himself, reaching his desired destination – heaven – a place of beauty and calm, light, and ultimate good. Conversely, the inferno is dark, morose and inhabited by irredeemable sinners.

Dante set the beginning of the story on Maundy Thursday, 1300, when he was 35 years old. He alludes to being “middle aged” in the opening lines of the poem:

Halfway through our life’s journey

I woke to find myself within a dark wood

because I had strayed from the correct path.

Oh how hard it is to describe

how harsh and tough that savage wood was

The very thought of it renews the fear!

Dante alludes to an apocalyptic dream of the biblical Book of Revelation:

Lost in a dark wood Dante is faced with three menacing beasts, a leopard, a lion, and a she-wolf - respectively symbolizing lust, pride and greed preventing his escape. As Dante despairs, a character based on the Roman poet Virgil appears, announcing that he has been sent to guide him through hell. Later, having confessed his sins, and with his beloved Beatrice as his guide, Dante is led into Paradise and attains a glimpse of the face of God granting his return to Earth.



Abandon all hope, ye who enter here!

So warns the inscription on the gates of the inferno, the first realm of Dante’s celebrated work. The movement follows the epic poem, using musical references to the events in select cantos of Inferno. Dante first enters Limbo where souls that died before Jesus wait, neither in heaven nor hell. Enormous crescendos, violent percussion, and towering blocks of sound quickly lead into Dante’s vision of The Wall of Dis (Gates of Hell). He soon passes through Hell’s seven realms.  The music depicts the sins of “violence” with its intense storms and fiery sands. The crimes of “ordinary fraud” follow the violent sinners. The composer used the sin of hypocrisy as visual imagery in the formation of this section. Dante describes the hypocrites as they file endlessly in a circle, clothed in coats of lead which represent the weight of the their hypocrisy on earth.  During this dirge the sinners step on the corpse of Caiaphas. The final section of the Inferno features the sins of “treacherous fraud.” Here malicious chaos and whip cracks are followed by howls of pain. As Dante enters this circle of Hell, he hears the dreadful blast of a bugle. “Not even Roland’s horn, which followed on the sad defeat when Charlemagne had lost his holy army, was as dread as this.”  Dante and Virgil are lowered into the last section of Hell by giants who are constantly pelted with bolts of lightning. As their journey nears the end, they are confronted with the sight of Dis (Lucifer) whose three mouths are eternally rending traitors Judas, Brutus and Cassius. Dante and Virgil climb down the flanks of Satan, exiting to the other hemisphere, leaving the fiery world of the Inferno behind.



Dante, having completed his journey through the Inferno, is brought by Virgil to the shores of the island mountain of Purgatory in the midst of the southern ocean. The mountain is comprised of seven terraces leading to the top in concentric circles, each representing one of the “seven deadly sins.” In each terrace sinners are given an appropriate penance, which is symbolically tied to their transgressions on earth. The sufferings are voluntarily accepted by the spirits in atonement for their sins. The composer has woven together musical elements depicting each of the sins of the seven terraces. The sin of the first terrace is “pride.” The souls plod slowly around the mountain, doubled over by huge rocks on their backs, which represent their level of sin. As the composition develops, the sounds of lamenting souls dragging the heavy loads can be heard against the mournful, haunting melodic line. The souls of Purgatory are often musical beings: they express their sensations in songs, hymns, and psalms. Purgatory is the realm of hope where the proud, envious, wrathful, slothful, prodigal (avaricious), gluttonous, and lustful may atone for their sins on earth. As Dante and Virgil continue up the mountain, they feel a violent earthquake at which all of the spirits proclaim “Gloria in excelsis Deo!” (Glory to God in the highest). Dante learns that the quaking signals the completion of one soul’s penance, for which all the other souls give thanks and pray it will be there turn next as they return to their endless march. The completion of the penance allows the soul to ascend to “Paradiso” (heaven), taking his or her rightful position in relation to God.



The Ascension begins with Dante gazing up to the stars from atop the Mountain of Purgatory. Having been instructed and purified in Purgatory, he is prepared for his journey to Paradise. In the distance he hears the most beautiful sound he’s ever heard, the “Music of the Spheres,” accompanied by beams of light. Beatrice, now his guide, lifts her eyes toward the sun. Following her example, Dante looks to the sun and is at that moment transformed (“trans-human-ized”) in preparation for his great adventure. A swift horn call starts the ascension, a flight faster than the speed of thought accompanied by sounds of wondrous beauty and intensity. He ascends to the Sphere of Fire before arriving at Heaven’s Gate.



In “Paradiso,” the composer was faced with the same basic problem that confronted Dante in his literary masterpiece. What description of heaven will have a universal appeal? The sensory experiences on which Dante built his heaven were sights and sounds. The sights consisted of brilliant lights with varied colors, symbolic formations, and combined with their hypnotic movements. The sounds were those of the imagination, conjured by the reader’s own past experience with unheard melodies “sweeter than those heard on earth.” It was Dante’s hope that scenes presented to our imagination through the language of poetry may surpass the remembered scenes of our own experiences.

In “Paradiso,” Dante awakes lost in a black void but is soon enamored with the sight of light growing brighter and more intense with each sphere of his journey. The composer has called upon the mallet percussion and triangles to represent those beans of light. Beginning with a single tone (beam), the intensity grows with each entrance until we are surrounded by lights of multiple colors and complexities. As the light engulfs the listener, we are presented with the sounds of joy, peace, love, and hope… growing even brighter as the journey through the spheres progress. 

As the listener arrives at the Empyrean (the region of pure light), the “Music of the Spheres” is restated in brilliant fashion by the brass. The light continues to intensify as woodwind colors swirl around the brass figures. The sights and sounds grow even brighter as Dante sees a river of light which is transformed into a great rose at whose center is the wonderful source of the lights. Upon the petals are seated the saints, clad in the whitest of robes. Angels fly up from the heart of the rose to the petals, their faces of living flame, their wings of gold, their bodies white as the purest snow. Dante looks to the highest tier, where Mary sits enthroned, surrounded by a thousand angels. She is surrounded by heroines of the Old Testament: Eve, Rachel, Sarah, Rebecca, Judith, and Ruth. On Mary’s opposite side are the male figures of the Christian era: John the Baptist, St. Francis, St. Benedict and St. Augustine as well as Adam, Peter, Moses, and the apostle John. The lower tiers of the rose are filled with thousands of infants, purified in their glorious innocence. With a gracious smile form the Virgin Mary, Dante is permitted the Beatific Vision. He lifts his eyes toward the heart of the rose. Within one blinding light, he recognizes three separate lights in the form of interlocking circles (a symbol of the Trinity). Within one circle he perceives the dim image of a human face, a glimpse of the face of God, a reminder that God, through Christ, lived - and still lives - as man on earth.

Robert W. Smith (b. 1958) is a Professor of Music and Coordinator of the Music Industry Program in Troy University’s John M. Long School of Music. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he is one of the most popular composers in the world today with over 700 published works. The majority of his work was published through his long association with Warner Bros. Publications. Mr. Smith is the President/CEO of RWS Music Company, exclusively distributed through C. L. Barnhouse.

He studied at Troy University and earned a masters degree at the University of Miami where he studied composition with Alfred Reed.

Mr. Smith’s works for band and orchestra have been programmed by countless professional, university, and school ensembles throughout the North America, Europe, Australia, South America and Asia. His music has received extensive airplay on network television as well as inclusion in multiple motion pictures and television productions. His “Into The Storm” was featured on the 2009 CBS Emmy Awards telecast for the HBO’s mini-series documenting the life of Winston Churchill.

Mr. Smith’s teaching responsibilities at Troy University are focused in media composition, audio and live event production, publishing and entrepreneurship.

now is the time

Divine Team,

Great job on Tuesday everyone, After a slow start we got a lot accomplished. I appreciate your attention and patience.

If there was ever a time to invite your friends to a concert, now is the time, Get the word out. Let’s share this with a packed hall. SRO!

This Tuesday is dress rehearsal. It will be on stage. Thank you for coming early to set up - and if all goes well we’ll start early too as there is a lot to do before 8:30 when we have to tear down.

Here’s the order for the Dress and for the Concert:

Festival Prelude

Flute Solo



Divine Comedy

Remember when we are standing for the DC.

Two measures before vocal entrances.

In Mvt 1 Dustin stand in pit to start concert. Kari stand front stage right

Mvt 2Ryan, Flute soloists and Dustin (3 times!) stand for your solos,

In mvt 3 Jason stand front stage left.

I am a bit nervous about the crystals for DC. I need four volunteers to tune and play these. Let me know if you are interested asap.

Here is the youtube video with Smith conducting the Oklahoma All State Band. His descriptions of his music are quite interesting:

Thank you to everyone for making this concert cycle a success, especially with all our challenges. Kudos to all.