The RCO concludes its 2022-23 season
with a concert at Glen Miller Park
on Monday, June 12, at 7:30 p.m.
Bring a chair, bring the kids, bring the dog and join us for an evening of popular music and light classics! Enjoy a Sousa march, swing era favorites, a good mix of James Bond, a dose of Americana, and more. Find the program list and notes by RCO music director Jay Conard below.
Caravan by Juan Tizol (1900 -1984) and Duke Ellington (1899-1974)
First performed by Duke Ellington in 1937, this is one of the great standards of jazz literature. Tizol was a trombonist, which explains the solo use of that instrument in many arrangements of this work. This is considered the first number to evoke exotic harmonies and melodies in a popular work.
El Capitan March by John Philip Sousa (1854–1932)
While primarily known for his military marches, Sousa aspired to write “serious” music–in particular, operettas. His most successful theatre work was the operetta El Capitan, first produced in 1896. One famous fan of the work was Admiral George Dewey, famous for his victory at Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War. As he sailed into Manila Bay, he had the ship’s band play the “El Capitan” march to prepare his men for battle. In a victory parade after the war, Sousa himself led this rousing march.
James Bond Medley Arr. by Victor Lopez
Ian Fleming’s character of James Bond was created in 1953 and appeared in 12 of his novels. Since Fleming’s death in 1964, seven other authors have continued Bond’s adventures. Bond on film began in 1962, and there have been 23 movie versions to date, making the Bond series the longest continuing film series based on the same character. This medley contains “The James Bond Theme” and–from movies of the same names–“For Your Eyes Only,” “Goldfinger,” “Live and Let Die,” and Nobody Does it Better.”
Begin the Beguine by Cole Porter (1891-1964); arr. by Artie Shaw (1910-2004) and transcribed by Jay Conard
Cole Porter wrote this song while on a cruise in the South Pacific aboard a Cunard ocean liner (yes, Cunard is a relative of mine) in 1935. The tune was a great hit, and many big bands of the era played it, including that of bandleader and clarinetist Artie Shaw. The rhythms Shaw used are very unique and give it a jazzier sound than the exotic version Porter envisioned. Shaw first recorded the piece in July 1938 for RCO Victor as the B side of his first record. The Miller boys, Don and Bryan, will play the solo clarinet line.
Procession of the Sardar by Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov (1859-1935)
Caucasian Sketches, Suite No. 1, Op. 10 (1894) consists of four “songs” or parts. The most famous is the final piece, “Procession of the Sardar, “an historical title for a feudal lord, military commander, leader, or dignitary in that region of central Asia.
Overture to Zampa by L. J. Ferdinand Herold (1791-1833)
Herold was born in Paris and wrote this opera in 1831, just two years before his death at age 42. The opera is about a young man who spends the family’s fortune, trifles with a young lady’s affection, then runs off and becomes a pirate. The plot is the usual mix of twist and coincidences with long-lost brothers and even a statue that comes to life and drags Zampa to the infernal regions.
First performed by the RCO in October 2013.
A Tribute to Henry Mancini Arr. by Calvin Custer (1939-1998)
Henry Mancini (1924-1994) was busy in both the film world and television. He won 4 Oscars and 20 Grammys during his life, and his film music is some of the most tuneful ever written. This medley contains many famous tunes: “Baby Elephant Walk,” “Charade” from the movie of the same name, the “Pink Panther Theme,” “Days of Wine and Roses,” and the theme to Peter Gunn.
Dance of the Tumblers from The Snow Maiden by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908); arr. by Sandra Dackow
Before devoting his time to music, Rimsky-Korsakov was an officer in the Imperial Russian Navy. He actually sailed to the U.S. in 1862 during the Civil War, visiting NYC, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. Among his several operas is The Snow Maiden, premiering in 1882. Act III has this energetic dance that depicts the skomorokhi street performers of Russia.
The American Frontier Arr. by Calvin Custer (1939-1998)
This medley of American tunes includes “The Girl I Left behind Me,” an old Irish tune used by the British and U.S. military, still played at West Point during final formations at graduation; “Chester,” a New England hymn tune by William Billings written around the time of the Revolutionary War; “Oh! Susanna” by Stephen Foster; “Shenandoah,” a tune used on sailing ships; and a stirring version of “America, the Beautiful.”