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Mhairi Carson
Dec 4, 2021

Programming notes written MUMS programmers Maren and Sophie.


Tom Davoren, Return to the White City (5’)

Return to the White City is a piece Tom Davoren wrote to commemorate the 2012 London Olympic Games. The piece is named after the stadium built for marathon running in London’s first Olympic Games in 1908. Davoren aims to show the different physical phases of endurance running throughout this piece. The Olympics are an event that bring many different people and nations together, they are a time of great human innovation. We hope you feel like you are at a race when listening to the fast moving notes in the winds and the loud chords throughout the ensemble.

-Maren Kuzmak

Gustave Holst, First Suite in E flat (11’)

Gustave Holst’s First Suite for Band in E flat is a standard piece of wind orchestra repertoire. When Holst wrote this piece in 1909, he wrote for an ensemble that still defines the instrumentation bands use today. When listening to this piece, keep a look out for the main ostinato- a repeated melody- that moves through the first movement. See if you can hear how it changes when it is passed around different instruments. This classical piece of music has helped the entire past century of wind band repertoire develop. Please enjoy its three contrasting movements: I) Chaconne II) Intermezzo III) March

-Maren Kuzmak


Ralph Vaughan Williams, movements from Charterhouse Suite (10’)

Before studying at the Royal College of Music in 1890, Vaughan Williams was a student viola player and organist at Charterhouse School in Surrey.  30 years after leaving Charterhouse, Ralph composer a collection entitled Suite of Six Short Pieces for Piano which was later arranged the set for string orchestra, after which the work was given the title of Charterhouse Suite and published in 1923.  The string arrangement was much more successful and is a much better demonstration of Vaughn WIlliams’ skill as a composer. We hope you enjoy these 4 movements selected from the suite: I) Prelude III) Quick Dance IV) Slow Air V) Rondo.

-Sophie Miller 

Jean Sibelius, Op. 42 Romance in C major for string orchestra

Sibelius’ Romance in C major was first performed, under the name Andante, in Turku on 26th March 1904. He was convinced to change the name to ‘Romance’ by a critic, as he was still very much composing in a Romantic style.  This piece is a fine example of Sibelius’ romantic sound and we hope you enjoy our performance 

- Sophie Miller 


William German, The President (4’)

The President is one of the most popular brass band marches, however, little is known about the piece or its composer William German. Many suspect it was actually written by the more well-known William Rimmer. Listen for the contrasting sections of this march, the impressive piano sections make the forte even more exciting. We hope you enjoy this standard piece of brass band repertoire.

-Maren Kuzmak

Leonard Bernstein, Times Square arr. Ben Attfield (5’)

This piece was composed by Leonard Bernstein in 1945 for the show On the Town. Originally for a full symphonic orchestra, University of Manchester’s own, Ben Attfield, has arranged the piece for brass band. The dance ‘Times Square’ is the third of the trio of dances Bernstein composed. In his own words, it is a more “panoramic sequence in which [the three sailors] congregate in Times Square for their night of fun”. We hope this piece and its American blues rhythms transports you to the city that never sleeps for your own night out in Manhattan’s center. 

-Maren Kuzmak

Thomas Gansch, Blue (4’)

Originally written by Thomas Gansch for the world-famous Austrian brass septet 'Mnozil Brass', this arrangement for septet accompanied by brass band was created by John Doyle in 2014. Enjoy the beautiful sweeping solo line floating on top of an accompanying band. This piece brings the popular blues style that’s sure to make you want to get up and dance. Enjoy Thomas Gansch’s arrangement of Blue.

-Maren Kuzmak

Gordon Colman, Londonderry Air (4’)

This piece by Gordon Colman carries a traditional Irish tune which has been arranged many times for brass bands. This beautiful arrangement makes us feel like we’re walking through the Irish countryside. See if you can pick out the traditional ballad, Danny Boy, written by Frederic Weatherly in 1913, and enjoy.

-Maren Kuzmak

Mhairi Carson

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