American music takes center stage in a concert by The Nebraska Wind Symphony. And two compositions are shiny new, both published just two years ago. They are “Red Covered Bridge” by Robert Sheldon and Marvis Rorie, Jr.’s “Yellow, The Color of Joy.” You may not have heard of those composers, but George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” should ring your chimes. Plus something by famed Leroy Anderson adds to the rainbow, his shaping and shading of Ireland’s “Wearin’ of the Green.”
It becomes clear why this event is called “Color of Music,” does it not?
Two soloists take part. They are pianist Paul Barnes of the UNL Music Faculty and Evan Hoylman, 2016 recipient of the Nebraska Wind Symphony Scholarship, playing flute.
Sheldon’s piece was inspired by a covered bridge in Illinois. He hopes it suggests simplicity of past lives in the countryside near the bridge, with echoes of reflection and children’s joy. Sheldon taught music in public schools in that same state. http://robertsheldonmusic.com/about-robert/
Rorie’s work, as if a companion composition, certainly intends to evoke joy. Look at his title. He envisioned a beach as well as other “serene outdoor settings…and rambunctious children at play,” adding, “the color yellow is usually associated with brightness and happiness.” Rorie is a high school band director in North Carolina.http://courier-tribune.com/sections/news/community/emhs-band-director-has-music-publis
Leroy Anderson needs no introduction. You’ve heard what he’s written numerous times, especially “Sleigh Ride,” which resounds during winter holidays. Almost as ubiquitous: “The Typewriter” requiring that fabled office device to be tapped repeatedly. “The Syncopated Clock” and “Fiddle Faddle” are some other big hits from the ‘40s when he re-worked traditional tunes for his “Irish Suite,” from which this excerpt comes.
Mr. Barnes, of course, is soloist in Gershwin’s delight. Mr. Hoylman is heard in the only work from outside the U.S., one with a title of a different shade, Cécile Chaminade’s Flute Concertino, her most popular work, written in 1902, eleven years before she was awarded the Légion d’Honneur, the first woman composer to receive it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C%C3%A9cile_Chaminade
Music Director Larry MacTaggart and Associate Conductor Keith Michael Davis lead the volunteer community group.
Anywhere you turn, it’s a kaleidoscope.
This performance by The Nebraska Wind Symphony is April 17 at Omaha Conservatory of Music, 7023 Cass St. Sunday. 3 p.m. Tickets: $5-$10. www.nebraskawindsymphony.com