Friday, July 3, 2015

February 14, 2016

JPL Program Calendar

Cliff Newton, trumpet & Friends

With Dr. Bill Prince, Bob Gauger, Bonita Wyke, Dennis Hunsicker, Glynda Newton and Pat Brown
  • Paul Hindemith: Sonata for Trumpet & Piano. I. Mit Kraft ("With Strength)
  • Mikhail Bronner: “And tomorrow will be better than yesterday..." [on YouTube]
  • Howard J. Buss: Evening Shadows (from Contrasts in Blue)
  • Alan Hovhaness: Haroutiun ("Resurrection"), op. 71
  • Dmitri Shostakovich: Romance (from The Gadfly)
  • Darius Milhaud: Saudades do Brazil, op. 67    
    1.  Overture 
    2.  Sorocaba 
    3.  Leme 
    4.  Copacabana 
    5.  Sumare 
    6.  Corcovado
  • Louis Armstrong: Someday (You’ll Be Sorry)
  • Astor Piazzolla: Buenos Aires Hora Cero ("Buenos Aires at Midnight")

Although Cliff Newton retired from the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra after 32 years as Principal Trumpet, in addition to teaching he maintains a busy and varied performance schedule that out-paces what most college freshmen could handle. Formerly a member of the NORAD Band in Colorado Springs, Colorado, he currently is Acting Principal Trumpet for the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra and performs as soloist with the Belle Fleur String Quartet and the Palm Court Society Orchestra. He also is co-founder and an active member and of the Ancient City Brass Band, as well as of The One Step Ahead of the Law Brass Band (Edelweiss Piraten), a polka/oompah ensemble. A native of Central Florida, Cliff began studying trumpet at age 12 and received Bachelor degrees in Music Performance and Music Education from the University of South Florida. He later earned a Master's degree in Trumpet Performance with an emphasis on college-level teaching from the University of Northern Colorado. Mr. Newton has been an instructor of trumpet at the Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, Canada, as well as at Jacksonville University and the University of North Florida, and currently teaches through the North Florida Conservatory. An aficionado of early jazz, Argentine tango and American Civil War era brass band music in addition to classical,  Cliff and his wife, J-Sym violinist Glynda Newton, have provided live music for both private and public functions since 1978 through their company, Newton Musical.

Dr. Bill Prince, professor emeritus from the University of North Florida, has been able to maintain two career paths, one as a performer and the other as a teacher. As a performer he has recorded on over 70 albums and has worked with a wide range of luminaries from the big bands of Buddy Rich, Harry James and Les Brown, vocalists Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald and Rosemary Clooney, jazz legends Dave Brubeck and Billy Taylor to the orchestral sounds of Henry Mancini, the American Wind Symphony Orchestra and the Warsaw National Philharmonic. On the teaching side Bill has taught at five universities in three countries and has guest lectured on over 70 campuses. Music has taken Bill to all 50 states and to 81 countries.

Bob Gauger started playing trombone when he was ten years old, and has since performed in numerous professional orchestras and bands. He is a founding member of the Ancient City Brass, and when not performing is the chaplain at Baptist South Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida.

Bonita Sonsini Wyke has been an active part of the Jacksonville music community since 1985, and in working with many of the First Coast's leading vocalists, instrumentalists and musical ensembles has earned the reputation as a musician of unsurpassed sensitivity, technical skill and artistry. Originally from Los Angeles, California, she has performed for over four decades as a collaborative pianist and harpsichordist with singers, choral groups, instrumental soloists, and orchestral and instrumental ensembles, and especially enjoys four-hand piano literature. She has been the music director for a wide variety of stage productions, including opera, musical theater and ballet. In addition to coaching seasoned performers, Ms. Sonsini Wyke has helped student musicians hone their craft at a number of area universities and music schools. While maintaining a busy recital schedule, Bonita also currently serves as Staff Choral Accompanist at Florida State College at Jacksonville.

Dennis Hunsicker began his musical career studying concert accordion at the Neupauer Conservatory of Music in Philadelphia. During this time he was a member of the PAO Orchestra in Philadelphia as well as a featured performer with the Allentown and Lancaster symphonies. After graduation he joined the US Navy CINCLANT (NATO) band where he toured the Eastern US, Spain, Italy, Greece and France. Dennis continues his eclectic musical interests and performs with a wide variety of musical groups including the River City Continentals, the renaissance band La Dolce Vita, the Palm Court Society Orchestra, One Step Ahead of the Law Brass Band and Bella Voce Cabaret. He also teaches, and has performed several seasons with the Amelia Island Music Festival, the “Georgia Artists in the Schools" program, and the Madison Georgia Chamber Music Festival.

It seems only natural that Glynda Newton took up the violin, as she explains: “My mother and grandmother were violinists. Grandmother Glynda, my namesake, was a soloist with radio orchestras & social orchestras in the 20’s and 30’s from New York to Miami.” Glynda has been a member of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra since 1978, the same year she co-founded Newton Musical with her husband, Cliff. She also performs with the Palm Court Society Orchestra, which she and Cliff founded in 2000, as well as with the Belle Fleur String Quartet.

Percussionist Thomas P. "Pat" Brown is an Instructor at Edward Waters College, and previously has taught at Mississippi Valley State University, Prairie View A&M University, Bethune-Cookman University, Paul Quinn College and Florida State College-Jacksonville. In addition to directing middle and high school bands in Florida and Illinois, Mr. Brown was a member of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, the Daytona Beach Seaside Theatre, Daytona Beach Children’s Music Theatre and the Clay County Community Band, and has been a guest performer with the Jacksonville University Orchestra.

PROGRAM NOTES (under construction)

Along with Stravinsky, Bartók and Schoenberg, German composer, violist, teacher, and music theorist Paul Hindemith (1895-1963) is often cited by musicologists as a central figure in music of the first half of the 20th Century. Although some of his first works approached the expressionistic atonality of early Schoenberg, Hindemith’s mature style, while still highly chromatic, is decidedly tonal, and builds on the Teutonic musical heritage that runs from the Bach family through Haydn, Beethoven, Schumann, Brahms and Reger. Mit Kraft ("With Strength) is the first movement of Sonata in B-flat for Trumpet and Piano, Hindemith's favorite among several duo sonatas he composed in 1939, which he referred to as "maybe the best thing I have succeeded in doing in recent times."

In 2002, the Russian journal Музыкальное Обозрение ("Musical Review") named Mikhail Bronner (b. 1952) it's composer of the year, by which time Bronner had already served as Secretary of the Russian Union of Composers for two years. His impressive catalog includes over 200 works ranging from intimate songs and chamber music to large-scale choral and orchestral works, with six operas and three ballets in the mix. Bronner's preference for theatrical works colors much of his concert music, reflected in the changing moods of And tomorrow will be better than yesterday... . The popular trio for trumpet, alto saxophone and piano dates from 2003, and is sometimes performed with chamber orchestra accompaniment.

A native of Pennsylvania and longtime resident of Lakeland, Florida, Howard J. Buss (b.1951) has over 160 published compositions. Works by the multi-award-winning composer have been performed in over four dozen countries, and include instrumental solos and chamber music, as well as symphonic, choral and band works. Composed in 2001, Evening Shadows is the first of two movements for trumpet, trombone and piano comprising Contrasts in Blue, and demonstrates an affinity with the evocative music of French Impressionism colored by the soulful longing of American blues.

Among his over 500 works, American composer Alan Hovhaness (1911-2000) is best known for the early pieces that reflect his Armenian heritage, but his evolving, highly original style eventually incorporated influences from a wide variety of ethnic music from around the world, especially from India and the Far East. He was among the first composers to include aleatoric or “chance” passages in some of his works, and he has been credited with anticipating both the minimalist techniques of composers such as Philip Glass and Steve Reich, and the mysticism of John Tavener, Arvo Pärt, and Henryk Gorécki. Composed in 1948, Haroutiun ("Resurrection," op. 71) is an aria and fugue originally for trumpet and string orchestra.

Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) is one of few composers of the former Soviet Union to sustain a large following in the West, and he remains among the most frequently performed and recorded of 20th-Century composers.  But during his lifetime his music was periodically banned by Stalinist authorities for being intellectually elite, while also denigrated by the West’s musical avant-garde, ironically for not being cerebral enough. Shostakovich wrote music for more than 30 films, including The Gadfly (1955). The movie details the exploits of a 19th-century Russian swashbuckler living in Italy, so to reinforce the period setting Shostakovich abandoned his "modern" style in favor of mimicking Romantic composers. Originally for violin and orchestra, the ever-popular Romance is described as "unashamedly inspired by French composer Jules Massenet’s soulful Méditation from the opera Thaïs."

On the heels of a brief stint with the French embassy in Brazil from 1917-1919, Darius Milhaud (1892-1974) rose to fame as one of Les Six young Parisian composers grouped together ostensibly against the "excesses" of French Impressionism and late German Romanticism, even though, as Milhaud himself observed, their "temperaments and personalities weren't at all the same." Roughly translated as "Longing for Brazil," Saudades do Brasil, Op. 67 was composed in 1920, shortly after Milhaud's return to France. His original version includes twelve tangos and sambas for solo piano bearing the names of various neighborhoods around Rio de Janeiro. It remains one of his most popular works and provides an early example of polytonality, in which multiple keys are sounded simultaneously. Milhaud added the brief Overture when he transcribed the suite for orchestra.

With a career spanning more than five decades, the charismatic Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong (1901-1971) is a central figure in the history of American music. Rising above the poverty of his early childhood in the streets of the New Orleans "Storyville" district, a 13-year-old Armstrong already was a band leader and had begun to attract attention for his artistry on the cornet. Moving between Chicago and New York during the 1920s, he inspired many of eras leading jazz musicians with his ground-breaking trumpet and vocal improvisations. His unique style helped define "The Jazz Age" and has influenced successive generations of jazz, pop and rock musicians. Armstrong ventured to Hollywood in 1930, appearing in his first movie the following year, and later became a favorite guest in American households via numerous television appearances. In 1964, his Grammy-winning recording of Hello Dolly! knocked The Beatles off the top of the pop chart, making Armstrong the oldest musician (at 62) to reach the "No. 1" spot. Armstrong reported that his 1947 ballad, Someday (You’ll Be Sorry), came to him in a dream while he and his fourth (and final) wife Lucille were "... in North Dakota or South Dakota, or somewhere. It was cold and this thing kept runnin’ ‘cross my mind, like dreamin’ a musical comedy. And this Someday was the theme of this show." (He also mentioned that it was about his third wife, Alpha!)

Ástor Piazzolla (1921-1992) pretty much single-handedly reinvented the tango. Born in Argentina, Piazzolla spent most of his childhood in New York, where he developed a fondness for jazz and classical music. His father taught him to play the bandoneón, a concertina common to Argentine tango ensembles, and when he returned to Buenos Aires in 1937 he played with some of the leading bands. He also began composition studies with Alberto Ginastera, and won a grant to study in Paris with legendary composition teacher Nadia Boulanger in 1953. Upon hearing music Piazzolla wrote for his cabaret band, Boulanger convinced him to concentrate on his unique style instead of writing second-hand Bartok, Stravinsky and Ravel. Returning to Argentina in 1955, Piazzolla infused the traditional national dance with characteristics of jazz and formal elements from his classical studies. Although his nuevo tango style was met with resistance in his homeland, it captivated Europeans and North Americans and his international career blossomed. It is estimated that he composed over 3,000 pieces, and recorded about 500 of them himself! First published in 1960, the moody Buenos Aires hora cero (literally "Buenos Aires Zero Hour") must have been among the composer's personal favorites. Piazzolla referenced it for the title of his 1986 album, Tango: Zero Hour--cited by the composer as his best recording--even though the the early piece wasn't even on it.

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