The Northshore Concert Band (NCB) has announced its 2022/23 concert season. Conductor and Artistic Director, Dr. Mallory Thompson, has scheduled an exciting season featuring a celebration of new beginnings, a retrospective on traditional wind band repertoire, and a glimpse into the bright and diverse future of classical music. .
The 2022/23 season is the band’s most diverse to date, with each concert highlighting works from communities, cultures and perspectives underrepresented in classical music, including Jennifer Higdon’s Mysterium and Benjamin Horne’s Deep River.
Ten works will receive their first NCB performance, including Sweet Chariot by Carlos Simon (2019), Solemn Prelude by Ulysses Kay (1950), Fanfare Politeia by Kimberly Archer (2021), Traveler by David Maslanka (2003) and The Belle of Chicago by John Philip Sousa (1892).
This season marks a new chapter in the history of NCB. A new partnership with Loyola Academy combines more than a century of academic excellence with a tradition of musical excellence on Chicago’s North Shore. Loyola Academy’s new state-of-the-art Leemputte Family Theater is the new home of the Northshore Concert Band, serving as a weekly rehearsal destination and venue for several concerts throughout their 2022/23 season. The first two NCB subscription concerts will be presented at the Pick-Staiger Concert Hall in Evanston, Illinois, campus of Northwestern University and the second two will be presented at the Leemputte Family Theater on the campus of Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Illinois.
The first concert of the 2022-23 season – Variations on America on November 6, 2022 – will review disparate realizations of the American dream with thought-provoking works spanning over a century. Charles Ives’ witty and irreverent title work opens the program, taking the audience through musical twists and turns to the familiar tune “(America) My Country, ‘Tis of Thee.” Works by African-American composers take center stage, including Carlos Simon’s Sweet Chariot, a sultry fusion of “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” with plain Gregorian chant. Requiem for the Unarmed, Kevin Day’s memorial to the countless black lives lost to racial injustice, illustrates the composer’s response to the death of George Floyd through chilling, obscured harmonies and subtle nods to Dido’s Mozart’s Lament and Requiem. Created in the segregated south in 1950, Ulysses Kay’s Solemn Prelude is a contrapuntal, lamentable work that uses simple musical motifs to explore rich harmonies and textures unique to wind ensembles. The music of Kay’s teacher, the monumental Symphony in B flat by Paul Hindemith, closes the program with its bombastic fugue, the strident winds of the woodwinds suddenly drowned out by the brass and percussion with a powerful final cadence.
Their acclaimed program Lifetime of Music returns on February 19, 2023. It’s an adventure through musical lifetimes ranging from some of the earliest recorded music to works by emerging composers today. Commissioned by “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band for the 59th presidential inauguration, Illinois native Kimberly Archer’s Fanfare Politeia pays homage to the origins of democracy in the writings of Aristotle and Plato. Ron Nelson’s Suite Médiévale draws inspiration from Léonin and Pérotin’s organum, combining quotes from their most famous works with brilliant fanfares and sparkling percussion. Viet Cuong’s Sound and Smoke nebula derives from Goethe’s Faust. Feeling is everything, words are just sound and smoke – and paints abstract, intriguing musical images through colorful orchestration and sublime harmonies, spinning with fast-paced toccata to put the audience on their feet. Outstanding college musicians from the Chicago area will join NCB on stage in the second half of the program for their 19th annual Lifetime of Music performance featuring the music of Katahj Copley, the classic Yorkshire Ballad by James Barnes and the comedy A+ March .
Celebrating their new partnership with Loyola Academy, Festive Beginning marks the band’s subscription debut at the Leemputte Family Theater on April 16, 2023. Dmitri Shostakovich’s uplifting festive opener raises the curtain with a grand ceremonial fanfare followed by melodic lines effervescent. In his Slavyanskaya Symphony – a work unheard of in the United States until the fall of the Iron Curtain – Boris Kozhevnikov quotes folk melodies from his hometown, the ancient city of Novgorod, with pensive lyricism and radiant vitality. The second half of the program is packed with American favorites, starting with Morton Gould’s fiery American Salute, based on the Civil War-era song “When Johnny Comes Marching Home.” Mysterium by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon offers momentary rest, evoking the mystery of how music moves us with combinations of melody and rhythm reflecting spoken language. The jubilant, cinematic final movement of Howard Hanson’s Romantic Symphony brings the program to a dazzling close with flourishing woodwinds and gallant brass.
The season ends on June 4, 2023 with American Celebration. This program combines everything American, from baseball to Broadway and everything in between. Bright, uplifting and joyful, baseball fanatic Carolyn Bremer’s Early Light taps into her anticipation of hearing the national anthem before baseball games. The saxophone section takes pride of place in the sumptuous setting of Benjamin Horne’s “Deep River,” with moving solos scored for the entire section. From the baseball field straight to the theatre, Warren Barker’s sensational arrangement of some of George Gershwin’s most famous works, including An American in Paris and Rhapsody in Blue, kicks off the second half of our program. 76 trombones lead the way in selections from The Music Man, followed by Star Wars highlights, masterfully arranged by Donald Hunsberger. Their American celebration culminates with John Philip Sousa’s salute to the lovely ladies of the Windy City, The Belle of Chicago.
For more information on Northshore Concert Band, their 2022/23 season, and to purchase tickets, visit northshoreband.org.