ACB PCB Header-07


Overture from The Marriage of Figaro
W.A. Mozart, arr. Earl Slocum

Contre Qui, Rose
Morten Lauridsen, trans. H. Robert Reynolds

Collage von Karolju
Christopher Rouse, arr. Earl (Buddy) Mattei
World Premiere

Sketches on a Tudor Psalm
Fisher Tull

Washington Grays
Claudio S. Grafulla, ed. by Frederick Fennell

Program Notes

Overture from the Marriage of Figaro

Mozart’s opera The Marriage of Figaro premiered in May 1786 in Vienna at the Burgtheater and is one of three operas that Mozart created with librettist Lorenzo da Ponte (the other two are Don Giovanni and Cosi fan tutti). In many respects, The Marriage of Figaro marked the high point of Mozart’s success during his lifetime. On a visit to Prague the following year to conduct the opera, Mozart reported that “Here nothing is talked of but Figaro, nothing played but Figaro, nothing whistled or sung but Figaro, no opera so crowded as Figaro, nothing but Figaro.”

Mozart customarily composed the overtures to his operas last, so that was likely the case with Figaro. Mozart’s overtures were usually in sonata form, but he abandoned that form here, and for good reason. Figaro is witty, brilliant and wise, and it needs an overture that will quickly set its audience in such a frame of mind. The music opens with bustling notes, like whispers of gossip which gain momentum. Ultimately, these fragments gel into an energetic theme which romps happily throughout the Overture.  Moods shift like quicksilver; a comedic helter-skelter atmosphere prevails; and there is no rest. At one point, Mozart had considered a contrasting slow tune for oboe but deleted the idea.  Allowing the Overture to run with its madcap nature, uninterrupted by any structural corseting, provided the perfect introduction and preparation for the hilarious opera. It has delighted audiences as a separate concert piece for hundreds of years.

Contre Qui, Rose

“Contre Qui, Rose” is a direct transcription of the vocal piece by Morten Lauridsen. Lauridsen based his choral cycle Les Chansons des Roses (The Songs of the Roses) on poetry by Rainer Maria Rilke. This poem poses a series of unanswered questions to a rose about its thorns and concludes with a statement accusing the rose of most hurting those who love it. Lauridsen interprets, “This wonderful little poem poses a series of questions, and the corresponding musical phrases all end with unresolved harmonies, as the questions remain unanswered. We have all been in situations where we have given affection and not had it returned, where attempts at communication have been unsuccessful, met by resistance or defenses of some kind.” Reynolds’ transcription captures this beauty in the wind band setting.

Against whom, rose,

Have you assumed these thorns?
Is it your too fragile joy that forced you
to become this armed thing?

But from whom does it protect you,
this exaggerated defense?
How many enemies have I lifted from you
who do not fear it at all?
On the contrary, from summer to autumn
you wound the affection that is given you.

Collage von Karolju

Karolju is a suite of original Christmas carols originally composed for choir and orchestra by American composer Christopher Rouse. The work was commissioned in 1989 by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra with support from the philanthropist Randolph Rothschild and the Barlow Endowment. It was completed in November 1990 and first performed on November 7, 1991 by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Chorus conducted by David Zinman.

After hearing the choral arrangement, Joe Frank, Jr. thought it would be a great piece for a wind band, but who could take on the daunting task of arranging such a complex and lengthy piece? Joe asked the PCB if they would commission the piece to be arranged by Buddy Mattei, the PCB’s own tenor saxophone player.  Buddy has been called upon many times to arrange and compose various pieces for the band.  Buddy is a graduate of the University of North Texas School of Music and has continued to teach and write and perform as a highly respected professional musician. He enjoyed a very successful twenty-one year career as a public school band director in Princeton (TX) and Allen (TX). Buddy and wife Marilyn (clarinet and music instructor then principal in Princeton ISD) had such a great impact on the music programs and the school district that in 2023 Mattei Middle School opened in the Princeton ISD. (Fun fact, PCB musicians Samantha Humphreys (flute) and Jason Tucker (French horn) are the band directors at Mattei Middle School.)

Sketches on Tudor Psalm

Fisher Tull (1934-1994) was an American composer, arranger, educator, administrator, and trumpeter. After earning three degrees from the University of North Texas, he went on to teach at Sam Houston State University where he served as chairman of the music department.

As a composer he received numerous commissions including those from the National Endowment for the Arts, Houston Symphony Orchestra, Houston Ballet, Houston Music Guild, International Trumpet Guild, the U.S. Army Band, and the U. S. Air Force Band. Throughout his career he composed over 80 works for orchestra, band, chorus, and various chamber ensembles.

Composed in 1971, “Sketches on a Tudor Psalm” is based on Thomas Tallis’ sixteenth-century setting of the Second Psalm. Originally published in a collection of vernacular psalm settings, Tallis’ work consisted of eight psalm settings and one ordinal for the psalter. Though Tallis’ setting is a paraphrase of the second Psalm, it maintains the psalmist’s message, which is to embrace God and be blessed, or defy Him and be damned. Despite the existence of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ well-known Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis, a work based on the same source material, Fisher Tull was drawn to the famous Tallis melody. Using the preexisting uneven metrical structure, Tull deconstructed the original tenor melody (first stated in its original form by the alto saxophone) into six distinct segments before utilizing them in this set of variations, which concludes with a glorious return of the original psalm melody.

Washington Grays

Claudio Grafulla (1812-1880) was born on a small island off the coast of Spain, emigrating to the United States in 1840 to become a musician in New York City. Horn was his primary instrument, but he also excelled at arranging and composing.

“Washington Grays” was composed for the 8th Regiment, New York National Guard and is considered one of the finest American contributions to military band literature. The 8th New York was created in May 1784 when a company of militia artillery was organized in New York City by Capt. Jacob Sebring. After marching in George Washington’s inaugural parade on April 30, 1789, and known for their gray uniforms, the company adopted the name “Washington Grays.”

There are elements of Italian and German marches in this march. The running sixteenth notes and responding bass voices create a wonderful counterpoint. Frederick Fennell wrote of this march, “masterfully simple, effectively contrasting, its incessant flow of musical ideas is overwhelmingly convincing. It is a march of great passion. A real indoor rouser from 1861.”

Meet the Artists

Plano Community Band

The Plano Community Band is a volunteer organization made up of approximately 70 musicians from all walks of life who share a passion for music. The band performs two Spring concerts and a Fall concert each year at the beautiful Eisemann Center in Richardson, but is best known for its Summer concerts at Haggard Park, in old downtown Plano. The Summer Series begins the first Monday in June, and performances at the park continue every other Monday evening for a total of five concerts. The band has themes for each concert including kids’ night, big band and a patriotic concert.

The band is a nonprofit organization sponsored in part by the Plano Cultural Arts Commission. The band is also supported by John Paul II High School, member dues and from generous donors in the community. There is never an admission charged for any of the band’s public performances.

The Plano Community Band is a proud member of the Association of Concert Bands, an international organization dedicated to the advancement of adult community bands. The band has performed at several of their national conventions as well as hosted the conventions in 1992 and 2010, and recently performed at the 2022 convention in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  The PCB will be hosting the 2024 Regional Convention at Richardson High School in June 2024.

Joe Frank, Jr. - Artistic Director

Plano Community Band’s Artistic Director and Principal Conductor, is a retired music educator and band director with over 35 years of experience working with student and adult musicians in Texas and Georgia. He was born in Harlingen in the Rio Grande Valley and spent most of his adult years in Richardson and Sherman, Texas. Joe is a third-generation band director. His father, Joe Frank, Sr., was a well-known Texas band director and orchestra director and charter member of the Phi Beta Mu Band Director Hall of Fame. Joe taught for 17 years in the Richardson ISD where mentors such as Joe Frank, Sr.; Richard Floyd; Tommy Guilbert; Robert Floyd and Howard Dunn helped form his concepts of teaching students and interpreting, rehearsing and performing wind band literature. In 1990, Joe became Director of Bands for the Sherman ISD and helped lead the Sherman Bands to 14 years of successful performances, competitions and statewide recognition. While living in Athens, Georgia, Joe became director of the Classic City Band and developed a love for working and making music with adults. Joe currently lives in Denison, Texas, with his wife, Becky. He is a frequent clinic/consultant and adjudicator for middle school and high school bands. His daughter, Jessica, is an  accountant and volunteer youth leader. She currently plays clarinet in the PCB. His son, Jeff, is a pediatric neurologist in Oregon. Joe enjoys sailing, golf, snow skiing, and traveling with Becky.

Jim Carter - Associate Conductor, Business Manager & Event Coordinator

Plano Community Band’s Associate Conductor, Business Manager, and Event Coordinator, was born in Texas City, Texas, and has made Plano his home since 1969, going through the Plano schools and the band program at Plano Senior High. During his high school days, Jim was privileged to have played with Doc Severinsen and Alan Vizzutti, and his first love always seemed to be jazz. After graduation, he was selected to play with the National Bandmasters Association Jazz Band, performing with Marvin Stamm at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Jim attended Sam Houston State University on a music scholarship, receiving his degree in Music Education in 1991. While at Sam Houston, Jim studied under Dr. Fisher Tull, Dr. Gary Sousa and Dr. Rod Cannon. Jim also headed up the recording and archiving of concert performances and was a member of Kappa Kappa Psi. After teaching a couple of years, Jim returned to Plano and began working in the communications field. He currently holds the position of Director of A/V and Computer Services for the 4,500-member Custer Road United Methodist Church. To keep music in his life, Jim joined the Plano Community Band in 1993 as the baritone saxophone player. Jim also plays with many Dallas-area jazz and big bands. He became the Band’s associate conductor in 1995.


The Plano Community Band sincerely thanks our 2023-2024 Season Donors. Your contributions allow us to continue to perform free concerts for North Texas! To become a donor, click here.

The Plano Community Band is funded in part by the City of Plano. 

The Band participates in rewards programs with Kroger, GoodShop, and Tom Thumb. Click here for more information!


Click here to see our upcoming concert schedule. We look forward to seeing you again!