Please silence your devices during today’s performance.

Program Notes

Bullets and Bayonets is held by a legion of aficionados to be one of the best in Sousa’s legendary output; many believe it to be is best. (Of course, that is a distinction usually attributed to half of his marches, if not more.) Sousa was 64 when he wrote the march in 1918. It is thoughtfully composed, with flashes back to the charming style of his marches in the mid-1880s. The scoring is fresh, imaginative, and wonderfully sonorous. The musical ideas, deceptively simple are solid and immediately rewarding to the player and the listener.

Always, by way of his march commentary, the title and its dedication “to the officers and men of the US infantry” are no surprise. That it happens to be a really great march is of no surprise, either.

– Program Note by Frederick Fennell

In this transcription of Debussy’s The Engulfed Cathedral, I have tried to create a work that will display the tonal beauty as well as the power and grandeur of the modern symphonic band. Unusual instrumental combinations have been used throughout, and great care has been given to subtle shadings of color and texture. The Engulfed Cathedral (La Cathédrale engloutie) is No. 10 Book I of Claude Debussy’s PRÉLUDES; it is one of his best known and most popular works, not only in its original version for solo piano, but also in its numerous transcriptions, the most notable of which is the orchestral setting by Leopold Stokowski. The Engulfed Cathedral depicts an old legend from Brittany: To punish the people for their sins, the Cathedral of Ys is engulfed by the sea. Each sunrise the townspeople watch as the sunken cathedral rises from the water and then sinks slowly into the ocean.

– Program Note by arranger, Merlin Patterson

John Barnes Chance (1932-1972) was born in Texas, where he played percussion in high school. His early interest in music led him to the University of Texas at Austin, where he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees, studying composition with Clifton Williams. The early part of his career saw him playing timpani with the Austin Symphony, and later playing percussion with the Fourth and Eighth U.S. Army Bands during the Korean War. Upon his discharge, he received a grant from the Ford Foundation’s Young Composers Project, leading to his placement as resident composer in the Greensboro, North Carolina public schools. Here he produced seven works for school ensembles, including his classic Incantation and Dance. He went on to become a professor at the University of Kentucky after winning the American Bandmasters Association’s Ostwald award for his Variations on a Korean Folk Song. Chance was accidentally electrocuted in his backyard in Lexington, Kentucky at age 39, bringing his promising career to an early, tragic end.

Incantation and Dance came into being during Chance’s residency at Greensboro. He wrote it in 1960 and originally called it Nocturne and Dance – it went on to become his first published piece for band. Its initial incantation, presented in the lowest register of the flutes, presents most of the melodic material of the piece. Chance uses elements of bitonality throughout the opening section to create a sound world mystically removed from itself. This continues as the dance elements begin to coalesce. Over a sustained bitonal chord (E-flat major over an A pedal), percussion instruments enter one by one, establishing the rhythmic framework of the dance to come. A whip crack sets off furious brass outbursts, suggesting that this is not a happy-fun dance at all.

Three songs about the elements:

I.  Listen to the wind blowing through the night, Breathing peace to all.

II. The rain is falling, falling over the earth.

III. Fire! See the red glow. See the orange flame!

The ackee is a tree that is native to West Africa, and also grows in parts of the Caribbean. In this song, the singer is taking the fruit of the ackee to Linstead Market, where the fruit is unlikely to be a popular item. We are accompanied today by a Steel Drum Ensemble from the University of North Texas!

This piece was written by Christopher Tin for a video game called CIVILIZATION IV.

The setting is the Swahili-language of “The Lord’s Prayer,” which, according to two separate books of the Bible, was taught directly to followers by Jesus himself. Passed down through oral tradition and the written word, the prayer commonly known as the “Our Father” has long been a defining facet of the Christian faith.

Symphonic Metamorphosis was premiered by the New York Philharmonic on 20 January 1944, Artur Rodzinski conducting. It has since become one of Hindemith’s more popular and enduring works. It was inspired in part by choreographer and dancer Léonide Massine, who suggested to Hindemith that he compose a ballet based on Weber’s music. However, after watching one of Massine’s ballets and discovering that Massine intended to use sets and costumes designed by Salvador Dali (an artist whom Hindemith disliked), Hindemith decided to part ways with Massine, and the project was dropped. A few years later, Hindemith decided to salvage the music and write a set of variations or metamorphoses instead.

The suite is in four movements – The Plano Community Band will perform Movement IV. Marsch:

I. Allegro 

II. Turandot, Scherzo 

III. Andantino 

IV. Marsch – Possibly the best known movement, it opens with a set of fanfares. Like the first movement, this one is also based on Huit Pièces pour le pianoforte à quatre mains, this time focusing on No. 7. The original theme was meant to be a funeral march; Hindemith doubles the tempo to give the previously morbid tune a jaunty, catchy feel.

Gershwin! features five popular Gershwin favorites arranged for symphonic band: “Fascinating Rhythm”, “Embraceable You”, “Somebody Loves Me”, “Someone To Watch Over Me”, and “I Got Rhythm”.

George Gershwin (1898-1937) occupies a unique space in American musical history. Born in Brooklyn, New York, he began his musical training at thirteen years of age. He left school at fifteen to work as a Tin Pan Alley “song plugger”, and within three years saw his first song published. When George teamed up with his older brother Ira as lyricist, the Gershwins became the dominant Broadway songwriters, creating brisk, infectious rhythm numbers and affectingly poignant ballads. A piano virtuoso and a conductor, Gershwin is best known for his musical compositions which elevated musical comedy to an art form. He wrote popular songs, art music, a folk opera and over two dozen scores for Broadway and Hollywood. His untimely death at 38 was caused by a brain tumor.

Warren Barker (1923-2006) arranged this music. Educated at UCLA, Mr. Barker was an American composer for film, radio, television and Las Vegas clubs. He composed the incidental music for the hit 1960s TV series Bewitched, and he composed and arranged numerous pieces for concert band.

This piece was written in 1984 by Lee Greenwood and immediately became a favorite of many music lovers in America! The song is sung from a position of reflection, thankfulness and deep joy. This song transcends all boundaries of state, class, color, and the individual. It is a song of community. We are Americans, we are as a group, strong, brave and free!

Meet the Artists

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.

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 a stay-at-home mom and volunteer youth leader. She currently plays clarinet in the Band. His son, Jeff, is a pediatric neurologist in Oregon. Joe enjoys sailing, golf, snow skiing, and traveling with Becky.

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.

I’ve learned a lot as a music teacher. First the music captured my heart and then the words anchored it. Following my heart in music has resulted in a form of communication that comes in, goes deep, and never leaves me. “

Through Ann Sharp Smith’s inspired leadership, vision and musical expertise, the North Texas Children’s Choir Festival (1996) has grown to include 225 students representing 20 North Texas schools. With the addition of the Texas Youth Chorale (2013) and the Texas International Choral Festival (2018), NT Choirs & Festivals has developed a reputation of bringing together talented singers from North Texas the United States and the world, to perform in at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center and cathedrals throughout the world.

Nathan is an active performer, educator and composer. He earned his bachelors degree in percussion performance with a minor in jazz studies at Indiana University and his masters degree in percussion performance from the University of Colorado Boulder. Most recently, he was a semi finalist in the Southern California Marimba Competition in 2021 and a semi finalist in the Rhythm-o-Phonia competition in 2022. Nathan is currently pursuing a DMA in percussion performance and pedagogy at UNT where he is also a Teaching Fellow for the Percussion Department. 

Nathan has been involved in the marching arts for several years, performing with Vigilantes Indoor Percussion in 2014, Rhythm X (‘16,’17) and the Bluecoats. He has taught the Front Ensemble at Legends Drum and Bugle corps and most recently Genesis drum and Bugle Corps. 

His teachers include Kevin Bobo, Mark Ford, Ed Smith, Jose Aponte, Doug Walter, John Tafoya, Michael Spiro, Steve Houghton, Brian West and Stuart Spoon.  

Nathan primary specialties are solo marimba improvisational research and performance and Afro-Latin percussions throughout the Americas. A main focus of his keyboard research is dedicated to expansion of what is technically possible on the marimba as well as a focus on melodic improvisation and a method of teaching it to advanced high school and early college percussionists without a background in Jazz. 

Thank You to Our Supporters

The Plano Community Band sincerely thanks our 2022-2023 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 participates in rewards programs with Kroger, GoodShop, and Tom Thumb. Click here for more information!

Upcoming Events

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