November 14, 2021, 2:30pm

Please silence your devices during today’s performance.

Program Notes

Entry March of the Boyars

From the 10th through the 17th centuries, the Boyars were the highest ranking members of the Bulgarian, Romanian, Russian, and Ukrainian aristocracy, second only to the ruling princes.  Halvorsen’s Entry March of the Boyars depicts the ceremonial entrance of these aristocrats in a theatrical setting.  Halvorsen was living in Bergen, Norway, in 1895 when we was offered a teaching position in Bucharest, Romania.  While searching in an encyclopedia for information about Romania, he became interested in the boyars and decided to write a march in their memory.  He wrote the piece in a single night and premiered the work the next day with his theater orchestra.  This piece did not receive national recognition until Edvard Grieg, who was the uncle of Halvorsen’s wife, created an arrangement for piano in 1898.

Courtly Airs & Dances

Courtly Airs and Dances is a suite of Renaissance dances which were characteristic to five European countries during the 1500s.  The Plano Community Band will perform 4 of the 6 dances in today’s concert.  The festival opens with a fanfare-like Intrada, followed with the Pavane (England), Sarabande (Spain), and Allemande (Germany).

Mattei Concert March

Cecil Karrick was a well-known and highly respected Kentucky band director as well as a prolific and talented composer and arranger. In the 1960’s, while a student at Bowling Green (KY) High School, PCB tenor saxophonist Buddy Mattei was fortunate to have been in the band under Karrick’s direction, and performed many of his director’s original marches as well as other music he composed or arranged.  In all, Karrick wrote well over 500 marches, many of which were never played or even orchestrated. One of these he wrote sometime in the 1970’s and titled Mattei March, dedicated to Buddy’s father, Otto A. Mattei, Jr. Otto was also an outstanding musician and educator, and was greatly respected by Cecil.  To quote Buddy, “in early 2020 I was going through some of my dad’s old papers and such, and I came across this march which Cecil had given him. It was in the form of just a two-staff piano-type score with some general designations as to what instruments should play what parts. I decided to score it for concert band and have it played. I thank Joe Frank for his valuable suggestions, and the PCB for breathing life into this first performance of Mattei Concert March. While they look down on us today, I feel that my dad and Cecil will really enjoy this performance as a tribute to their friendship and sincerely hope that the audience will as well.”

Overture from La Forza Del Destino

La Forza Del Destino, often translated as The Force of Destiny, is an Italian opera by Giuseppe Verdi.  It was commissioned by and first performed in the Bolshoi Theatre of Saint Petersburg, Russia on November 10, 1862, however the standard performance version was an edition of the opera Verdi himself created in 1869.  This new edition included the Overture that we are performing a transcription of today in place of a short prelude.  The music begins with the opera’s “Fate” motif, an ominous repeated unison note from the brass.


Commissioned by the Capitol Quartet, Dialogues for Saxophone Quartet, Winds, and Percussion features the four voices of one of the most beautiful families of instruments in the world in a vivacious, expressive, and sometimes quirky tour-de-force for both the soloists and ensemble.  Each soloist from the quartet is given the opportunity to mix their individual sound with the textures and colors of the wind ensemble, while at the same time expressing their own personality in subtle ways through cadenzas that reflect the expressive and technical aspects of their instrument.  Beginning with a bright scherzo that features the soprano saxophone soloist, the music gradually works its way to a “cadenza brilliante”.  During the cadenza, the alto saxophone joins the soprano in a dialogue, which eventually develops into a lyric arioso for the alto.  This beautiful theme culminates in another cadenza, which grows in intensity as the tenor soloist joins in a second dialogue.  Their duet moves into a fast-paced mixed meter capriccio for the tenor soloist, who concludes with a cadenza, after which the baritone saxophone plays a lovely ballad.  The piece concludes with a tour-de-force that brings all four soloists, winds and percussion together for a vigorous finale.

Voices of the Sky

The many qualities and changes in appearance of the sky are translated into musical moods through this expressive work. The opening lyric section flows between soloistic and full ensemble playing and leads to a sinister fast section of driving rhythms and mixed meter that crescendos to a powerful new setting of the original melody to close the work.

Lone Star Landscape

A Lone Star Landscape is a swinging, toe-tapping medley of favorite Texas melodies: San Antonio Rose, Cotton-Eyed Joe, The Yellow Rose of Texas, Waltz Across Texas, Faded Love, I’m Going to Leave Old Texas Now, and finally The Eyes of Texas Are Upon You.  The work was arranged by local composer, and Plano Community Band friend, David Lovrien.

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 has been invited to perform at the 2022 convention in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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 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.

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.

Texas Saxophone Quartet

Founded in 1983, the trailblazing Texas Saxophone Quartet shifts effortlessly between classical and jazz – entertaining and educating as they show off the versatility of the saxophone. The TSQ was the first saxophone quartet to win the prestigious Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition in 1988. They have been featured with the U.S. Navy Band and Dallas Symphony Orchestra among many others.  Follow the Texas Saxophone Quartet on Facebook and on their website.

Don Fabian, Soprano Saxophone

Don Fabian is principal saxophone, frequent soloist and personnel manager with the Dallas Winds. The Dallas Morning News praised his virtuosity and musicality saying, “Donald Fabian gave a stunning performance, pulsing with drama and almost unimaginable color.” A graduate of the Crane School of Music, S.U.N.Y. at Potsdam, New York, he earned his bachelor’s degree in both performance and music education under Dr. James M. Stoltie. His master’s degree in multiple woodwinds and saxophone performance was completed at Michigan State University with James Forger. Don is an active performer in all saxophone styles, from the orchestra pit of the Dallas Opera and Dallas Summer Musicals to the stage of the Meyerson Symphony Center. He is presently Adjunct Associate Professor of Saxophone at Southern Methodist University.

David Wright, Alto Saxophone

David Wright is originally from western New York State, and has gained international recognition as a performer of both classical and jazz saxophone giving concerts and master classes throughout the United States, Central America, South America, Europe, and Asia. Dr. Wright holds a Bachelor of Music Education from the State University of New York at Fredonia School of Music, a Master of Music Education degree and Doctor of Musical Arts in Saxophone Performance and Pedagogy degree from the University of Southern Mississippi. As a soloist and teacher, Dr. Wright has commissioned and premiered many new works for solo saxophone, quartet, large ensemble, and mixed ensembles. He is a co-founder of the Traverser Saxophone Symposium and the Appalachian Saxophone Orchestra. Formerly on the teaching faculties of West Virginia University, West Virginia Wesleyan College and Southeastern Louisiana University, he is currently a music educator with the Dallas Independent School District. Past performances include concerts and masterclasses at the China International Saxophone Festival, National Conservatory in Lima, Peru, World Saxophone Congress XIII in Minneapolis, Minnesota, World Saxophone Congress XIV in Ljubljana, Slovenia, US Navy Saxophone Symposium, The Temptations, Mary Wilson, The O’Jays, The Four Tops, Frankie Vallie and the Four Seasons, The Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, Regis Philbin and Bobby Vinton.

Chris Beaty, Tenor Saxophone

Chris Beaty is Associate Professor of Saxophone at Texas A&M University-Commerce, teaching applied saxophone lessons, coaching quartets and conducting the saxophone choir. Additionally, he teaches courses in jazz improvisation, rock history and graduate courses in saxophone literature & woodwind pedagogy. He holds degrees from the University of Memphis (DMA-saxophone performance), University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (MM-saxophone performance) and Austin Peay State University (BS-music education). Recent career highlights include being selected as a 2011 Fulbright Teaching Scholar to Latvia and the release of his first solo jazz CD (Sax in Santa Fe) in 2009 hailed by the Santa Fe Jazz Examiner, who stated, “selections are arranged and performed in a hip, contemporary sounding jazz groove…his lyrical side shines.” His 2012-20 performances include the World Saxophone Congress performances in Scotland & Croatia, US Navy Band International Saxophone Symposium, North American Saxophone Alliance conferences in Illinois, Oklahoma, Arizona & Texas, concerto performances in Memphis and Commerce, and Jazz Festival and Commercial appearances in Missouri, New Mexico, Florida, California and the famous House of Blues clubs in Dallas & Houston.

John Sweeden, Baritone Saxophone

John Sweeden is co-founder of Five Star Advisor Partners, a Richardson-based company providing financial services and income tax preparation to families and businesses in Texas and New England. John has been a member of the Dallas Winds since 1992 and the Texas Saxophone Quartet since 1991. John holds a Bachelor of Music Performance degree and a Master of Business Administration degree from Baylor University. John served 14 years as the Place 1 (1989-2001) and Place 7 (2005-2007) Council Member for the Richardson City Council in Richardson, Texas. John currently represents the City of Richardson as a member of the Board of Directors of the North Texas Municipal Water District, where he has served since 2007.

In Memoriam: Lynn Schuhknecht Firmin

Lynn Firmin, the Plano Community Band’s percussion section leader, lost her battle with cancer this season. She is truly missed as our friend, teacher, leader, and fellow musician.

Lynn Firmin performs on chimes during our 2019 Eisemann concert
Lynn performs on cymbals during our Summer Concert Series in Haggard Park.

Thank You to Our Supporters

The Plano Community Band sincerely thanks our 2021-2022 Season Donors. Your contributions allow us to continue to perform free concerts for North Texas! To become a donor, click here.

Upcoming Events

Click here to see our 2022 concert schedule. We look forward to seeing you again in 2022!