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The Southeast Kansas Symphony Orchestra
Raul Munguia - Artistic Director & Conductor

2004-05 Season

Thursday, March 10th, 2005
~ 7:30 p.m. ~
McCray Recital Hall

Concert program (PDF)
Concert poster
Related Links

Concert Graphic

Festival of New Music
March 10th, 2005
Program Notes

Part of the 3rd biennial "Festival of New Music", March 7-11, 2005.

On the Playground: Violin Concerto for String Orchestra

Keith Lay

II. Yearning

Written In: 2000
First Performed: August 28 2002, United States Air Force String Orchestra; Shenendoah University, Winchester, VA; Alex Dean violin soloist.

On the Playground was inspired by my children, and I sought to cultivate their joy and wonder with this music.

In the first movement, "Joyful Play," the soloist portrays an eight-year-old alpha kid leading a mini-mob of friends. Each friend is represented by one of the five choirs of the string orchestra. These kids are conjuring up something large and full of character on a schoolyard or park somewhere. The solo violin sparks and inspires the imaginations of the other kids to a hugely dramatic, semi-evil, megalomaniacal glory, so typical of kids. The cadenza brings them back down to reality, and the fun continues. I felt the traditional sonata form suited this movement nicely.

While creating the second movement, "Yearning," I remembered my own adolescent feelings of melancholy. I'd seek refuge via rapturous escape in the sky. The luminous sonority of high strings in diatonic clusters are like high-altitude clouds and provide a setting for the long, sweeping phrases of the soloist, seeking a soaring redemption.

The last movement, "Follow the Leader," is, as it sounds, a fast frolic. The solo violin cajoles and sometimes runs away from the group, which chases but a single step behind. Each string choir imitates the soloist, but entrances are carefully timed to avoid one's stepping on the other. This produces a close, stretto canon, like a flock of finches in flight. Each chase ends in happy chaos, thus producing the clear outline of a rondo form. If you listen, you'll find out if they caught the leader, or not.

Keith Lay

Scored for: violin solo, strings.

Keith Lay, composer

Keith Lay, composer

Keith Lay (b.1958) learned s axophone in the Wadsworth, Ohio public schools and his study of jazz led him into music theory, which quickly developed into composition. Many works for piano, chamber ensembles and symphonic band followed. Recognized by his city with a scholarship, Keith chose the nearby University of Akron College of Music to pursue composition under Dr. David S. Bernstein. By age 29, Keith had acquired a Master of Music Composition and taught Electronic Music and Music Theory as an adjunct professor.

Keith's commercial work began in the early '80s and he eventually became one of the best-known custom music producers in northern Ohio. Freelance music writing for radio, television and non-broadcast productions and studio engineering became the full-time focus. Keith's production skill with the Synclavier audio workstation brought him to the attention of Full Sail Center for the Recording Arts in Winter Park, who brought him to Florida in 1990 as full-time faculty.

Eventually winning its highest honors as a teacher, Keith was able to devote his time again to compose art music. In 1996, clarinetist Richard Stoltzman recorded a tone poem for clarinet and orchestra with the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra for MMC Recordings (Richard Stoltzman "Reflections" CD). That work was later premiered by Stoltzman and the Orlando Philharmonic in 1999. Many chamber and orchestral works have been performed throughout the country in recent years. In 2002, Keith won the 6th Riverside International Composer's Competition with a violin concerto, "On The Playground". That work was featured in Riverside Symphony's season opening concert on November 5, 2004 at Lincoln Center featuring concertmaster Cenovia Cummins and raved by the chief critic of the New York Times as "a composer to watch for".

Also among Keith's honors include being an active father and husband, receiving a Florida Artist Fellowship, a Professional Development Grant from United Arts of Central Florida, a grant from the Margaret Fairbanks Jory Copy Assistance Program, as well as being a member of the Recording Academy, and the American Music Center.

Paul Carlson, violin

Paul Carlson, violin

Having joined the Pittsburg State University faculty in 1965, Dr. Paul Carlson earned the doctor of musical arts degree from the Conservatory of Music of the University of Missouri at Kansas City. His master of music degree is from Northwestern University and he earned the bachelor of music from the Chicago Conservatory of Music. His string teachers have included: Josef Gingold, Yfah Neaman, Paul Rolland, Angel Reyes, Merton Shatzkin, and Jaap Schroeder. Dr. Carlson's musicological studies were with John Ohl and Alexander Ringer. He founded the Waddill Chamber Music Competition at Pittsburg State Unviersity, which offers unique opportunities for string, wind, and brass players, as well as vocalists to rehearse with, and be coached by the Pittsburg State University Faculty String Quartet.

Active internationally, Carlson is a member of Kansas/Paraguay partners, one of sixty partnerships between North and South America. In addition to the United States he has concertized in Europe, South America, and the Orient; he was the first American to be invited to perform and teach at the Hanoi National Conservatory of Music in Vietnam. He has served as concertmaster of the Chicago Civic Orchestra, the Springfield, Missouri Symphony, and the Southeast Kansas Symphony. As a baroque violinist, Carlson has introduced many audiences to the sound of seventeenth and eighteenth century music on period instruments.

Premonitions (2005), for Violin and Orchestra

John C. Ross (1962- )
This performance was a World Premiere!

III. "for Brian"

Completed In: January, 2005
First Performed: Southeast Kansas Symphony, Craig Fuchs, cond.

Written for violinist Paul Carlson, Premonitions was begun in the summer of 2003 and finished in January of 2005. The piece is in three movements, played without pause. The first section is the one in which the title is played out. In it there are hints at the melodic material of the later two movements; these hints, however, interrupt the flow of the first movement, which alternates between slow and fast tempos. The second movement reveals what the fast music in the first movement was hinting at. The third movement was begun on the day that a dear friend and colleague, Brian Woods, passed away.

It is dedicated to his memory, the strong life that he lead, and the valiant fight he fought, against cancer.

Scored for: 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 horns and strings. [2222-4222-tmp-str]

John C. Ross, composer

John C. Ross, composer

A native of New Jersey, Ross received training in composition at Florida State University and the University of Iowa; his principal teachers were John Boda and D. Martin Jenni. Thanks to a Fulbright grant, he has also studied with Philippe Manoury in Lyon, France. His music has been performed at the Society of Composers, Inc. National Forums, several university music schools, and in France. His awards include the first Abraham Frost Prize from the Univeristy of Miami, several ASCAP awards (including a young composer grant), a summer residency at Yaddo, and the 2002 Rudolf Nissim Award. After a Line By Theodore Roethke, a work for soprano and orchestra, was one of three works chosen for the Sixth International Composer Readings by the Riverside Orchestra of New York City and was performed at the Mid-American Center for Contemporary Music at Bowling Green State University.

Of Ross's piece Passages, Daniel Ginsberg of the Washington Post has said, "a beguiling exploration of color and melody ... soaring figures nestled in a dreamlike haze of sound."

His music is published by Cimarron Music and by himself. Encore, a work for cello and piano, is recorded on Innova; and After a Line will be released in 2005 on Albany Records.

Concerto for Flute and Orchestra

Hubert Bird (1939- )
The performance of this piece was a United States Premiere!

I. With energy
II. Very freely and expressively
III. MARCIA - Rondo allegretto

Written In: 1999
First Performed: International Cultural Center in Quito, Ecuador. June, 1999 - Luciano Carrera, soloist.
Other: This performance is an American premiere.

Hubert Bird's "Concerto for Flute and Orchestra" was written in 1999, the third of three concerti commissioned by the Sinfonica Nacional de Equador since 1996 (the others are a double concerto for flute and guitar and a triple concerto for flute, guitar, and percussion). The flute concerto is dedicated to Dr. Bird's friend, Maestro Luciano Carrera, the head of Ecuador's Conservatorio Nacional de Musica. Maestro Carrera is the principal flutist of Ecuador's National Symphony. The concerto is in three movements, the first of which is in a standard sonata form with cadenza, the second a lyric "song" featuring the flute in a duet with solo horn accompanied by strings alone, and the third a rondo with cadenza. The concerto received its premiere performance at the great International Cultural Center in Quito, Ecuador in June, 1999 with Maestro Carrera as soloist. The performance occurred during the "Festival de Flautistas in el Mitad del Mundo" ("Flute Festival in the Middle of the World") held annually in Quito, Ecuador's capital city located on the Equator.

Hubert Bird

Scored for: 2 flutes, piccolo, 2 oboes, 3 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, percussion, timpani, and strings. [2222-4222-tmp-str]

Hubert Bird, composer

Hubert Bird, composer

Dr. Hubert Bird's compositions range in scope from solo songs and chamber music through works for symphony orchestra. Presently an independent composer, some of Bird's most recent commissions have come from Providence College; the U.S. Army Band (Washington, DC); the Orquestra Sinfonica National (Quito, Ecuador); and the University of Scranton. His compositions have been published by major American music publishing houses.

Dr. Bird has received various prizes and honors for his music throughout his career including the lthaca College Choral Composition Prize (four times); Baroque Choral Guild of San Francisco National Prize; New Music for Young Ensembles, New York City; and several awards from the American Guild of Organists. As a result of a national competition, in 1976 he was named the composer of the anthem for the U.S. Bicentennial celebration.

Born in Joplin, Missouri, Dr. Bird grew up in Baxter Springs, Kansas, where he now resides. He holds degrees from Missouri Southern State University, Pittsburg State University, and the College of Music, the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Dr. Bird taught at the University of New Hampshire southwest campus for 30 years where he was awarded the Distinguished Teacher award in 1982. He has been on the emeriti faculty since 1997. In 1990, Pittsburg State University presented him its Alumni Meritorious Achievement Award.

James Hall, flute

James Hall, flute

Flutist James Hall has embarked on an impressive and varied career which includes significant achievements as solo recitalist, chamber player, orchestral musician, concerto soloist, and teacher. Principal Flutist of the St. Joseph Symphony, he has also performed with the Sarasota Music Festival Orchestra, the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra, the Kansas City Civic Opera, and the Kansas City Chorale. He has been featured soloist with the Kansas City Civic Orchestra, the Southeast Kansas Symphony Orchestra, and the Orchestra of the Conservatory of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where he earned a Master's degree and is currently a doctoral candidate. He performs regularly in a flute and piano duo with pianist Patricia Higdon in venues throughout the United States. Mr. Hall recently won the Artists International competition in New York, where he and Higdon performed their Carnegie Hall Debut in November, 2004.

Mr. Hall is flutist, founder and Artistic Director of the Chamber Music Society of Kansas City, whose highly successful 2003-4 debut season brought together an outstanding group of musicians from a number of the area's leading professional ensembles and universities. He has also collaborated with distinguished artists such as Carol Wincenc and Mary Posses and with groups such as Music from China and The Aurora Trio.

In addition to his active commitment to nurturing appreciation and excitement for chamber music repertoire in the Kansas City area, Mr. Hall is devoted to the continued development and exposure of new flute repertoire. Most recently, he performed the regional premieres of Daniel Kessner's Celebrations for Flute and Orchestra and Paul Schoenfield's Klezmer Rondos, and has commissioned new works for flute by American composers William Lackey and Stephan Casurella.

Prior to his graduate work at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where he held the Graduate Woodwind Quintet Fellowship in Flute, Mr. Hall earned a Bachelor's degree in Music at Seattle Pacific University. His teachers have included Mary Posses, Carol Wincenc, and Rae Terpenning. In addition to an active schedule of private teaching and free-lance performing, he serves on the flute and chamber music faculties of Pittsburg State University and the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory's Academy of Music and Dance.

James Hall website

Orchestration Selections:

As a part of our third Festival of New Music program, we are proud to offer four pieces, orchestrated by members of the PSU Music Department's Orchestration class, Dr. John Ross, instructor. These are short passages, usually written by major composers for keyboard, and are used by the students as an instructional method to scoring for a full orchestra.

They are:

  • Prelude in C Major - J.S. Bach. Arr. by Emily Elkins
  • Canope - Claude Debussy. Arr. by Nathan Froebe
  • Nachklange aus dem Theater - Robert Schumann, Arr. by Scott Sternberger
  • The Cow, for Full Orchestra - melody by Mary Helen McCloud, piano arrangement by Gary Tebetts, score by M.H. McCloud

Related Links

Hubert Bird (1939- )

Keith Lay


John C. Ross (1962- )

Flute Links:

  • The Dayton C. Miller Flute Collection (Library of Congress) Nearly 1,650 flutes and other instruments, statuary, iconography, books, music, tutors, patents, and other materials mostly related to the flute. The Miller Collection contains Western and non-Western examples from all over the world, and at least 460 European and American instrument makers are represented.
  • National Flute Association

Violin Links: