skip to page title

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

2007-08 Season

Saturday, Feb. 16th, 2008
~ 7:30 p.m. ~
McCray Recital Hall

Concert program (PDF)
Concert poster
Related Links

Concert Graphic

"The Devil, You Say!"
February 16th, 2008
Program Notes

Fanfare for a New Theatre, for two trumpets (1964)

Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971)

  • Erin Smith &
  • AJ Metzger, trumpets

Written In: March 1964
First Performed: April 19, 1964, Lincoln Center

"Magnificent is the word..." begins Allen Hughes in his April 25th, 1964 New York Times article describing the previous evenings formal opening of the "glittering new New York State Theater at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts". He continues by describing the New York City Ballet's debut performance; Mendelssohn's "Midsummer Night's Dream". A very lavish description of the new facility ensues - he speaks of the spacious new venue, the stage, the lighting, and what it meant for the future of the Center. George Balanchine's choreography and Lincoln Kirstein's direction of the ballet company seemed well suited to stand up to the new capabilities of the hall.

And, oh, by the way, Stravinsky also composed "a fanfare" that preceded the ballet. Mr. Hughes was as succinct in describing the piece as Stravinsky was in its composition.

Dedicated to Balanchine and Kirstein, it was commissioned for the Theatre opening and takes less than forty seconds to perform. Although it is a standard fare twelve-tone composition, it folds and unfolds upon itself as though it is a musical solution to a Rubik's Cube. Both instruments begin in a unison A# flourish. The second trumpet begins its second row as the first trumpet holds back to complete its first row. Now behind, it stays there for most of the piece, only re-joining the second trumpet in "unison" for the ending phrase.

This is a complex and intricate piece, and seldom heard, in spite of its famous authorship.

Scored for: 2 trumpets.

Histoire du Soldat (Concert Suite)

Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971)

I. Marche du soldat (The Soldier's March)
II. Music to Scene I: The Soldier's Violin
(Scene of the Soldier at the brook)
III. Music to Scene II: Pastorale
IV. Marche Royale (The Royal March)
V. Petit Concert (The Little Concert)
VI. Trois Dances (Three Dances): Tango, Waltz, Ragtime
VII. Danse du Diable (The Devil's Dance)
VIII. Grand Chorale
IX. Marche Triumphale du Diable (Triumphal March of the Devil)

Written In: 1918
First Performed: Lausanne, Switzerland, Sep 28, 1918, Ernest Ansermet, cond.
Title Variations: "Soldier's Tale", "L'histoire du Soldat"

The basic story of our Soldier comes from Alexander Afanasiev's collection of Russian tales, a familiar source for Stravinsky. He used them previously in writing "Renard", a ballet much smaller in scope than his previous works, however still too bulky with 15 instrumentalists, 4 vocalists, and several other stage performers. Now, in 1918, after being 'stranded' in Switzerland for about four years by the Great War and the Russian Revolution, Stravinsky was looking for something even smaller and suitable for the lean, wartime stage capabilities in Europe. Access to the Diaghilev Ballet that performed "Rite of Spring", "Firebird", and "Petrouchka" was not there, they were stranded in Lisbon. With the help of Swiss novelist C. F. Ramuz and conductor Ernest Ansermet, Stravinsky created a miniature theatre group that could tour with minimal performers.

On completion, the performance opened in Lausanne, on September, 1918 a few weeks before the end of the War. It was quite successful, but the first performance was the last for a while, the Spanish Flu was well on its way to killing twenty million people in Europe, and all public halls in the area were closed by law. The piece wasn't performed again until 1924.

The story of "The Soldier's Tale" is as old as a story can be. "Trade me your (insert symbolic representation of your soul here) and I'll give you your heart's desires!" Well, the oldest lies are the best, and Eve, Faust, and our Soldier ultimately traded what they had in their hand for an empty promise.

As with Stravinsky's other works, all of the musical tension and expression we are accustomed to are there, but when performed on such an instrumental skeleton, it somewhat tickles the hair on the back of your neck. Exemplified literally in its instrumentation, Stravinsky utilized the extremes. The highs and lows of each musical family help bring out the stark reality of this situation. The violin symbolizes the soldier's soul and the percussion the mechanical, ever beating schemes of the Devil. Some of the melodies come from a dream of Stravinsky's, some from memories of the composer, and others from established musical forms.

The strongest musical influence on the Soldiers Tale is jazz, or at least Stravinsky's minimal understanding of the new style. He had never heard it played, only seen examples that Ernest Ansermet brought with him from a recent trip to America. So, while artists such as Jelly Roll Morton were studying and improvising on Scott Joplin's works, Stravinsky was busy applying his edgy artistry using this new tool.

The opening movement, the Soldier's March, is a stiff parody of militarism, which was an easy idea to work with at the time. The soldier is on his way home from the war and stops to rest. Out comes the violin and he begins to play. Out comes the Devil, and he begins to play as well, trying to get the soldier to trade his fiddle for a book he says will spell out the road to wealth and fame. But, since the violin is the only luxury in the Soldier's life, he is unwilling to hand it over, and the Devil must take him through a process to obtain it. The story twists in and out, around and about until the soldier has to re-relinquish the fiddle to the Devil, bringing the suite to an end with the "Triumphal March." Other instruments drop out, leaving the violin and percussion, the soul and the devil, but at the end, the violin fades out, leaving the drum to play on ...

Scored for: clarinet, bassoon, cornet, trombone, violin, double bass, percussion and narrator.


The PSU L'histoire Performers

The PSU L'histoire Performers

Joanne Britz, clarinet

Joanne Britz serves as Assistant Professor of Woodwinds-single reeds, at Pittsburg State University. She holds Bachelor's degrees in both clarinet performance and music education from the University of South Florida in Tampa. In addition, she holds a Master's degree in clarinet performance and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree, both from The University of Texas at Austin. Her primary teachers have included Richard MacDowell and J. Brian Moorhead; she has had additional study with Hakan Rosengren, Dr. Jeffrey Lerner, Dr. Frank Kowalsky and Deborah Chodacki.

Although originally from the Northeast, Dr. Britz has spent the majority of her professional career in Florida and Texas. She has performed with the Florida Orchestra in Tampa, symphony orchestras in Abilene, Austin, Laredo, Midland, San Angelo, and Victoria, Texas; the Festival Institute at Round Top, and the Texas Music Festival in Houston.

Before joining Pittsburg State University, Dr. Britz held the position of Lecturer of Single Reeds at Angelo State University and played Principal clarinet with the Midland/Odessa Symphony and Chorale.


Russell L. Jones, bassoon

Russell L. Jones received a B.A. degree from Duke University, and M.M.E. and Ph.D degrees from Indiana University. He taught band, chorus, and general music in the North Carolina public schools prior to his graduate work. He has been at Pittsburg State University since receiving his doctorate. His duties at Pittsburg State include teaching Instrumental Music Education, bassoon, Woodwind Techniques, and some graduate courses.

In addition to bassoon, he continues to be an active performer on clarinet, saxophone, oboe and English horn. He has performed with the Southeast Kansas Symphony, the Springfield Symphony, the Northeast Arkansas Symphony, the Fayetteville (N.C) Symphony, the Iola Symphony, the PSU Band, as well as bands and orchestras at Indiana University and Duke University . He continues to be an active performer in chamber music, jazz, musical theater, large ensemble, and as a soloist. He recently performed the Mozart Bassoon Concerto, K.191, with the SEK Symphony.

His teachers have included Leonard Sharrow (NBC Symphony and Chicago Symphony), Wilfred Roberts (Dallas Symphony), Roy Houser (Metropolitan Opera Orchestra), Eric Barr (Dallas Symphony), Earl Bates, Allan Bone, and Charles Veazy. He has attended summer camps in oboe with John Mack and Joseph Robinson. He has published articles in "The Instrumentalist," "The Journal of Research in Music Education," "The Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education," and "The Midwest Double Reed Society Newsletter."


Nitai Pons, trumpet

A native of Puerto Rico, Nitai Pons joined the PSU faculty as Interim Professor of Trumpet in January 2008. Nitai earned a Bachelor in Music Education from the Puerto Rico Music Conservatory and Masters in trumpet performance from The University of Kansas where is currently working on his D.M.A. in trumpet performance. Nita has performed with the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra, Puerto Rico Philharmonic Orchestra, Lawrence Chamber Orchestra, Faustian City Brass Band, Kansas Brass Quintet and others. He is also an award winner at the National Trumpet Competition where he performed as member of the KU Trumpet Ensemble and as soloist.


Robert Kehle, trombone

Robert Kehle joined the Pittsburg State University faculty in 1978 and holds the rank of University Professor of Music where he teaches trombone and is the director of the PSU Jazz Studies program.

Mr. Kehle completed his undergraduate studies at Washington State University with both the Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Arts (music education) degrees and completed the Master of Music degree and doctoral course work at Indiana University. His trombone teachers include former members of the Chicago, Pittsburgh, Penn., and Philadelphia Symphonies. His jazz studies were with Dominic Spera and David Baker. He has performed with the Spokane Symphony, the Indiana Brass Quintet, the Spokane Jazz Society, and back up for various touring artists/groups including Slide Hampton's World of Trombones, the Manhattan Transfer, and with Mr. Louie Bellson.

Mr. Kehle has been a featured soloist with numerous orchestras, bands, and jazz groups in the Midwest. He is also Principal Trombone in the Springfield, Missouri Symphony Orchestra, the Central Plains Brass Quintet, and is trombonist with the jazz group "Blues Over Easy." He has published articles in several professional journals and his book, "Alto Trombone Literature: An Annotated Guide" is now in its second edition and is published by Warwick Music, UK.

His memberships include Phi Mu Alpha, The International Trombone Association, The Kansas Music Educators Association, Music Educators National Conference, and The International Association for Jazz Education, American Federation of Musicians, and the National Educators Association. Mr. Kehle is an artist affiliate with C. G. Conn. He has also held the positions of President of the PSU Faculty Senate, President of PSU-KNEA, and President of the Kansas Unit of IAJE.


Dr. Selim Giray, violin

Dr. Selim Giray was appointed as Assistant Professor of Violin, Viola, and Chamber Music at Pittsburg State University in 2002. Between the years of 2000 and 2003, Dr. Giray taught at Interlochen Arts Camp. He is the Concert Master of the Ohio Light Opera Orchestra. As a violinist, Dr. Giray has performed extensively in three continents, and has appeared frequently on National Public Radio and Television. He has performed as soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, and orchestral player.

Also an active researcher, currently he is editing Adman Saygun's violin concerto for the Peermusic Classical. In addition, he is working on an all-Saygun recording project for the Centaur with pianist Dr. June Chun. In 2003, Edwin Mellen Press published Dr. Giray's treatise titled A Biography of the Turkish Composer Ahmed Adnan Saygun'un and a Discussion of his Violin Works. The Minister of Culture of Turkey published the same work in Turkish, with a preface by then Minister of Culture, Istemihan Talay. As a doctoral candidate at the Florida State University, Selim Giray studied with Eliot Chapo, former concertmaster of such orchestras as the New York Philharmonic and the Dallas Symphony. Prior to that, in 1992, he was awarded a joint fellowship from the North Carolina Symphony Orchestra and East Carolina University, where he studied with Fritz Gearhart. A native of Istanbul, Selim Giray graduated from Istanbul State Conservatory and Mimar Sinan University State Conservatory, where he studied with Saim Akçil. Dr. Giray performs on an exquisite violin made by Ansaldo Poggi (1950).


Sallie Bacon Lupis, double bass

Sallie Bacon Lupis is a double bassist from Atlanta, Georgia. She completed her Bachelor of Music and Master in Music Performance at the University of Georgia. She has played in the bass section of many orchestras in the Southeast, including the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, the Macon Symphony Orchestra, the Augusta Symphony and more. She also enjoys playing contemporary music and chamber music, and especially enjoyed playing the electric bass with the UGA Steel Drum Band. Sallie is excited to be joining the faculty of Pitt State for this performance.


James Clanton, percussion

James Clanton is the percussion instructor on the faculty of Pittsburg State University, where he teaches graduate and undergraduate percussion majors and non-majors, directs the PSU Pride of the Plains Drumline, and directs and conducts the PSU percussion ensemble.

As a performer, he has appeared with several orchestras, including the Kansas City Symphony, Kansas City Ballet Orchestra, Liberty Symphony, St. Joseph Symphony, Southeast Kansas Symphony, Springfield Symphony (MO), Kansas City Civic Orchestra, Kansas City Chamber Orchestra, and the Northland Symphony Orchestra of Kansas City, where he currently serves as principal timpanist. Clanton regularly participates in several festivals and chamber ensembles across the United States, including the Sunflower Music Festival in Topeka, Kansas, the Puccini Festival Orchestra in Kansas City, Missouri, the Mahlerfest Orchestra in Boulder, Colorado, the newEar Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, the Fountain City Brass Band, the Chamber Music Society of Kansas City, and most recently, the Percussion Plus Project, an ensemble-in-residence at DePauw University.

As former member of Marimba YajalƧn, and a current member of Marimba Sol de Chiapas, Clanton has traveled internationally performing and lecturing about the traditional marimba music of Mexico and Guatemala, and educating audiences about the history and culture of the folkloric music of Mexico.

In addition to his duties teaching percussion at Pittsburg State University, he has been an adjudicator for high school and middle school students throughout Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma at regional and state festivals. He has also served as a clinician and faculty member at numerous high school marching band camps and festivals throughout the Midwest.

James received a Bachelor's degree in music education from Oklahoma City University. He also holds a Master's degree in percussion performance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music, where he is currently completing a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in percussion performance. In the summer he is a faculty member of the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Twin Lake, Michigan. James is an educational endorser/clinician for Sabian cymbals and Pearl/Adams percussion.


John Ross, narrator

A native of New Jersey, John 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 2003 on Albany Records. Currently, Ross teaches aural skills, theory and composition at Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas.


The devil went down to Georgia,
he was looking for a soul to steal.
He was in a bind 'cos he was way behind:
he was willin' to make a deal.
When he came across this young man sawin' on a fiddle
and playin' it hot.
And the devil jumped upon a hickory stump and said:
"Boy let me tell you what...

- Charlie Daniels

Sinfonia (String Symphony) for string orchestra No. 9 in C major ("Swiss")

Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1809-1847)

I. Grave-Allegro
II. Andante
III. Scherzo
IV. Allegro Vivace

Completed In: March, 1823

In 1820, before Mendelssohn had even reached his teens, he was beginning to write compositions for full orchestra. Around this time, he started on a group of string sinfonias, and by 1823 had completed thirteen. These early writings were similar to Mozart in their structure and orchestration, influenced by Johann Sebastian Bach, C. P. E. Bach, and Haydn, and who better to imitate if you are an inspiring composer? The sinfonias, especially the first six, are fairly academic in nature, an exercise of sorts, to branch out into the symphonic form. The rest show Mendelssohn growing and developing into the full fledged composer he was destined to be.

The Ninth Sinfonia is based on melodies Mendelssohn was exposed to in 1822 while vacationing with his family in Switzerland. The first movement opens in a Haydn-like way, with a grand introduction that soon gives way to a brisk, animated first theme. The Andante divides a wonderful melody among the warm violins and the darker violas, celli, and bass. The minuet has, in this case, been replaced with a "hit the ground running" scherzo, the trio section utilizing in full the Swiss melodies from which the nickname is derived. The finale, allegro vivace, completes the work in grand style, showing off the maturing composer's abilities.

These remarkable early works were unpublished in Mendelssohn's lifetime. Safely preserved in the Berlin State Library, they survived not only the elements, but social and political changes that played havoc on so many other composers' creativity. It wasn't until the 1950's that these pieces were published, three of which were released in 1959... one hundred and fifty years after Mendelssohn was born.

Scored for: String Orchestra

Related Links

Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971)

and...

Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1809-1847)

Other Links: