MAILED: Nov. 6, 2000
The 100th anniversary of Aaron Coplands birth is Nov. 14, and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claires Wind Symphony will dedicate a large portion of its fall concert to his music.
The concert, which will take place at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 19, in Gantner Concert Hall of the Haas Fine Arts Center, will feature four selections by Copland and one that was written as a tribute to him.
Copland, as a composer, in a large sense defined what it was to compose American music, said Dr. Richard Mark Heidel, director of university bands and conductor of the Wind Symphony.
At the end of the 19th century, American composers composed music that predominantly conformed to the sounds of the late romantic European masters, such as Johannes Brahms. Copland decided to compose a style of music that was uniquely American. He accomplished this by incorporating into his music American sounds, including American folk tunes, cowboy ballads, songs of the old West, American hymns, the music of Stephen Foster and elements of jazz.
Copland was one of Americas foremost composers, Heidel said.
The Master Singers an ensemble of Chippewa Valley choral musicians conducted by associate professor of music and theatre arts Dr. Gary Schwartzhoff will perform Zions Walls, the first of the concerts Copland pieces.
Immediately following this piece, the Wind Symphony will perform Zion by Dan Welcher. As a tribute to Copland in 1994, Welcher composed Zion, which was based on Zions Walls. In 1996, Welcher received the prestigious ABA/Ostwald Composition award for Zion.
Having heard Zions Walls before hearing Zion, the audience will better appreciate the level of craftsmanship Welcher employed when composing Zion, Heidel said.
Next the group will perform Fanfare for the Common Man, which is one of Coplands most popular pieces. It was composed in 1942 to promote American patriotism during World War II. It frequently is performed today at events of national significance. Rodney Hudson, associate professor of music and theatre arts, will guest conduct.
Quiet City, a composition originally written for string orchestra, will follow. For this selection Robert Baca, associate professor of music and theatre arts, will be featured on the trumpet and Ivar Lunde, professor of music and theatre arts, will be featured on the English horn.
The Wind Symphony will close the concert with Lincoln Portrait, a piece Copland wrote in 1942 to pay tribute to Abraham Lincoln and to stir patriotic spirit during World War II. Within Lincoln Portrait, Copland quotes fragments of popular Stephen Foster songs and American folk tunes accompanied by narration of some of Lincolns most well-known speeches. Dr. Ted Wendt, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, will perform the narration.
Tickets, available at the University Service Center, (715) 836-3727, are $4.75 for adults; $3.75 for those age 62 and older, children 17 and younger, and faculty or staff with a university ID; or $1.25 for students with a university ID.
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: Nov. 6, 2000