The West Point Band worked with new music advocacy organization Vox Novus to produce a call for scores of new works written to celebrate the band's bicentennial. The band received 49 works as a result of this call for scores. Here are the works which will be premiered on May 21st:
A festive concert overture in the style of a theme and variations, Bicentennial Variations pays homage to many of the musical greats in the English and Russian traditions while being firmly rooted in an American sound-world. The theme is introduced as an unaccompanied quasi-liturgical “cantus firmus” and is developed motivically, melodically, harmonically, rhythmically, contrapuntally, and antiphonally in styles such as chorales, fanfares, marches, and madrigals, among others. This celebratory piece is dedicated to the West Point Band on occasion of their 200th Birthday.
Hailing from Nashville, TN, Christopher Lowry is emerging as one of the leading violists and most performed composers of his generation. A two-time winner of the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition (winning Yuri Bashmet’s “President of the Jury Prize” in 2013 and “The Jury’s Panel Prize” in 2016), Lowry has won prizes in the Lewisville Lake Symphony International String Competition (2015), 2016 Oklahoma Youth Winds Composition Competition, 2016 Salford International Composing Contest, 2016 Alabama Symphony Orchestra Call for Scores, 2016 BandWidth Music Festival Call for Scores, 2016 Missouri Composers Orchestra Project Composition Competition, 2016 ABLAZE Orchestral Masters Call for Scores, NAfME Composition Competition (2015, 2012), Frank Van Der Stucken Composition Award (2015), Nashville Philharmonic Orchestra Composition Competition (2015), and the Anton Stadler International Basset Clarinet Composition Competition (2010), among others. Lowry is a two-time winner of the World Projects Composition Competition, winning with Tranquillo in 2015 (premiered in Carnegie Hall, June 2016) and with Calm After – Chorale-Fanfare for Orchestra in 2016 (to be premiered June 2017 in Walt Disney Concert Hall). His music has been recorded by the Brno Philharmonie (Czech) and performed by the Central Band of the Royal Air Force (UK), Vanderbilt Wind Symphony, Oklahoma Youth Wind Ensemble, Fridley City Band, Nashville Symphony, Alabama Symphony, Nashville Philharmonic, Imperial Symphony, LSU Symphony, Austin Peay State University Symphony, Middle TN State University Symphony, Blair Chamber Choir, “The President’s Own” U.S. Marine Band Chamber Ensemble, New York All-State String Orchestra, Plainview Old-Bethpage JFK High School String Orchestra, Curb Youth Symphony, Nashville Youth Philharmonia, Nashville Summer Orchestral Institute, Quad Cities Youth Symphony, Louisiana Youth Orchestra, Louisiana Junior Youth Orchestra, Baltika Viola Quartet, and Appassionata Viola/Harp Duo, among others.
The United States Army is a symbol of strength and opportunity. It shows not only the strength of the country as a whole but also the individuals that it is comprised of. These Individuals and their personal fortitude, overcoming many challenges, choose to dedicate themselves to a cause greater than themselves. This piece represents the strength and consistency of the many “Generations” of soldiers who have made the decision to serve sacrificially in the armed forces, specifically the army. You can hear the beginning of the Army from the Revolutionary time period with the snare and fife at the beginning of the piece leading into the progression of the army over the ages. The transition sections are representative of time with a consistent beat but also a syncopated rhythm overtop that give us the illusion that time is ever slipping by. The middle theme in the horns is a solemn reminder of the many sacrifices made, including those who ultimately gave up their lives. The main Army theme returns yet again at the end of the piece with slight changes showing the progression of the next generation taking over. Overall this piece is to be an insight into what we as Americans are blessed with because of our soldiers. Because we are blessed we should live our lives in a way that inspires others and improves their lives as well.
Scott Rodeheaver is a composer and arranger who graduated from Lancaster Bible College. He has studied under Dr. Folkestad, Dr. Foster, and Mr. Broadwater. His career objective is to use music as a tool to create constructive outlets in our society and to help others live deeper more meaningful lives. Some notable performances include recording and performing with Declan O'Rourke, guest trumpeter with The King's Brass, and singing in PRiMA's production of Aida.