Scot Symphonic Band to Present Spring Concert on April 27

Free public performance to be held in The College of Wooster’s McGaw Chapel

18 April, 2014 by John Finn

WOOSTER, Ohio — The College of Wooster's Scot Symphonic Band will present its annual spring concert on Sunday, April 27. The performance, which is free and open to the public, begins at 2:30 p.m. in McGaw Chapel (340 E. University St.).

Conductor Thomas Roblee, along with Associate Conductors Ned Brooks and Nancy Ditmer, will lead the band through a robust program, beginning with the traditional music of Scotland, which features the ensemble's pipers, dancers, and drummers. In addition to an array of dance numbers, the Pipe Band will perform such favorites as "Castle Dangerous," "Green Hills of Tyrol," Shoals of Herring," "At Long Last," "Lord Lovet's Lament," Scotland is My Own Home," and "The Burning of the Piper's Hut."

The Symphonic Band will also offer a range of works, including Eric Whitacre's "Cloudburst," an original piece inspired by a turbulent thunderstorm in Northern California in 1991. The composer, a Grammy Award winner, graduated from the University of Nevada Las Vegas and continued his studies at The Juilliard School.

Also on the program is Ralph Vaughan Williams'"English Folk Song Suite," a nearly century-old standard that has become a cornerstone of wind band literature. The primary musical ideas are collected from Williams'years of study in folk music at the Royal College of Music and Trinity College and revealed in this three-movement piece, each punctuated by his unique compositional style.

Another selection is Lucien Caillet's arrangement of Richard Wagner's "Elsa's Procession to the Cathedral" (from Lohengrin), which depicts the medieval color and pageantry in Wagner's opera as a preface to Elsa's betrothal to Lohengrin, guardian of the Holy Grail. Wagner is credited with revolutionizing many components of opera and musical drama throughout his prolific career, and is particularly noted for his expansion of wind and percussion instruments in the opera orchestra.

Rounding out the program are David Gillingham's "With Heart and Voice," commissioned by Apple Valley High School in 2000 to commemorate the school's 25th anniversary, and John Philip Sousa's iconic "The Stars and Stripes Forever," one of his most prolific and popular marches.

Roblee is in his sixth year as Instructor of percussion and second year as director of bands at Wooster. He received a Bachelor of Music Education degree from SUNY Fredonia and Master of Music Performance degree from The University of Akron. Brooks is in his 18th year as an associate director for the band program at Wooster where he assists with the Marching and Symphonic Bands. He received the undergraduate degree in music education from The Ohio State University and a master's degree from Kent State. Ditmer, who joined the faculty at Wooster in 1984, received her undergraduate training in music education at Capital University and earned a Master of Arts degree from The University of Iowa. She holds memberships in the College Band Directors National Association, the Ohio Private College Instrumental Conductors Association, the Ohio Music Education Association, and numerous others, including the National Association for Music Education, for which she currently serves as president.

Additional information about the upcoming concert is available by phone (330-263-2419) or e-mail.