Wooster Symphonic Band

Representing the Scot Symphonic Band as it prepares for its spring concert on March 1 are (clockwise from bottom left) Mary Beth Manack, Jenny Brumbaugh, Bobby Berg, and Chris Scimecca. (Photo by Matt Dilyard)


Scot Symphonic Band to Honor Beloved Faculty Member at Spring Concert

Samuel Hazo’s “Mountain Thyme” pays tribute to Associate Professor of Chemistry Melissa Schultz

18 February, 2015 by John Finn

WOOSTER, Ohio, — The College of Wooster's Scot Symphonic Band will pay tribute to beloved faculty member Melissa M. Schultz at its annual winter concert on Sunday, March 1, in McGaw Chapel (340 E. University St.). The performance, which is free and open to the public, begins at 2:30 p.m.

Schultz, who was killed in a tragic car accident in Wooster on Feb. 7, will be honored with a piece titled "Mountain Thyme," a captivating rework by Samuel Hazo of a stirring Irish folk song ("The Braes of Baquhidder" by Robert Tannahill) written in memory of a young child, who like Professor Schultz, lost his life tragically and much too soon. Several chemistry majors who are members of the band suggested that the piece be dedicated to the former associate professor of chemistry. Some of those students and several of Schultz's faculty colleagues may offer a few words of appreciation as well.

Also on the program are Edward Gregson's "Festivo," a joyful piece with an exuberant style and considerable emphasis on rhythmic energy that was commissioned in 1985 for the 10th Anniversary of the Bolton Youth Concert Band, and Hazo's "...GO," a dynamic and powerful work.

In addition, the band will present "Third Suite" a tuneful composition that reflects the sense of humor of its composer, Robert Jager, with elements of march, waltz, and rondo, and Norman Dello Joio's "Satiric Dances for a Comedy by Aristophanes," which was commissioned in 1975 by the Concord Band of Concord, Mass., to commemorate the Bicentennial of April 19, 1775 — the day that launched the American War for Independence.

Other works include Andrew Boysen's Irish-flavored "Kirkpatrick Fanfare," Henry Fillmore's spirited "Americans We," and Charles R. Young's uplifting "Tempered Steel."

As always, a selection of music from Scotland, featuring the band's pipers, drummers, and dancers in a series of waltzes and jigs, will be performed. The concert will conclude with the iconic hymn, "Amazing Grace."

The March 1 concert is a prelude to the symphonic band's annual spring tour, which this year has stops in Indiana, Missouri, and western Ohio. The band will also debut a more formal look with white shirts, vests, dressy sporrans, and bow ties in place of the doublets and plaids worn during the marching band season. Band members will, however, continue to wear the iconic MacLeod Tartan kilts.

The Scot Symphonic Band is directed by Nancy Ditmer, who has enjoyed a prodigious 30-year career as a music educator and conductor at Wooster, and as a leading advocate for music education and performance at the elementary, middle, and high school levels across the country. Ditmer has returned to full-time teaching this year after completing a two-year term as president of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). She is joined by highly regarded associate director Ned Brooks and gifted percussion instructor and Scot Marching Band Director Tom Roblee as well as longtime announcer and former Scot Band member Chester Andrews.

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