The annual Festivity of Bands — which features groups from UC Davis, Sacramento State and Davis High School — will fill the Brunelle Performance Hall at DHS with great wind music at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13. Repertoire highlights for this year include the “Shepherd’s Hey” and “Lincolnshire Posy” by Percy Grainger and “Hammersmith” by Gustav Holst.
Featured bands include UCD’s Concert Band under the baton of Pete Nowlen, the DHS Band conducted by Thomas Slabaugh and the Sacramento State Symphonic Wind Ensemble under the direction of Robert Halseth.
The Sacramento State Symphonic Wind Ensemble will begin the program the high-intensity feel by performing “Blue Shades” by contemporary composer Frank Ticheli. They continue with “Hammersmith,” which was Holst’s first work for professional musicians, commissioned by the British Broadcasting Corporation for its military band.
The UCD Concert Band follows with up tempo with a rousing rendition of “Shepherd’s Hey,” a high-spirited English folk dance, and “Vientos Y Tangos,” a portrait of graceful and fluid tango dances, finishing with boisterous athleticism. This is followed by the comical and fun-loving “Monkey Business” by David Lovrien, which brings to mind a giant circus band complete with clownish noise makers, bells and police whistles.
Slabaugh and the DHS Concert Band round out the three-band festival performing “Lincolnshire Posy.” Considered Grainger’s masterpiece, the 16-minute-long work is composed of six movements, each adapted from folk songs that Grainger had collected on a 1905–06 trip to Lincolnshire, England.
The finale will be the three combined bands performing Frank Ticheli’s “An American Elegy,” composed in memory of those who lost their lives at Columbine High School in 1999 and in honor of the survivors.
“It is offered as a tribute to their great strength and courage,” Ticheli said. “I hope the work can also serve as one reminder of how fragile and precious life is and how intimately connected we all are as human beings.”
The Brunelle Performance Hall at DHS is at 315 W. 14th St. Admission is free and donations to the school music program will be accepted, with gratitude, in the lobby.