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John Hersey High School Symphonic Band at Orchestra Hall 3-16-2012

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Published on Mar 23, 2012

On March 16, 2012, the John Hersey High School Symphonic Band returned to Orchestra Hall in the Chicago Symphony Center. The Band performed "The Battle of Shiloh", by CL Barnhouse / Paynter; "Scheherazade - IV. Festival at Baghdad", by N. Rimsky-Korsakov / Hindsley; and "Paean - I. Chant and II. Tribute", by Steven Bryant.

The Symphonic Band is directed by Mr. Scott Casagrande. Composer Steven Bryant joined the audience for this first public performance of "Paean". "Paean" was commissioned by John Hersey High School and Lockport High School as a tribute to Don Caneva, the first Director of Bands at John Hersey, and his father Ernie Caneva, former Director of Bands at Lockport.

Comments on "Paean" from Steven Bryant follow:

Paean (2012)

Chant
Triumph

Commissioned by Ball State University, Muncie, IN, Thomas Caneva, Director of Bands
John Hersey High School, Arlington Heights, IL, Scott Casagrande, Director of Bands
Lockport Township High School, Lockport, IL, Brian Covey, Director of Bands
Coastal Communities Concert Band, San Diego, CA, Robert C. Fleming, Conductor
Members of the Caneva Family

World premieres: FEBRUARY 19th, 2012 (Ball State Univ.), MARCH 1st, 2012 (ABA Convention [Ball State Wind Ens.]), MARCH 16th, 2012 (Orchestra Hall, Chicago [John Hersey HS Wind Ens.)

AVAILABLE for performance APRIL 1st, 2012

Paean: a song of triumph, or a solemn chant or song of praise

Commissioned in memory of Ernest and Donald Caneva by their family and friends, Paean pays tribute to these men and their years of accomplishments as bandleaders. As preparation for the work, I discussed their personalities with Tom Caneva and Scott Casagrande: according to Scott, "Don was aggressive and headstrong, brash and caring. Ernie was suave, funny, loyal and a traditionalist." In addition, Tom revealed that Ernie, a lover of Italian opera, had made a transcription of Verdi's Triumphal March during his career. Using this as a starting point, I began to explore and develop the melody from Verdi's fanfare, morphing it across the whole-tone scale until it takes on a wild, hyper-energetic, slightly unpredictable character. This fanfare, Triumph, forms the second of two works in this set (I prefer to think of them as a set of independent pieces, rather than movements - either can stand alone in performance).

My approach to the first work in the set, Chant, developed from a visit to Francis McBeth, my mentor and first composition teacher, in Fall, 2011. With his blessing, I decided to build a piece around his early work, Chant and Jubilo. In an unexpected coincidence, I discovered his work turned 50 years old in December, 2011 - the exact same month I completed Paean. Unfortunately, McBeth ("Dr. Mac" to his students), passed away in January, 2012, before I had a chance to share this music with him. This music celebrates and is dedicated to the mentors and teachers who have shaped and inspired us.

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