The Maryville College Community Concert Band held their premiere fall concert on Nov. 8, in the Ronald and Lynda Nutt Theatre. With origins tied to band founder and former fine arts faculty member Dr. Larry Smithee, the band starts afresh in their fall performance with director of bands for Coulter Grove Intermediate School, Tom Delozier. Music educator for Maryville City Schools since 1991, Delozier has been teaching for 25 years. Despite his new position, Delozier said that he is quite familiar with many of the band members.
“Some of them are my colleagues,” Delozier said. “Several members I played with in college and many more I knew as graduates from directing high school band. It is great to see familiar faces again.”
The concert band has come a long way in its 22-year-old existence, following the cues of now two different conductors. The program’s theme was attributed to hymn songs many would be familiar with, such as “Swing Low, Swing Chariot,” “Amazing Grace” and “Glorify Thy Name.” Starting with an exuberant “Proclamation from Hymn Variants” by Alfred Reed, the performance opened with a timpani lick and a call-and-response melody in unison by the band.
The piece built with anticipatory expression and fully became realized with a crescendo at the end of the song. Next to be performed on the program was “Chorale and Shaker Dance” by John Zdechlik, which was a favorite piece of Delozier’s. “I played this piece in high school and grew to appreciate its importance,” Delozier said. “I really enjoy this piece, because of the familiarity everyone has to it. This nicely written work is treated in a lot of ways that are unique. It is a challenge for the group, as well as the conductor.” The next piece, “Chorale and Shaker Dance,” was a lively composition based on the shaker tune, “Simple Gifts.”
In their fall performance, the Maryville College Orchestra also performed the song. It began with a woodwind chorale composed of piccolo, flute, oboe, clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon and alto saxophone, with a canon theme that is exhibited several times between the saxophone and flute. Soon after, a call-and-response melody, similar to “Proclamation,” is featured between high and low woodwinds. Halfway through the piece, the time signature was changed several times through a passage. The alto sax and flute canon returned near the end, and was followed by a low instrument chorale and a repetition of the melody, ending with thundering timpani. A traditional rendition of “Swing Low, Swing Chariot” by Steve Rouse served as the bridge to the next piece, “Glorify Thy Name.”
This particular arrangement of “Glorify Thy Name” was prepared by the concert band’s own Mark Boring, retired band director and first trumpet. The following piece, an arrangement of “Amazing Grace,” rendered by Frank Ticheli, was a work that was never overstated with the exaggerated figures and complicated harmonies that many versions of “Amazing Grace” usually possess. After Mark Williams’ “Variants on a Nautical Hymn,” the band performed “American Hymnsong Suite” by Dwayne S. Milburn. It was an entertaining four-movement piece, which ended the concert.
The fourth movement, a lilting march, with soli consisting of tuba and flute, left the concert resolving on a playful note. Delozier said that he felt that the concert was successful. “I could sense that the group felt confident in themselves,” Delozier said. “After 10 to 11 rehearsals and six pieces of literature, the band had nothing to worry about.” Delozier said that he appreciated the opportunity to work at the college and help keep the band active. “I know this group has a great history and tradition,” Delozier said. “It has been a real joy.” The Maryville College Community Concert Band’s next performance will be during the spring of 2013.