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FSU Department of Music Presents Concert by Brass Ensemble

Frostburg State University’s Department of Music will present its Brass Ensemble, conducted by Joshua Bishop, on Monday, Dec. 4, at 7:30 p.m. in the Pealer Recital Hall of FSU’s Woodward D. Pealer Performing Arts Center. The concert is free and open to the public. This event will also be livestreamed; the link will be posted at

The program will include “Action Brass” by Brian Sadler; “BWV 298,” “BWV 323,” “BWV 384” and “BWV 426’ from “Chorale Suite” by Johann Sebastian Bach; the first two movements, “Lisbon” and “Horkstow Grange,” from “Lincolnshire Posy” by Percy Grainger, arranged by Bishop; “Die Bankelsangerlieder” by anonymous; and “1812 Overture” by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, arranged by Bishop.

“Action Brass” has all the excitement of an action film score. Heroic fanfares start the action, followed by a middle section with a contrasting dark, narrative theme. The action then picks up, accelerating into a triumphant brass fanfare with woodwind flourishes for a glorious finale.

Bach composed more than 400 chorales, which come from two sources, the C.P.E. Bach Collection and Bach’s 200 plus cantatas. A typical church cantata by Bach usually included a chorale as the final movement, which most today would refer to as a church hymn, although Bach’s chorales are more harmonically complex than most popular hymns.

Grainger composed “Lincolnshire Posy” for concert band in 1937. The 16-minute-long work has six movements, each adapted from folk songs Grainger collected on a 1905-1906 trip to Lincolnshire, England. Originally titled “Dublin Bay,” “Lisbon” is the shortest – a simple, lilting melody. The melody follows a young sailor preparing to leave his love to head toward Lisbon. “Horkstow Grange” refers to the village of Horkstow. Like the first movement, this one is also in strophic form, the theme stated by the clarinets and horns at the opening.

“Die Bankelsangerlieder” is a 17th-century Baroque sonata that has recently been attributed to Daniel Speer. Translated from German, “The Song of the Bench Singers” refers to performers who often played in taverns while standing on benches.

“The Year 1812, Solemn Overture, Op. 49,” popularly known as the “1812 Overture,” is a concert overture Tchaikovsky composed in 1880 to commemorate Russia’s successful defense of the French invasion by Napoleon in 1812. The 15-minute overture is best known for its climactic volley of cannon fire, ringing chimes and a brass fanfare finale. One of Tchaikovsky’s most popular works, it has also become a common accompaniment to firework displays on America’s Independence Day.

For more information, contact FSU’s Department of Music at 301-687-4109.

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