‘Celebrating Home’

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The Flathead Valley Community Band will perform its “Celebrating Home” concert at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 8, at the Flathead High School Performance Hall.

Under the direction of Allen Slater, the band’s concert will open with Robert Sheldon’s “Celebration and Song,” followed by Gustav Holst’s “First Suite in E-flat for Military Band.” The suite is considered a cornerstone masterwork in concert band literature. The work consists of three movements, “Chaconne,” “Intermezzo” and “March.” Each is a masterpiece of lyrical and expressive music. When the piece was written in 1909, the military band — which consisted of woodwinds, brass and percussion, but no strings — was playing primarily pop tunes and orchestral transcriptions. This suite broke the mold and provided original music for military bands where the instrumentation was flexible from group to group. In addition to this landmark piece, the group will be doing excerpts from Aaron Copland’s “Appalachian Spring.”

There will also be some marches performed at the concert. “Marche Des Parachutistes Belges” was written by Pierre Leemans when after a dinner with a group of Belgium paratroopers he was asked to compose a march. There will also be the Spanish march “El Relicario.” This song continues to be among the most famous melodies in Spanish music, and it was popularized by the greatest variety song performers of the time.

There will also be a Sousa march, “Boy Scouts of America.” Inspired by Sousa’s memories of a boyhood meeting with Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, he wanted a song with a “good marching swing, that would be within the range of the singing voice and that could have words written for it.” It also had to “symbolize the spirit of youth.” And so was born the “Boy Scouts of America” march, written “expressly for and dedicated with admiration and affection to the Boy Scouts of America.” The march had its first public hearing Oct. 22, 1916, just over 100 years ago.

The community band will perform these pieces and many more. There is no admittance charge for the concert but there will be a free-will donation. The concert is appropriate for all ages and open to the public.

Flathead High School is located at 644 Fourth Ave. W., Kalispell. For more information, visit http://www.fvcband.org.

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