Graceland University Symphonic Band’s final concert for the 2018-19 season, “Poetic Beauty,” will take place April 15 and involves finding peace and wisdom through aesthetic experiences. The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Carol Hall in the Shaw Center on the Lamoni campus.
The season opener in the fall dealt with inspiration, curiosity, mimicry and artistic exchange. The second concert considered unity. It offered reflection on our place as simply another species on the planet.
“’Diverse,’ the band’s third concert, required us to reflect on our uniqueness and the ways diversity makes us whole,” said Chee Weng Yim, DMA, Graceland University Director of Bands. “The concept of active, careful listening and meaningful conversation was paramount. This final concert consolidates our experiences for the year.”
The musicians will open with Arvo Pärt’s “Arbos.” The work is a four-part fanfare, borrowing concepts from the double choirs in early church music. “Fratres,” also by Pärt, takes its inspiration from chants.
Both works are in the tintinabuli style, imitating the sound of bells. The invention is unique to Pärt, who, unsatisfied with his early output, stopped composing for a decade. He found peace with his artistic creations when he discovered tintinabulism, which references the sounds of bells.
Jennifer Bellor’s “Querencia” will feature Graceland Instructor of Percussion and Director of Athletic Bands Melinda Leoce, MM, on the vibraphone. At the premiere in Colorado, Bellor explained, “‘Querencia’ comes from the Spanish verb meaning ‘to desire’ and is a concept that describes a place where one feels safe and at home.” The work features color changes interacting with the solo and explores the relationship between a being and its environment.
The closing work is Alan Hovhaness’ “Mountains and Rivers Without End.” Hovhaness wrote the piece after viewing a traditional Korean landscape painting. “The expansiveness within the painting makes us wonder about and then abandon our misguided need for self-importance,” said Yim.
Numerous solos occur throughout the piece. “Some invoke a sense of community, some a sense of nobility, others a sense of inner peace,” continued Yim. “No matter the seeming importance, all exist equally within the larger scheme.”
This performance will also be an opportunity for the band to recognize the contributions of the graduating seniors: Widalys Cruz Gonzalez (bassoon), Olivia McDougall (trombone) and Phillip Richard (percussion).
The performance is free and open to the public.