The sights and sounds of Scotland will descend upon Easton when The College of Wooster’s Scot Symphonic Band performs in concert on Tuesday, March 21, at 7:00 p.m. at Easton High School, 2601 William Penn Highway.
Directed by Nancy Ditmer and assisted by Ned Brooks, the band has entertained audiences nationwide during its annual spring tour since 1976. The ensemble’s distinctive uniforms, which consist of kilts with hand-sewn pleats made from the College’s MacLeod tartan plaid, represent Wooster’s Scottish Presbyterian heritage.
The tour features music of various styles and genres representative of substantive wind band literature. The concert opens with John Zdechlik’s “Celebrations,” a spirited work consisting of two contrasting themes marked by changing colors and textures between woodwind and brass choirs.
Also on the program are contrasting works of Pittsburgh composer Samuel Hazo. “Sky is Waiting” represents a musical timeline of humankind’s quest for flight, while “Exultate” is an exciting piece written originally for the inauguration of Charles Dougherty as President of Duquesne University in 2001 and is dedicated by the Scot Band to Wooster’s newest President, Sarah Bolton, installed as the 12th president in October, 2016. “Bach’s Fugue à la Gigue” was originally composed for pipe organ and transcribed by Gustav Holst for military band in 1927.
Mark Camphouse’s “A Movement for Rosa” pays tribute to Rosa Parks for her peaceful act of personal courage, which sparked the civil rights movement of the 1950’s. Written in three distinct sections, the first evokes Rosa’s peaceful early years, while the agitated middle segment portrays years of racial strife and the quest for social equality. The final section features the hymn, “We Shall Overcome” and ends with unresolved harmonies representing racism’s lingering presence in American society.
Other works include Percy Grainger’s lively and infectious “The Immovable Do,” two movements from Robert Russell Bennett’s “Suite of Old American Dances,” and Arthur Pryor’s distinctly American “Blue Bells of Scotland,” featuring Junior trombone soloist Thomas Matlak.
No Scot Band concert would be complete without the music of Scotland, featuring the bagpipers and Highland dancers, including the traditional concluding collaborative rendition of “Amazing Grace.”
There is no admission fee for the performance, but a freewill offering will be taken