Sayonara Amerika, Sayonara Nippon


Posted in Classical,Music,Putting One Foot in Front of the Other by bourdaghs on the December 3rd, 2010

Last night we attend my daughter’s high school winter concert here in Chicago. She sings in the choir, but we also enjoyed sets by the school orchestra, chamber ensemble, band and jazz ensemble. The band played a very striking piece I’d never heard before: “Whirlwind,” composed by Jodie Blackshaw. The worktakes a number of important elements from twentieth-century avant-garde classical styles (aleatory passages, nonconventional instruments, offbeat instructions to the players) and briiliantly arranges them into a form that is fully accessible to an amateur youth orchestra. The kids seemed to enjoy playing it last night.

I snooped around today a bit and came up with this website from the publishers of the score. The site informs us that Blackshaw won the Frank Ticheli Composition Contest with it. On YouTube, I came up with video of a performance by the Singapore American School Sixth Grade Band. It’s just cool to see an ambitious composition like this enter the musical repertoire of high school bands.

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