A unique collaboration: the All-Star Orchestra’s Gerard Schwarz conducts the U.S. Marine Band – America’s oldest continually performing musical ensemble – founded by an act of Congress in 1798, and dubbed “The President’s Own” by no less than Thomas Jefferson. Three programs feature the most famous concert band masterpieces, including works by Gustav Holst, Percy Grainger, William Schuman, and of course John Philip Sousa.
Schedule for WNET Thirteen – Saturdays at 1:00 pm
November 10 Above and Beyond
The beloved folk melodies and lively dances of Grainger’s “Lincolnshire Posy” start off the program. A fascinating history of the 229-year-old U.S. Marine Band leads into Maestro Schwarz’ own “Above and Beyond” – dedicated to the Marine Band. Next comes Pulitzer Prize-winner Jennifer Higdon’s thrilling “Fanfare Ritmico.” Sousa’s “Semper Fidelis” March – conducted by the Director of the U.S. Marine Band, Colonel Jason K. Fettig, brings this first episode to a rousing conclusion.
November 17 New England Spirit
Revolutionary War melodies provide the inspiration for William Schuman’s iconic “New England Triptych,” including the moving meditation “When Jesus Wept” and the thrilling “Chester” as performed at several Presidential inaugurations. Next, Vincent Persichetti’s colorful “Masquerade” shows off the Band’s amazing virtuosity. The program concludes with Sousa’s immortal “The Stars and Stripes Forever.”
November 24 Classic Band Masterpieces
The First Suite by Gustav Holst (famous composer of “The Planets”) is an early masterpiece in the concert band repertoire, paired here with the first complete Symphony for Band by the great Paul Hindemith. The splendor of Chinese percussion in Bright Sheng’s “Shanghai Overture” brings the series to a spectacular finale.
About Gerard Schwarz
Internationally recognized for his moving performances, innovative programming and extensive catalogue of recordings, American conductor Gerard Schwarz serves as Music Director of the All-Star Orchestra, an ensemble of top musicians from America’s leading orchestras featured in sixteen television programs that have aired throughout the United States on public television, worldwide by internet streaming and is the basis for their Khan Academy education platform that has already reached over 6 million students. As in popular sports, Schwarz created an “all-star” team of top orchestra musicians to encourage a greater understanding and enjoyment of classical music. All programs are now released by Naxos and have been awarded six Emmy Awards and the Deems Taylor Television Broadcast Award from ASCAP. Schwarz is also Music Director of the Eastern Music Festival in North Carolina where he celebrated his 10th Anniversary season in the summer of 2017, Music Director of the Mozart Orchestra of New York, Conductor Emeritus of the Mostly Mozart Festival and Conductor Laureate of the Seattle Symphony. The conductor is a renowned interpreter of 19th century German, Austrian and Russian repertoire, in addition to his noted work with contemporary American composers.
For more information on Gerard Schwarz, please visit: https://www.gerardschwarz.com
For more information on All Star Orchestra, please visit: http://allstarorchestra.org