Belchertown High School Auditorium
Admission by Donation
This program features music inspired by the majestic and glorious cathedrals, churches and basilicas found all over the world. Bask in the expanse of Debussy’s “Engulfed Cathedral” masterfully transcribed for wind ensemble by Merlin Patterson. Transport yourself to a Russian Orthodox Cathedral, complete with cantor and solemn celebrations as you listen to Alfred Reed’s Russian Christmas Music. Anyone who has ever traveled the Henry Hudson Parkway into Manhattan has certainly marveled at the majesty of the George Washington Bridge, the expanse of which references the flying buttresses of gothic cathedrals. William Schuman’s brilliant composition brings this magnificent bridge to life. This concert also features The Valley Winds Brass Choir and ends with some classic holiday tunes.
Pardon my French!
West Springfield High School Auditorium
Admission by Donation
Who doesn’t dream of being in Paris soaking up art, wine, amazing food and fine music? This program of music by French composers and music inspired by Paris will certainly charm and satisfy you. It has that certain je ne sais quoi. The classic Raymond Overture by Ambroise Thomas will get your toes tapping and prepare you for French composer Florent Schmitt’s Dionysiaques which references Greek celebrations. Milhaud’s la Creation du Monde fuses French composition with early twentieth century jazz and will welcome string players to the stage. Lili Boulanger, sister of the equally famous Nadia Boulanger, was the first woman to receive the Prix de Rome prize for composition. Her work D’un matin de printemps, Of a Morning, is beautifully written and orchestrated. Gershwin’s masterwork An American in Paris will have you reminiscing of the MGM film in which Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron dance their way throughout Paris.
Of Our New Day
Academy of Music, Northampton
The composition Of Our New Day Begun by Omar Thomas pays homage to the nine victims of the 2015 shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. This inspiring work includes blues harmonies and melodies reflective of the rich Black American church tradition. The Valley Winds collaborates with the Springfield Youth Wind Ensemble in performance of this powerful piece. We also welcome the winner of our first High School Concerto Competition and will close with spiritually uplifting Symphonic Dances from West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein.