September 30, 2021

Whitehead Auditorium
Valdosta State University
7:30 p.m.

Benjamin Harper, conductor
Thetheus White, graduate conductor

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Centennial Fanfare-March (1970), Roger Nixon

Centennial Fanfare-March was commissioned by the Modesto Junior College Symphonic Band on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the founding of its namesake city in California. The music was first performed in 1970, during the festivities of Modesto's Centennial Ball, and was subsequently broadcast by the Voice of America. Shortly after its Modesto premiere, it was conducted by band-great Richard Franko Goldman at Lincoln Center as an opening selection of the 1971 series of Guggenheim Memorial Concerts played by the legendary Goldman Band.

Colonial Song, Percy Grainger

Thetheus White, graduate conductor

The composer writes:

No traditional tunes of any kind are made use of in this piece, in which I have wished to express feelings aroused by thoughts of the scenery and people of my native land, (Australia), and also to voice a certain kind of emotion that seems to me not untypical of native-born Colonials in general.

Perhaps it is not unnatural that people living more or less lonelily in vast virgin countries and struggling against natural and climatic hardships (rather than against the more actively and dramatically exciting counter wills of their fellow men, as in more thickly populated lands) should run largely to that patiently yearning, inactive sentimental wistfulness that we find so touchingly expressed in much American art; for instance in Mark Twain's "Huckleberry Finn," and in Stephen C. Foster's adorable songs My Old Kentucky Home, Old Folks at Home, etc.

I have also noticed curious, almost Italian-like, musical tendencies in brass band performances and ways of singing in Australia (such as a preference for richness and intensity of tone and soulful breadth of phrasing over more subtly and sensitively varied delicacies of expression), which are also reflected here.

Council Oak, David Gillingham

On the Seminole Hollywood Reservation in Florida, on the corner of U.S. 441 and Stirling Road, stands the "Council Oak" tree. During the long history of the struggle of the Seminole tribe in Florida, this oak tree was of special significance. When the Seminole tribe was faced with termination by the United States government, leaders of the tribe began meeting regularly underneath this great oak tree, which helped to breathe new life back into the Seminole tribe. In 1957, the U.S. Congress officially recognized the Seminole Tribe of Florida.

Council Oak, commissioned by the Florida Bandmasters Association, was inspired by the significance of this tree and by the poetry of Moses Jumper Jr., who wrote a poem by the same name which chronicles the history of the Seminoles as told by the oak tree. The thematic material is taken from four songs of the Seminoles as officially recorded by Frances Dunsmore in his book Seminole Music and archived in the Bureau of American Ethnology of the Smithsonian Institution.

Second Suite in F (1911), Gustav Holst (1874-1934)

  1. March
  2. Song Without Words, 'I'll love my love'
  3. Song of the Blacksmith
  4. Fantasia on the 'Dargason'

Like the First Suite of 1909, the Second Suite for military band had to wait more than ten years before it entered the repertoire. Composed in 1911, it did not receive a public performance until June 30, 1922, when the band of the Royal Military School of Music, Kneller Hall, played it at the Royal Albert Hall, London. Unlike its predecesssor, the Second Suite is based entirely on material from folk songs and morris dances. The program note for that performance stated that the Suite had been "put aside and forgotten" after 1911.

The manuscript shows signs of considerable haste, and a great deal of revision, and Imogen Holst (Gustav Holst's daughter) believed that the work was originally written for a specific occasion, even if it was not performed at that time. She writes the following:

The first movement, March, includes a morris dance in addition to two folk tunes: Swansea Town and Claudy Banks. The second movement, titled Song Without Words, 'I'll Love My Love,' Holst places the fourth folk song, I'll Love My Love, in stark contrast to the first movement. The Song of the Blacksmith features the folk song A Blacksmith Courted Me.

The Fantasia on the Dargason is not based on any folk songs, but rather has two tunes from Playford's Dancing Master of 1651. The finale of the suite opens with an alto saxophone solo based on the folk tune Dargason, a 16th century English dance tune included in the first edition of The Dancing Master. The final folk tune, Greensleeves, is cleverly woven into the fantasia on top of the Dargason 

The name 'dargason' may perhaps come from an Irish legend that tells of a monster resembling a large bear (although much of the description of the creature has been lost over time). The dargason tormented the Irish country side. During the Irish uprising of the late 18th Century, the dargason is supposed to have attacked a British camp, killing many soldiers. This tale aside, 'dargason' is more likely derived from an Anglo-Saxon word for dwarf or fairy, and the tune has been considered English (or Welsh) since at least the 16th century. It is also known as 'Sedony' (or Sedany) or 'Welsh Sedony'.



Kaitlyn Calcagino
Katrina Lahr


Lindsay Miller
Jordan Strickland


Emily Young
Nina Scheibe


Elizabeth Bagley
Kasey Cote
Lauren McGuire
Kaitlyn Skau
Colton Smith, bass
Jaylah Thomas
Aiyana Turner


Jaylon Farley, bari
Jesse Ratliff, alto
Matt Roehrich, tenor
James West, alto


Jacob Bady
Jacob Carlstrom
Jorge Flores
Luis Ramiro
Benjamin Stefano
Jacob Wood


Brooklynne McGonagle
Seth Norris
Riley Prichard
Michelle Shacklee


Franklin Carmona
Oscar De La Rosa
Paul Henry, bass
Nolan Roundtree, bass


Hunter Cosper
Alec Denison


James Dahne
Will Griffin
Ernesto Moor


Christina Rollins


Supushpa Mahadeo


David Donahoe
Theodore Drakopoulos
Jess Hunter
Madeline Hyde
Noah Landrum
Tucker Prestridge


It is with special thanks that we acknowledge Department of Music faculty and staff, College of the Arts staff, and university administration for their assistance in the preparation of this performance and generous support of our students:

Robert Carvajal, president
Robert Smith, provost
A. Blake Pearce, dean
Michael Schmidt, associate dean
Sarah-Jane McNally, secretary to the dean
Koryn Weiman, facilities coordinator
Isrea Butler, music department head
Barbara Fontaine, music department secretary
Skye Holmes, assistant director of bands
Jessica Sherer, flute
Susan Eischeid, oboe
Peter Geldrich, clarinet
Matthew Roehrich, saxophone
Javian Brabham, trumpet
Kristen Johns, horn
Doug Farwell, trombone
Brandon Smith, euphonium/tuba
Ryan Smith, percussion
Joshua Pifer, piano
Tod Leavitt, contrabass
Howard Hsu, orchestra studies
David Springfield, jazz studies
Clell Wright, choral studies


We thank you for your support of this series. Music scholarship donations may be sent to:

Music Scholarship Alliance
Department of Music
1500 N Patterson St
Valdosta, GA 31698

SPONSORS ($3,000+)

Dr. Richard and Dr. Cheryl Carvajal
Georgia Gulf Sulfur
Jim and Josette Ingram
Edward Van Peenen II  
Mr. and Mrs. John Mikuta
Marilyn and Monty Miller
Dr. Leon and Valerie Smith

ANGEL ($1,000)

Dayton Foundation Depository, Inc
Dr. Joyce Farwell
Dr. Mili Hunt
Dr. Tom Phillips
Keith Quarles
Mrs. W. A. Roquemore
VSU Jazz Ensembles (in kind)


Mr. & Mrs. David E. Blevins
Dr. Doug and Donna Farwell
Mr. and Mrs. Bob Goddard
Ms. Jan Hobson
Mr. and Mrs. James Ingram
Dr. Tod Leavitt
Dr. Louis Levy
Mr. and Mrs. Gabriel Monticello
David and Maila Springfield
Valdosta Orthopedic Associates

ARTIST ($250)

Phillip and Peggy Barr
Dr. John Gaston
Buddy and Jean Johnson
Lawrence and Donna Leonard
A. Blake and Barbara Pearce
Dr. Mary Margaret Richardson
Ann H. Smith
Chuck and Susan Steel
Jeani Synyard
Mala Vallotton


Dr. Oscar and Mrs. Aguero
Mr. and Mrs. Julian Creamer
John and Phyllis Hiers
The Honorable H. McLane and Mrs. Jane McLane
Dr. Linda R. Most
Drs. Mike and Lai Orenduff
Mr. Walter Prettyman
Bonnie Rainey
Ken and Electa Ricket
Mr. and Mrs. Mark Rogers
Salon 106 Inc.
Ms. Christine Schauteet
John and Kate Swiderski
Mr. & Mrs. Al Turner
Ole and Patricia Vigerstol
Mary Helen Watson
Chris and Jill Williams