Wind Ensemble (Grade 2.5)
Commissioned by Daniel Brame and composed between January and April, 2005 in Brooklyn, NY and Boston, MA.
Centennial Celebration is a short theme-and-variations piece loosely based on the theme of the well-known birthday song. The music and the title honor the 100th anniversary of Mandel Hall's opening.
The piece begins with a slow prelude where fragments of the theme are introduced around the ensemble. A quicker, more clear statement of the theme from the woodwinds leads into the first of three celebratory sections.
The first section, "Wily Gallop," is characterized by its driving castanet and trumpet pattern in 7/8. The saxophone ensemble plays the theme with occasional 3/4 measures that trick this pattern.
Next is the playful and humorous "Farcical March" in 6/8. Tuba cliché, bi-tonal cornets and loony percussion are featured, with piccolo, flutes and oboes playing a variation of the theme.
Finally, “Blowing Out Each Candle” begins with a flurry from the clarinets and vibraphone. The theme is fragmented through the ensemble along with occasional 7/8 measures that truncate the 4/4 majority. A series of polyrhythmic gestures and washes of sound push this section through to its final punch at the end.