In Memoriam

Some Thoughts on Choosing Music for Younger Wind Ensembles

These are David’s thoughts on choosing music. You can find the annotated repertoire list here.

I have never been in charge of a school band program, but over the past 40-plus years I have seen hundreds of programs close-up as guest composer. While I do understand the need to teach specific aspects of music, I strongly advise against the use of so-called “educational” music. The core to the development of a band is the committed interest of its players, and that interest is captured by real music.

And what is real music? It is music that you personally love, that excites and interests you. That is the key issue: do you love it? If you do, your students will respond. If you do not love the music you are bringing to your students, there is no way that they will love it, and no way that they will perform with real enthusiasm or conviction. Let your students help you. They are thoroughly plugged into media sources and are totally up on wind band music that they love and want to play.

The biggest inhibiting factor in the selection of music is fear: my band can’t. I have seen it time and time again: the biggest inhibitor of the ability of a band to play is the conductor’s fear of failure – my band can’t. The grading system offers some guidelines, but these are not a rigid box. Look first to the music that you love, then begin to plot how you can […]

By |2016-12-09T23:08:45+00:0016 July 2015|Hell's Gate, In Memoriam, Reference|

David Maslanka’s Use of a Chorale Tune in “In Memoriam”

Dr. Roy Breiling’s doctoral dissertation covers the use of the chorale tune “Wer nur den lieben Gott lasst walten” (“If you but trust in God to guide you”) in David’s composition, In Memoriam. The author also includes biographical information as well as an overview of David’s compositional approach and how it relates to his musical style.

David Maslanka’s Use of a Chorale Tune in “In Memoriam”

David Maslanka’s music has been widely performed in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, and Japan; however, to date, there are only two published dociiments that provide information about his music. J. Patrick Brooks presented a theoretical analysis of Maslanka’s Concerto for Piano, Winds and Percussion in his D.M.A. dissertation, and in The College Band Director’s Journal. Thomas Wubbenhorst published an article in which he discussed Maslanka’s wind band piece, A Child’s Garden of Dreams. This author’s document will further contribute to what has already been written about David Maslanka and his music.

According to recent research, there are no studies that focus on Maslanka’s use of chorale tunes in his wind band compositions. In addition to the composition selected for this document, Maslanka uses chorale tunes in numerous other wind band works, such as A Tuning Piece: Songs of Fall and Winter (1995), Montana Music: Chorale Variations (1993), and Symphony No. 4 (1993).

The purpose of this document is to help musicians understand David Maslanka’s use of a chorale tune in In Memoriam. Chapter 1 contains biographical information about David Maslanka, including an explanation of the influences of J. S. […]

By |2016-08-20T20:45:53+00:0020 March 2000|Dissertation, In Memoriam, Reference|