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Patrick Fanara, Graduate Conductor




Welcome to our final concert of the 23/24 season! We are so proud of our collective work over the entire academic year, including 5 feature performances, 2 support performances, countless rehearsal hours, and many, many wonderful works, both old and new, from a diverse cast of composers and musical backgrounds. The sum of all this is the presentation of music to the community and to ourselves that we believe is vital to life of our campus and our greater St. Louis home. 

This evening's music is an eclectic-yet-connected collection of works, from composers who are all genius storytellers in their own way. Storytelling and music have always been connected. But, tonight's composers demonstrate the diversity of form that this expression can take. From Wagner and Persichetti (Romanticism vs. absolutism), through Bach and Price (both providing sublime meaning through clarity), we get a vivid description of each composer's world and perspective. All of this culminates (and manifests) in John Williams-arguably the most important living storyteller-composer.

We hope our performances tonight will transport you into the composers' worlds, into their stories, and provide a pleasant diversion during your evening. 

Thank you for joining us!

- Dr. David Wacyk 

OLIVIA KIEFFER  FANFARE! (world premier) (2024)

Olivia's fanfare for brass and percussion is part of our UMSL 60th Anniversary Celebration Fanfare Commissioning Project. The mission of this project is to commission five new one-minute fanfares from a diverse set of composers. All of these composers had not previously written fanfares. 

Olivia Kieffer's FANFARE! is an excellent example of her style: open in orchestration, playful in character, almost satirical, and always fun. Her fanfare is unique in its tin-soldier-esque expression; it's a quirky take on a genre (The Fanfare) that often takes itself too seriously. 

RICHARD WAGNER Trauermusik (1844)

On December 14, 1844, the remains of Carl Maria von Weber were moved from London, where he had died, to Germany. Wagner composed Trauermusik for the torch light procession to Weber’s final resting place, the Catholic Cemetery in Friedrichstadt. As part of his musical remembrance, Wagner arranged several portions of Weber’s opera Euryanthe for a large wind band of 75 players including 7 oboes, 10 bassoons, 25 clarinets and 14 horns, among others. 20 drums accompanied this wind band during the funeral procession. 

The first part of Trauermusik is an arrangement of music from the overture to Euryanthe, which represents the vision of Emma’s spirit in the opera. The main section of the work is taken from the cavatina “Hier dicht am Quell,” the text of which contains numerous references to death. The coda comes from a passage in Act II that recalls the opening “spirit music.” Wagner amassed all of the military bands around Dresden for the occasion, and was gratified by the effect. He remained fond of the work throughout his life and in Mein Leben he wrote, “1 had never before achieved anything that corresponded so perfectly to its purpose.”

-Michael Votta

VINCENT PERSICHETTI Divertimento for Band (1950)

Divertimento was premiered by The Goldman Band on June 16, 1950, with the composer conducting. The composition was started during the summer of 1949 in El Dorado, Kansas. In stories related to various sources, Persichetti began writing the work with a clash between choirs of woodwinds and brass, with a timpani "arguing" with them. After looking at this, he realized that the strings were not going to become a part of this piece. In an article from 1981 Persichetti stated: 

"I soon realized the strings weren't going to enter, and my Divertimento began to take shape. Many people call this ensemble "band." I know that composers are often frightened away by the sound of the word "band", because of certain qualities long associated with this medium -- rusty trumpets, consumptive flutes, wheezy oboes, disintegrating clarinets, fumbling yet amiable baton wavers, and gum-coated park benches! If you couple these conditions with transfigurations and disfigurations of works originally conceived for orchestra, you create a sound experience that's as nearly excruciating as a sick string quartet playing a dilettante's arrangement of a nineteenth-century piano sonata. When composers think of the band as a huge, supple ensemble of winds and percussion, the obnoxious fat will drain off, and creative ideas will flourish."

It is because of the scoring of this work and the attitude the composer showed in the creation of the work which Frederick Fennell felt was new for the "band" medium.

-note from the publisher

FLORENCE PRICE Andante Moderato  from String Quartet no. 2 (1838-1844)

( Please read her story!)

In 2009, a couple began to renovate a dilapidated house they had purchased in St. Anne, a tiny community little more than an hour south of Chicago, in Kankakee County. Scattered across the floor and in piles stacked around the house, they found handwritten pages of music. Many were signed: Florence Price. This had been her summerhouse, long ago abandoned. That discovery jump-started the renaissance of one of this country’s important musical figures, and the first Black woman to have a symphony performed by a major professional orchestra, and whose music had long been overlooked, neglected, and dismissed. 

Price had moved to Chicago with her family in 1927, making the Great Migration followed by thousands of Black Americans fleeing the terrors of living in the south and hoping to find a land of opportunity in Chicago. Price grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas. Her father, Dr. James H. Smith, a prosperous dentist, was one of Little Rock’s most highly respected Black men. She attended the same segregated schools as William Grant Still (eight years younger), another groundbreaking Black composer. In 1903, Price began studies at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, completing the four-year program in three years and graduating with diplomas in both piano and organ, the only student to receive two degrees that year.

After graduation, Price set aside her musical ambitions; she returned to Little Rock to teach and lived at home with her parents. After her father died in 1910, her mother sold all the family possessions, decided to pass for white, moved back to her hometown of Indianapolis, and vanished into the society of the majority. Price moved from one teaching job to another, continued to give organ and piano recitals, married Thomas Jewell Price (the attorney who had helped settle Dr. Smith’s estate), started a family, and settled into a comfortable mid­dle-class life in a predominantly Black neighborhood in Little Rock. Aside from the song she wrote after the birth of her first child, “To My Little Son,” she rarely found the time to compose anything.

But she did not give up. She spent the sum­mers of 1926 and 1927 in Chicago, where she studied composition at Chicago Musical College — and no doubt realized that this was the place to build her career and live a better life — remote from the rising racial tension in Little Rock and the attacks and crimes and lynching that had begun to spread throughout the city, sweeping into her family’s own neighborhood. Her arrival in Chicago placed her on the cusp of the Black Chicago Renaissance.

But even in Chicago, composing music did not come easily. After the Depression, her husband was often without work; he grew angry and abusive. He moved out of the family house in March 1930. The next January, Price was granted a divorce and custody of their two daughters. By then, she had begun to write music on a larger scale, reflecting a new certainty that composing was her calling. The Andante moderato played at these concerts is an arrangement, for string orchestra, of the slow movement from a string quartet in G major that she composed in 1929. She turned 42 that year.

In the summer of 1932, Frederick Stock, the music director of the Chicago Symphony, had been named music advisor for the exposition, set in Chicago to honor the city’s centennial, and he began to look around for new scores that would represent the state of music in America. Although Stock did not know Price, he picked her unpublished first symphony as the center­piece of a concert to be given on June 15, 1933, in the Auditorium Theatre. Despite the excitement and the applause at that night’s concert, no one at the time entirely recognized the history-book significance of the occasion: this was the first performance of a large-scale composition by a Black woman given by one of the major U.S. orchestras.

For many years, Price’s story was one of inter­mittent recognition — in 1964, an elementary school on South Drexel Boulevard, in North Kenwood, near Price’s old neighborhood, was named for her — but very few performances. That has changed. The manuscripts discovered in St. Anne contained many lost works, including two violin concertos and a fourth symphony. -Note adapted from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Phillip Huscher) 


Tonight's performance of her heartfelt Andante moderato is a beautiful addition to the repertoire (Adapted from her first string quartet). The playful (almost sinister) middle section is bookended by the simple, lush, and sublime slower sections, seeming to tell a story of summer time in the Midwest of the US- simple and serene, with a bit of troubled life in the mix. This short piece gives us a hint of Price’s full talent, too long silenced.

J.S. BACH Cantata, BWV 84 (1727)

 Ich bin vergnügt mit meinem Glücke, BWV 84 (I am content in my good fortune) was composed in Leipzig in 1727 for Septuagesima Sunday and is unusual in that it a solo cantata. BWV 84 belongs to a group of twelve solo cantatas Bach composed after the summer of 1726. The 209 surviving cantatas of Johann Sebastian Bach are some of his most notable compositions, the earliest surviving cantata dates from 1707 and the last is thought to have been written in 1745. Most of Bach’s cantatas date from his early years as the cantor in Leipzig where he was required to perform a church cantata for every Sunday and Holiday.

It is unknown who wrote the text for this particular cantata but the libretto bears a striking resemblance to that of the cantata Ich bin vergnügt mit meinem Stande (I am content with my position), published by Bach’s lyricist Picander in 1728.  The text is related to the gospel and differs from many other cantatas in its absence of sadness, upset, fear of death, atonement and sense of sin. BWV 84rather focuses on the moralistic call of the Christian to live a virtuous and austere life in gratitude to God.  The language is straightforward, succinct and sagacious which was unusual in an era of figurative rhetoric.

The work is structured in five movements, alternating between arias and recitatives and finally a closing chorale, the text of which is taken from the twelfth stanza of the funeral hymn Wer weiß, wie nahe mir mein Ende by Ämilie Juliane von Schwarzburg-Rudolstadtand sung to the tune of Neumarks Wer nur den lieben Gott last Walten.

The opening aria is in E minor with a slow and quiet swaying rhythm reminiscent of French overtures. The oboe and soprano are pulled in wandering, decorative wistful lines over a chordal string accompaniment. The following recitative is extensive and austere with a plain vocal line devoid of any decoration, melisma or arioso passages. The second aria brings a completely different character,the words Freude and fröhlich reflect the carefree music in G major. The aria has a folk dancing feel to it; the oboe becomes the rustic chanter over the ongoing open strings of the violin that suggest the drones of bagpipes or a honky-tonk. In the second recitative the significance of the soprano’s text is given additional authority by a solemn string accompaniment. The final Chorale, as already mentioned takes it’s text from a funeral hymn and displays four-part harmonization in a remarkably simple, sparse and austere style for the composer.

- Note from West Cork Music

JOHN WILLIAMS Star Wars (1977) arr. Robert W. Smith 

Though John Williams has mastered many forms of composition, he is most famous for his unforgettable film scores, which are considered the epitome of film music. In 1977, Williams composed what is arguably his most famous film score, the music for Star Wars, which earned him an Academy Award for Best Original Score that year. It was not his first Oscar win, nor would it be his last, but the music for Star Wars cemented Williams’ fame as a composer. The opening fanfare of the Main Theme is instantly recognizable and sets the stage for the epic film to come. The 1977 score of Star Wars was selected by the American Film Institute as the greatest film score of all time.

- Program Note from U.S. Marine Band concert program, 2 June 2022


DAVID WACYK, Conductor, Music Director 

DR. DAVID WACYK is a conductor and educator dedicated to serving students, the community, and the profession through meaningful music making. David serves as Director of Instrumental Ensembles and Assistant Teaching Professor of Music at University of Missouri- St. Louis where he conducts the UMSL Orchestra, UMSL Wind Ensemble, chamber ensembles, coordinates the “Triton Sound” Pep band, and teaches courses in graduate and undergraduate conducting. 


Prior to his arrival at UMSL, David was Director of Instrumental Music at Saint Martin’s University, and previously taught instrumental conducting at Towson University. As a Doctoral student at the University of Maryland he served as Assistant Conductor of the Wind Orchestra and Wind Ensemble. Prior to his doctoral work, David was Director of Bands at North Harford High School, where he directed instrumental ensembles and taught music theory. 


David's scholarship focuses on modernist and avant-garde wind music of Twentieth-century composers, including Igor Stravinsky,  Edgard Varese, and Ida Gotkovsky. Additionally David has led discussions related to re-evaluating existing systems of concertizing and programming, and addressing systemic inadequacies in the field of wind bands. Recently he has accepted invitations to present at the CBDNA ("Symphonies of Winds: toward a new understanding of pitch structure", and "The Intelligence of Sound: matters of ethos and style in the wind music of Edgard Varese"), IGEB ("The Wind Music of Ida Gotkovsky"), WMEA ("The Future is Flexible: Small bands as leaders in creativity", and DNMC ("New Music and New Paradigms: an honest conversation on the future of college ensembles"). The Wind Music of Ida Gotkovksy was also presented as a national webinar. In October 2023, David travelled to the CRR Paris Conservatory to present on Gotkovsky's music, and in January 2024 David led a pre-concert discussion for the SLSO. He has been named a finalist- and awarded second place- for the American Prize in conducting. 

David holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree and Master of Music degree in Conducting from University of Maryland, and a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Western Michigan University.  David maintains an active schedule as a guest conductor and clinician throughout the United States, including as a conductor for the acclaimed summer institution, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. He resides in Clayton, MO with his wife Laurel, and son Roger.

RITA SCHIEN, Soprano, (Winner of the 23/24 YA Competition)

Rita Schien, soprano, is delighted to collaborate with the  UMSL Chamber Orchestra as a featured soloist. Rita is currently studying Vocal Performance at the University of Missouri- St. Louis under the instruction of Dr. Leslie Allnatt. At UMSL, She sings with University Singers, Vocal Point, and Opera Theater. Rita is the President of the Choir Program at UMSL and has received multiple awards for her outstanding efforts in both the choral and vocal department. This year Rita

has had the privilege of being a Bach Society Young Artist and the second place winner for Union Avenue Opera’s Crescendo program.

UMSL MUSIC FACULTY SOLOISTS for BWV 84 (click for Bios) 





UMSL Orchestra/ Wind Ensemble

Violin 1

      G Schmedecki

      Paula Carter

      Tobias Gamiño

      Matthew Lucy 

      Andy Mai

      Nyla Robinson

      John McGrosso

Violin 2

Anna Fildes

      Madison Weicht

      Emily Blackwell

      Amanda Meyer

      Jill Hammill


       Maya Combs

       Reese Rich

       Megan Heithaus

       Joanna Mendoza*


      Emma Cheng     

      Olivia Edwards     

      Mike Todd

      Connor Travers     

      Christian Okeke

      Hannah Barrow

      Kurt Baldwin*


      Victoria Driver 

      Cory Simmons


Katlynn Connor (Piccolo)  

Liah Kahn (Piccolo) 

Caroline Kidwell 

Emma Landwehr (Piccolo) 

Alissa Smith (Piccolo) 

Jennifer Lloyd

Pam Herendeen (Piccolo) 


Andrew Pulliam

Claire Workinger*


Jacob Johnson

Dave Metzger

Mark Lauer* 


       Joey Brown

       Sam Brown

       Heather Decker (Eb)

       Amber Matronia

       Jake Philipak

       Tyler Teague

       Linda Tessereau

       Sara Thompson 

       Grace Reuter

       Anne Winkler*

Bass Clarinet

Chris Hollingsworth 

Miguel Oseguera


Alto Saxophone

       Caleb Browne

       Alfredo Deleon

       Dani Strehle

       Odessa Willet 

       Jennifer Roberts


Tenor Saxophone

        Patrick Fanara

        Shane Wolz


       Baritone Saxophone

       Tyler McFarland


Heidi Abbott

Tommy Ahl 

Quinn Breeze

Sara Mullins 

Luca Saewe

Bernadetta Newkirk Sommer, Principal


Rachel Bartleman

Krishaun Dotson-Orange 

Cristian Fudge-Zabielski, Principal

Seth Peters

Abby Pierce

Mark Tessereau

Linus Saewe

Joshua Veal


Jamie Blaylock

Ben Ellis 

Ryan Scott

George Todd

Patrick Wilke

David Kreipke

Michael Merritt Jr. 


Aidan Jay (bass trombone)

Lydia Oseguera


Nathan Hopkins

Charles Wilkes


Rick Breyer

Jacob Brewer

Eric Carranza 

Bailey Kayser

Piano/ Electric keyboard

Tyler Mcfarland

* UMSL Faculty

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