Festive Overture

Festive Overture

Versions:

  • Orchestra (2004)
  • Chamber Orchestra (2005)
  • Septet (2003)

Works

Technical Information

Duration – 7:10

A) Festive Overture, for Orchestra (2004)

2(2=picc).2(2=ehn).2.2./4.2.3.1./timp.2perc./strings

(alternate part for 1 percussion)

B) Festive Overture, for Chamber Orchestra (2005)

2(2=picc).2(2=ehn).2.2./2.2.0.0./timp.1perc./strings

(alternate part combining timpani and percussion for 1 player)

C) Festive Overture, for Septet – Clarinet, 2 Violins, Viola, Cello, Bass and Percussion (2003)

(Extended concert version of the Overture to the Storyteller’s Bag)

Program Notes

Festive Overture is based on, and inspired by, a short overture that I wrote for a young people’s theatre project called A Storyteller’s Bag. Based on three Ojibway stories, this project was developed by Peggy Hills McGuire, music director of The Chamber Music Society of Mississauga (and principal second violinist of the Mississauga Symphony). Besides the overture, I wrote the music to the story called The Star Lily.

After I was commissioned to compose a symphonic overture for the Mississauga Symphony, I had the idea of lengthening The Storyteller’s Bag Overture from three to seven minutes and expanding the instrumentation from seven musicians (clarinet, string quintet and percussion) to a full orchestra. After discussing this idea with the music director of the Mississauga Symphony, John Barnum, I began the process of transforming The Storyteller’s Bag Overture into what would become the Festive Overture. This resulting Overture changed a simple three-part ternary form into a more developed and complex sonata allegro form, allowing for several variations of the introductory material and the first or main theme (heard first by unison strings). The second theme (first heard by the solo clarinet) also received a second and varied appearance. Since the original idea of both overtures was to capture some of the joyful enthusiasm and wonder of youth, I was very pleased when the Hamilton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra asked to co-sponsor the commissioning of the Festive Overture.

Commissioning and First Performances:

Festive Overture was co-commissioned by the Mississauga Symphonic Association and the Hamilton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. The Mississauga Symphony, John Barnum music director and conductor, gave their premiere on March 27, 2004 at the Hammerston Hall, Living Arts Centre, Mississauga, Ontario. The Hamilton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, Glenn Mallory music director and conductor, gave their premiere on May 22, 2004, at the Great Hall, Hamilton Place, Hamilton, Ontario. This was part of a special 40th Anniversary Concert celebrating the foundation of the orchestra and Glenn Mallory’s directorship. The Hamilton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra received funding for the commission as part of an Ontario Trillium Grant project.

The original version of the Festive Overture was composed as The Storyteller’s Bag Overture for Septet