Catfish Row George Gershwin
Symphonic Metamorphosis Paul Hindemith from Porgy and Bess Arr. Donald Hunsberger
of Themes by Carl Von Weber
George Gershwin is perhaps one of the most recognized and popular
composers of the twentieth century. From his roots in Tin Pan Alley
Catfish Row George Gershwin writing songs with his brother Ira, to their collaboration on Broadway,
from Porgy and Bess Arr. Donald Hunsberger the Gershwin brothers are responsible for some of the best-loved
standards of the early part of the century. Their songs feature the use of
jazz idioms, rhythmic vitality, and wonderful settings of the text.
Concerto for Marimba and String Orchestra
One of Gershwin‟s most ambitious works was his “folk opera” Porgy
and Bess, which premiered on Broadway October 10th, 1935. This
work combines blues and jazz with classic opera ideas and firmly
integrates unforgettable songs with the drama. The opera, based on the
novel Porgy, by DuBose Heyward takes place in Catfish Row, a former
mansion, but now tenement on the waterfront in Charleston. The opera
centers on the lives of the residents of Catfish Row and their joy and
Symphonic Metamorphosis Paul Hindemith suffering in daily life. The center of the story, however, is the love
of Themes by Carl Von Weber between the crippled Porgy and beautiful Bess. Featuring such
memorable and well-known songs as: Summertime, Bess, You is My
Paul Hindemith was born in Frankfurt, Germany in 1895. Hindemith is Woman Now, I got Plenty o’ Nuttin’, and It Ain’t Necessarily So.
considered the foremost German composer of his generation. His Porgy and Bess is one of Gershwin‟s best-known works.
philosophy was that music was practical and used to spread peace
throughout the world. Hindemith lived in Nazi Germany during World In 1936, Gershwin created an orchestral suite from the opera using
War II. After his pieces were banned because of their „rebellious‟ some of the most famous arias connected with the exciting orchestral
nature, he feared for his Jewish wife‟s safety, and fled to the United music. Following in this vein, arranger Donald Hunsberger has created
States in 1940. a nine-section work that showcases on the Gershwin‟s most famous
works in a new medium, wind ensemble and voice.
That same year it was suggested to Hindemith, by a US choreographer,
to compose music to be used in a ballet. When Hindemith discovered Concerto for Marimba and String Orchestra
the sets were to be created by Salvador Dali, he refused to do the
project. Hindemith had already blocked out the music, so decided to Concerto for Marimba and String Orchestra was written in 1999 for
compose the pieces anyway, but wrote it for orchestra instead of ballet. She-e Wu and the Moment Musical Orchestra of Taiwan, with Paul
The piece is based on a piano suite by Carl Von Weber, Huit Pieces, Chiang as the conductor. The Wind ensemble version of the piece was
op. 60. Hindemith keeps the melodies intact, but elaborates on them in made by Virginia Allen, and premiered by the U. of Arkansas Wind
such a way that ‘Symphonic Metamorphosis’ of Themes by Carl Von Ensemble in the Spring of 2003.
Weber is considered one of the greatest pieces in the literature today.
Prior to writing the Concerto, I had not written a solo for marimba 1997 Percussive Arts Society International Convention in Anaheim,
since 1989, when I wrote a work called "Northern Lights". During that California, the 1998 Leigh Howard Stevens Summer Marimba Seminar
time, the Marimba grew with extra low notes not available when I was in Asbury Park, New Jersey, and the 2001 Bellingham Festival of
writing previously for the instrument. I consequently wanted to take Music in Bellingham, Washington. In 1994, he won the Yamaha
advantage of this beautiful extra range, and I also wanted to construct a Young Performing Artist Competition. He is two-time winner of the
piece which had a variety of colors and emotional expressions-- Instrumental Division of the Naftzger Young Artist Competition (1996
excitement, poignancy, joy and wistfulness. Before I began composing & 1997) and was runner-up for the 1997 Percussive Arts Society Solo
the piece, I heard She-e play several works for solo Marimba. Her Marimba Competition. He has been recorded on several albums with
beautiful, expressive playing was a major influence throughout the world-renowned artists such as Steve Houghton and J.C. Combs as well
creation of this work. as having released his own solo marimba recording. As a composer, his
music is currently made available through Studio 4 Music. Kevin is a
The lst movement opens with a chorale, which reappears both at the Malletech Clinician/Recitalist and a Zildjian Educational Endorser,
end of the lst movement, and one more time towards the end of the last performing exclusively on Malletech Marimbas and Zildjian Cymbals.
movement. This chorale represents absolute peace and joy. It is in a
major key, and ties the work together. Following this opening, the lst John Stephens
movement takes a sudden shift with rapid, spinning themes and
arpeggiated figures. The 2nd movement is really a song without words- John Stephens holds a doctor of musical arts degree from the
-it is intimate, lyric and expressive. The middle section is quite intense, University of Illinois, and was a Fulbright Scholar in Hamburg,
but there is a return to the quiet lyricism of the opening song. The final Germany. He received advanced training at the Juilliard School of
movement is a rousing rondo, actually influenced by Brahms and his Music, where he was a member of the American Opera Center.
Hungarian-inspired music. My background is Ukrainian and Polish,
and there are Eastern European harmonies threading its way through In addition to teaching voice and directing opera at the University of
the movement, along with a middle section, which has a syncopated, Kansas, Stephens maintains a career as an opera and concert singer. He
jazz-influenced rhythm. has sung leading roles with numerous opera companies, including the
Houston Grand Opera; Santa Fe Opera; Washington Opera; Opera
The work has been recorded by She-e Wu with the International Sejong Theatre of St. Louis; Minnesota Opera; Atlanta Opera; Opera Pacific;
Soloists for a CD devoted to my percussion music, which is available Pittsburgh Opera Theatre; Boston Lyric Opera; Glimmerglass Opera;
on Resonator Records. Opera Omaha; and the Kansas City Lyric Opera. As concert soloist he
has sung with the St. Louis Symphony; the St. Paul Chamber
Kevin Bobo Orchestra; Atlanta Symphony; Kansas City Symphony; and at the J. F.
Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He is also principal bass
Kevin Bobo is one of America's top marimba artists. He is currently soloist for the Bach Aria Group.
serving as Assistant Professor of Percussion at the University of
Kansas. He has performed all over the United States as a solo recitalist, Stephens has recorded for Columbia Masterworks, Newport Classics
clinician, and orchestral percussionist. He holds a Bachelors Degree and the Musical Heritage Society. Upcoming engagements include
from Wichita State University where he studied with J.C. Combs and a Handel's "Messiah" with the Kansas City Symphony, "Iolanthe" with
Masters Degree from Ithaca College where he studied with Gordon Cleveland Opera, "The Pirates of Penzance" with Fort Worth Opera, "A
Stout. He has given solo marimba performances at the 1996 National Midsummer Nite Dream" with The Kansas City Lyric.
Music Educators National Conference in Kansas City, Missouri, the
A recent recipient of the Kemper Award for Teaching Excellence at the
University of Kansas, Stephens also enjoys a distinguished teaching
The University of Kansas
career. His voice students have sung with the Paris Opera; the Chicago
Lyric Opera; the San Francisco Opera; English National Opera; Santa Department of Music & Dance
Fe Opera; Opera Theatre of St. Louis; Glimmerglass Opera; the presents
Tanglewood Festival and others, as well as on Broadway and in
numerous national tours. Stephens is represented by Munro Artists
Greta Pope is an international entertainer. She has delighted audiences
throughout Europe, the Far East, South America and the Caribbean, as
well as the United States. Ms. Pope has been touted as one of the great
voices of our time, as she performs with ease all styles from country to
opera, and from rhythm and blues to Broadway.
Greta has shared the stage with many greats, such as Dick Van Dyke,
Dr. John Lynch, director
Phyllis Diller, LaToya Jackson, Penn and Teller, Boy George, as well
as many others. She has been the featured artist for many major
corporate conventions at home and abroad. She has been the soloist for
numerous professional sporting events, and you‟ve also heard Ms.
Pop‟s voice on commercials for companies like McDonald‟s and 7-
Eleven. Greta has been a featured artist in the Mabel Mercer
Foundation‟s “Cabaret Gala” under the direction of Donald Smith.
Ms. Pope has a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree, a Master of Music
degree and has studied opera at the post-graduate level with the great
Greta Pope resides in the beautiful city of Chicago, where she is the
wife of businessman Edward Wimp, and the mother of Edward
3:00 pm Sunday April 25, 2004
The Lied Center of Kansas