College of Fine & Performing Arts

WWU Symphonic Band

Symphonic Band

Wednesday, March 13, 2019 - 7:30pm


Open to All at No Cost

Zachary Smith, conductor


  • Fortress (1989) - Frank Ticheli (b. 1958)
  • This Cruel Moon (2017) - John Mackey (b. 1973)
  • Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night (1979) - Elliot de Borgo (1938-2013)
  • Bali (2005) - Michael Colgrass (b. 1932)
  • Of Sailors and Whales (1989) - W. Francis McBeth (1933-2012)  

Program Notes

This Cruel Moon

This piece is an adaptation of the middle movement of "Wine-Dark Sea: Symphony for Band." The full symphony tells the tale of Odysseus and his journey home following his victory in the Trojan War. But Odysseus' journey would take as long as the war itself. Homer called the ocean on which Odysseus sailed a wine-dark sea, and for the Greek king it was as murky and disorienting as its name; he would not find his way across it without first losing himself.

"This Cruel Moon" is the song of the beautiful and immortal nymph Kalypso, who finds Odysseus near death, washed up on the shore of the island where she lives all alone. She nurses him back to health, and sings as she moves back and forth with a golden shuttle at her loom. Odysseus shares her bed; seven years pass. The tapestry she began when she nursed him becomes a record of their love.

But one day Odysseus remembers his home. He tells Kalypso he wants to leave her, to return to his wife and son. He scoffs at all she has given him. Kalypso is heartbroken.

And yet, that night, Kalypso again paces at her loom. She unravels her tapestry and weaves it into a sail for Odysseus. In the morning, she shows Odysseus a raft, equipped with the sail she has made and stocked with bread and wine, and calls up a gentle and steady wind to carry him home. Shattered, she watches him go; he does not look back.    -Mackey

Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night

"Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night" is loosely inspired by the Dylan Thomas poem of the same name. The work was commissioned in 1978 to commemorate two students, Jill Marie Waterland and Mandy Doel, who were killed in a tragic car accident. Both young women were members of the Peninsula High School Band in Gig Harbor, Washington. Elliot Del Borgo writes, “While not a programmatic depiction of the poem, the work attempts to recreate the essence of the poem in sound.” The work is not a line- by-line depiction of Thomas’ poetry, but it does seek to embody the “essence” of the poem. Thomas wrote the poem in 1951 near the end of his father’s life. The poem was meant to inspire Thomas’ father to fight death to the end, rather than meekly submit to his fate.

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.


"Bali" was inspired by my two summers living in Ubud, the arts-and-crafts center of Bali. The very first sound I heard every morning was a gamelan instrument playing the five-note scale unique to that region of the island.

The Balinese are a warm, playful and artistic-minded people, all of whom play instruments and dance, as well as work in the rice fields. Creativity is such a basic part of their life that they don’t even have a word for it, because it is simply taken for granted as a basis for a spiritual life. The Balinese are a quiet and peace-loving people who have never been successfully occupied by a foreign power. The Dutch, the Japanese, and the Communists all failed to dominate this little island, and finally gave up and left, because they could not conquer the passive resistance of the Balinese people.

This work offers an example of their indomitable spirit. It is divided into three main parts: the bright dance rhythms of the gamelan orchestra are the outer sections, and the middle section is the slow lament for the dead, introduced by an explosion representing the 2002 terrorist bombing of the nightclub in the island’s capital, Denpassar. The offstage oboes represent peace-loving Muslims, who are the majority, grieving for their victims. The Balinese have a unique way of dealing with tragedy: they build a spiritual monument on the spot where the event took place as an offering to the gods. Following the requiem-like music we hear a gradual build-up of bright sounds representing the sun reflecting off of the icon built to the memory of the dead, which then leads to a return of the dance.            -Colgrass

Of Sailors and Whales (Five Scenes from Melville)

"Of Sailors and Whales (Five Scenes from Melville)" is a five-movement work based on scenes from Herman Melville's Moby Dick. It was commissioned by and is dedicated to the California Band Directors Association, Inc., and was premiered in February 1990 by the California All-State Band, conducted by the composer. The work is sub-dedicated to Robert Lanon White, Commander USN (Ret.), who went to sea as a simple sailor.

The composer provided these notes for each movement:

I. Ishmael - "I go to sea as a simple sailor."

II. Queequeg - "It was quite plain that he must be some abominable savage, but Queequeg was a creature in the transitory state -- neither caterpillar nor butterfly."

III. Father Mapple - "This ended, in prolonged solemn tones, like the continual tolling of a bell in a ship that is foundering at sea in a fog -- in such tones he commenced reading the following hymn; but changing his manner towards the concluding stanzas, burst forth with a pealing exultation and joy."

The ribs and terrors in the whale arched over me a dismal gloom,

While all God's sunlit waves rolled by, and lift me lower down to doom. 
In black distress I called my God when I could scarce believe Him mine,
He bowed His ear to my complaint, no more the whale did me confine. 
My songs forever shall record that terrible, that joyful hour,

I give the glory to my God, His all the mercy and the power.

IV. Ahab - "So powerfully did the whole grim aspect of Ahab affect me that for the first few moments I hardly noted the barbaric white leg upon which he partly stood."

V. The White Whale - "Moby Dick seemed combinedly possessed by all the angels that fell from heaven. The birds! - the birds! They mark the spot ... The whale, the whale! Up helm, up helm! Oh, all ye sweet powers of air, now hug me close ... He turns to meet us ... My God, stand by me now!”                                                                                                                           -McBeth


*Denotes Principals


  • Megan Theimer*
  • Katie Boon
  • Melissa Browning
  • Amanda Koker
  • Bambi Lewis
  • Beatrice Medard
  • Jessica Moore
  • Jaycee Pillman
  • Melissa Quillin
  • Haylie Ridout
  • Ashley Serna
  • Kelli Vitt
  • Kimberly Wallace
  • Shane Walz
  • Jazmyn Williams



  • Ally Graham*
  • Tara Chin
  • Crow Chloupek
  • Quentin Souchet
  • Shachaf Zahavy-Mittelman



  • Parker Rivas*
  • Matt Almanza
  • Sam Estrada



  • Joslyn Cianfrance*
  • Emma Barrett
  • Liam Galloway
  • Katarina Harrington
  • Amber Jarve
  • Jack MacCleary
  • Nick McClatchey
  • Joanna Schroeder
  • Jacob Snow


Bass Clarinet

  • Molly Snead*
  • Elizabeth Rosales

Alto Saxophones

  • Izak Lamb*
  • Sarah Carthum
  • McKenzie Goff
  • Alex Kocsis
  • Cecilia Miller-Wang
  • Adam Sorg


Tenor Saxophones

  • Garrett Harlow*
  • Zach Leija
  • Jordan Marbach
  • Enoc Martinez
  • Anna Schluneger


Baritone Saxophones

  • Parker Smith*
  • Branden Sandberg



  • Chase Cohen*
  • Autumn Bochart
  • Caroline Gibb
  • Avery Heuser
  • Carolynna Holbrook
  • Will Jones
  • Alex Marbach
  • Isabelle Mucke
  • A.J. Pierson
  • Jonah Rink
  • Katie Sando
  • Ben Siler
  • Samuel Whitney



  • Abigail Alpers*
  • Jenny Baxter
  • Rachel Oie
  • Sage Pavey



  • Erin Hanger*
  • Megan Bruce
  • Allissa Empert
  • Maddy Hazenberg
  • Ellie Monroe
  • Ian Schroeder



  • Wyatt Wahlgren*
  • Michael Dymek



  • Maxwell Lemke*
  • Wesley Olivas
  • Jake Rivera
  • David Tabakian
  • Walter Walter



  • Quinn Mitchell*
  • Toby Bruce
  • Addisen Critchlow
  • Zach Cruz
  • Jack Dumas
  • Eric Schultz
  • Christian Lathrom
  • Logan Moldenhour



  • Sophia Lewis


Unless otherwise indicated, there is no late seating or admission to events. Please contact the event organizer if you are unable to arrive on time.


For disability accommodations, please contact the department presenting the event. Disability access information is available online at Parking Services, and further resources can be found on Western's Disability Resources website.

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