100%

Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Download this Issue

Share

Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

This collection, digitized in collaboration with the Michigan Daily and the Board for Student Publications, contains materials that are protected by copyright law. Access to these materials is provided for non-profit educational and research purposes. If you use an item from this collection, it is your responsibility to consider the work's copyright status and obtain any required permission.

October 15, 1961 - Image 16

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1961-10-15
Note:
This is a tabloid page

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

w w w -w-------- -~ ~2 - -

The Symphony

Band's

Triumph

and Exhaustion on

T

NOTHING LIKE IT has ever happened
before. When the University of Michi-
gan Band took off from Willow Run last
February 19, it was beginning the most
ambitious tour ever presented in the
United States' cultural exchange program.
One hundred four persons . . . 5% tons
of baggage and equipment . . . 30,000
miles . . . 88 concerts .. . 15 weeks ..
and eight of those weeks in that most
enigmatic of all countries, Russia-the
most exposure- any American performers
have ever had there,
This unprecedented trip ended at Car-
negie Hall, June 2. What remains from
it?-An album of marches recorded by the
tour band, the meaning the event has for
the University and for bands in general,
what it did to the people involved.
Listening to the Michigan Band is al-
ways an exciting experience, even for
those who have been weaned on band
music; and the band must have made a
deep impression on the Russians, many
of whom had never heard such an en-
semble.
Russia is a nation of ballet, orchestras
and virtuosos, but there are few bands,
nor are there many in the satellite nations
of Poland and Romania. In the other
countries visited-Egypt, Jordan, Cyprus,
Lebanon, Turkey and Greece-there is
little of the cultural life we know.
* * *
THE BAND as an ensemble for serious
musical communication is a typically
American conception. In those countries
which have had bands for the past cen-
tury or two (Italy, France, Belgium,
Germany and England) most have been
used as marching units or military trap-
pings rather than as concert ensembles.
American bands were, in the past, either
military or small professional and civic
groups limited to performance of light
numbers, marches, and transcriptions
from orchestral classics.
The tour of the Michigan Band under
State Department sponsorship may mean
that the concert band is finally coming
into its own. As the band movement has
spread in schools and colleges a repertoire
of music written specifically for this me-
dium has arisen.
Though marching bands and light pro-
gramming have their place, it can hardly
be said that bands reached any stature
until composers like Paul Hindemith,
Howard Hanson, Morton Gould, Vincent
Persichetti and William Schumann began
to produce longer and more serious music
designed especially for the capabilities of
the band.
Earlier band compositions by Vaughn
Williams, Gustav Holst, Igor Stravinsky,
Arnold Schoenberg and on back to Berlioz
and Mendelssohn, represented quick di-
versions from the orclestral mainstream,
rather than any significant trend.
* * *
T HE RUSSIAN REVIEWERS were
amazed by the tone of the University
Band more than any single factor, due
perhaps to its large woodwind section as
compared with the Russian baud. An en-
larged woodwind section in botA numbers
and variety of instruments gives the band
almost as much tonal versatility as the
orchestra. An amplified brass section
compared to the orchestra can give sheer
power unattainable in any other medium.
The tour means a lot not only to bands,
but to the Michigan Band in particular.
First, it was honored by being chosen over
many other groups to make the tour. It
also gained great prestige as a result of
the tour.
Llewellyn E. Thompson reported with
ambassadorial pride that "they made a
success of every single concert throughout
their trip in the Soviet Union." Although
the band has sometimes suffered abuse at
the hands of Michigan Daily critics (along
with most outstanding ensembles and
soloists in the world of music), it had an
international "last laugh" this year as
foreign critics said:
".. . the band is characterized by ver-
satility, wealth of composition and purity
of sound."
"... the band's unique style of playing
. .. is an important factor in the cultiva-
tion of a mellow, surprisingly transparent

and gentle sound."
Similar kudos have been consistently

Concerts, like this one at the Kiev Palace of Culture, drew large audiences.

written
now in
Versity'
partme
from t]
velli PC
clarity
temper
executi
PROI
wit
the 22
and c
ment s
The c
mandi
plined
He a
where
young
perfor
("exce
of thi
and T
Inst:
ward r
eral ar
of ins
Weste
highly
lesson
chamt
Band
Lening
"Ev
Russia
in Am
or a n
the re
tion, a
cultur
have r
remar
Unite(
advan
son to
"Tb
in eve
in th
STU
af
see la:
bookii
Wit
of for
aged I
and ti
Suc
a rig
by pr
ened
Th
bit m
diet v
seeme
in ta
greas
exper
men :
game
undei
Per
of th
conce
night
stom
differ
In
hears
waiti
neigt
shou
remi
they
calle
and
expr
Th
Russ
of cu
the t
be ki
durir
has r
mati4
ment
and 1
Pei
reall
muh
phon
of th

talks

RUSSIAN CROWDS

Story by Richard Ostling
Photos by
University of Michigan
News Service

WILLIAM"T. REVELLI

A Russian audience pushes forward to talk to members of the band.

7

THE MICHIG~AN DAILYV MAGAZINE S[UNDAY. OCTOBER 15. 1961

Back to Top

© 2021 Regents of the University of Michigan