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Coda Connections
Columbia Band Fans' Quarterly Newsletter
Summer 2009

News & Calendar - Summer 2009
Feature - Composer Overview: Alan Menken
Behind the Baton - Director's Thoughts
Fun Stuff - A few words about...
Official CCB/CJB Positions - People in Charge
Contact Information


This edition of Coda Connections features a bigwig in Disney music, the results of our recent elections, and of course, upcoming performances.

For anyone who does not wish to be on the newsletter list, simple use the SafeUnsubscribe link at the bottom of the window to opt out.

I encourage all CCB/CJB fans and members to speak up if there's a particular music-related subject that you would like to see featured in Coda Connections; please remember that your feedback is important to the growth and success of this publication.

Please send me a message if:
- Your email changes and you'd like to keep getting this newsletter, OR
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- Len Morse, Editor

News & Calendar

Summer News

Both the concert band and the jazz band continue to work on new music for their loyal fans and new folks.

Summer Calendar - Concert Band

  Sun, 8/09, 6:30-8:30PM, August:
  Sun, 8/9, 6:30-8:30PM, Lake Kittamaqundi, Columbia, MD
  Sun, 8/23, 6:00-8:00PM, Lurman Woodland Theatre, Catonsville, MD

Spring Calendar - Jazz Band

No public gigs currently.

by Len Morse (Percussion)     Musical notes on staff
Composer Overview: Alan Menken

When we watch Disney movies, we usually don't pay attention to the names behind the scenes. The musical, visual, and technical folks who bring the film alive are frequently no more than a series of words scrolling up the screen, as we reflect and discuss the film we've just enjoyed. When it comes to knowing who made the magic possible, we'll usually seek out the names of voice actors behind our favorite characters.

Now and then, however, we'll see a recognizable name rolling through the end credits. If you've seen at least one Disney movie made during the 1990s, you'll probably know the name of composer Alan Menken, although Menken's work extends beyond just one decade.

Born on July 22nd, 1949, in New Rochelle, New York, young Alan learned piano, violin, and guitar while in high school. He then attended New York University, where he dabbled with med school for a bit, fully expecting to follow the family occupation of dentistry. However, he came away with a Liberal Arts degree.

Despite the medical expectations, a childhood full of Broadway musicals, classical music, folk music, rock music, and any other music he could listen to (plus his parents' insistence) led him to audition for the Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) Musical Theater Workshop, in Manhattan. BMI is one of a handful of license fee collectors that pay royalties to music publishers and to songwriters and composers when their works are performed.

His talent and love for songwriting eventually brought him to the challenging world of scoring Disney (and other) movie soundtracks. The following list is only a small sample of feature films that include Menken's work:

1989 - The Little Mermaid (Oscar: "Under the Sea" & Best Score)
1991 - Beauty and the Beast (Oscar: "Beauty and the Beast" & Best Score)
1992 - Aladdin (Oscar, Grammy: "A Whole New World" & Best Score)
1995 - Pocahontas (Oscar: "Colors of the Wind" & Best Score)
1996 - The Hunchback of Notre Dame
1997 - Hercules
2004 - Home on the Range

Menken also composes or reproduces the bulk of his library in the form of film/TV soundtracks and Broadway tunes, as evidenced by Little Shop of Horrors (1986), Newsies (1992), A Christmas Carol: The Musical (2004), and Enchanted (2007). He also writes lyrics, but seems to prefer working (or has worked) with full-time lyricists, including talents like Stephen Schwartz, Tim Rice, David Zippel, and the late Howard Ashman.

He is currently composing for the latest Disney animated film "Rapunzel," due out in 2010.

Behind the Baton
by Mike Blackman (Director)     Conductor
Dear Friends of the Columbia Concert Band,

In this note I will tell you a little bit about the only upcoming CCB performance that you can't attend. In February 2010, we will be making our fifth appearance at the Maryland Music Educators' Association Conference in Baltimore.

Our first two performances at this annual event were many years ago, under our previous director, Robert Miller. Recently we have been performing every other year, and my hope has always been to make it an enjoyable and educational concert for my colleagues throughout the state.

As an elementary school teacher, I am often disappointed when bands come to the conference and play only very difficult music, leaving me with no new repertoire ideas for my young students. What I like to do with the CCB is play music of all difficulty levels.

Most Band repertoire is assigned a "grade" designation between I and VI based on its complexity and sophistication. Grade I music is most useful for elementary school, grades II and III for middle school, grades IV and V for high school, and grade VI for college. I am always sure to include something interesting from grades I, II, III, IV, and V. I also try to present recent compositions, so that we increase the likelihood of sending folks away with new ideas for their own ensembles. It is sometimes difficult to find top-quality pieces at the lower grade levels, but they are out there, and I enjoy the challenge of discovering them!

Well, that was certainly from the "for what it's worth" department, but I hope that you found it at least somewhat interesting. Thanks for your support in the Columbia Concert Band. Please continue that support by attending our concerts and by staying in touch. Thank you very much!


Mike Blackman, CCB Director

Fun Stuff
Quarterly Word: "The Planets" - Orchestral suite by Gustav Holst, composed in 1915. Each of seven movements portrays a planet, the two most popular being "Mars" and "Jupiter."

Quarterly Quote: "Music is the only language in which you cannot say a mean or sarcastic thing." ~ John Erskine

Official CCB/CJB Positions

Elected Executive Board

Director - Mike Blackman
President - Bob Frantz
Vice President - Len Morse
Secretary - Carolyn Hipkins
Treasurer - Aileen Borders
Historian - Melinda Frisch
Publicity Chair - Kathleen Shoemaker
Fundraising Chair - ???
Equipment Manager - Len Morse
Grants, Programs - Jeanette Donald
HCAC Liason - Tanya Hoegh-Allan
Members-at- Large - Jenn Ambrosiano-Reedholm, Harry Guenther, Jim Kaiser, Russell Perkins, Kathleen Shoemaker, Sam Stern, Woody Wingfield

Appointees and Volunteers

Librarian - Marilyn Kelsey
Curator - TBA
Uniforms - Bill DeVuono
Insurance Liason - Jenn Ambrosiano-Reedholm
CCB-CJB Liason - Russell Perkins
CCB Webmaster - Suzanne Hassell
CJB Director - Pete Barenbregge
CJB Webmaster - Matt Williams


Contact Information

phone: 301-598-4587
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