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Coda Connections
Columbia Bands Fans' Quarterly Newsletter
Spring 2012

News & Calendar
Feature - The Irish Suite
Behind the Baton - Jazz Education
Fun Stuff - A few words about...
Official CB Positions - People in charge
Contact Information


In this issue: Read about a well-known composer's version of Irish folk music, learn what "JEN" is in the world of jazz, and make sure you peruse the calendar - lots of performances coming up!

As always, please check the other features of this newsletter, plus the Columbia Bands Web Site for updates. Enjoy!


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

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- Len Morse, Editor

News & Calendar

Spring News & Calendar

The Columbia Jazz Band has performances coming out of the woodwork, so check the calendar and go hear them play. They're also getting ready for their third European tour this summer! And as always, the Columbia Concert Band is preparing some amazing repertoire for the annual spring concert - not to be missed!

  Mon, 4/2, 7:00PM, Jazz Band at Blues Alley, Washington, D.C.
  Sat, 4/21, 8:00-11:00PM, Jazz Band at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
    Saints, Ellicott City, MD This is a private event.

  Sun, 5/6, 3:00-4:00PM, Concert Band at River Hill H.S., Clarksville, MD
  Sun, 5/20, 1:00-2:00PM, Jazz Band at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Fulton, MD

by Len Morse (Percussion)     Musical notes on staff
The Irish Suite
Composed by Leroy Anderson
Arranged for concert band by Douglas E. Wagner

Leroy Anderson is known for his whimsical and spirited original compositions and orchestral arrangements. His work is known throughout the world and has been a part of the American musical paradigm for many years.

Many of Anderson's works are excellent examples of his serious treatment of folk music, while creating a fun atmosphere for the listeners and the musicians. One of these is a six-movement work based on Irish folk songs, which he composed in only eleven days, simply titled "The Irish Suite."

The Music

#1: The Irish Washerwoman (1947)

This spirited traditional jig is probably the most recognizable Irish tune, as numerous arrangements have been played by uncountable musicians all over the world. Anderson added some brilliant orchestrations form the original melody, creating almost three minutes of pure fun for the musicians and the listeners.

#2: The Minstrel Boy (1947)

A slow march, this tune is most likely recognized by many Americans from its large part in the soundtrack to the 1975 film The Man Who Would Be King, starring Sean Connery, Michael Caine, and Christopher Plummer. The song lyrics were written by Thomas Moore in the early part of the 19th Century, set to the old Irish tune The Moreen.

#3: The Rakes of Mallow (1947)

From approximately 1730 to 1810, the town of Mallow, near Munster, Ireland was considered a major spa resort featuring a natural warm spring. This Irish reel was first published in 1741 (for fiddle, fife, and bagpipes), and was written as a sort of warning to some of the resort's young male visitors. When not partaking of the spring's "healing properties," these men were engaging in such debauchery that they were said to be headed straight to hell to "rake the coals" and were henceforth know as "rakes."

This piece has nothing to do with marshmallows.

#4: The Wearing of the Green (1949)

The original song is a ballad with lyrics that speak of using shamrocks and the color green as part of the 1798 rebellion. Anderson's iteration of this melody is a faster and livelier setting that requires the string players to pluck their strings, and wind players to play extremely short, spaced (staccato) notes.

#5: The Last Rose of Summer (1947)

Based on a poem by Thomas Moore and music by Sir John Stevenson, this slow tune's title is self-explanatory. Anderson's version features solo violin, while Wagner's concert band arrangement features alto saxophone.

#6: The Girl I Left Behind Me (1949)

Many different lyrics have been penned for this long-popular tune, but most tell of a solider waiting to return from war, to be reunited with his love. The haunting Irish melody, believed by some to first appear in Dublin in 1791, became a standard marching tune during the American Civil War, being associated with the famous painting Spirit of '76.

In recent years, the Columbia Concert Band has performed two movements (Rakes of Mallow and Wearing of the Green) from this suite. Perhaps one day the band will play the entire work.

The Composer

Leroy Anderson was born in Woodbury, Connecticut on June 29, 1908. In addition to his native English and Swedish, Anderson mastered Danish, Norwegian, Icelandic, German, French, Italian, and Portuguese, intending to become a language teacher. He also earned a Master of Arts degree from Harvard in 1930, then led the Harvard University Band from 1931 to 1935.

His arrangements and orchestrations caught the attention of Boston Pops Director Arthur Fiedler, who invited him to compose for the orchestra. This led to Boston Pops premiers and recordings of many of Anderson's works and a long and successful musical relationship with the orchestra.

He eventually decided to stick with music as a career, and by 1952 Anderson had become a world-renowned composer. He continued to compose and conduct his pieces into his golden years, eventually earning the title "Dean of American light music."

Leroy Anderson died of cancer on May 18, 1975, but his legacy is as strong as ever. He has been remembered in various ways throughout the years, including tribute concerts, comprehensive CD recordings, DVD videos, museum and library exhibits, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Of course, various musical groups continue to perform many of his timeless works, further cementing his music in American popular culture, and around the world.

Behind the Baton
by Pete BarenBregge (Jazz Band Director)     Saxophonist
The Jazz Education Network (JEN)

The Jazz Education Network or "JEN" is a non-profit organization that brings together a variety of individuals and organizations, all for the love and passion for JAZZ.

WHO belongs to JEN and attends the JEN conferences? Aspiring and/or young jazz musicians, professional jazz musicians, jazz fans and aficionados, aspiring jazz educators, experienced jazz educators, jazz journalists, music technology individuals, and the related music industry all come together to perform, present, educate, nurture, cultivate, and push jazz forward in our society.

WHY do we join the JEN organization? Because in some way we have all been touched by the love and passion for jazz-it is a calling and we are all part of the jazz community.

WHAT can JEN do for me and why should I be interested in this non-profit organization? The JEN mission statement includes three main areas: advancing education, promoting performance and developing new audiences.

Advancing jazz education! JEN is a network of jazz educators at your fingertips-to seek answers to questions, get ideas, explore concepts, relate to, and challenge. JEN can assist you and educators at all levels to know and understand more about jazz and therefore become more skilled to teach and enjoy jazz. At the annual JEN conference, the daily schedule is packed with terrific educational clinics, master classes and presentations by highly-skilled educators and music technology/industry experts providing essential concepts and information on every conceivable aspect of jazz.

Promoting jazz performances! JEN will provide exceptional opportunities to hear and appreciate world-class jazz musicians perform-both outstanding students and superb professionals. At the three-day annual conference, the schedule each day and evening includes amazing performances by all types of ensembles, individuals, duos, trios and whatever you can imagine in a concert setting-both instrumental and jazz vocal. Where else can you hear such an array of brilliant performers indoors, in a quality acoustical setting? It is first class all the way.

Developing new audiences! JEN the umbrella organization, the JEN website and the JEN conference all provide a cross-section of students, musicians, educators, performers, music technology experts and related music industry. Add to that a well-organized and effective local jazz outreach to hundreds, even thousands of students, all taught by experienced jazz educators and provided with quality materials at no charge. Informing, demonstrating, inspiring, mentoring, nurturing and cultivating; this is how you develop new jazz audiences.

Check out the various outreach programs of JEN:

  • Outreach Program
  • JENerosity Program
  • Web Page for K-8 Educators
  • JENerations Advisory Council
  • Volunteer Committee Structure

Check out the JEN scholarship programs:

  • John LaPorta Educator of the Year Award/Berklee School of Music
  • Mary Jo Papich Women in Jazz Scholarship
  • Program Cover Design Competition
  • Hal Leonard Jazz Scholarship
  • David Baker Scholarship
  • LeJENds of Jazz Education
  • Founder's Award

My own experiences at JEN have been remarkable. I have attended the 1st and 2nd JEN conferences and definitely plan to attend the 3rd Annual Conference in Atlanta, GA, January 2-5, 2013. As a musician and educator, I have attended clinics, master classes, heard and participated in concerts, jazz jam sessions of the highest level and benefited immensely from each.

In closing, I highly recommend every jazz educator, aspiring jazz educator, jazz musician aspiring or professional, all music industry related, all music technology related individuals to become part of JEN-you won't regret it. Do it today!

For more information on all these topics, check it out @: www.jazzednet.org

Pete BarenBregge
Director, Columbia Jazz Band
Jazz Editor, Alfred Music Publishing Co.
Professional jazz musician
Jazz educator

Fun Stuff
Quarterly Word: "The Firebird" - Stravinsky's first full-length ballet, based on a Russian fairy tale about Prince Ivan defeating the ogre Kastchei, with the help of the Firebird.

Quarterly Quote: "Jazz is rhythm and meaning." ~ Henri Matisse

Official CB Positions

President - Woody Wingfield
Vice President - Tanya Hoegh-Allan
Secretary - Michael Pack
Treasurer - Jim Wesloh


Katy Clemens, Nancy Efron, Maurice Feldman, John Zontek

Music Directors

CCB Director - Mike Blackman
CJB Director - Pete BarenBregge

Appointees and Volunteers

Accountant - David Weisenfreund, CPA
CB/CCB Webmaster - Len Morse
CCB-CJB Liaison - Maurice Feldman
CJB Tour Manager - Randy Malm
CJB Webmaster - Matt Williams
Curator - Jeanette Donald (Acting)
Equipment Manager - Len Morse
Facebook Fan Page Moderator - Katy Clemens
Fundraising Chair - Woody Wingfield
Grant Manager, CCB Program Editor - Jeanette Donald
Graphic Artist - Corey Holland
HCAC Liaison - Woody Wingfield
Historian - Melinda Frisch
Insurance Liaison - Jenn Ambrosiano
Librarian - Marilyn Kelsey
Posters & Fliers - Jim Kaiser
Uniform Manager - Bill DeVuono


Contact Information

phone: 301-598-4587
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Columbia Concert Band | PO Box 2713 | Columbia | MD | 21045-1713