Montgomery Philharmonic 2017 - 18

Our 12th Season : Old Friends … New Friends

Monday, January 29, 2018 @ Montgomery Village Middle School (7:00 PM)
The Montgomery Philharmonic with the Montgomery Village Middle School Bands & Orchestras

String Orchestra
Ninja – Richard Meyer (All Strings)
There’s a ninja on the loose and he’s sneaking through the orchestra, but not for long! Students love making up story lines for what happens next in this colorful Asian-flavored piece that uses only the notes of the D Major scale. There are plenty of great teaching opportunities here for first-year students, including pizzicato, accents, crescendos, and melody/accompaniment balance.

About Richard Meyer –
(b. 1957) Richard Meyer is a full-time teacher in the public schools and has taught string students at the elementary, middle school, and high school levels for over 30 years. Currently, he directs the orchestras at Oak Avenue Intermediate School in Temple City (California) and is in charge of the city’s elementary string program.
He was the music director of the Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestra for 16 years, conducting performances in New York, Washington D.C., Vienna, Australia, and Canada. Meyer is a much sought-after clinician throughout the United States, and has been a featured clinician at the A.S.T.A. National Conference, and String Teachers’ Workshops at Ohio State University and Birch Bay, Washington. He has also guest-conducted All-State Orchestras in several states.
Meyer is a nationally recognized, best-selling composer with over 130 compositions and arrangements in print, and is the string editor for Alfred Music. He is the co-author of several string method books, including the popular “String Explorer” series and, most recently, “Sight-Read It for Strings.”
Instrumentation –
violin 1, violin 2, viola, cello, double bass
Night Shift – Richard Meyer (Advanced Strings and MP)
What better way to practice shifting than with this exciting original work by Richard Meyer? The exciting rhythms and sounds of this creative work inspire students to attain new heights of skill and musicianship. First violins and violas use third position, cellos use fourth position, while second violins and basses remain in first.
Instrumentation –
violin 1, violin 2, viola, cello, double bass

Spartacus – Brian Balmages (Advanced Strings and MP)
Spartacus was one of the most famous gladiators to live during the era of the Roman Empire. He is widely considered to have led the slave rebellion against the Roman Republic (known as the Third Servile War), and despite his lack of success in the end, won several key battles and inspired the many oppressed people who were fighting for freedom. Several historical accounts cite his strength and brilliance as a military tactician as a contributing factor to his enormous success as both a gladiator and leader of the rebellion. In spite of numerous conflicting historical accounts, his name remains well known and it has come to represent the universal struggle of those who continue to fight for freedom.

Return to the time of the Roman Empire and Spartacus, one of the most famous gladiators to have lived during that era. The opening music signifies the harsh life of a gladiator while a fast, energetic section pays homage to his brilliance as a military tactician. Explosive rhythms, memorable melodies, and innovative harmonies all combine to make this piece unforgettable!

About Brian Balmages –
(b. 1975) Brian Balmages is an award-winning composer, conductor, producer, and performer. He holds a bachelor’s degree in music from James Madison University and a master’s degree from the University of Miami in Florida. His compositions have been performed worldwide at the state, national, and international levels. His active schedule of commissions and premieres has incorporated groups ranging from elementary schools to professional ensembles, including the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Miami Symphony Orchestra, University of Miami Wind Ensemble, Boston Brass, and the Dominion Brass Ensemble. In 2012, Balmages received the prestigious Albert Austin Harding Award from the American School Band Directors Association. He is also a 2010 winner of the Harvey G. Phillips Award for Compositional Excellence, presented by the International Tuba-Euphonium Association.
As a conductor, Balmages enjoys engagements with numerous all-state and regional honor bands and orchestras, along with university and professional groups. Notable guest conducting appearances have included the Midwest Clinic, Western International Band Clinic, National Association for Music Educators, American School Band Directors Association, CBDNA, the Kennedy Center, and Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. He has also served as an adjunct professor of instrumental conducting and Acting Symphonic Band Director at Towson University in Maryland.
Currently, Balmages is the Director of Instrumental Publications for The FJH Music Company Inc. in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Instrumentation –
violin 1, violin 2, viola, cello, double bass