Welcome letter, Roster and Schedule from Doc

posted Jun 22, 2020, 2:06 PM by Athens Drive High School Band

Dear 2020 Athens Drive Marching Band member and parent,

I just wanted to take a moment to WELCOME you to the 2020 Athens Drive High School Marching Band!  For those of you who are new to our organization, I want to CONGRATULATE you on making such a wonderful decision.  The Marching Band is the LARGEST organized group at Athens Drive and its #1 ambassador.  Most importantly, the Marching Band is an absolutely awesome FAMILY of musicians who share a passion for visual and musical performance.

This year’s band will include over 125 musicians:  Currently 44 woodwinds; 39 brass; 21 guard; 24 percussion; and 2 drum majors.   I have attached our current roster and our summer/fall schedule.  Please contact the band office ASAP if there is a serious conflict with any of these dates!

Although we are sending our current numbers to our choreographer, we have decided to extend the “official” deadline for submitting a marching intent form to this Friday, June 26th.   If your name is not on the attached list and you want to be included in our marching band, you MUST sign-up here by this date in order to be guaranteed a position in our band.  Also, students marked in parenthesis are “anticipated” to join but have not done so.  It is very important we hear from these students as to their intentions.

We are awaiting Governor Cooper’s directions (anticipated July 1st) as to when and how we are permitted to begin our marching season.  We are working with the intention that we will be able to begin “on time,” that is with Pre-camp July 20-23; Band-camp at N.C. Wesleyan July 26-31; etc.  We will notify all of you ASAP as to what amendments (if any) need to be made.  Rest assured we will exercise all necessary precautions to keep everyone safe and help ensure a healthy experience for all!

I can promise you that one of the BEST EXPERIENCES OF YOUR LIFE is just around the corner.  Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any question

I hope and pray that we will be able to make this marching season a reality and that I will see all of you on July 20th!!



Athens Drive High School Marching Band

2020 Schedule as of May 12, 2020

Due to “social distancing” restrictions as a result of COVID-19, this schedule is very

tentative; amendments will be made in accordance with all regulations.

(All events at ADHS unless otherwise noted.)


July 20-23            Precamp 6:30pm-10:00pm

July 26-31             Bandcamp (N.C. Wesleyan) TBA

Aug.4-6; 11-13     Postcamp 6:30pm-10:00pm


Aug. 18                   First After-School Rehearsal 3:00-5:30pm

Aug. 21                   Football Game (vs. Holly Springs) 6:00-10:00pm

Aug. 28                   Football Game (vs. Broughton) 6:00-10:00pm

Sept. 19                  Saturday Rehearsal 9:00-9:00pm

Sept. 26                  Competition #1 ` TBA

Oct. 3                      Competition #2 TBA

Oct. 16                     Football Game (vs. Riverside) 6:00-10:00pm

Oct. 17                     Competition #3 TBA

Oct. 24                     Competition #4 TBA

Oct. 30                     Football Game (vs. Jordan) 6:00-10:00pm

                                        -8th Grade Band Visit

Nov. 6                      Football Game (vs. Cary) 6:00-10:00pm

                                        -Senior Recognition

Nov. 7                      Competition #5 TBA

Nov. 10, 11, 12         No After-School Rehearsals

Nov. 17 & 19           Christmas Parade Rehearsals 3:00-5:00pm

Nov. 21                   Raleigh Christmas Parade 8:00am-noon

                                Marching Band Banquet 1:30-4:30pm

Dec. 5                     Apex Christmas Parade 3:00-7:00pm

Dec. 12                    Cary Christmas Parade Noon-4:30pm

After School Rehearsal Schedule (8/18-11/5)

Tuesday & Thursday 3:00-5:30pm; Wednesday 3:00-5:00pm

(Guard & Percussion may differ slightly due to instructor availability. Rehearsal schedule for

these groups will be provided ASAP.)

SAT Dates:             Oct. 3, Nov. 7, Dec. 5

Students may sign up to take the SAT on any of these dates; we will make certain that our

performance schedule allows students to take the test in the morning/early afternoon.

Please contact the band director ASAP if there is a serious conflict with any of the above

dates (

Marching Band Update from Doc

posted Jun 16, 2020, 3:45 AM by Athens Drive High School Band   [ updated Jun 16, 2020, 3:45 AM ]

June 16, 2020

Dear Athens Drive Band Member and Parent,

As this Friday, June 19th is our official “deadline” for marching band registration, I wanted to provide you with an UPDATE on where we are with the schedule.  I have spoken with Mr. Mares and our booster board, and we have studied the responses from the family survey question (from registration) dealing with attending band camp at N.C. Wesleyan College.

1) We are still planning to do ALL ACTIVITIES as specified on the schedule, including band camp at N.C.. Wesleyan College.  Our Band Booster Board members are working hard to develop a thoughtful plan to keep our students and chaperones as safe as possible at camp.

2) Before making any amendments to our schedule, we want to wait until the end of the month when our governor gives his formal instructions as to upcoming summer/fall activities. We will know for sure whether we will go to N.C. Wesleyan for camp by July 4th. 

3) If we are not permitted to attend band camp at N.C. Wesleyan College, but are permitted to meet for rehearsal, Mr. Mares will allow us to rehearse as needed at Athens Drive.  For the week of band camp, we would have “all-day” rehearsals.  We would access as many fields as possible (for percussion/guard, etc.). 

4) We will have marching band even if football is not permitted.  We will either attend other athletic events or find other ways to entertain our community.

5) If numbers on activity buses are restricted, we would request families to carpool students to competitions, parades, etc.

The most important message to take away from this letter is that the major decision makers at our school truly want to make this happen and will exercise all necessary means of caution to make it work! 

SIGN UP!  …and keep your fingers crossed! 

I sincerely hope to see all of you on July 20th!


"Doc Talk"/Class Lesson 6/10/2020

posted Jun 10, 2020, 3:47 AM by Athens Drive High School Band   [ updated Jun 10, 2020, 3:47 AM ]

“DOC TALK”/CLASS LESSON – Wednesday, June 10, 2020


It has been 2.5 months since this period of quarantine/ “social distancing” began (our last day of school was March 13th).  I still find it hard to believe that this is happening.  The days are so beautiful and thankfully the vast majority of our society is healthy; however, it is chilling when we read about the accounts of people who are suffering and the “heroes” on the front lines that are working with these individuals.  I am thankful that I live in a society that CARES enough about human life to take extraordinary means to protect us; however, I cannot wait for our lives to return to “normal” so that we can enjoy our daily interactions and get back to creating the miracle of music!

I have a puzzle/poster hanging in my home office which reads:

Find a passion and pursue it.
Fall in love.
Dream big.
Make time to enjoy the simple things in life.
Believe in magic.
Tell stories.
Spend time with family.
Forgive even when it’s hard.
Learn more.
Be Creative.
Seize opportunities when they reveal themselves.
Love with all your heart.
Don’t count the minutes count the laughs.
Never give up.
Do what you love.
Be true to who you are.
Be the change you wish to see in the world.
Try new things.
Work hard.
Embrace change.
Trust in yourself.
Be thankful.
Be nice to everyone.
Be happy.
Live for today.
And above all…make every moment count!

I read this EVERY DAY and try my best to live by it—just like the “Desiderata.”
It serves as a gentle compass for me as I steer through my life…especially in these uncertain times.

Here are a few “coaching” quotes that I’ve discovered during this time of quarantine:

“You don’t HAVE to go to practice.  You GET to go to practice.  Being a part of a team and pursuing your dreams is a privilege!”

“Focus separates those with comparable talent.  When you are focused, you are able to execute at your full capacity.  Consistently good players are consistently focused.”

“Practice is the time to make mistakes.  Push you limits and try new things in practice so you can discover what is left to add to your repertoire.”

“Surround yourself with people who’s priorities match your priorities!”

“There will be moments in which you doubt yourself, but every time you grind through a tough time, you become more able to confront your next challenge.”

“When you get back with your team, there should be at least one thing about you
 that is noticeably better!”

Just for your reference, here is the listing of “Doc Talks/Lessons” that have been shared since April 13th:
4/13 – Introduction:  Make something positive/good come out of all of this!
4/14 – What’s the score? -- A lesson in how to read a music score
4/15 – Practice hints (no video)
4/16 – Berlioz’ “Symphony Fantastique”
4/20 – Strauss’ “Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks”
4/21 – Chopin’s “Ballade #1 in g minor”
4/22 – Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 3 (Eroica)”
4/23 – My favorite orchestral works (no video)
4/27-29 – Mahler’s “Symphony No. 6,” Movement 1
4/30 – Tchaikovsky’s “Overture to Romeo and Juliet”
5/5 – Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 7,” Movement 2
5/5-6 – Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade”
5/7 – Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 6”
5/11 - Brahms’s “Symphony No. 1”
5/12 – Mozart’s “Symphony No. 40”
5/14 – Debussy’s “La Mer” (“The Sea”)
5/18 – Holst’s “The Planets” – “Mars”
5/19 – Holst’s “The Planets” – “Venus” and “Mercury”
5/20 – Holst’s “The Planets” – “Jupiter” and “Saturn”
5/21—Holst’s “The Planets” – “Uranus” and “Neptune” (and Matthew’s “Pluto”)
5/26 – Schumann’s “Symphony No. 3 – The Rhenish”
5/27 – Schubert’s “Symphony No. 8 –The Unfinished”
5/28 – Tchaikovsky’s “Symphony No. 4”
6/1 – Toy Story and Stravinsky’s “Petrushka,” Tableaux 1-2
6/2 -- Toy Story and Stravinsky’s “Petrushka,” Tableaux 3-4
6/3 – Let’s Go to the Opera!  Mozart’s “The Magic Flute,” Act I
6/4 -- Let’s Go to the Opera!  Mozart’s “The Magic Flute,” Act II
6/8 – Dvorak’s “New World Symphony,” Movements 1-2
6/9 – Dvorak’s “New World Symphony,” Movements 3-4

Wow!  What a line up!  I would certainly hope that you found much of this music and the recorded “Doc Talks/Lessons” enjoyable and stimulating!  To be honest, I’ve had a blast preparing them!  You see, I have done this so that I could make something good come out of all these odd times!  I’ve spent hours and hours analyzing scores, listening to recordings, watching great conductors and orchestras, and reading music books.  Basically, I went back to school and took you with me!  I’m really practicing what I’m preaching!

An administrator asked me once, “How many classes did you take on band?”  My answer, “hardly any!”  They were shocked!  I told them that I spent the vast majority of my 10+ years in college developing as a total MUSICIAN and the classical repertoire was the nucleus of everything:  music theory, literature, history, aural skills, composition, piano, conducting, etc.  In my entire 10+ years of college, I took maybe 8 courses which dealt with “band.”

This is not to state that the wind-band genre is insignificant—far from it!  However, it is a very small musical entity in the WORLD of serious music.  And if you don’t have a hunger, a passion, for serious music, a music career is probably not for you😀

I am truly honored and privileged to have spent the majority of my life working with wind-bands; however, I will be the first to admit that the repertoire of the orchestra and piano contain the largest number of musical masterworks BY FAR!!!

I got hooked into this music while in high school and the passion for it has only grown throughout the past 40 years!  What is remarkable is how much MORE I hear now than 40 years ago… and there is so much more to learn!  It’s so exciting! 

There is a story of Leonard Bernstein near the end of his life and he is about to conduct a work that he has conducted countless times and lived with his entire life-- Beethoven’s “Seventh Symphony” (the one with that gorgeous second movement that we discussed).  His valet enters his hotel room to take him to the concert and he is still in his pajamas…seated at the piano and crying!  Looking at the valet he exclaims… “What am I to do?  I still do not know all of this!”

You can never know it all!  But it is fun to try!

And remember, MUSIC is ESSENTIAL!  It is a part of our universe that is absolute, eternal, pure, and omnipresent.  It is a part of our existence that reminds us each and every day that there is a force of GOOD in this world that nothing can tarnish or destroy.  Perhaps it truly is the voice of God…

Keep learning! 
It’s all good! 
I hope to see you all very soon!

"Doc Talk"/Class Lesson 6/9/2020

posted Jun 9, 2020, 3:41 AM by Athens Drive High School Band   [ updated Jun 9, 2020, 3:41 AM ]

“DOC TALK”/CLASS LESSON – Tuesday, June 9, 2020



1)  As this is our final week of “remote learning,” I will be sending you a video through tomorrow, Wednesday, June 10th.  I would like students to contact me (via text or email) if you watched ALL of my Doc Talks/Lessons throughout the past 2 months!
2)  Registration for Marching Band is OPEN on our website!!!
Please sign up ASAP, and spread the word, especially to rising 9th graders!  The due date is Friday, June 19th.  Our “new” section leaders/captains will also be contacting you soon!

Today’s Lesson:  Antonin Dvorak and his “New World Symphony,” Movements III and IV

Movement 3:  Scherzo; Molto Vivace
Music cue #1:  21:28-22:52 in the attached link
Molto Vivace = very, very fast!  So fast that this ¾ movement is always played in 1 pulse per measure:  1-2-3, 1-2-3.  This is not new as many symphonic “scherzo” movements (the word “scherzo” means “joke”) are played “in 1.”  In fact, this particular scherzo movement is said to have been inspired by the scherzo movement of Beethoven’s “Ninth Symphony.”

Theme A (E minor) is based on the interval of the descending 5th.  Even in the first statement, Dvorak answers the initial motif in imitative counterpoint (clarinet answers the flute/oboe).  In the second statement of the theme, the timpani answers the violin.  Later, the entire woodwind section answers the violins against a “cross-rhythm” played by horns and bassoons.  Dvorak then repeats this entire “A section.”

Music Cue #2:  22:52-23:32 in the attached link
In Theme B of the Scherzo, Dvorak ingeniously changes the rhythmic feel and mode (E minor to E major) and presents a new theme that begins with an ascending 3rd and is much more melodic than the first theme.

Music Cue #3:  24:00-24:30 in the attached link
The form of the Scherzo is called “minuet-trio” form—a very, very common form for this type of movement.  Essentially, the form is as follows:

A-B-A, C-D-C, A-B-A, Coda

The A-B-A sections are what is known as the “minuet;” and the C-D-C section is known as the “trio.”  Note that the entire movement is in a broad A-B-A type form.  In fact, the second A-B-A is a literal repeat of the first.

The way in which Dvorak transitions to the Trio is very creative:  He writes a bridge passage which includes the arpeggiated theme in Movement 1 stated in a very mysterious manner.  Note how restless this passage sounds…he is also changing keys from E minor to C Major.

Music Cue #4:  24:30-25:14 in the attached link
Theme C & D (the Trio themes) are very folk-like, very Czech.  Note that the C Theme is also based clearly on a C Major arpeggio.  I also find it fascinating that the accompanying bass line in the celli and basses are sounding the descending 5th of Theme A!

Music Cue #5:  28:19-28:59 in the attached link
In the coda of this movement, Dvorak brings back themes from movement 1 and 2 combining with the descending 5th “A Theme” of this movement. 

Movement 4:  Allegro con fuoco
Music Cue #6:  29:07-30:17 in the attached link
First, note the tempo marking:  Allegro con fuoco—fast, with fire! 

After an introduction featuring a “Jaws-like” ascending half step, Dvorak launches us into the “A Theme” of this movement, sounded by the horns and trumpets in unison.  A very power theme based solidly in E minor.  Note the emphatic “downbeat chords” sounded by the remainder of the ensemble. 

Music Cue #7:  30:17-30:53 in the attached link
The bridge or transition to the “B Theme” actually has a triplet theme of its own.  Again, one has to admire Dvorak’s prodigious number of melodies! 

Music Cue #8:  30:53-31:40 in the attached link
The actual “B Theme” is a shy-sounded theme in the relative key of “G Major.”  Note the “answering motif” in the celli—an ascending arpeggio figure that once again can be its own theme!  In fact, Dvorak develops this motif as this section of the movement continues.

Music Cue #9:  31:40-32:32 in the attached link
As expected, Dvorak writes a 3rd theme (C Theme) as a closing theme, once again in the key of G Major.  Like the B Theme, this theme also has another theme that is linked to it, commonly referred to as the “Three Blind Mice Theme.”

Music Cue #10:  32:32-34:42 in the attached link
Dvorak chooses NOT to repeat the exposition in this movement but rather proceed directly to the DEVELOPMENT section where he works with Theme A and the Bridge Theme, and also brings back themes and motifs from Movtments I, II and III!  

Music Cue #11:  34:42-35:15 in the attached link
One last trick…Where, oh where does the RECAPITULATION actually begin?
He brings back Theme A in a very strong statement—which sounds like the recapitulation, but it’s in the wrong key, G minor!  However, after just a few measures, he “rights” the ship and sounds the theme triumphantly in E minor—we are back home!

Music Cue #12:  37:32-40:20 in the attached link
For purposes of time, we’ll simply remark that the recap brings back the main themes A, B, and C that we heard in the exposition. 

What do you suppose Dvorak does in the coda?

If your answer is “probably brings back all the themes heard in the symphony, you are correct!  Well, not ALL the themes…but at least 1 from each movement.  I believe the one that is most significant is the brass chorale that we heard in the introduction to movement 2! 

Another very important aspect of this coda is the quiet moment in the middle of it played by the solo horn and timpani that sounds like a funeral dirge.  It recalls the melancholy mood at the very opening of the symphony.  Also note that the entire symphony ends quietly, with a long diminuendo to pianissimo. Why???

The answer is found by reading the conclusion of the “Song of Hiawatha” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. 

On the shore stood Hiawatha,
Turned and waved his hands at parting;
On the clear and luminous water
Launched his birch canoe for sailing,
From the pebbles of the margin
Shoved it forth into the water;
Whispered to it, “Westward! Westward!”
And with speed it darted forward.

And the evening sun descending
Set the clouds on fire with redness,
Burned the broad sky, like a prairie,
Left upon the level water
One long track and trail of splendor,
Down whose stream, as down a river,
Westward, westward Hiawatha

Sailed into the fiery sunset,
Sailed into the purple vapors,
Sailed into the dusk of evening.

This is the song of a Native-American leaving his homeland to explore new regions.  However, his leaving is precipitated by the arrival of the “pale-face;” a culture intent on transforming America into something quite different from his native heritage.  Again, we are reminded of the “stain” on our history caused by the expulsion of the Native American—the TRUE foundation of the “New World.”

Isn’t this amazing that Dvorak felt this and used it as the basis of this work?  Along with the African-American spiritual themes, Dvorak was very sensitive to ALL the cultures that comprise our country—he left no one out!  Interestingly, we tend to only celebrate the “energic, forward-looking themes” without recognizing the reflective melancholy ones.  To understand this work fully, one must recognize both…as well as the themes that reflect Dvorak’s Czech heritage.

Fun fact:  By the time he completed the New World Symphony, Dvorak was very homesick and returned to Prague shortly thereafter.  Some of the melancholy of this work is also said to be reflective of Dvorak’s longing for his own country.

1)  Listen to the final 2 movements of the “New World Symphony” without interruption.

2) Listen to the Symphony with a score

3) Listen to a really fun video about Dvorak and the “New World Symphony”


"Doc Talk"/Class Lesson 6/8/2020

posted Jun 8, 2020, 3:39 AM by Athens Drive High School Band   [ updated Jun 8, 2020, 3:39 AM ]

“DOC TALK”/CLASS LESSON – Monday, June 8, 2020


1) As this is our final week of “remote learning,” I will be sending you a video through this Wednesday, June 10th.  I would like students to contact me (via text or email) if you watched ALL of my Doc Talks/Lessons throughout the past 2 months!
2) Registration for Marching Band is OPEN on our website!!!
Please sign up ASAP, and spread the word, especially to rising 9th graders!  The due date is Friday, June 19th.  Our “new” section leaders/captains will also be contacting you soon!

Today’s Lesson:  Antonin Dvorak and his “New World Symphony,” Movements I and II

I have decided to end our semester with one of the most well-known and beloved works in our repertoire, Antonin Dvorak’s “New World Symphony.”  With all the chaos happening in our country at this time, as a result of the pandemic as well as the police shootings, I felt that it would appropriate to revisit a work that has come to sonically “define” our country in its best light.  That’s the great thing about music:  It is an eternal “good” that cannot be tarnished by politics, crime, etc.  It continually reminds us that there is something unbelievably GREAT in our world that will not let us down! 

Antonin Dvorak (1841-1904) was born near Prague in the Czech Republic (also known as Bohemia).  He spent the majority of his life in this area and the native folk songs and dances were significant influences on his personal style.  In his younger years, he played the organ and viola in addition to composing.  He spent many years just barely “scraping by” playing organ/viola and composing until he was recognized by Johannes Brahms.  Brahms noted Dvorak’s genius at once and not only “spread the word,” but was able to secure Dvorak a generous yearly stipend so that he could devote himself to composition in relative comfort!  (Remember when Robert Schumann helped launch Brahms’ career?  Brahms was just paying this forwardJ)

In 1892, Dvorak was invited to become the director of the “National Conservatory of Music of America” in New York City.  Dvorak and his family seized this opportunity to see America and made the pilgrimage to the “New World.”  Dvorak ended up spending 3 years in the United States, including a summer spent in Spillville, Iowa.  He wanted to spend the summer in the “Midwest” to better get a feel for the country.  Dvorak was commissioned by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra to compose a symphony inspired by the music of America and the “New World Symphony” (1893) was the result.

The Symphony was premiered on Dec. 16, 1893 in Carnegie Hall, N.Y.  There was thunderous applause after EACH movement of the work!  According to Dvorak, it was the most acclamation that he ever received!  The Symphony holds the distinction of maintaining popularity since its premiere.  It is Dvorak’s most frequently performed work and is performed by most orchestras at least once during any 5-year period. 

The “New World Symphony” (aka known as Symphony No. 9 in E minor) is in 4 movements (as expected):  The first movement is in sonata form; the second movement is a ballad; the third movement is in ¾ (a scherzo); and the fourth movement is in sonata form like the first.  Although much of the symphony is in the key of E minor, the work ends in E Major—somewhat common, like Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 in C minor (which ends in C Major).

But what makes this Symphony so special?
1) The tunes!  Like Mozart, Dvorak was a “tunesmith.”  He had a knack of writing songs that people loved and remembered!  They are so “sing-able,” so wonderfully charming and melodic.  There are a lot, and I mean a lot of tunes in this symphony!
2) Dvorak’s compositional technique involves much repetition (including sequencing motifs, playing themes in different keys) so that the melodies/tunes STICK in the listener’s mind.
3) In this Symphony, many themes/motifs from earlier movements are used in later movements; in this way, Dvorak keeps these tunes in the listener’s ear throughout the entire symphony!
4) It’s overall “program”:  Based on its title, the symphony is meant to describe impressions of our country.  Many of the themes are inspired by Native-American and African-American song; some “look-back” to traditional Czech and European music; and finally some have a strong, robust character often associated with the spirit of our country.
5) Each of its 4 movements is GREAT!  There is no feeling of inferiority or “let-down” in any of the movements.  They are all wonderfully crafted, containing memorable tunes, ingenious writing, and significant emotional moments.

Movement 1:  Adagio; Allegro molto
Music cue #1:  Beginning-0:53 in the attached link
The first movement begins with a slow Introduction comprising a quiet, melancholy statement in the celli which is repeated in the flute.  This theme is said to hint at the sadness that is as much a part of our country’s heritage as is our achievements.  Dvorak was profoundly inspired by the stories and folk music of Native-Americans (who were virtually driven to extinction) and African-Americans (who were enslaved).  Curiously, Dvorak never returns or develops this idea.

The remainder of the introduction creates an atmosphere of restlessness and anticipation as strong exclamations between the strings and winds/percussion alternate with light syncopated passages in the upper woodwinds.

Music Cue #2:  1:52-2:55 in the attached link
The Exposition proper (Allegro molto) begins with an energetic, arpeggiated theme in the horn (outlining the tonic key of e minor) answered by a dotted rhythmic figure in the woodwinds.  This theme—Theme A—will be sounded throughout the entire symphony and is said to musically portray the industrious spirit of our nation. 

Music Cue #3:  2:55-3:56 in the attached link
The second theme—B Theme—sounds more like a Czech polka than an American tune.  Note how the third measure is a melodic inversion of the first measure.  As is typical in this work, “new-sounding” themes are mixed-in with “old-sounding” European themes.  Some historians have posited that Dvorak was illustrating the fact that America is a melting pot of peoples—Native Americans, African Americans, Europeans and the like.  [Note:  The influence of Asian Americans was not as prevalent in America in the late 1800’s as it is today.]

Music Cue #4:  3:56-4:50 in the attached link
The exposition closes with a third theme—C Theme, or Closing Theme—now in G Major, the relative major of E minor.  According to Dvorak, this theme was inspired by the African-American spiritual “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.”  Note the orchestration of the flute in its low register—quite rare in orchestral writing!

As is expected in a first movement in sonata form, the exposition is repeated followed by a development and a recapitulation.  (Note:  Exposition is NOT repeated in recording included in link.)

Movement II:  Largo
This is the most famous “largo” in the orchestral repertoire.  Interestingly, Dvorak originally marked the tempo as “andante;” however, during rehearsals for the premiere performance, Dvorak realized that andante was much too fast for the nature of the music and settled on “largo.”

Music Cue #5:  9:20-9:42 in the attached link
The brass chorale that opens the work will be heard several times during this movement as a musical “pillar” appearing before and after the main themes.
It is a really cool chord progression that concludes in the main key of the movement, Db major.

E Major--Bb Major with D in bass--E Major--Db Major--A Major--Gb minor6--Db Major

Note that the root interval between the first two chords is the tritone (E-Bb). 
Also note that beginning with the third chord (E Major), the last 5 chords always share one note in common with the succeeding chord (E-Db-A-Gbm6-Db).  Try this on a piano and you’ll see what I mean.

Music Cue #6:  10:01-11:35 in the attached link
Perhaps the most famous melody in the entire symphony is sounded by the English horn (an alto oboe).  The creation of this melody is said to have been influenced by the sound of African-American spirituals.  It was soon set to lyrics with the title “Goin’ Home” years after the premiere of this symphony. 

Music Cue #7:  14:02-15:20 in the attached link
The “B Theme” in this movement is said to have been inspired by Native American stories, such as the “Song of Hiawatha” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.  Dvorak was very fond of this poetically scripted story of the noble Native-American “Hiawatha” and stated that many moments of the symphony were inspired by this tale.  This theme occurs in C# minor (the parallel minor to Db major…remember, Db = C#).  The second half of this “B Theme” is a melody that is akin to a funeral march; note the pizzicato walking bass accompaniment.

Music Cue #8:  17:12-17:35 in the attached link
After stating the “B Theme” a second time, Dvorak introduces yet another theme in this movement (a C Theme) which also can be considered a bridge/transition.  This is the perkiest part of the movement and is reminiscent of a Bohemian dance.  It is stated 5 times—almost like a fugue!

Music Cue #9:  17:35-18:05 in the attached link
The next 5 measures of this movement are some of the most creative writing in the entire symphony!  As a “climax” to this movement, Dvorak brings back 2 themes from Movement I that appear simultaneously with Theme A of this movement. 

Music Cue #10:  20:05-21:07 in the attached link
Theme A returns in the English horn and the movement ends with a transposed version of the original brass chorale that opened the movement; although both end on Db Major.  A really cool sonority is sounded at the very conclusion of the movement as Dvorak has the string bass section divide into 4 parts and play a Db Major chord:  from bottom to top, Db-Ab-Db-F.  Wow!  What a beautifully warm sound!

Tomorrow, we’ll explore the final 2 movements of this masterwork!

1) Listen to the first 2 movements of the “New World Symphony” without interruption.

2) Listen to the Symphony with a score

3) Listen to a really fun video about Dvorak and the “New World Symphony”


2020 Marching Band Leadership Roster

posted Jun 5, 2020, 3:25 PM by Athens Drive High School Band   [ updated Jun 5, 2020, 3:26 PM ]

June 5, 2020

Dear Athens Drive Band students and parents,

I am excited to post the “2020 Athens Drive Leadership Roster!”  I can tell you without reservation that this group of students are going to be exceptional leaders!!  There were countless times when I was completely “in awe” of the mature responses to the many questions that I posed.  I realize that “what looks good on paper” doesn’t always transfer to action; however, I know all of you well enough to state that I trust that you will follow-through on your written responses 100%.

Final decisions were made by consulting previous section leaders, captains, and drum major.  I also relied on assistance from our instructors, namely John Antonelli, Jennifer Harris (Mason), Michael Santangelo, Ashlynn Hayes, and Laura Minick.  Finally, I have considered what I have observed from you during the school year.  While no list is perfect, I can assure you that a great deal of thought went into this roster.

You will note that some students have been appointed “lead” positions, and others “assistant” positions.  “Lead” positions are those that carry the most weight.  These students have the responsibility for making certain that ALL necessary jobs get done:  administrative (copying/distributing music, assigning instruments/equipment and parts, repairing equipment, changing silks, etc.), musical (leading sectionals/teaching, passing off music), marching (leading fundamentals and sectionals when necessary), and social (establishing and maintaining communication and positive energy among the section).  Please note that “assistant” positions are exactly that--“assistants” to the lead section leader.  While these students are expected to fully participate and help with the duties noted above, they are to shadow the “lead” section leaders/captains, giving them the respectful “right-of-way.”  ALL OF YOU ARE CRITICALLY IMPORTANT TO MAKING THIS YEAR A SUCCESS.  Remember it is not about YOU, it’s about our BAND!  In the end, your worth as a leader is determined by what you give away.  GAME ON!  GO!

I recommend that “lead” section leaders contact the other leaders in your section ASAP and start strengthening relationships!  MAKE THIS WORK!!!  I will be providing more information for all of you next week, beginning with recruiting assignments. 

I realize that there are some student candidates that are not included on this roster.  Please know that I truly LOVE all of you and will be happy to communicate with you as to why I made the choices I did.  You do not have to agree with me; however, I will be honest with you.  Please wait until next week to contact me if you have any questions.

Also, let’s not forget the BIG PICTURE at this time:  I PRAY THAT WE CAN EVEN HAVE MARCHING BAND NEXT YEAR!  I still cannot believe that I am writing these words.  This whole “pandemic thing” seems so surreal to me—even after almost 3 months of living through it.  What makes it even more frustrating is that everyone that I have spoken with (students and parents) really, really, really wants to get back to normal!  Unfortunately, the ultimate decision is out of our hands.  I pray every day that our civic leaders make the right calls keeping in mind appropriate risk and quality of life. 

I believe strongly that creating music together is an ESSENTIAL human activity.  Especially in a world racked with violence and insecurity, music can settle the spirit and provide a safe way to release our emotions.  Music is a UNIVERSAL GOOD in this world!  It reminds us of what we want to strive for; it will never let us down!  We need music now more than ever!

Take care, and let’s make this band the FINEST EVER!



Drum Majors
Will Wakeford-+, lead
Emily Schmidt-S, asst.

Woodwind Captains
Isabel Tabachow-+, lead
Hugh Bettini-J, asst.

Brass Captain
Elizabeth Swirski-+

Field Crew Captain
Kaitlyn Worden-+

Guard Captains
Ashley Choi-+, co-lead
Jane Pannill+, co-lead
Makayla Gamble-+, asst.
Katie Little-J, asst.

Flute Section Leaders
Caroline Swirski-+, co-lead
Skylar Harvey-+, co-lead
Fiona McGuinn-+, asst.

Clarinet Section Leaders
Megan Zeidler-+, co-lead
Emma Cockman-J, co-lead
Daniel Carter-+, asst.
Brianna Hodgins-+, asst.

Alto Saxophone Section Leaders
Dan Michaud-+, co-lead
Isabel Tabachow-+, co-lead
Loren Liu-J, asst.

Tenor Saxophone Section Leaders
Martha Davies-Cutting-+, co-lead
Drew King-+, co-lead
Myles Garris-+, asst.
Thomas Thornton-J, asst.

Baritone Saxophone Section Leader
Mia Hopkins-+

Trumpet Section Leaders
Elizabeth Swirski-+, lead
Will Cowan-+, asst.
Emily Berry-+, asst.
Robert Ponson-+, asst.

Mellophone Section Leader
Alana Williamson-J

Baritone Section Leaders
Kira Williams-+, lead
Jackson Baird-+, asst.

Tuba Section Leaders
Wesley Major-+, lead
Connor Edwards-+, asst.
Emma Edwards-+, asst.
Zed Lanier-+, asst.

Front Ensemble Captain
Brennan Robbins-+

Battery Captains
Connor Nicol-+, co-lead
Jackson Gill-+, co-lead
Ana Altman-+, asst.

Key:  +=senior; J=junior; S=sophomore    

"Doc Talk"/Class Lesson 6/4/2020

posted Jun 4, 2020, 3:41 AM by Athens Drive High School Band   [ updated Jun 4, 2020, 3:41 AM ]

“DOC TALK”/CLASS LESSON – Thursday, June 4, 2020



1) Today, Thursday, June 4th, from 9:00am-3:00pm, students may stop by the band room to do the following types of activities:
-Return concert music, instruments, accessories (mouthpieces, mutes) – this is especially critical for SENIORS!
-Pick up instruments to be used for marching band, this includes mallet instruments to take home to practice.
-Students who have earned positions in the East Central District Honor Band and All-State Band, as well as senior Tri-M members, can pick up their medals and honor cords.
-You are also welcome to just drop by to see me
-There will likely be some restrictions in place (masks, entrance locations, etc.); please check the school’s website and I will also try to keep you informed.

2) Registration for Marching Band is OPEN on our website!!!
Please sign up ASAP, and spread the word, especially to rising 9th graders!  The due date is Friday, June 19th.

Monday’s Lesson:“Toy Story” and Igor Stravinsky’s “Petrushka,” Tableaux 1-2
Tuesday’s Lesson: “Toy Story” and Igor Stravinsky’s “Petrushka,” Tableaux 3-4
Wednesday’s Lesson:  Let’s go to the opera!!  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “The Magic Flute,” Act I

Today’s Lesson:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “The Magic Flute,” Act II

Brief synopsis of the story:
“The Magic Flute” is about a prince (Tamino) who is sent on a mission to rescue a princess (Pamina, the daughter of “The Queen of the Night”) who was kidnapped by a supposed villain named Sarastro.  As a reward for Pamina’s rescue, the prince will be permitted to marry her.  Upon reaching the castle of Sarastro, Tamino is told that he would have to perform 3 feats of courage in order to prove his character and rescue Pamina.  With the aid of a magic flute, given to him by The Queen of the Night, Tamino is able to perform these feats and is permitted to rescue and marry Pamina. 

In the interest of time, let’s jump right into the second act!

The second act opens with a ritual in Sarastro’s (the supposed villian’s) palace.  Sarastro announces to his band of priests that Tamino (a prince) desires to marry Pamina (a princess—the Queen of the Night’s daughter).  However, in order for this to be permitted, Tamino must withstand 3 harsh trials. 

You begin to wonder, what is this Sarastro up to?  Is he really a “bad guy?”

Music cue #1:  1 hour, 23:11 in the attached link
We are going to begin with one of the most famous classical arias of all time!  This one is sung by Sarastro who is petitioning the gods Isis and Osiris to help the young couple withstand the trials that they are to endure.

Like some operas, there is even a part for a chorus (a group of singers).
Here’s a rough translation:

O isis and Osiris, bestow
The spirit of wisdom on this young couple!
You who guide the wanderers’ steps,
Strengthen them with patience in danger.

Strengthen them with patience in danger.

Let them see the fruits of trial;
Yet if they should go to their deaths,
Then reward the bold course of virtue;
Receive them into your abode.

Receive them into our abode.

The priests announce the first trial:  no matter what, Tamino may not speak to Pamina.  

Music cue #2:  1 hour, 39:20 in the attached link
The “Queen of the Night” (Pamina’s mother) decides to go to Sarastro’s castle herself to see how Tamino is doing.  She finds her daughter and gives her a dagger to kill Sarastro.  In this aria (another very, very famous one), The Queen of the Night tells Pamina that if she does not kill Sarastro, then she will be disowned!

OMG!  Is the Queen of the Night a good queen, or a bad queen?  Why must Sarastro be killed?  Why doesn’t she just escape with her daughter?  Hmmm..

Here is a rough translation:
My heart is seething with hellish vengeance,
Death and despair are blazing around me!
Unless Sarastro feels the pangs of death at your hands
You are no longer my daughter.
Forever disowned, forever abandoned,
Forever destroyed may all ties of nature be,
Unless Sarastro dies at your hands!
Hear!  Gods of vengeance!  Hear a mother’s vow!

Music cue #3:  2 hours, 9:20 in the attached link
Here’s another well-known aria sung by Tamino’s comic sidekick, Papageno.  In this aria, Papageno is again fantasizing about meeting a girl that he can call his wife.  It is Mozart at his best—light, engaging, and memorable!

Here’s a rough translation:
A girl or a little wife
Is what Papageno desires.
Oh, a sweet little dove like that
Would be bliss for me!
Then I should drink and eat with relish,
Then I could hold my own with princes,
Enjoy life in my wisdom,
And be as if in Elysium.

A girl or a little wife
Is what Papageno desires.
Oh, a sweet little dove like that
Would be bliss for me!
Ah, can’t I find one, then, amongst all
The lovely girls, who would like me?
Let just one help me out of my misery,
Or I shall truly die or grief.

A girl or a little wife
Is what Papageno desires.
Oh, a sweet little dove like that
Would be bliss for me!
If no one will offer me love,
Then the fire must consume me,
But if a woman’s lips kiss me,
I shall be well again straightaway!

Back to Tamino and Pamina…
Tamino survives the first test and must now walk through a “mountain of fire” with Pamina at his side.  He plays the magic flute given to him by the Queen of the Night and they emerge through the fire unscathed!  Then they must walk through a flood; with the help of the magic flute, they survive this test as well.

Music cue #4:  2 hours, 40:23 in the attached link
Meanwhile, Papageno is about to commit suicide over not being able to find a wife.  However, just in the nick of time, he remembers that the Queen of the Night gave him a special set of bells that he can ring if he needs assistance.  He rings the bells and a girl by the name of Papagena emerges and commits to be his wife!
It’s a very cute duet by Papageno and Papagena!

Here’s a rough translation of this duet:
Ring, chimes, ring!
I must see my darling girl.
Tinkle, little bells, tinkle,
Fetch me my girl!
Tinkle, little bells, tinkle,
Bring me my little wife!

(Papagena appears)



Are you really all mine now?

Now I really am all yours.

So now be my darling little wife?

So now be the little dove of my heart!

What a pleasure that wll be,
When the gods remember us,
Crown our love with children,
Such dear little children!

First a little Papageno!

Then a little Papagena!

Then another Papageno!

Then another Papagena!

Papageno!  Papagena!
It is the greatest felling
That many, many
May be a blessing to their parents.

Music cue #5:  2 hours, 45:33 in the attached link
In the end, it turns out that Sarastro was a “good guy:” he was wise priest who saved Pamina from her wicked mother (yes, the Queen of the Night was actually  evil) by kidnapping her and making sure that the prince Tamino had the honorable character to marry her.  At the end of the opera, Tamino and Pamina are officially married and consecrated into Sarastro’s “circle of priests.”  Papageno is overjoyed with his new love as well.  The Queen of the Night is banished from Sarastro’s kingdom because she was full of such hate.  In Sarastro’s kingdom, there is no room for hate, jealousy, or any other type of emotion that is negative to a pure soul.

Here’s a rough translation of the song sung by the chorus:
Hail to you on your consecration!
You have penetrated the night,
Thanks be given to you,
Osiris, thanks to you, Isis!
Strength has triumphed, rewarding
Beauty and wisdom with an everlasting crown!

Morals of the story:  It’s all about having great character!  Goodness and purity of heart will always triumph over evil!  Perhaps there are good spirits watching over us, protecting us from harm.  Always be true to yourself. 

1) Watch Act II of “The Magic Flute” in English presented by Loyola University.

2) If you want a more “professional” rendering (one in German but with English subtitles), explore this one by the Vienna Opera.  The only problem is that the English subtitles disappear in the second act.  However, you can google an English translation and still follow along.

3) Watch the entire opera!

4) If you enjoyed this, check out these other famous operas:

Aida (1871) Giuseppe Verdi
The Barber of Seville (1816) Gioacchino Rossini
La Boheme (The Bohemians) (1896) Giacomo Puccini
Carmen (1875) Georges Bizet
Cosi fan Tutte (so do they All) (1790) Wolfgang Mozart
Don Giovanni (Don Juan) (1787) Wolfgang Mozart
Fidelio (1805) Ludwig van Beethoven
The Flying Dutchman (1843) Richard Wagner
Madam Butterfly (1904) Giacomo Puccini
The Marriage of Figaro (1786) Wolfgang Mozart
Porgy and Bess (1935) George Gershwin
Rigoletto (1851) Giuseppe Verdi

And this list is just to get you started, there are SO MANY MORE!  It’s like watching Netflix! 


Instructions for Thursday Drop Off

posted Jun 3, 2020, 6:32 AM by Athens Drive High School Band   [ updated Jun 3, 2020, 6:33 AM ]

Good morning everyone.  Please take note of the information below from our Assistant Principal, Mr. Katz regarding band students returning supplies tomorrow.

Yahoo! Communications Team

Here is what I would like to see on Thursday regarding band students returning instruments:
  • We will need at least two people at the entrance to the band hallway (cafeteria entrance/exit area) ensuring that we keep social distancing guidelines while equipment is returned
  • Parents/students enter through the gym lobby and make their way to the cafeteria (Attendance Hallway entrance) 
  • Students/ parents with items to be returned to the band room will go through the cafeteria and exit through the cafeteria exit adjacent to the serving lines and enter the band hallway (this is where we need to set up a table with at least two people there to direct students and keep people socially distant- I will have spots designated on the floor and Mr. Warren will ensure that we don't get a back up into the cafeteria)
  • Equipment that is returned has to remain untouched for 5 days- I would suggest that you designate areas to store the items until the 5 day period expires
  • Students/parents will exit through the band hallway/trailer area doorway, please make sure that people are not gathering around outside the hallway entrance/exit.  I understand that the kids have not seen each other in a while and will certainly want to catch up but we can't let them congregate.  I do not want us to be responsible for an infections "spike" in our community. 
Thank you for communicating your circumstances and taking the steps to ensure that we have a smooth and safe day on Thursday.  

Steven Katz 
Assistant Principal for Instruction
Athens Drive Magnet High School
Center for Medical Sciences and Global Health Initiatives
1420 Athens Drive 
Raleigh, NC 27606
Phone: (919) 233-4050, Extension 24887
Fax:( 919) 670-4454

"Doc Talk"/Class Lesson 6/3/2020

posted Jun 3, 2020, 3:50 AM by Athens Drive High School Band   [ updated Jun 3, 2020, 3:50 AM ]

“DOC TALK”/CLASS LESSON – Wednesday, June 3, 2020


1) Tomorrow, Thursday, June 4th, from 9:00am-3:00pm, students may stop by the band room to do the following types of activities:
-Return concert music, instruments, accessories (mouthpieces, mutes) – this is especially critical for SENIORS!
-Pick up instruments to be used for marching band, this includes mallet instruments to take home to practice.
-Students who have earned positions in the East Central District Honor Band and All-State Band, as well as senior Tri-M  members, can pick up their medals and honor cords.
-You are also welcome to just drop by to see meJ
-There will likely be some restrictions in place (masks, entrance locations, etc.); please check the school’s website and I   will also try to keep you informed.

2) Registration for Marching Band is OPEN on our website!!!
Please sign up ASAP, and spread the word, especially to rising 9th graders!  The due date is Friday, June 19th.

Monday’s Lesson:“Toy Story” and Igor Stravinsky’s “Petrushka,” Tableaux 1-2
Tuesday’s Lesson: “Toy Story” and Igor Stravinsky’s “Petrushka,” Tableaux 3-4
Today’s Lesson:  Let’s go to the opera!!  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “The Magic Flute”

We’re going to switch from ballet to opera for the next 2 days and explore Mozart’s last opera, “The Magic Flute.”  If you enjoy movies and Broadway musicals--and I’m certain that most of you do—than you’ll enjoy opera.  It’s that simple, because an opera is just a like movie, or a musical.

Operas get a “bad rap” though for the following reasons:
1)   They are often sung/spoken in a non-English dialect.
2)   The actual “action,” that is the story line, moves at a slower pace than a modern movie.
3)   At times the singing seems “over the top” with regard to flourish and ornamentation, even extreme range.
4)   Some of the stories are about events/tales that seem too “stuffy” for modern audiences.

However, in answer to each of these points, I offer the following:
1)   With our modern-day internet, you can enjoy most operas performed in English.  You can also enjoy an opera   sung/spoken in its original dialect with English subtitles.
2)   The action moves slower because there are moments when the characters will sing songs about the events and    their emotions.  These songs are called “arias” and are often the most beautiful parts of an opera.  Imagine “The Sound   of Music” without all the wonderful songs…it just wouldn’t be the same!
3)   Sometimes the singers like to “show-off” their vocal range and technique, but in good operas, it is always done with “taste.”  It is similar to an instrumentalist displaying virtuosity.  Provided the performance is tasteful, it can be a wonderful moment.
4)   Yes, some operas are about events/tales steeped in medieval legend and lore; however, there are many operas which deal with more “everyday human emotions and situations.”  I might add that the operas that are based on medieval legends still deal with human emotions at their core.

Bottom line, if you like movies, you’ll love opera! 

I chose Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” for the following reasons:
1)   I wanted to explore a well-known opera.
2)   I wanted to explore an opera that contained a wealth of emotions—excitement, fear, mystery, humor, romance, magic, etc.
3)   I love Mozart and you must experience his operas in order to really understand him as a composer.  Opera was always Mozart’s first love!
4)   I wanted to explore an opera that contained some great arias, but also some fine recitatives and perhaps some spoken dialogue.  “The Magic Flute” has all 3!

As I previously mentioned, “The Magic Flute” was Mozart’s last opera, completed and performed in 1791, just months before his death!  Mozart wrote the music; the words (libretto) was written by Emanuel Schikaneder.  [Fun fact:  Very rarely does a composer write the libretto.  Richard Wagner is the only musician that I can recall that wrote his own libretti.]  “The Magic Flute” is a special type of opera known as a singspiel—an opera with spoken dialogue.  Furthermore, it was originally written in German--the native language of Vienna—in order to have greater appeal to the Viennese public.  [Most operas written at this time were done in Italian because this language is much easier to sing to.] 

Let’s listen!

First of all, all operas—like Broadway musicals--begin with an instrumental OVERTURE!  This is a way to “warm-up” the audience’s ear to the melodies and moods that will be explored in the upcoming opera.  It also serves the practical purpose of notifying everyone that the opera is about to start and to find their seats, etc.

Because the overture is entirely instrumental, operatic overtures are often separated from their opera and performed as free-standing selections on a concert.  In fact, many operas which are no longer staged, still have overtures that are played frequently by orchestras!  In other words, the music was great by the actual story only so-so. 

Also, these overtures often were crafted in sonata form!   Many would begin with a slow introduction, followed by an exposition containing 2 or 3 themes (songs), followed by some sort of “bridge passage” that would serve as a brief development, and then a recapitulation where the themes in the exposition would be played one for time.  It’s like a formula!

And here’s a fun fact:  composers often wrote the overture AFTER they wrote the opera.  This makes sense because the overture is often built upon tunes contained in the opera.  Sometimes fast-writing composers such as Mozart and Rossini—would write the overtures on the morning of the first performance, and the orchestra would sight-read the overtures!  No kidding!

Let’s listen to the overture to “The Magic Flute:
Music cue #1:  0:50-5:45 of the attached link (Vienna Philharmonic)
-Slow, dramatic introduction beginning in the home key of “Eb”; varying dynamics (ff-p), chromaticism, mood of mystery
-Allegro!  Exposition!  It’s a fugue!  Note the subject (Theme A):  repeated eighth-notes.  Yes, Mozart will use this figure in the opera!
-Theme B is a short scalar figure that is tossed back and forth between instruments (like a dialogue).
-A return to the block chords of the introduction make us wonder if we are repeating the exposition, but NO-we’re in the wrong key-we’re on the dominant “Bb.”
-A Development ensues!  Mozart mainly develops Theme A; however, after a grand pause, uses Theme B to answer Theme A—ingenious! 
-A False or Fake recapitulation is sounded that almost sounds genuine and then Mozart gives us the real Recapitulation. 

And the opera has not even started yet!  But that’s Mozart!  J  It’s all so good!!!

Okay, now we need to give you a quick synopsis of the story:
“The Magic Flute” is about a young man (Tamino) who is sent on a mission to rescue the daughter (Pamina) of “The Queen of the Night” who was kidnapped by a supposed villain named Sarastro.  As a reward for the Pamina’s rescue, the young man will be permitted to marry her.  Upon reaching the castle of Sarastro, Tamino is told that he would have to perform 3 feats of courage in order to prove his character and rescue Pamina.  With the aid of a magic flute, given to him by The Queen of the Night, Tamino is able to perform these feats and is permitted to rescue and marry Pamina. 

There are many little “sub plots” that we’ll reveal as necessary.

Music cue #2:  14:51-18:04 in the attached link (Loyola University performance)
This is the first of 9 arias in this opera.  Remember, an aria is simply a song, usually performed by a soloist who aims to express emotions connected with an event. 

In this aria, a comic character, Papageno, enters the story.  Papageno is a “bird catcher.”  He is opposite in character from Tamino, the hero.  Papageno is a recluse who just likes to be alone with his birds.  However, Papageno longs for a companion, a wife.  In this aria, Papageno expresses the fact that he is a “happy bird catcher” who wishes he could catch a girl to call his wife.
Here is a rough translation of the 3 verses:

The bird-catcher, that’s me,
Always cheerful, hip hooray!
As a bird-catcher I’m known
To young and old throughout the land.
I know how to set about luring
And how to be good at piping.
That’s why I can be merry and cheerful,
For all the birds are surely mine.

The bird-catcher, that’s me,
Always cheerful, hip hooray!
As a bird-catcher I’m known
To young and old throughout the land.
I’d like a net for girls,
I’d catch them for myself by the dozen!
Then I’d lock them up with me,
And all the girls would be mine.

If all the girls were mine,
I’d barter plenty of sugar:
The one I liked best,
I’d giver her the sugar at once.
And if then she kissed me tenderly,
She would be my wife and I her husband.
She’d fall asleep at my side,
And I’d rock her like a child.

It’s cute how Mozart was able to give Papageno a flute-type instrument to play to lure the birds.  Tamino’s flute will give him courage—Papageno’s will get him girls!  Ha, ha!

Music cue #3:  beginning 29:30
The Queen of the Night makes her first appearance in the opera and asks Tamino to rescue her daughter.
Note that the Queen’s opening lines are in the style of a recitative:  a hybrid type of music that is neither song nor speech; a declamatory speech-like singing that is somewhat free in rhythm.  Mozart’s is actually fairly tuneful…again, it’s Mozart!
After the opening lines, the music resumes a more “aria-like” song quality.
Here’s a rough translation:

Oh, do not tremble my dear son!
You are guiltless, wise, and pious.
A young man like you is best able
To comfort the deeply distressed heart of a mother.

Suffering is my lot,
For my daughter is not with me.
Through her I have lost all my happiness;
A villain made off with her.
I still see her trembling
With alrm and shock,
Quivering with anxiety,
Struggling timidly.
I had to see her stolen from me,
“Ah help!” was all she said;
But her pleading was in vain,
For my aid was too feeble.
You will go to free her,
You will be the rescuer of my daughter.
And if I see you as victor,
Then may she be yours for ever.

Music cue #4:  beginning 47:45
We pick up the action as Papageno (Tamino’s bird-catcher friend) actually finds Pamina in captivity in Sarastro’s castle.  Papageno tells Pamina that her “prince charming” Tamino will soon come to rescue her, but expresses his loneliness for not having anyone special in his life.  Note that this part of the opera is spoken

After a few lines, Papageno and Pamina sing a duet (an aria for 2 voices) expressing the joy of finding someone to love.
Here is a rough translation:

In men who feel love,
A good heart, too, is never lacking.

Sharing these sweet urges
Is then women’s first duty.

We want to enjoy love;
It is through love alone that we live.

Love sweetens every sorrow;
Every creature pays homage to it.

It gives relish to the days of our life,
It acts in the cycle of nature.

Its high purpose clearly proclaims:
There is nothing nobler than woman and man.
Man and woman, and woman and man,
Reach toward the deity.

Act I concludes with Papageno and Tamino being captured by Sarastro.
Now Pamina (The Queen of the Night’s daughter), Papageno and Tamino are all captives of the “villain” Sarastro.  Tomorrow we’ll explore Act 2 and find out how all this ends up!

1) Watch Act I of “The Magic Flute” in English presented by Loyola University.

2) If you want a more “professional” rendering (one in German but with English subtitles), explore this one by the Vienna Opera.

It’s really fun!  Just sit back and enjoy the show!

"Doc Talk"/Class Lesson 6/2/2020

posted Jun 2, 2020, 3:36 AM by Athens Drive High School Band   [ updated Jun 2, 2020, 3:37 AM ]

“DOC TALK”/CLASS LESSON – Tuesday, June 2, 2020



1) This Thursday, June 4th, from 9:00am-3:00pm, students may stop by the band room to do the following types of activities:
-Return concert music, instruments, accessories (mouthpieces, mutes) – this is especially critical for SENIORS!
-Pick up instruments to be used for marching band, this includes mallet instruments to take home to practice.
-Students who have earned positions in the East Central District Honor Band and All-State Band, as well as senior Tri-M members, can pick up their medals and honor cords.
-You are also welcome to just drop by to see meJ
-There will likely be some restrictions in place (masks, entrance locations, etc.); please check the school’s website and I will also try to keep you informed.

2) Registration for Marching Band is OPEN on our website!!!
Please sign up ASAP, and spread the word, especially to rising 9th graders!  The due date is Friday, June 19th.

Monday’s Lesson: “Toy Story” and Igor Stravinsky’s “Petrushka,” Tableaux 1-2

Today’s Lesson: “Toy Story” and Igor Stravinsky’s “Petrushka,” 
Tableaux 3-4
In the interest of time, we are going to pick-up right where we left off yesterday, so if not watched yesterday’s video, please do so before watching this one as everything will make more sense.

Tableaux 3:  The Moor’s Room
Music cue #1:  15:00-17:05 in the attached link
The Moor is the 3rd puppet, the prince, the handsome one from a middle-eastern country.  After a stormy introduction, his stately, exotic-sounding, mysterious dance is stated by the Bb clarinet and the bass clarinet in octaves over pizzicato strings and light percussion (bass drum and cymbals).  As this passage continues, the exoticism is further enhanced by the timbre of the English horn, oboe trio and bassoon trio.

Music cue #2:  17:05-17:35 in attached link

The Ballerina decides to visit the Moor and she has her own special dance.  This is one of the most well-known trumpet orchestral excerpts in the book! 

Music cue #3:  17:48/18:30/19:25 in the attached link
The Ballerina and the Moor now share a waltz.  At first, a more “traditional sounding” melody is played utilizing arpeggiated tonic and dominant chords (Eb and Bb).  Then the music grows a bit more complex in design and further into the dance one can sense a dissonance—as depicted in the English horn—as Petrushka is watching this dance from outside the room and growing increasingly more agitated.

Music cue #4:  20:00-20:55 in the attached link
As they are dancing, Petrushka enters the room, depicted by the arpeggiated motifs sounded in the trumpet.  A fight ensues and Petrushka is thrown out of the room by the moor.

Tableaux 4:  The Shrovetide Fair (Toward Evening)
As in a symphony, it is the first and fourth movement that are usually the largest-- and this piece shares that commonality.  Like the first movement, all of the action takes place outside in place of large crowds.  The first part of this movement depicts several dances by actors/actresses and much of the music comes from actual Russian folk song.  Think of the “Nutcracker Suite” by Tchaikovsky and all those dances that represent different countries and personages.

Music cue #5:  22:14-24:00/24:00-24:38 in attached link
“The Wet-Nurses” Dance played by first by the oboe and then the horn against a pulsing accompaniment in the strings.  A second dance is sounded later in the passage and then the two are combined.

Music cue #6:  24:38-25:30 in the attached link
Here’s a very, very random passage, once again depicting the uniqueness and often macabre/bizarre nature of some of the fair attractions:  A “Walking Bear” accompanied by the sound of a pipe.  Note that the bear is depicted by the solo tuba in a very high register.  [This is another well-known orchestral excerpt for the tuba.]  Stravinsky often utilized instruments in their extreme ranges to create a special feeling (like the very high bassoon solo in the opening of the “Rite of Spring”).

After a few more dances, the music returns to the story of the puppets.

Music cue #7:  30:45-31:29 in the attached link
Announced by a high F# sustained by the entire trumpet section, Petrushka dashes from the little theatre pursued by the Moor, whom the Ballerina tries to restrain.  The furious Moor catches Petrushka and strikes him with his saber.  Petrushka falls; his head broken.

Music cue #8:  32:42-end in the attached link
The magician retrieves the broken puppet and places him back in the theatre.  As he is walking out, the ghost of Petrushka is seen above the theatre—mocking, harassing, and thumbing his nose at the magician.  Note that the final two notes of this work, as sounded in the lower strings, are C and F#.

Cool, eh?
It takes a bit of time to learn to truly enjoy this music—but you will.  Just like Debussy’s “La Mer,” this music has lasted for over 100 years and maintains a steadfast position in the orchestral repertoire.  By stretching your ear, you will broaden your musical tastes and find all music even more enjoyable!

And remember, this music is GREAT in part because it “can stand on its own” without the story.  However, like the “Nutcracker Suite,” “The Planets” and “Til Eulenspiegel,” the story makes the music all the more enjoyable!

1)  Listen to the last two two tableaux of “Petrushka” several times.  Do your best to keep up with the story.  Once you get the hang of it, I believe that you will find the music quite interesting, and the novel sounds quite refreshing .

2) Watch the actual ballet!!!  This may be the best way to enjoy this work!!!

3) Below are a few video analyses of this work that are very easy to understand—and they will really help you enjoy this piece more!  I highly encourage watching them!


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