We start our season by inviting our music friends from across the pond. “British Invasion” is a collection of wind band pieces composed by British composers.
Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) was a British composer who wrote in many genres including symphonies, chamber music, opera, choral music, and film scores. Vaughan Williams is a central figure in British music because of his long career as teacher, lecturer, and friend to so many younger composers and conductors. His writings on music challenged the thinking of his times, calling for all persons to make their own music, however simple, as long as it was truly their own. Vaughan Williams and Gustav Holst are credited with cutting the ties that had bound English music to Germany and Italy and seeking their roots in England’s own past. In 1904, Vaughan Williams discovered English folk songs and carols which were fast becoming extinct. He traveled the countryside, transcribing and preserving songs and melodies which he later incorporate into his own music.
Vaughan Williams wrote Flourish for Wind Band in 1939 as the opening to the pageant Music and the People in the Royal Albert Hall in London. It was subsequently lost, only to be rediscovered and finally published in 1971. Arranger Roy Douglas created versions of the piece for brass band and for symphony orchestra, but it has become part of the basic literature of the wind band for which it was created. (Note by Andy Pease).