Symphonic Wind Ensemble Program Notes

04/18/2023, 7:30 PM, Wright Auditorium

William Staub, conductor

To Feel the Winds of Heaven (2023)

Brittany Green (b. 1991)

To Feel the Winds of Heaven was inspired by the marvels of aviation and the first controlled airflight that took place in Kitty Hawk, N.C., on December 17, 1903.

The piece opens with a fanfare, emulating the excitement leading up to the flight. Driving eighth notes in the brass representative of the thrill of the takeoff roll enter, ushering the piece into the vibrant and soaring B section. As the piece ends, the opening fanfare returns for a safe landing and electrifying end.

To Feel the Winds of Heaven was commissioned by the Wachovia Winds Youth Wind Ensemble for the North Carolina Concert Band Consortium. Artistic Director, Danny Green, conductors, Alex Askew, Matthew Brusseau, Daniel Campbell, Derrick James, Robert Johnston, Quincy Lundy, and Justin Sumners.

– Program Note from score


O Ye That Loved the Lord (1892)

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912); transcribed by Shiree X. Williams

Published in 1892, O Ye That Love the Lord was originally score for choir and organ. The piece is a short anthem based on Psalm 97:10, which exhorts the believer to hate what is evil. For me, transcribing this piece meant having the opportunity to give further voice to Coleridge-Taylor and both an influential human and genius musician. It is my hope that performers and listeners alike are inspired by this work and the legacy of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor.

– Program Note from score

Variations on a Shaker Meloday from Appalachian Spring (1937)

Aaron Copland (1900-1990)

One of Aaron Copland‟s most recognized works, Variations on a Shaker Melody is an excerpt from his Pulitzer Prize winning ballet, Appalachian Spring (1944). This setting for concert band was completed by the composer during 1956 and premiered at Northwestern University on March 2, 1958. Copland selected the then obscure Shaker tune Simple Gifts for his variations. The unsung text, “Tis the gift to be simple, ‟tis the gift to be free,” was also relevant to the ballet’s larger themes of peace, war, remembrance, and national identity.

– Program Note from Ball State University Symphony Band concert program, 25 March 2016

Lincolnshire Posy (1937)

Percy Aldridge Grainger (1882-1961); edited by Frederick Fennell

  1. Lisbon
  2. Horkstow Grange
  3. Rufford Park Poachers
  4. The Brisk Young Sailor
  5. Lord Melbourne
  6. The Lost Lady Found

The composer writes:

Lincolnshire Posy was commissioned by the American Bandmasters Association and premiered at their convention with the composer conducting. It is in six movements, all based on folk songs from Lincolnshire, England. Grainger’s settings are not only true to the verse structure of the folk songs, but attempt to depict the singers from whom Grainger collected the songs. Since its premiere, it has been recognized as a cornerstone of the wind band repertoire.

Lincolnshire Posy, as a whole work, was conceived and scored by me direct for wind band early in 1937. Five, out of the six, movements of which it is made up existed in no other finished form, though most of these movements (as is the case with almost all my compositions and settings, for whatever medium) were indebted, more or less, to unfinished sketches for a variety of mediums covering many years (in this case, the sketches date from 1905 to 1937). These indebtednesses are stated in the score.

This bunch of “musical wildflowers” (hence the title) is based on folksongs collected in Lincolnshire, England (one notated by Miss Lucy E. Broadwood; the other five noted by me, mainly in the years 1905-1906, and with the help of the phonograph), and the work is dedicated to the old folksingers who sang so sweetly to me. Indeed, each number is intended to be a kind of musical portrait of the singer who sang its underlying melody — a musical portrait of the singer’s personality no less than of his habits of song — his regular or irregular wonts of rhythm, his preference for gaunt or ornately arabesqued delivery, his contrasts of legato and staccato, his tendency towards breadth or delicacy of tone.

– Program Note by Percy Aldridge Grainger

Lyrics to the songs

‘Twas on a Monday morning, all in the month of May
Our ship she weighed her anchor, all for to sail away;
The wind did from the southwest blow,
for Lisbon we were bound,
The hills and dales were covered,
with pretty young girls around.

I wrote a letter to Nancy, for her to understand
That I should have to leave her, unto some foreign land,
She said, My dearest William,
these words will break my heart,
Oh let us married be tonight, sweet Willie,
before you start.

Horkstow Grange
In Horkstow Grange there lives an old miser,
you all do know him as I’ve heard tell,
It was him and his man that we called John Bowlin’,
they fell out one market day.
Pity them what see him suffer,
pity poor old Steeleye Span,
John Bowlin’s deeds they will be remembered,
Bowlin’s deeds at Horkstow Grange.

Rufford Park Poachers
A buck or doe, believe it so, a pheasant or a hare
Were sent on earth for every man quite equally to share.
So poacher bold, as I unfold, keep up your gallant heart,
And think about those poachers bold,
that night in Rufford Park.

The Brisk Young Sailor
A fair maid walking all in her garden,
a brisk young sailor she chanced to spy,
He stepped up to her thinking to woo her, cried thus:
Fair maid, can you fancy I?

You seem to be some man of honour,
some man of honour you seem to be,
I am a poor and lowly maiden,
not fitting, sir, your servant for to be.

Lord Melbourne
I am an Englishman to my birth,
Lord Melbourne is my name;
In Devonshire I first drew breath,
that place of noble fame.
I was beloved by all my men,
by kings and princes likewise.
I never failed in anything, but won great victories.

The Lost Lady Found
‘Twas down in yon valley a fair maid did dwell,
She lived with her uncle, they all knew full well,
‘Twas down in yon valley where violets grew gay,
Three gypsies betrayed her and stole her away.

Long time she1d been missing, and could not be found;
Her uncle, he searched the country around,
Till he came to the trustee, between hope and fear,
The trustee made answer, She has not been here.

The trustee spoke over with courage so bold,
I fear she’s been lost for the sake of her gold,
So we’ll have life for life, sir, the trustee did say,
We’ll send you to prison, and there you shall stay.

There was a young squire that loved her so,
Oft times to the schoolhouse together they did go,
I’m afraid she’s been murdered, so great is my fear.
If I’d wings like a dove I would fly to my dear.

He traveled through England, through France and through Spain,
Till he ventured his life on the watery main,
And he came to a house where he lodged for a night,
And in that same house was his own heart’s delight.

When she saw him, she knew him, and fled to his arms;
She told him her grief while he gazed on her charms.
How came you to Dublin, my dearest, I pray?
Three gypsies betrayed me and stole me away.

Your uncle’s in England, in prison does lie,
And for your sweet sake is condemned for to die.
Carry me to old England, my dearest, she cried.
One thousand I’ll give thee, and will be your bride.

When they came to old England her uncle to see,
The cart it was under the high gallows tree;
Oh, pardon, oh, pardon, oh, pardon I crave. I’m alive,
I’m alive, your dear life to save.

Then from the high gallows they led him away,
The bells they did ring and the music did play,
Every house in that valley with mirth did resound,
As soon as they heard the lost lady was found.


Director Bio

William Staub is in his twelfth year at East Carolina University and third year as Director of Bands. He oversees the band programs at ECU, conducts and directs the ECU Symphonic Wind Ensemble, and teaches conducting and music education courses. Since arriving at ECU, Staub has conducted multiple world premieres including works by Pulitzer Prize winning composer Melinda Wagner and Grawemeyer winning composer Lei Liang. Dr. Staub and the ECU Symphonic Wind Ensemble performed at the NCMEA convention in 2022.


Prior to becoming director of bands, Staub served as the Associate Director of Bands and Director of Athletic Bands at ECU. Under his direction, the ECU Marching Pirates performed at a Carolina Panthers football game, the Superdome and Tropicana Field in addition to many exhibitions throughout North Carolina.


Dr. Staub came to ECU from Iowa State University where he served as Assistant Director of Bands with duties including assisting with the Cyclone Marching Band and conducting the Symphonic and Concert Bands. Staub has also taught public school in Austin, Texas at Grisham Middle School. While there, he co-conducted the Grisham Middle School Symphony Orchestra at their performance at the Texas Music Educators Association Convention.


In addition to his formal teaching positions, Dr. Staub is highly in demand as a clinician, adjudicator and conductor. His residencies have included Michigan State University, New Mexico State University, UNC-Wilmington, Duke University, the University of Georgia, Western Washington University, and the University of Puget Sound. In 2010, he participated in the West Point Conducting Workshop where he guest conducted the West Point Band in concert. In 2017, Staub served as one of the conductors for the World Youth Wind Orchestra Project in Schladming, Austria. Since 2015, Dr. Staub has served as conductor of the Symphonic Band at the New England Music Camp in Sidney, Maine.


Staub received his Doctor of Musical Arts from Northwestern University, where he was a conducting student of Mallory Thompson; his master’s degree in conducting from Michigan State University, where he was a student of Kevin Sedatole; and his undergraduate degree from Arizona State University, where he studied euphonium with Sam Pilafian and conducting with Gary Hill. In 2018, Dr. Staub received the ECU Alumni Association Outstanding Teaching Award. In 2019, he received the East Carolina Creed faculty award for Integrity. Staub is a member of NCMEA, CBDNA, Pi Kappa Lambda, and Phi Kappa Phi and is an honorary member of Tau Beta Sigma, Kappa Kappa Psi and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.


Dr. William Staub

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