Premiere of New Work for WIND BAND
<The following was originally written for composer Jesse Ayers website, reposted here by permission>
We are excited to announce the premiere of our latest work for wind band, WHERE THE STORMY WINDS BLOW, Thursday, July 14, by the Michigan City Municipal Band (Indiana), conducted by Dr. Jeffery Scott Doebler, with Richard AmRhein, narrating/singing.
The 14-minute “concert story” tells the true story of an 1873 shipwreck that occurred on Lake Michigan between Beaver Island and Traverse City, told first-hand through the actual words of the son of the story’s principal character. The son’s oral account was found on a 1937 field recording housed at the Library of Congress.
In addition to the spoken narration, the narrator also sings several verses, interspersed throughout the work, of a Lake Michigan sea shanty known as “The Gallagher Boys,” a ballad about this same incident, composed by a Beaver Island songster who personally knew all involved. The shanty was obtained from the same 1937 field recordings, sung by the aforementioned son. Much of the music in the Ayers’ composition is based on motives drawn from the shanty’s tune.
The audience also participates in the work by singing, at various times throughout the work, the refrain line of the shanty, “For to sail o’er Lake Michigan where the stormy winds blow.”
This work was commissioned by the historic Michigan City Municipal Band, now in its 154th season, and is the latest in a series of commissions by the band to foster the creation of new repertoire.
Ayers and Doebler have collaborated numerous times over the past 23 years, and have a close working relationship that has resulted in strong, well-received performances. Doebler has conducted all of Ayers’ works for wind band several times each, and premiered many of them.
The concert will be at 7:30 p.m. at the Guy F. Foreman Bicentennial Amphitheater in Washington Park, Michigan City, IN. Admission is free. There may be fee for parking at the park.