San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band | A San Francisco Affair

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A San Francisco Affair

by San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band

Great All American Concert Band Music including a newly published work by Sousa, Grofe's San Francisco Suite and some music of the 1915 San Francisco World's Fair.
Genre: Classical: Band Music
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Panama Pacific Expo March
2:25 $0.99
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2. A Day At the Panama Pacific Exposition
11:38 album only
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3. San Fran Pan American March
3:02 $0.99
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4. San Francisco Suite: I. The Gold Rush
5:50 $0.99
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5. San Francisco Suite: II. Bohemian Nights
4:27 $0.99
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6. San Francisco Suite: III. The Mauve Decade
3:27 $0.99
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7. San Francisco Suite: IV. 1906-1960
7:38 $0.99
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8. Panama Pacific March
3:35 $0.99
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9. Hail California! Finale
7:08 $0.99
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10. Among My Souvenirs (Humoresque)
9:34 album only
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11. The Pathfinder of Panama March
3:46 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Formed in 1978, The San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band (SFLGFB) was the first openly gay musical organization in the world, inspiring the formation of LGBTQ bands, choruses and performing groups around the globe.
On a local level, SFLGFB is the ‘Official Band of San Francisco’, having been given that honor by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in honor of the Band’s 20thand 25th anniversaries. For over 37 years we have broadcast our message of inclusion, acceptance and equality through music and, to that end, the SFLGFB is open to performers of all sexual orientations, gender identities and musical ability.

Founded by Jon Sims during a politically and socially volatile period, the height of Anita Bryant’s “Save Our Children” campaign and The Briggs Initiative/California Proposition 6, the Band has made music to build understanding among communities for more than three decades. SFLGFB first appeared in public when it marched up Market Street behind Harvey Milk’s convertible in the 1978 San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade, an event recreated in the Oscar-winning film “Milk.”
In addition to concerts, the SFLGFB regularly performs at dozens of cultural and civic events each year - ranging from four presidential inaugurations to middle school pride events. Yearly parade appearances include Pride Parades in several cities, The Chinese New Year Parade, and the Veterans Day Parade.

In December, the Band kicks up its heels for the Dance-Along Nutcracker®. The zany San Francisco holiday tradition attracts national media attention and builds bridges between genders, ages and sexual identities while putting a smile on everyone’s face. The Dance-Along Nutcracker® draws capacity audiences and has been regularly featured in local and national news media, including: the San Francisco Chronicle; Good Morning, America; the Today Show; and The Wall Street Journal.

This recording, and the series of concerts that link to it, bring back to life seven wonderful pieces of music which had undeservedly faded from the performed repertoire. That Sousa’s Among My Souvenirs has remained un-published or revived for some 90 years (these performances likely mark the first by any band other than Sousa’s own) is a travesty given its remarkable melding of timeless popular songs into a work of great sentiment and nostalgia. M. L. Lake’s A Day at the Pan Pacific Exposition, is a musical time capsule with remarkable evocations of scenes and musical events of that historic occasion. That Camille Saint-Saens composed a piece for the Exposition, and that he collaborated with Sousa for its premier, is an important piece of American musical history. Grofe’s San Francisco Suite is musical story-telling at its absolute finest, transporting performer and listener to past eras of the City by the Bay. And, the remarkable marches composed for the PPIE by Corin, Pinard, and Alford (alongside Sousa’s well-known march) demonstrate the wide stylistic range of the American march as a genre - from a stately cavalry march cantering along in 6/8, to a quickstep more in keeping with the dance hall.

Among My Souvenirs (Humoresque)
John Philip Sousa, Ed. Kevin R. Tam (World Premiere recording)
John Philip Sousa shall forever be regarded as the “March King”. However, his body and scope of work extend well beyond the marches which made him so famous. In a rough accounting of Sousa’s body of work, marches make up only the second most numerous of his efforts – some 135 march compositions versus over 320 arrangements and transcriptions for Band. Outside of his marches, most of the Sousa catalog, including his humoresques, remains unpublished and largely unheard today.
By way of an old Sousa concert program, we learn the narrative of his humoresque Among My Souvenirs. In it, the Nichols song Among My Souvenirs is lengthened into a sketch. Among his souvenirs is a photograph, letters and a broken heart. As he meditates, he goes back to a time before he was broken-hearted and remembers when he and his beloved were softly singing Twinkling Stars are Laughing, Love. Next, his mind reverts to the time when he was Seeing Her Home, recalling the songs of years gone by at Aunt Dinah’s Quilting Party – he was Seeing Nellie Home. After this, he travels to the Far East, and visions of The Road to Mandalay come to him. From there, he meditates on the Sweet Mysteries of Life and, finally, arrives at the closing picture in which he is once more Among my Souvenirs. This is likely the first performance of this Sousa work by a band other than Sousa’s own.

San Francisco Suite
Ferde Grofé, arranged by Kevin R. Tam (World Premiere recording)
(Gold Rush, Bohemian Nights, The Mauve Decade, 1906 - 1960)
In 1960, Ferde Grofé was commissioned to create a new descriptive suite based on San Francisco. This was familiar territory for the composer because San Francisco was the place where, while playing jazz in local nightclubs, he met band leader Paul Whiteman and began a long friendship and working relationship. Known to most as composer of the Grand Canyon Suite and as arranger of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, Grofé composed a series of suites based on the American landscape and life which would grow to include the Grand Canyon, Death Valley, Hudson River, Niagara Falls, Hollywood and San Francisco suites as well as others. In his own unique way, the composer has painted a series of musical portraits of life in America, conjuring up images to which even Norman Rockwell could relate.
The first movement of the suite, “Gold Rush,” portrays San Francisco’s wild gold rush era of the Barbary Coast, mining settlements, and frontier justice. The gold rush of 1849 is introduced by the tune “Pop Goes the Weasel” which had become popular in America during this same period. The tune is then expanded and layered upon with variations in a metaphor for San Francisco’s explod- ing growth. Grofé mischievously depicts a frontier altercation represented by the Bass Clarinet and Bassoon, the victor galloping off to a nearby camp which is hosting a square dance. The movement concludes with a gold strike and the frenzy that ensues.
Grofé subtitled the second movement “Bohemian Nights” as the “Theme of Romance” and this theme reemerges in later movements. A woodwind feature, the alto saxophone solo introduces the theme which is echoed in a horn solo and then taken up by the woodwind sections.
The third movement “Mauve Decade” portrays a maturing city of the 1890s with its cable cars and high society. The listener is taken for a ride on the Powell-Hyde cable car, making “stops” in Chinatown, the Barbary Coast, and then passing the Opera House before heading downhill to the waterfront.
The fourth movement, “1906 – 1960” depicts the Great Quake of 1906, the resulting fires, the dyna- miting of buildings to create fire breaks in an attempt to save the City, and its aftermath and rebirth. Beginning with a haunting fog punctuated by an echoing fog horn, tension is built until the first tremors are felt. After the devastation is wrought, the city picks up and rebuilds, culminating with a passage of “Hail to California,” the University of California alma mater. The “Theme of Romance” returns in a triumphant setting punctuated by fireworks provided by the percussion before ending in a fanfare based again on “Hail to California.”

HAIL! CALIFORNIA (Finale)
Camille Saint-Saëns, arranged Kevin R. Tam (World Premiere recording)
Architectural and sculptural relics are not all that remain of the artistic contributions from the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exhibition, the 100th Anniversary of which we celebrate in 2015. French composer Camille Saint- Saëns was commissioned to compose a work especially for the fair. It was a composition celebrating France and America, and featured the Exposition Orchestra conducted by Saint-Saëns, a new pipe organ installed in
the Festival Hall, and, unusually, a military band. The proud finale, combined the La Marseillaise with the Star Spangled Banner in a dramatic and triumphant finish to the longer seventeen minute work. During the premiere at Festival Hall in 1915, the role of the military band was filled by Saint-Saëns’ friend, John Philip Sousa and his band.
This new arrangement of HAIL! CALIFORNIA is the first to incorporate and combine the elements and intent of the original into the concert band setting while retaining the featured organ solos so carefully crafted by the master composer Camille Saint-Saëns. Reconstructed from the original 1915 orchestral parts submitted to the Library of Congress at the time, this recording is the first time modern audiences can hear this “lost” work by the great French master.

A Day at the Panama Pacific Exposition
Mayhew L. Lake, edited Kevin R. Tam (World Premiere recording)
The import and magnitude of the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition was of a scale not seen before, and rarely since. In creating his musical fantasia on a day of the Panama Pacific Exposi- tion, Mayhew Lake drew upon the sights, sounds, and music that he experienced. As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Panama Pacific Exposition and the music that was written for and about the event, it is helpful to be mindful of the vast energy and excitement generated by the fair and the impact of the event on all who experienced it.
A synopsis of the events M.L. Lake portrays in this musical fantasia is: “Sunrise at the Golden Gate,” “Crowds arriving at the fairgrounds,” “The Midway” (introducing the Afro-American band, Oriental Ballyhoo, and Little German Band), “Congress of Nations in Passing Review” (introducing the air of several principal nations as the Bands would sound passing a reviewing stand), “The Welsh Elsteddfod,” “Turkish Band,” “The Panama Exposition Orchestra,” “Sunset at the Golden Gate”(during which the Sun Gun from the Presidio is heard, accompanied by the distant bugle call), and “Chimes in the distance.”

Panama-Pacific Expo March
Al Pinard, arranged & edited Philip Orem (World Premiere recording)
Taking its name from the official title of the Fair, this march was composed by renowned trombone soloist Al Pinard in 1914. Pinard became famous during his tenure with the Arthur Pryor band and also composed several other best-selling band works including Thatsum Rag.

San Fran Pan American March
Joel P. Corin, arranged & edited Philip Orem (World Premiere recording)
The San Fran Pan American March was written in 1913 to celebrate and promote San Francisco’s winning bid to host the 1915 world’s fair. The City was selected in 1911 over chief rival New Orleans by proclamation of President William Howard Taft. On December 12, 1913 the Victor Band recorded the march for the recording company of the same name. Corin was 26 years old when he penned this march and had already established himself as a concert pianist and composer with several musicals and orchestra recordings to his credit.

Panama Pacific March
Harry L. Alford, arranged & edited Philip Orem (World Premiere recording)
This commemorative march comes from Harry Alford, a pioneering arranger whose business cataloged some 34,000 custom arrangements until his death in 1939. At the time it was said that “This man Alford can slip unobserved into almost any theater in America, and be sure that somewhere in the musical part of the program he is going to hear several of his arrangements.” Some of his most famous band marches include Glory of the Gridiron and Purple Carnival.

The Pathfinder of Panama March
John Philip Sousa, edited Frank Byrne
This march was composed at the request of Walter Anthony, a reporter at the San Francisco Call newspaper. Sousa, whose band was in residency at the Panama Pacific International Exposition, named this march not after the engineer or creators of the Panama Canal but after the Canal itself – an engineering marvel that would impact the trade and economies of virtually every nation. More than anyone else, John Philip Sousa was responsible for making band music a popular and reputable genre.

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