Aaron Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man" is a patriotic musical display of brass and percussion. It was composed as a contribution to the war effort when the United States entered World War II, with "a title as original as its music," according to Eugene Goossen, a friend of Copland and conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.
A child prodigy, Morton Gould was composing and improvising by the age of 6. Later in his career as pianist, arranger, conductor and composer, his music enveloped folk, jazz, pop and marching band within the concerto form, combining piano, orchestra, voice and diverse ensembles, such as a singing fire department. Among his many accolades, he received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. "American Salute" is one of almost 50 original compositions.
George Gershwin is long-remembered for popular compositions such as, "Porgy and Bess," "Rhapsody in Blue" and "An American in Paris." His "Strike Up the Band" comes from the hit musical comedy of the same name.
Victor Herbert was a remarkably talented composer, cellist and conductor who helped institute the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. His 1898 composition "American Fantasia" never fails to delight audiences.
"Victory at Sea" is only one of Richard Rodgers' successful works, among many others he wrote himself or in collaboration with Lorenzo Hart and later, Oscar Hammerstein.
John Philip Sousa composed operettas, waltzes and marches, including "The Stars and Stripes Forever." His career as U.S. Marine Band conductor included leading The President's Own band under five presidents from 1880 to 1892.
The "Armed Forces Salute" by Mariposa's Dr. Phil Smith is a tribute to American military personnel serving worldwide.
The winning compositions from the Young Masters Composition competition are also on the program. Several Mariposa young people, ages 8 to 18, wrote their own music according to guidelines set down by MSO founder and conductor, Les Marsden. Four pieces were chosen for orchestration and performance: "Ninja" by Daniel Silguero, "Carnival Night" by Jade Meisner, "Les Soeurs" by Audrey Katherine Ogilvie, and "The Pilot and the Captain" by Juliana Bodfish.
Biographical information on composers taken from the MSO's program notes and Wikipedia.
Debbie Croft writes about life in the foothill communities. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.