We all have our heroes and role models–people we admire and hope to emulate if we can. Composers, of course, are no different.
On today’s date in 1995, American composer William C. Banfield’s Symphony No. 6 received its first public performance by the Akron Symphony, the same ensemble who recorded the new work for a Telarc compact disc release that same year. Banfield titled his Symphony “Four Songs for Five American Voices,” and explained his title as follows:
“As creators, innovators, performers, and composers, Leonard Bernstein, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, and Sarah Vaughan have made an incredible impact on my life and art. Their presence in American music and culture will never be forgotten, and the memory of them will always bring to [one's] mind a memorable melody, and to [one's] face, a smile."
“My Symphony is made up of four instrumental movements, titled ‘If Bernstein Wrote It...,” “In an Ellington Mood,” “I’m Dizzy Over Miles,” and “Someone said Her Name was Sarah.”
That last movement, says Banfield, “was simply written to pay homage to the sweet and lyrical facility of singer Sarah Vaughan who was ingenious in her vocal execution and style.”
Music Played in Today's Program
William C. Banfield (b. 1961)Someone Said Her Name Was Sarah, fr Symphony No. 6Akron Symphony; Alan Balter, cond.Telarc 80409
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