Department of Music

Program Notes: Wind Symphony Concert - 03/04/2022

Program annotations for the Brown University Wind Symphony's March 4, 2022 concert, conducted by Kevin Plouffe, and presented in Grant Recital Hall.


Symphonic Proclamation (1978) by David R. Gillingham (b.1947)
Sinfonia V: Symphonia Sacra et Profana (1990) by Timothy Broege (b.1947)
The Alcotts (1920, trans.1972) by Charles Ives (1874-1954), transcribed by Richard E. Thurston
Red Rock Mountain (2016) by Rossano Galante (b.1967)

Symphonic Proclamation

Symphonic Proclamation is one of Gillingham's earliest works for band, "Symphonic Proclamation" is a high-energy overture with an abundance of flourishes in the woodwinds and fanfares in the brass coupled with a catchy melody that will make this memorable for all.

- Note by publisher

Sinfonia V: Symphonia Sacra et Profana

Sinfonia V: Symphonia Sacra et Profana was composed in the summer of 1973 at Brielle, New Jersey, on commission from the University City High School Wind Ensemble of University City, Missouri; it was premiered by that group in 1974. Subsequently the work was taken up by such distinguished conductors as Eugene Corporon, Thomas Dvorak, Craig Kirchoff and H Robert Reynolds, receiving numerous performances in the United States, Canada, and England. Since its publication by Manhattan Beach Music in September of 1989 it has also traveled to Japan and Australia, and has become standard repertoire for high school as well as college bands and wind ensembles.

Sinfonia V is both a musical diary and a musical collage. I incorporated several musics that were much on my mind the time the work was written, including ragtime, which I had been studying intently for several years, as well as the plainchant hymn Divinum Mysterium, which the choir of First Presbyterian Church, Belmar, New Jersey (where I was, and still am, organist and director of music) had used as a processional at Christmas time. If one imagines dialing across the FM radio band in a large city such as New York, the resulting collage (or to be more accurate, montage, as in film editing) might include a bit of early music (the Pavanne, and the chorales by Samuel Scheidt), some ragtime or jazz, some contemporary music, some voices, some instruments, et cetera.

At the same time, Sinfonia V contrasts secular music -- such as the Pavanne and the ragtime fragments -- with sacred music such as the Scheidt chorales and the plainchant hymn. There is no attempt to reconcile these two musical traditions, and the work ends in ambiguity.

Some listeners have found humor in it. I am not so sure. Here are some of the music I was working with in the summer of 1973, assembled in what I hope is a convincing musical structure -- no padding, no transitions, no note-spinning. The piece aims to be concise and kaleidoscopic, profound as well as entertaining, sacred and profane.

- Program Note by Timothy Broege

The Alcotts

The Alcotts is the subject of one of Ives’s Essays Before a Sonata, which he published concurrently with the Concord Sonata in 1920. In the essay, Ives takes us inside the elm-shaped Orchard House where “sits the old spinet piano Sophia Thoreau gave to the Alcott children, on which Beth played the old Scotch airs, and played at Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.” Warming as always to such a scene of home music-making, he continues: “ All around you, under the Concord sky there still floats ... that human faith melody reflecting an innate hope, a common interest in common men, a tune that the Concord bards are ever playing when they pound away at the immensities with a Beethoven-like sublimity, and with vengeance and perseverance.”

- Program notes by Jonathan Elkus

Red Rock Mountain

Red Rock Mountain is an episodic work that paints a musical portrait of a beautiful mountain landscape. Brass fanfares and soaring wind lines begin the piece, transitioning into an emotional section depicting the mountains at dusk. As the sun rises and sheds light on its peaks, the music becomes lyrical and rhythmically incisive, culminating in a heroic brass finale that depicts the full grandeur of the mountains.

- Note by publisher

About the Musicians

Personnel of the Wind Symphony on March 4, 2022

Kevin Plouffe

Anna Galer
Lydia DeFusto
Yiyang Xu
Mason Zhang
Grace Marshburn - Piccolo/Flute

Jillian Belluck

Gordon Sherman
Holly Zheng
Jordan Feldman
Mira Echambadi
Erin Morissette
Bryce Gray
Julia Gugulski
Dana Lee

Bass Clarinet
Matthew Rossman

Alto Saxophone
Jason Crowley
Timothy Chen
Jason Ho
Roshan Parikh
Yongkuan Zhang
Alan Zdon

Tenor Saxophone
Haley Damon
Shane Weiner

Baritone Saxophone
Johann Dizon

Charlie Gagnon
Susan Tang

Nicholas Keirstead
Filip Aubrecht
Shaw Miller

Cedric Sirianni
Olivia Cartaño
Victoria Rose
William Perry
Logan Tullai

Ethan Vivoda-Sadee

Milan Pandey

Dawson Phillips
Ian Gurland
Tats Daniel
Alexander Zhou
Ethan Upson
Ryan Burnett
Zahid Hasan

The Wind Symphony & Percussion Ensemble

There is no musical institution more imbedded in American history than a concert band. With its strong sense of community and participatory consensus, the Brown University Wind Symphony & Percussion Ensemble reflect the unique ethos of the college itself. Students from very different concentrations—from Engineering to Egyptology—play, conduct, and compose new music for the band, making it one of the most diverse groups in the department. In addition to standard works by Holst, Mozart, and Hindemith, the group performs new pieces written for unique combinations of instruments.

Kevin Plouffe

Woonsocket, Rhode Island native, Kevin Plouffe earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Percussion Performance from the New England Conservatory in 1992 and a Master’s Degree in Music Education with an emphasis in conducting from the University of Rhode Island in 1994.  Kevin served sixteen years as band director at Woonsocket High School, where his responsibilities included directing the marching band, concert band, jazz band, and percussion ensembles, as well as serving as the music department representative.  Kevin taught in the Killingly, Connecticut public schools for seven years. He was the band director and jazz band director at Killingly Intermediate School, where he taught band to 175-200 students yearly in grades 6-8. His middle school bands have consistently won awards at local music festivals. He was also the Killingly High School assistant marching band director and drum line instructor. Currently, he is the band director at North Smithfield High School. There he directors the award winning concert band and jazz ensemble.

Kevin Plouffe has been active at Brown University for the last 21 years teaching percussion through the applied music program, coaching the Brown University Wind Symphony Percussion Section, and conducting the Brown University Percussion Ensemble.  He also served as guest conductor of the Brown University Wind Symphony on numerous occasions before assuming the podium for the 2019-2020 academic year.

He is past president of the Rhode Island Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society, a position he held for over ten years.  Kevin is the current vice president/treasurer. He founded the RI-PAS Percussion Ensemble adjudication festival, which has been running annually since 2001, attracting secondary level percussion ensembles and guest artists from throughout southern New England.  He is the founder of the Blackstone Valley High School Jazz Festival at the Stadium Theatre Performing Arts Centre.  His past experience includes, Band Director at Norwood High School, Director of Rhode Island Music Educators’ Association Junior All-State Jazz Ensemble, Director of the Quabbin Valley Middle School Honor Band, Director of the Massachusett Central District Middle School Honor Band, and faculty member at the University of New Hampshire Summer Youth Music School. He has performed with numerous orchestras throughout New England: the RI and Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, the Claflin Hill Symphony Orchestra, the Worcester Symphony Orchestra, New Bedford and Plymouth Symphony and Theatre by the Sea to name a few.  Kevin resides in Mapleville, RI with his wife, Diane who is the director of music, an accomplished string teacher and orchestra director, in Franklin, MA, as well as a free-lance violinist, and his two daughters.