Deadline: October 15 (yearly)
One of the projects of the NBA is the awarding of Research Grants of up to $500 to NBA members who are conducting research on any topic that pertains to “bands.” Upon completion of the project, the money is awarded, and an overview of the research appears in the NBA Journal.
Researching and Recording Selected Wind Band Compositions of James Clifton Williams – Dr. Barry Ellis
The project included the recording of Symphonic Dances No. 1-5, Concertino for Percussion and Band, Dramatic Essay for solo trumpet and band, and The Sinfonians with male chorus. The researcher was in contact with the composer’s daughter and received three unpublished Williams’ works: Symphonic Dances Nos. 1, 4, and 5. These three movements were originally composed for orchestra as a part of a five-movement work. Williams transcribed movements 2 and 3 and they are published. Francis McBeth transcribed No. 1 and Michael Brown, arranger for The US Army Band, Pershing’s Own, transcribed No. 4. Williams transcribed Symphonic Dance No. 5 and this was made available to the researcher. The researcher also gained access to the composer’s personal letters and these were used for scholarly research. Mark Morette of Mark Custom Recording was the recording engineer.
The Rock and Roll Wind Ensemble – Michael S. Yonchak
This project culminated in a document that provided scholarly information on Frank Zappa’s Dog Breath Variations, Envelopes, and G-Spot Tornado. The document included “background information of the piece, full structural and harmonic analyses, stylistic suggestions, staging concerns, and acoustical considerations (specifically due to the incorporation of a large number of amplified instruments).” The research included examination of existing recordings of the three works and other representative works, examination of recordings by composers that influenced Zappa during his younger years, interviews with close associates of Zappa, analysis of scores, and rehearsing and performing the three works.
Native Voices – Craig Naylor
A five-day $45,000 program was designed by University of Mary Washington faculty member Dr. Craig Naylor to teach multiculturalism to K-12 teachers in November 2006. This project taught teachers how Native American culture relates to all other American cultures through presenting original Native America music. The project director, Craig Naylor, commissioned two new pieces of music by noted living Native American composers. Few works by Native American Composers exist in the wind literature. Native Voices brought four Native American/First National composers to the University of Mary Washington for a nine-day residency which lead to the performance of their works by the UMW Wind and Percussion Ensemble. Three works were commissioned for the occasion: two by First Nation composers Barbara Croall and Raven Chacon, and the third by UMW composer-in-residence David Long. These works were stipulated to be 5-7 minutes long, grade 4 or easy 5. The NBA grant was used for development and reproduction costs to prepare multicultural workshop materials for teacher in-service for new band compositions by Native American composers in a fine arts program.
School Bands in Illinois: 1884-1930 – Philip Hash
Large-scale development of school bands took place shortly after World War I in reaction to a number of social factors including the advent of military training in schools, musical preferences of a changing school population, the rise of progressive education, and promotion of bands by instrument manufacturers attempting to open new markets following the decline of military and community bands. Although the existence of a few school bands in the latter part of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries has been confirmed, information regarding other school bands organized during this time as yet to be uncovered, creating the need for additional research in this area. Based on research completed at this time, it appears likely that school bands were much more prevalent during the late eighteenth century and early nineteenth centuries than has previously been acknowledged.
The purpose of this study was to examine the growth of school bands in Illinois from the late eighteenth century to the early 1930s. Information regarding early histories of individual school bands organized before World War I, the origins and influence of the Illinois School Band Association on the band movement, and conclusions relating practices and traditions of early bands to those in contemporary education were included.
Data Collection for “The Wind Band in Japan” – David Hebert
In recent decades Japan has become increasingly recognized as a vitally important nation in the field of wind bands. However, there remains a notable absence of published books in the English language that document the current state and recent history of Japanese winds bands. The principal researcher, Dr. David Hebert, is author of the only research on Japanese bands published in leading peer-reviewed scholarly journals for wind bands (Journal of Band Research and Journal of Research in Music Education). His dissertation examined music teaching and learning in a Japanese school band. This grant will be used to support supplementary data collection for a proposed book on this topic that is tentatively entitled The Wind Band in Japan.
Robert Russell Bennett’s Lost Suite for Band: Down to the Sea in Ships – Kyle R. Glaser
Robert Russell Bennett (1894-1981) was the composer of numerous works for orchestra, wind band, film, and television, as well as an orchestrator for over 300 musicals. One of his most enduring works was his thirteen-hour musical score to the popular television documentary Victory at Sea. Following the success of this program, the National Broadcasting Company produced Project 20, a television documentary series that aired from 1954 to 1973. Bennett composed and orchestrated original music for twenty-six of the episodes. One specific episode, Down to the Sea in Ships, was later adapted into a five movement concert suite which Bennett later transcribed for band. In its current state, the band transcription features a condensed score and parts with numerous errors, and is currently out of print.
The purpose of this study was to 1) examine the historical origins of the Project 20 television series 2) investigate and analyze the source material of Down to the Sea in Ships and 3) create a full score for the band suite. The researcher consulted the existing condensed band score and parts, the original orchestral full score, and books, articles, and other band scores in order to gain a better understanding of Bennett’s compositional intent. Two anticipated benefits of this project were the reintroduction of Down to the Sea in Ships into the repertoire of concert bands and a renewed interest in the music of Robert Russell Bennett.