May 6, 2014 --
The Featured Soloist audio download for the month of May features violinist Staff Sgt. Karen Johnson performing Henryk Wieniawski’s fiendishly difficult Violin Concerto No. 2 in D minor. The piece was often performed by frequent Sousa Band violin soloist Margel Gluck, an American violinist who had achieved great international renown, especially in Europe. Gluck favored works by Wieniawski and performed the Polish composer’s violin concerto during the Sousa Band’s 1914 concert tour.
Director Col. Michael J. Colburn conducted the Marine Band in the performance of the piece on Jan. 5, 2014, during the Sousa Season Opener with music inspired by the Sousa Band concert tour 100 years prior. The performance took place at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts Concert Hall in Fairfax, Va.
Download Violin concerto No.2 in D minor, Opus 22
The March of the Month audio download is Norwegian composer Johann Halvorsen’s “Entry March of the Boyares,” the composer’s most famous work. In 1895, Halvorsen had been offered a teaching position in Bucharest, Romania, which he ultimately turned down, but in researching the country’s history, he became fascinated with the story of the Boyares. Elite members of the region’s aristocracy from the tenth through the seventeenth century, the Boyares were outranked only by the ruling princes. Halvorsen’s march depicts the regal Boyares in procession.
The march proved its popularity once again in March 2014 as it won the Marine Band’s inaugural “Sousa’s March Mania” competition, beating out Sousa’s “The Stars and Stripes Forever” in the final round. The competition pitted several popular marches against each other in a bracket style contest leading to a final round where Entry March of the Boyares received the most votes to win.
Former Director Col. John R. Bourgeois conducted the Marine Band in the performance of the selection in July 1989 in Hamar, Norway.
Download Entry March of the Boyares