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Program Notes

North Bridge Portrait

Concord Band commission (1999)

Stephen Bulla, composer

The Concord Band is perhaps best known for its long history of commissioning major new works for concert band. In the 40th anniversary concert on March 6, 1999, the band was proud to present the premiere performance of our newest commission, North Bridge Portrait, by composer Stephen Bulla. The work is based on authentic musical themes of the American Revolutionary period.

Describing his newest work for band, Bulla writes, "This descriptive fantasia for band seeks to portray an historical picture through music of this important locale, where the first shot of the American revolution rang out in 1775. A slow and ominously quiet introductory section leads to a brisk sea chantey-like tune, depicting the busy lifestyle of the Colonists. The music then slows and an expressive setting of William Billings’ song America is developed and incorporated into the musical tapestry as a tribute to the New England composer’s work. The music concludes with a dramatic recreation of the famous first shot that led the country to war (this time fired by the percussion section) along with a rousing setting of Washington’s March, a popular song of that day."


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