Program Notes

2023 1

Get ready to embark on a musical journey with the Brazos Chamber Orchestra’s 2024 Winter Concert Series! While we may have transitioned to a more compact program format for our printed materials, the rich tapestry of our performances remains as vibrant as ever. Coming soon, we’ll be featuring concise and insightful program notes, providing you with a deeper understanding and appreciation of the music featured in our upcoming concerts, available on this webpage.

Explore the fascinating stories behind the compositions, learn about the historical context, and discover the unique artistic nuances that our talented musicians bring to each piece. Whether you’re a seasoned classical music enthusiast or a newcomer to the world of orchestral performances, these program notes are designed to enhance your concert experience and help you connect with the music on a more profound level.


Monday, February 19 Field Street Baptist Church Cleburne

Sunday, February 25 Pathway Church Burleson

Monday, February 26 Granbury FUMC


Majesty           Jack Hayford/arr. Richard Kingsmore

The National Anthem

Francis Scott Key/John Stafford Smith/Jeff Cranfill

Pavane, Op. 50              Gabriel Faure

The Pavane in F-sharp minor, Op. 50, is a short work by the French composer Gabriel Fauré written in 1887. It was originally a piano piece but is better known in Fauré’s version for orchestra and optional chorus. It was first performed in Paris in 1888, becoming one of the composer’s most popular works.

Gershwin by George                                                            

George Gershwin/arr. Jerry Brubaker        

The name George Gershwin is legendary in the world of American music. Gershwin’s compositions span both popular and classical genres, and his most popular melodies are widely known. Featured works in this medley are: ‘Strike Up the Band!’, ‘I Got Rhythm’, ‘Embraceable You’, ‘An American in Paris’, ‘Prelude II’, ‘Summertime’, & ‘Rhapsody in Blue’.

Music from Camelot                                                            

A.J. Lerner/Frederick Loewe/Bob Cerulli           

Camelot is a musical with music by Frederick Loewe and lyrics and a book by Alan Jay Lerner. It is based on the legend of King Arthur as adapted from the 1958 novel The Once and Future King by T. H. White.

The original 1960 production, directed by Moss Hart with orchestrations by Robert Russell Bennett and Philip J. Lang, ran on Broadway for 873 performances, winning four Tony Awards. It starred Richard Burton as Arthur, Julie Andrews as Guinevere, and Robert Goulet as Lancelot.

It spawned several notable productions including four Broadway revivals and a 1967 film adaptation. The 2023 Broadway revival features a revised book by Aaron Sorkin.

This medley shares three songs from the musical: ‘Camelot’, ‘What Do the Simple Folk Do?’, & ‘If Ever I Would Leave You’.

Go West arr. Ralph Ford    

This medley contains the theme music from three popular westerns:

‘The Magnificent Seven’– The film’s score is by Elmer Bernstein, with orchestrations by Leo Shuken and Jack Hayes. Along with the readily recognized main theme and effective support of the story line, the score also contains allusions to twentieth-century symphonic works.

‘The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, — The score is composed by frequent Leone collaborator Ennio Morricone, whose distinctive original compositions, containing gunfire, whistling, and yodeling permeate the film. The main theme, resembling the howling of a coyote, is a two-note melody that is a frequent motif, and is used for the three main characters, with a different instrument used for each one: flute for Blondie, arghilofono for Angel Eyes, and human voices for Tuco.

‘Hang ’Em High’– Composer Dominic Frontiere was given eight days to compose an Ennio Morricone type score. His theme appeared in a large number of cover versions ranging from Hugo Montenegro to Booker T and the M.G.s.

Josh Groban Gold Josh Groban/arr. Jerry Brubaker              

American singer, songwriter, musician, actor, and record producer, Josh Groban, epitomizes elegant, heart-felt music. His first four solo albums have been multi-platinum, and in 2007, he was charted as the number-one best-selling artist in the United States with over 21 million records in the nation and 25 million worldwide. This lovely three-song medley captures the beauty and splendor of Groban’s music. ‘The Prayer’, ‘You Raise Me Up’ & ‘to Where You Are’.

Rocky Broadway   arr. Patrick Roszell

Featuring the classic ‘Gonna Fly Now’ by Bill Conti, the touching ‘Fight from the Heart’ by Stephen Flaherty and the ever-rousing ‘Eye of the tiger’ by Survivor.

Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Op. 47, Finale

Dimitri Shostakovich/arr. Stephen Bulla          

a work for orchestra composed between April and July 1937. Its first performance was on November 21, 1937, in Leningrad by the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra under Yevgeny Mravinsky. The premiere was a “triumphal success” that appealed to both the public and official critics, receiving an ovation that lasted well over half an hour.

The D minor finale, in sonata form, differs greatly from its predecessors, mostly with regard to melodic structure and motives. Various themes from earlier in the work are expanded until we get to a new theme played on the trumpet. This new theme is passed on to the strings and eventually the piece becomes quieter. The development section is much quieter and more tranquil, and is ultimately replaced by a march, where the melodies from earlier are played like a funeral dirge, accompanied by timpani. The music builds as the new accompaniment passes from timpani to woodwinds and then to strings, finally reaching a point where the piece changes from a minor key into a major key.