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JFK: A Profile

From Wind Repertory Project
Steven Rosenhaus

Steven Rosenhaus


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General Info

Year: 2017
Duration: c. 16:00
Difficulty: III
Original Medium: Band or Orchestra (both versions written simultaneously)
Publisher: Manuscript (upcoming from LudwigMasters, ca. 2019)
For availabilty and pricing, contact Steven L Rosenhaus

Instrumentation

Band version:
Narrator
piccolo, 2fl, 2ob, 2 bsn
Eb cl, Bb cl 1/2/3, Eb alto cl, Bb bass cl
Eb alto sax 1/2, Bb tenor sax, Eb baritone sax
Bb trumpet 1/2/3, F horn 1/2/3/4, euphonium (T.C./B.C.), trombone 1/2/3, tuba
Harp (may be omitted)
Double bass (may be played by a 2nd tuba with mute)
Timpani/chimes, mallets (bells, vibes, marimba
Percussion 1 (snare drum, bass drum), percussion 2 (crash cymbals, suspended cymbal)

Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

Composer Steven L. Rosenhaus wrote JFK: A PROFILE for narrator and band or orchestra (2017) through a consortium commission which included the Carson City Symphony (Nevada), David Bugli, Music Director, and the Virginia Grand Military Band, Loras J. Schissel, Conductor, as the primary commissioners. Both ensembles gave their respective premieres in April (CCS) and September (VGMB) of 2017. Each version is independent and not meant to be performed together. JFK was written to commemorate the 100th birthday of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy in May 2017.

The work draws on speeches Kennedy gave during his terms as Congressman, Senator, and then President of the United States, on a variety of topics: civil rights, space exploration, ecology, peace (and war), the arts, and the nature of democracy and its fragility. From these quotations we get not only a sense of Kennedy's priorities, but who he was as a man—someone who took his responsibilities earnestly without taking himself too seriously. Most of the music is original, but includes quotations or allusions to music associated with John F. Kennedy and his time. The opening is based on the "Ruffles and Flourishes" fanfare used by the U.S. military to introduce ceremonial music for distinguished people. The highest honor of four ruffles (on drums) and four flourishes (on bugles) before "Hail to the Chief" (another tune used later in the work) is reserved strictly for the President of the United States. (It should be noted that several sets of "Ruffles and Flourishes" followed by "Hail to the Chief" were played during Kennedy's funeral.) Kennedy's remarks on civil rights call to mind not only the spiritual "O Freedom" but, drawing on JFK's own Irish ancestry, "The Wearing of the Green." Another Irish tune, "Londerry Air" (aka "Danny Boy") also appears.

One final remark: If John F. Kennedy is remembered for anything he said, it is for the portion of his inaugural address in which he said "Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country." This was not entirely original on JFK's part, as it turns out. The statement has been attributed at various times to Oliver Wendell Holmes, President Warren G. Harding, and even to George St. John, the headmaster at the Choate School in Connecticut JFK attended. Regardless of its origins, the statement is a powerful one that still commands attention.

Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


Performances

To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Indiana State University (Terre Haute) Wind Orchestra (Steven L. Rosenhaus, conductor) – 30 November 2017
  • Virginia (Alexandria) Grand Military Band (Loras John Schissel, conductor; Michael Dudley, narrator) – 16 September 2017 *Premiere Performance of Band Version*
  • Concord Chamber Symphony (Milwaukee, WI) (Jamin Hoffman, conductor) – 12 May 2018
  • Carson City Symphony (Nevada) (Steven L. Rosenhaus, conductor) – 23 April 2017 *Premiere Performance of Orchestra Version*

Works for Winds by this Composer


Resources

  • McElfresh, Sarah. "JFK: A Profile." The Journal of the Association of Concert Bands. June 2018, 20-21. Print.