May 13, 2018 - 8:15 p.m.
WOOSTER, Ohio – The Scot Symphonic Band, conducted by Nancy Ditmer along with associate conductor Ned Brooks, will present its annual “Commencement Concert,” Sunday, May 13, at 8:15 p.m. in McGaw Chapel (340 E. University St.) on the campus of The College of Wooster.
The evening will begin with “Symphonic Dance #3, Fiesta,” by Clifton Williams, a piece that depicts the pageantry of Latin-American celebrations, including street bands, bullfights, and bright costumes. “Nuture,” written by Edward Fairlie as a meditation on the idea that for some people nurturing is innate, will follow.
Trombone players Thomas Matlak, Leah Scharlott, and Noelle Sadallah will be featured in the next work, “Razzazza Mazzazza,” considered by most to be Arthur Pryor’s biggest hit. The rhythmic structure, arranged by Byron McCulloh, places it in a ragtime style and includes hints of the cakewalk and the Scottish snap, and it will be followed by Robert Sheldon’s dance-inspired “Choreography,” featuring infectious beat patterns and memorable melodic content.
The College’s highly-popular Pipe Band and Highland Dancers will take centerstage for their traditional Scottish repertoire, then the concert will shift gears to Thomas Knox’s “American Pageant,” a medley of familiar melodies which are permanent reminders of our American heritage, such as “Yankee Doodle,” “Battle Hymn of the Repbulic,” and “America the Beautiful.”
Next on the program is “On a Hymnsong of Philip Bliss,” a restful, gentle, and reflective composition based upon the 1876 hymn “It is Well with My Soul,” followed by James Barnes’s “Toccata Fantastica,” a short, exciting essay for winds and percussion based on two contrasting themes. The concert will conclude with a rendition of “Amazing Grace,” the signature finale by the Scot Symphonic Band.
Ditmer has enjoyed a prodigious 34-year career as a music educator and conductor at Wooster, and as a leading advocate for music education and performance at the elementary, middle, and high school levels across the country. She returned to full-time teaching after completing a two-year term as president of the National Association for Music Education from 2012-14. She received a master’s degree from the University of Iowa, where she also completed coursework for a Ph.D., and a bachelor’s degree in music education at Capital University. In April 2016, Ditmer was the recipient of an alumni achievement award from Capital in recognition of her notable accomplishments in the profession of music education as well as her service to the university.
Brooks is in his 22nd year as an associate director for the band program at Wooster, where he assists with the marching and symphonic bands. He received a bachelor’s degree in music education from The Ohio State University and a master’s degree from Kent State University. He also serves as music director of St. James Episcopal Church in Wooster, where he coordinates a noontime concert series, now in its 40th year.
The concert is free and open to the public. Additional information about the concert is available by phone (330-263-2419) or by email (email@example.com).