From a Glassmen press release: It has been more than one hundred years since Antonin Dvorak came to America and composed his historic Symphony no. 9 in E minor, from the "New World." Now imagine if Dvorak came to America today -- what would he see and hear? What styles and sounds would permeate his journey through the city? What impressions would today's urban landscape leave on the contemporary traveler? These are the questions the Glassmen pose this year as they explore "A New World" -- presenting a contemporary treatment of the themes of this legendary composer, and creating a musical and visual program unlike anything you have ever seen or heard before from the Glassmen. In 1892, Dvorak traveled to New York City, and was charged with the task of discovering a uniquely American "voice and style" of music. Dvorak's tenure as the Director of the National Conservatory exposed him to music from very diverse American cultures, including Native American rhythms and African American spirituals, which were vastly different from anything he had heard in Eastern Europe. Inspired by his experiences, Dvorak took this new found "voice and style" and transformed it into what is commonly known today as the "New World Symphony." It was not a literal transcription of what he was hearing, but rather a translation of the new American voice that has survived the test of time -- influencing music around the world in varied styles of ragtime, jazz, swing, Afro-Cuban, and most recently in rhythm and blues and hip-hop. Composer, conductor and educator Leonard Bernstein once noted that Dvorak's 9th Symphony could be considered the first truly "American" Symphony, due to its multicultural nature. It is a melting pot of styles and sounds, the likes of which had never been heard together in 1893. Dvorak was truly ahead of his time. Now in 2005, inspired by the journey and experiences of Dvorak in the "new world," Glassmen arrangers Robert W. Smith, Patrick Roszell, Chris Hestin and Chad Heiny embark on a similar exploration. Using modern-day music and visual design concepts, the Glassmen will bring you Dvorak's original melodies and harmonies in the unique settings of the new. Settings that will inspire and intrigue the audience; from the straight ahead jazz sounds of the hustle and bustle of the city, to the heartfelt and sensual refrains of the original "Largo" movement -- a melody so inspiring that it later was set to words by one of his students, only to become remembered as the timeless spiritual "Goin' Home." Experience the modern sounds of symphony halls and conservatories of today; get energized by the raw, hot Latin jazz sounds of Dvorak's classic melodies. "A New World" will truly be a multicultural musical and visual experience designed for a modern audience. Executive director Brian Hickman notes, "With our tremendous membership return rate from 2004, continued continuity of the staff (including such talents as Tim Newburn, Frank Williams and Pat Miller, just to name a few), and the exciting addition of drill designer Alan Mueggenborg to the visual design team -- this year's production already promises to look and sound like no other Glassmen show you have ever seen! I can promise you, if you think you know what to expect from the corps for 2005 -- I know you are going to be surprised!" Join the 2005 Glassmen "Experience of a Lifetime" on our journey and exploration of "A New World." For more information and updates as the season progresses, visit glassmen.org.
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