For Orchestra *3*3*32 – 4331 – t+3 – harp – strings

SKU: Roar Category:


Overture for Orchestra

Commissioned by the Chicago Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra on the occasion of their 100th anniversary season; Russell Vinick, director.

duration: 5:30′

Program Notes – by the composer

An energetic overture, meant to accompany a celebratory occasion!
The Chicago Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra approached me to write a new work to help celebrate their 100th anniversary. When one thinks back to 100 years ago, images of flappers, Charleston-dancing, cocktail-drinking and good times pop to mind; in other words, the “Roaring 20s.” After an initial 10 beats of anticipation open the work (one beat for each decade) a Charleston rhythm beckons us before the violins’
opening tune.
This Charleston rhythm becomes a mainstay throughout the work.
After a colorful developmental section of various motifs splashed throughout the orchestra, a new theme appears (letter M). This theme is important because its rhythm is set to the text-rhythm of the popular “Chicago, That Toddlin’ Town”, which was written in 1922; almost exactly 100 years ago. The “Chicago, Chicago…” melody itself is referenced almost exactly in the horns in measure 167, and then “completed” in the last bar of the piece. The two themes get superimposed upon each other in grand climax toward the end, all before a toasting champagne glass and popping cork bring the work to a humorous and fun close, once again celebrating this marvelous achievement by the CMSO.

My most sincere thanks to Russell Vinick and the CMSO for engaging me to compose this new exciting overture for orchestra.~ Jim Stephenson; January 31, 2023


piccolo – 2 flutes – 2 oboes – English horn – 2 Bb clarinets – Bass clarinet – 2 bassoons 4 French horns – 3 C trumpets – 2 tenor trombones – Bass trombone – tuba
timpani – 3 percussion

P1: Tamb., S.D., Splash cym., Crash cym., Sus. cym., Champagne glass P2: Sus. cym., Wood Block, Hi-Hat, Glock., Xylo., Cork pop
P3: Bass Drum, Triangle

harp strings

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