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Nov 4 2022

UCLA Wind Ensemble Fall Concert “(About) England”

UCLA Wind Ensemble
Schoenberg Hall

Entitled “(About) England,” the first UCLA Wind Ensemble concert of the academic year comprises music about England and the United Kingdom by composers that are not entirely (or not at all) English or British themselves.

Influenced in part by the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the program includes works that treat kings and queen with reverence, as well as some that take a more satirical or even outright hostile approach. To paraphrase the most famous of all English authors, the UCLA Wind Ensemble comes to bury the monarchy, not to praise it, acknowledging that national (or imperial) leaders can be beloved, inspiring and deeply problematic all at once.

Perhaps the program—and the variety of ways British subjects and citizens of former British colonies treat English musical themes—might foster further conversation about the nature of empires and the energies, both creative and destructive, that they engender.

The concert opens with music to celebrate and mourn the monarchy—the overture to German-Italian-English composer George Frideric Handel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks and late American composer Steven Stucky’s arrangement of Henry Purcell’s Funeral Music for Queen Mary. Fisher Tull’s 1971 band classic Sketches on a Tudor Psalm is based on sixteenth-century English composer Thomas Tallis’s setting of Psalm 2; the same tune was used famously by Ralph Vaughan Williams in his 1910 Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis.

On the other hand, contemporary American composer Jonathan Newman’s Blow It Up, Start Again takes its title from the 1605 plot by Guy Fawkes and his co-conspirators to destroy the Houses of Parliament and assassinate the sitting king! Charles Ives’s Variations on “America” transforms what we know in the United States as “My Country ’Tis of Thee,” though our patriotic song “borrows” the tune of the national anthem of the United Kingdom, “God Save the King;” even before Ives does his musical mischief, the American version of the song already lampoons our former colonial rulers.

The other selections are settings of English folk tunes by living American composer Julie Giroux and Percy Aldridge Grainger, who was born in Australia, died an American citizen, and lived for several years in England, during which he collected the songs that make up his masterwork for wind band, Lincolnshire Posy.

This event is made possible by the David and Irmgard Dobrow Fund. Classical music was a passion of the Dobrows, who established a generous endowment at The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music to make programs like this possible. We are proud to celebrate this program as part of the 2022 - 23 Dobrow Series.


UCLA, the School of Music, and Los Angeles County strongly recommend indoor masking.

While masking is not mandatory, it is encouraged as a way of helping to protect our community.


This virtual event is FREE! Tune in via Livestream.


Self-service parking is available at UCLA’s Parking Structure #2 for events in Schoenberg Music Building and the Evelyn and Mo Ostin Music Center. Costs range from $1 for 20 minutes to $20 all day. Learn more about campus parking.


The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music is eager to provide a variety of accommodations and services for access and communications. If you would like to request accommodations, please do so 10 days in advance of the event by emailing ADA@schoolofmusic.ucla.edu or calling (310) 825-0174.


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Food and drink may not be carried into the theaters. Thank you!


The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music acknowledges the Gabrielino/Tongva peoples as the traditional land caretakers of Tovaangar (the Los Angeles basin and So. Channel Islands). As a land grant institution, we pay our respects to the Honuukvetam (Ancestors), ‘Ahiihirom (Elders) and ‘Eyoohiinkem (our relatives/relations) past, present and emerging.