Naxos recently issued a CD of recordings conducted by John Boyd, called Fanfare, Capriccio and Rhapsody.
Boyd is an active conductor, arranger and record producer. He was the long time director of bands at Indiana State University. He sat down with WFIU’s George Walker to talk about the piece.
Masterful Craft, Minimal Material
The fanfare from the title is Ron Nelson’s “Fanfare for the Kennedy Center.” Boyd had a compliment for the piece, with a bit of a caveat. “Ah, yes,” he said. “That’s an unpublished work by Ron Nelson that I think is a wonderful work. It was played on the CD by the faculty winds here at Indiana State University, and it exhibits a masterful craft using very little material.”
In addition to the Fanfare, they’ve included Ron Nelson’s “Medieval Suite.” It’s frequently done just by a band, but when Boyd recorded it at Kent State University, he went a step further. “Well, the vocal parts on the ‘Medieval Suite’ are written into the score, but when we recorded it we used a vocal group directed by Vance George who later went onto great fame as the conductor of the San Francisco Symphony Chorus.”
From Vinyl To Digital
Some of the material for the CD predates digital recordings. “The whole album was remastered by Bruce Leek. Actually, the Kent State material was on vinyl.”
In addition to faculty and student musicians, there are professional ensembles in the collection. “We actually recorded a whole album with the Chicago Saxophone Quartet. Their part of the album is ‘Capriccio for Saxophone Quartet and Band,’ by Warren Baker. Baker’s probably best known for his work in Hollywood, and I think you can hear a bit of that in the work.”
The finale of the CD is the “Rhapsody for Trumpet and Winds,” by Fisher Tull. “It’s a very challenging work. I think it was originally written for Doc Severinsen. We didn’t get Doc, but we had a young man named Vincent DiMartino. He’s gone on to become the famous Vincent DiMartino of the trumpet world, and I think the work he did on this is just outstanding.”