2014 Production


Ben Swing“Humanity”

Based on David Maslanka’s symphonic piece, “Give Us This Day”, we explore the journey each individual goes through, overcoming challenges, in order to become the best person they can be.


Show Designers:Green humanity

Jeff Atchison, Winds
Wardell King, Battery
Sara Kramer, Front Ensemble
Pam Edgar, Choreography
Ryan Johnson, Drill Design

Give Us This Day – David Maslanka
Program notes from the symphonic work… 

The words “give us this day” are, of course, from the Lord’s Prayer, but the inspiration for this music is Buddhist. I have recently read a book by the Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh (pronounced “Tick Not Hahn”) entitled “For a future to be Possible.” His premise is that a future for the planet is only possible if individuals become deeply mindful of themselves, deeply connected to who they really are. While this is not a new idea, and something that is an ongoing struggle for everyone, in my estimation it is *the* issue for world peace. For me, writing music, and working with people to perform music, are two of those points of deep mindfulness. Music allows us to be immediately present, awake, and aware. “Give Us This Day”…Give us this very moment of aware aliveness so that we can build a future in the face of a most dangerous and difficult time.

I chose the subtitle “Short Symphony for Wind Ensemble” because the music really isn’t programmatic in nature. It has a full-blown symphonic character, even though there are only two movements. The music of the slower first movement is deeply searching, while that of the highly energized second movement is at times both joyful and sternly sober. The piece ends with a modal setting of the Chorale melody “Vater Unser in Himmelreich” (“Our Father in Heaven”), #110 from the 371 Four-Part Chorales by J.S. Bach.


Flag of Buddhism

Flag of Buddhism

“The six vertical bands of the flag represent the six colors of the aura which Buddhists believe emanated from the body of the Buddha when he attained Enlightenment:

Blue (Nīla): Loving kindness, peace and universal compassion
Yellow (Pīta): The Middle Path – avoiding extremes, emptiness
Red (Lohita): The blessings of practice – achievement, wisdom, virtue, fortune and dignity
White (Odāta): The purity of Dharma – leading to liberation, outside of time or space
Orange (Manjesta): The Buddha’s teachings – wisdom

The sixth vertical band, on the fly, is made up of a combination of rectangular bands of the five other colours, and represents a compound of the other five colors in the aura’s spectrum. This compound colour is referred to as Pabbhassara (‘essence of light’).”
(retrieved from here)

These colors and ideals have influenced our production this season! #GoBears