Fanfare 40 was commissioned by the Newton Mid-Kansas Symphony Orchestra in 1996 to open it’s 40th season. After a brief introduction, the work begins with a stately fanfare from the brass and percussion over a drone in the snare drum and strings. This is followed by a chorale performed by the entire orchestra. A brief multi meter jovial motif is interjected at various points. The fanfare returns and gradually builds to a dramatic conclusion.
Memorial Ode was written in memory of Harold Romoser. Beckham based his work on Romoser’s favorite hymn tune Sine nomine by Ralph Vaughan Williams. The rhythmic figure occurring in the timpani and at other times in the snare drum is International Morse Code for the initials HR.
Feather Sound was commissioned by the Newton Mid-Kansas Symphony Orchestra and premiered in 2000. The composer had this to say regarding the work: “When I attended the wedding of my oldest grandson in the Feather Sound area of Florida, I decided to complete a work that would include a theme I composed while in high school. That theme, first introduced as a horn solo, was influenced by my love of music from the Romantic Period, but more than anything else, it came as a result of my being smitten by a clarinet player in our high school band, and later my wife Helen, to whom this composition is dedicated.” It’s song-like melodic sequences give it a lyrical beauty that showcases the orchestra’s ability to perform with a full, lush and passionate sound.
Notes by Lamont Blackburn
Kansas composer Dwight Beckham, Sr. did his undergraduate and graduate work at Wichita University. He has studied composition with Homer Keller, Adrian Pouliot, Harold Moyer, Joshua Missal, and Robert Marek. He has played trumpet with the Wichita Symphony Orchestra, the Newton Mid-Kansas Symphony Orchestra, and the Wichita Wind Ensemble. Beckham has been inducted into the Kansas Teachers’ Hall of Fame and the Kansas Music Educators’ Association Hall of Fame. He was recently named Outstanding Bandmaster by the Kansas Bandmasters Association. As member of ASCAP he has a number of publications with Wingert-Jones, Grand Mesa, Daehn, TRN, and C. Alan. His works include commissions for concert band, full orchestra, string orchestra, and chamber groups. He is the recipient of a Kansas Arts Commission Fellowship in Music Composition.
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