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K-State ISFA Land Grant Acknowledgement Statement

October 12th Wind Ensemble

Dr. Frank Tracz, Conductor
Cally Bitterlin, Graduate Assistant Conductor


Wind Ensemble

Smetana Fanfare (1984)………………….…………...………………….……...Karel Husa (1921-2016)


Suite Francaise (1945)………………….…………...………………….…..Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)

Ile De France

Unfurl (2019)………………….…………...………………….….……………Michael Mikulka (b.1985)
Conducted by Cally Bitterlin, Graduate Assistant


Award of the Dr. Tod Kerstetter Memorial Scholarhip

The "Dr. Tod Kerstetter Memorial Scholarship" will be awarded annually to the principal clarinetist in the Wind Ensemble.  This scholarship award is made through the generosity of Dr. Kerstetter’s  many former students and the KSU Band program. The 2021 scholarship is awarded tonight to Crystal Rathburn, Music Education Major, from Olathe, Kansas.

To access Dr. Tod Kerstetter’s obituary, please follow this link: https://ymlfuneralhome.com/obituary/6738


In A Nutshell (1917)………………….…………...………………….……..Percy Grainger (1882-1961)

 “Arrival Platform Humlet”
“Gay, but Wistful"
“The Gum-suckers” March 

Century of Service (2018)………………….…………...…………………..……..Ryan Nowlin (b. 1978)



Wind Ensemble Program Notes

Smetana Fanfare (1984)………………….…………...………………….……...Karel Husa (1921-2016)

Smetana Fanfare for Wind Ensemble was commissioned by the San Diego State University for the 1984 Festival of Music honoring the Czech composer Bedrich Smetana. It was first performed on April 3, 1984, in San Diego by the SDSU Wind Ensemble, on the occasion of the centennial celebration of Smetana's death. This short work uses two excerpts from Smetana's symphonic poem The Wallenstein's Camp, completed in 1859 in Goteberg, Sweden, during his exile from Prague.

Notes from windrep.org


Suite Francaise (1945)………………….…………...………………….…..Darius Milhaud (1892-1974) 

“For a long time I have had the idea of writing a composition fit for high school purposes, and this was the result. In the bands, orchestras, and choirs of American high schools, colleges and universities where the youth of the nation be found, it is obvious that they need music of their time, not too difficult to perform, but nevertheless keeping the characteristic idiom of the composer.

The five parts of this suite are named after French Provinces, the very ones in which the American and Allied armies fought together with the French underground of the liberation of my country: Normandy, Brittany, Ile-de-France (of which Paris is the center), Alsace-Lorraine, and Provence (my birthplace).

I used some folk tunes of these provinces. I wanted the young American to hear the popular melodies of those parts of France where their fathers and brothers fought to defeat the German invaders, who in less than seventy years have brought war, destruction, cruelty, torture, and murder three times to the peaceful and democratic people of France.”

Notes by Darius Milhaud


Unfurl (2019)………………….…………...………………….….……………Michael Mikulka (b.1985)

The original intent of this piece was to be written as a parody of the standard 21st century wind band ballad. These ballads sound pure, delicate, and starkly pretty, but they usually avoid expressing strong personal emotions leading to a “narrator gazes stoically at the distant sunset” kind of feel.

Band ballads typically begin with a sparse texture, setting up tension for the arrival of the first motive/melody, which patiently unfurls out of the mist. There is usually an attempt to convey striking (but docile) beauty. There are often seemingly random measures with an extra beat added, and the harmony features washes of soft dissonance. At some point, the texture suddenly cuts out to reveal unaccompanied clarinets and/or pitched percussion. There is a climactic section about ⅔ of the way through the piece before it gradually relaxes and fades out, leaving us to feel in awe of the gentle loveliness that we have just passively witnessed.

Mikulka ended up getting attached to the melody he wrote, and felt that it sounded too personal and emotional for a parody, so he scrapped his initial plans and adjusted the piece. However, many of the remnants survived this process, so now “Unfurl” is sincere and expressive but also packed with band ballad tropes.

Notes from the score to Unfurl written by Michael Mikulka


In A Nutshell (1917)………………….…………...………………….……..Percy Grainger (1882-1961) 

In a Nutshell. Why did we pick that title? The colloquial phrase means “in a few words, or in a very brief form”, and, when the phrase first entered the English language, referred to “anything that had been compressed, later being applied to written or spoken words.’’

Percy Grainger’s suite In a Nutshell is a four-movement suite first performed and published in 1916 that contains many of the elements of Percy Grainger’s compositional style, all compressed into a 20-minute work (hence, “In a Nutshell”). The piece, identified as “For Orchestra, Piano and Deagan Percussion Instruments” serves as a laboratory for a whole set of Grainger experiments in composition, in orchestration, and in the juxtaposition of jarringly different musical styles. The “Deagan Percussion Instruments” dedication grows out of Grainger’s close friendship and professional association with the Deagan family of Chicago, inventors and manufacturers of a vast array of mallet played percussion instruments -- what Grainger would come to call the “tuneful percussion.”

One of the unusual instruments used in In a Nutshell are the “staff bells”, designed by Grainger and executed by Deagan. It is a rack of up to four octaves of handbells removed from their handles, hung in a keyboard style configuration, and played with mallets. Deagan even attached small resonators like those used on a xylophone to amplify the sound of the instrument.

The first movement of the suite, Arrival Platform Humlet, was originally conceived for solo (or massed) viola(s), but was re-organized by Grainger into an incredibly colorful piece for full orchestra. A striking aspect of the piece is the complete absence of chords. The texture is unison or octaves, with an occasional open fifth.

The second movement, Gay but Wistful, is an English music hall tune -- seemingly superficial and light, but tinged with an air of sadness or regret. Written shortly after Grainger left England for America, it may reflect his wistfulness for his former life in London.

The final movement of the suite wrenches us back from disturbing darkness to the Australian Outback with Grainger’s athletic and well-known-to-bandsmen The Gum-Sucker’s March.

For a Grainger admirer with associations mostly developed through the performance of his music for the concert band, suite In a Nutshell is a revealing look at a broad swath of Percy Grainger’s compositional style in a compressed setting (hence, again, “In a Nutshell”).

Notes from windrep.org


Century of Service (2018)………………….…………...…………………..……..Ryan Nowlin (b. 1978)

Opha May Johnson may not be a household name, but hers is a name etched in the hearts of all current and former women who have served in the Marine Corps, Navy, and Coast Guard since 1918. This past August marked the 100th anniversary of the day she stepped forward and became the first woman to enlist in the United States Marine Corps, which opened doors and broke barriers to women throughout the sea services.

On Aug. 13, 1918, in Washington, D.C., 40-year-old Opha May Johnson was the first of about 300 women who initially enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve (USMCR) for service during World War I. They served in clerical and administrative positions and marched in parades. “After the Armistice the women were released from active duty by mid-1919 and transferred to the inactive reserve for the duration of their enlistment. One platoon of women Marines was called back to active duty for one day on Nov. 11, 1921, to escort the Body of the Unknown Soldier to his final resting place in Arlington National Cemetery,” said Nancy Wilt, the national historian of the Women Marines Association and Director/Curator of the Women of the Corps Collection. “I have tremendous respect for the women of WWI who by the thousands lined up across the country to become members of the Marine Corps and serve a country that had not given them the right to vote,” Wilt continued. “It is amazing the service of the Salvation Army, the American Red Cross, the military women of WWI, and the thousands of other woman volunteers who harvested crops, rolled bandages, and knitted cold weather sweaters and mittens for units.”

Wilt wrote a letter to Marine Band Director Col. Jason K. Fettig to ask the Marine Band to honor the centennial with a march since the nearly 24,000 women Marines of World War II marched to Louis Saverino and Emil Grasser’s March of the Women Marines and the 1970s women Marines danced to Saverino’s “Women Marine Waltz.” Fettig agreed and selected Assistant Director Capt. Ryan Nowlin to musically mark the occasion. “I spent an hour and a half on the phone with her to get my musical ideas, all of which are inspired by the story of these first women Marines answering the nation’s call in 1918,” Nowlin said. “I wrote these melodies constantly rising in pitch to symbolize that always reaching, always growing, that determined spirit of these women who volunteered in 1918. It is truly an honor to write the march in recognition of the century of service of women in the United States Marine Corps.”

Notes by U.S. Marine Band from windrep.org

Kansas State University Wind Ensemble

Laura Bogner
Nicole Hoppas
Jessica Minnich*
Amaya Molinar
Kristen Schrag
Bailey Tadda

Lily Linville
Brielle Vollmuth*

Mark Ahlman
Olivia Bazanos
Taton Bennett
Peri Carney
Audrey Farrell
Joseph Forino
Ethan Hill
Crystal Rathburn*
Hilary Tallman

Bass Clarinet
Haley Rader
Tony Rodriguez

Alto Saxophone
Hannah Mancini*
Nosara Vargas Gamboa*

Tenor Saxophone
Mason Ringer

Baritone Saxophone
James Probst

Ann Barker
Mitchell Betancourt*
Nathan Enns
Kyle Grimes
Caleb Niehoff
Jessica Vanstory

French Horn
Josie Anderson
Braden Jones
Katie Kimmel
Elliot Peters
Sophia Shaar*

Tyler Long
William Osorio
Daniel Smith
Travis Turner*

Justin Koegeboehn
Trey Switzer*
Michael Walker

Chris Hovis*
Chase Keesling

Braedon Bomgardner
John Eldridge
Jack Johnson*
Nathan Smith
Preston Thomas
Brandon Wells
Eric Woods

String Bass
Stephen Mitchell

Jacob Thomas

*Denotes Principal Section Player



Wind Ensemble Conductors

FRANK TRACZ is Professor of Music and Director of Bands at Kansas State University. He earned his B.M.E. from The Ohio State University, the M.M. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and Ph. D. from The Ohio State University. He has public school teaching experience in Wisconsin and Ohio and has also served as Assistant Director of bands at Syracuse University and Director of bands at Morehead State University.  Dr. Tracz has served as an adjudicator, clinician, speaker in various schools and conferences and has conducted All-State and Honor bands across the United States as well as in Canada, Singapore, South Africa, Fiji, Australia, and New Zealand.

At Kansas State he directs the Wind Ensemble and the Marching Band, teaches graduate and undergraduate conducting, advisor to Kappa Kappa Psi, Tau Beta Sigma, and the Band Ambassadors, and administers and guides all aspects of a large BIG XII comprehensive band program.  Ensembles under his direction have been invited to perform at numerous State conferences, MENC, two CBDNA regional conferences, The Larry Sutherland Wind band Festival at Fresno State, Carnegie Hall, and the Kennedy Center.   The marching band was awarded the prestigious Sudler Trophy in 2015.  The Wind Ensemble has been invited to perform at the International Convention of the American Bandmasters Association in 2019 in Loveland, CO

Dr. Tracz is on the faculty of the Conn-Selmer Institute, adjunct faculty of the American Band College, past member of the Music Education Journal Editorial Board, contributor to the Teaching Music Through Performance In Band series, and was recently appointed Chair of the Sudler Trophy Project of the John Philip Sousa Foundation.  His honors include the Stamey Award for outstanding teaching, Kansas Bandmasters Outstanding Director award, Wildcat Pride Alumni Association award, the Tau Beta Sigma Paula Crider Outstanding Band Director award, named a Lowell Mason fellow, and Phi Kappa Phi Honorary Fraternity.    He has also received the Conn-Selmer Institute Hall of Fame award, the Kansas State Professorial Performance award, and was elected to the prestigious American Bandmasters Association. 

Dr. Tracz is married to Geralyn, and has three daughters, Jessica Tracz Kelly, Kelley Tracz, and Carly Tracz-Morris. He also has one grandson, Caden.


CALLY BITTERLIN is a PhD Candidate and graduate assistant at Kansas State University. She earned both her B.M.E and M.M. from Kansas State University in 2008 and 201,1 respectively. While at Kansas State University, she was extremely involved in marching band and was a section leader and student staff during her undergraduate career. She has taught all grade levels K-12 in her 9 years of public school teaching. Cally has taught in Kansas, Texas, and Iowa.  

In Texas, Cally taught at University High School where she oversaw the concert and symphonic bands and assisted with the marching, jazz, and mariachi bands. She also proposed and received a piano classroom and taught 3 sections of group piano lessons. Cally implemented a leadership program and training at the high school and continued to do the same in Iowa. She was a performing member in the saxophone section in the Waco Community Band and the Temple Symphonic Band. Cally was also a clinician and adjudicator for several schools and events for high schools and middle schools in Texas and continues to do so in Kansas. In Iowa, she oversaw the entire band program including color guard, athletic bands, concert, and jazz bands. The jazz and marching bands traveled in and out of state for several competitions during her tenure. Cally continued to perform on saxophone soloing for different occasions in the district and playing euphonium at Tuba Christmas. 

Cally's professional affiliations include Texas Music Educators Association, Iowa Bandmasters Association, Kansas Music Educators Association, Women Band Directors International, Tau Beta Sigma, Kappa Delta Pi.