Past Performances

Below are some notes on some of the University of Mary Washington Community Symphony’s more memorable performances.

Celebrity Series Featuring Marvin Hamlisch
April 2004

MARVIN HAMLISCH, Guest Conductor

Marvin Hamlisch, Guest Conductor

Marvin Hamlisch’s life in music is notable for its great versatility. He holds the position of Principal Pops Conductor with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra as well as with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, DC. (This is the first time that anyone has held such a position with the National Symphony. )

As a composer, Hamlisch has won virtually every major award that exists: three Oscars, four Grammys, four Emmys, a Tony and three Golden Globe awards; his groundbreaking show, A Chorus Line, received the Pulitzer Prize.

Among the Broadway shows Hamlisch has composed are They’re Playing Our Song, The Goodbye Girl, Sweet Smell of Success and Imaginary Friends. He is the composer of more than forty motion picture scores including his Oscar-winning score and song for The Way we were and his adaptation of Scott Joplin’s music for The Sting, for which he received a third Oscar. His prolific output of scores for films include original compositions and/or musical adaptations for Sophie’s Choice, Ordinary People, The Swimmer, Three Men and a Baby, Ice Castles, Take the Money and Run, Bananas and Save the Tiger.

Mr. Hamlisch was Musical Director and arranger of Barbra Streisand’s 1994 concert tour of the U.S. and England as well as of the television special, “Barbra Streisand: The Concert” (for which he received two of his Emmys). He served in the same capacities for her Millennium concerts.

One of the youngest students ever admitted to The Juilliard School, Hamlisch is a graduate of both Juilliard and Queens College (where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree), Hamlisch believes in the power of music to bring people together. He says: “Music can make a difference. There is a global nature to music, which has the potential to bring all people together. Music is truly an international language, and I hope to contribute by widening communication as much as I can.”

Hamlisch and his wife, Terre Blair, reside in New York City.

“Once Upon a Sleigh Ride” – A Tribute to Leroy Anderson
December 2002 Pops

A Message from Dr. Bartram

“This program has become somewhat of a mission for me, for I have long admired the music of Leroy Anderson. During the late 1940’s and early 1950’s, Anderson was one of the most popular composers in the world. Sadly, much of Anderson’s music has been forgotten and is permanently out of print, (a fact I discovered when I tried to locate some of the music on this program). Although Anderson died in 1975, his wife and children have been keeping his memory alive through performances and videos of his music. I have been in contact with his family and have received enthusiastic support for this program, including the loan of music, special equipment used by Anderson himself, and video and audiotapes of Anderson talking about how he composed each selection. Kurt Anderson (his youngest son) sees this concert as an opportunity to reacquaint the public with his father’s music.

The Chancellor High School chorus will join forces with us on Anderson’s special arrangement of “Sleigh Ride” that is rarely performed, existing only in manuscript form. This is a special loan from the Anderson family. My thanks to Pam Lowery, Keith Gagnon, and Mark Wright for their help with the video and audio component of this show. Thanks also to Erma Baker and Liz Thompson and the Friends Board for their continued support. Finally, this program would not have been possible without the support, help, and encouragement of Kurt & Eleanor Anderson. Here’s to many more years of wonderful music by Leroy Anderson! Enjoy!”

LEROY ANDERSON (1908 -1975)

Leroy Anderson (1908 - 1975)

The music of Leroy Anderson is firmly entrenched in American popular culture. A composer of distinctive and delightful miniatures, his best-known works include Sleigh Ride, The Syncopated Clock and Blue Tango. Leroy Anderson was born on June 29, 1908 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the son of Swedish immigrants. He earned his B.A. (magna cum laude) and M.A. in music at Harvard, where in the 30’s, he was director of the Harvard University Band. His clever arrangements brought him to the attention of Arthur Fiedler, music director of the Boston Pops, who encouraged him to write original compositions for the orchestra. The first was Jazz Pizzicato, written in 1938.

During World War II, the Army made use of Anderson’s fluency in languages. He served as a translator and interpreter in Iceland beginning in 1942. Later Anderson wrote The Syncopated Clock while working as Chief of the Scandinavian Desk of Military Intelligence at the Pentagon. Fiedler continued to premier Anderson’s works, until 1950, including “Fiddle-Faddle” and “Trumpeter’s Lullaby”. After that his pieces, including the 1952 #1 hit “Blue Tango”, received their first performances when recorded by the composer for Decca Records.

He married Eleanor Firke in 1942. The Andersons moved to Woodbury, Connecticut where they raised a family of four children. Leroy conducted orchestras throughout North America and continued to compose and conduct his music until his death in 1975. Composer John Williams has said of Leroy Anderson’s music, “though we have performed his works countless times over the years at the Boston Pops, his music remains forever as young and fresh as the very day on which it was composed.”

KURT ANDERSON, Guest Conductor

Kurt Anderson, Guest Conductor

Kurt Anderson, one of four children of Leroy Anderson, is General Manager of classical radio station WMNR Fine Arts Radio in Monroe, Connecticut. He enjoys sharing his love for his father’s music with orchestras, bands and choruses from Connecticut to California. Recently he has conducted orchestras in New England, the Wallingford Symphony Orchestra, the Golden Eagle Brass Band, Denver, Colorado and the Salina Symphony Orchestra, Kansas.

“There are many composers who have written serious music, and some of them have done it quite well, but there are very few who have written music that makes you smile and I am proud to say that my father did that quite well.”

“I am often asked what Leroy Anderson was like. That’s easy to answer. He was like his music. At the dinner table he would share, with great appreciation, simple yet witty word based jokes. He would take the whole family to New York City and to see some of the great broadway musicals. Once he found a movie theater that was playing a Charlie Chaplin silent film and he took us to see and appreciate this classic American film.”

“Leroy Anderson’s place in musical history is unique. His music is spirited and manages to capture a liveliness that many people enjoy but is not found in all music. This aspect of composing requires not just musical skills but a creative genius. His kind of creativity did not earn him a place in the annals of serious music but it accomplished something far more elusive. The music of Leroy Anderson is enjoyed by millions of people, o
ver many generations, throughout the world.”

In 1999 Kurt produced and hosted a one hour radio documentary on Leroy Anderson that was heard on National Public Radio stations. In 2000 he developed a new web site on Leroy Anderson as a companion to the PBS hour long program “Once Upon a Sleigh Ride – The Music of Leroy Anderson.” He lives in Connecticut with his wife and son.

Dr. Michael Davison-Trumpet

Dr. Michael Davidson - Trumpet

Dr. Michael Davison has been head of the jazz and brass programs at the University of Richmond since 1986, and is presently the president of the Virginia chapter of the International Association of Jazz Educators and on the Board of Directors of the National Trumpet Competition. Dr. Davison was also past chairman of the music education division of Mid-Atlantic CMS. As a performer, Mike has toured the world and has recorded numerous CD’s in both the jazz and classical genres. As an author, Dr. Davison has written articles for Down Beat magazine, the International Trumpet Guild Journal, the Jazz Educators Journal, G.I.A. Quarterly and two transcription books of trumpeter Randy Brecker. Mike has also written and presented seminars on conditioning and motivation; his article “The Life and Times of John Czlabotnik: A Music Journey,” has appeared in “Fanfare,” a tabloid sent to every college and high school band in the country. Dr. Davison is presently authoring a book about Cuban jazz and frequently tours Cuba as a player and pedagogue. Since 1987, Mike has been on the trumpet faculty at the International Arts Camp in Interlochen, Michigan. Dr. Davison is a clinician for the Edwards Instrument Company® and in great demand throughout the country as a classical and jazz teacher and performer. Mike was the host of the 1999 ITG Conference in Richmond, VA, from May 19 – 22, 1999.

Dr. David Long- Typewriter
Professor Dr. David Long is in his 23rd year with the music department at Mary Washington College. Dr. Long teaches theory and composition and performs percussion with various local orchestras. Originally from Scottsdale, Arizona, he has a Bachelor of Music in Theory & Composition from Arizona State University, a Master of Music in Composition and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Composition from the University of North Texas. Dr. Long’s compositions include works for band, orchestra, jazz ensemble, sacred choir, show choir, percussion ensemble, and mixed ensembles. His compositions are performed primarily at high schools, colleges and universities across the country. This is his first performance on the “Typewriter!”

Mike Disque- Piano
Mike Disque is a senior at Mary Washington College. Originally from Sterling, Virginia, he is a double major in Music and Business. He is currently studying piano with Dr. Lynn Mackey.

Erin Ryan-Violin
Erin Ryan is a junior music major at Mary Washington College. She is from Manassas, VA where she attended Osbourn Park High School. Erin started playing the violin when she was six years old and has studied with Patrick Rafferty, Margaret Pardee, and Ed Johonnott.

Chancellor High School Chorus- Connie S. Bartram, director
The Chancellor High School Choir, from Spotsylvania County, has performed in such distinguished venues as the White House and the Virginia Governor’s House. Over the past few years, they have competed in national competitions in New York and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina where they were awarded top honors. This year the choir will be participating in the Southern Star Music Festival in Atlanta, Georgia.

Fiddle-Faddle …………………………………………………………………. (1947)

Forgotten Dreams …………………………………………………………….. (1954)
Mike Disque- piano

Syncopated Clock ……………………………………………………………… (1946)
Kurt Anderson, Conductor
Heidi Carlson- Clock I, Mary Koveliski-Clock II, Joseph Dmytriw-Bell

Sandpaper Ballet ………………………………………………………………. (1954)

Trumpeter’s Lullaby …………………………………………………………….. (1949)
Dr. Michael Davison, trumpet

Bugler’s Holiday ……………………………………………………………….. (1954)
Dr. Michael Davison, Dane Snyder, Christopher Hogan-trumpet


Irish Suite …………………………………………………………………….. (1950)
I. The Irish Washerwoman
II. The Minstrel Boy
III. The Rakes of Mallow
V. The Last Rose of Summer
Erin Ryan, violin
VI. The Girl I Left Behind Me

The Typewriter …………………………………………………………………. (1953)
Kurt Anderson, Conductor
Dr. David Long- Typewriter, Dr. Michael Davison-Bell

*The Waltzing Cat* ………………………………………………………………. (1950)
Guest Conductor TBA * Small children are invited to come up to the stage and participate
in a special musical chairs.

A Christmas Festival …………………………………………………………….. (1952)

Sleigh Ride (manuscript on loan from Anderson Family) ………………………………… (1948)
Chancellor High School Chorus- Mrs. Connie Bartram, director

-Video/audio clips supplied courtesy of the Anderson Family. Used with permission. The video “Once Upon a Sleigh Ride” is available for purchase at

Carnegie Hall Poster

Slavic Greats – Carnegie Hall
March 20, 2002

James Baker – Conductor
Slawomir Chrzanowski – Guest Conductor
Jan Sporek – Producer, Chorusmaster, & Conductor
Tiffany CasaSante – Soprano
Piotr Paleczny – Piano
Mary Washington College-Community Symphony Orchestra
Paderewski Festival Singers

  • Dvorak – Overture (Othello)
  • Gorecki – Symphony No. 3 (“The Sorrowful Songs”)
    Janusz Sporek, Conductor
    Tiffany CasaSante, Soprano
  • Frederick Chopin – Piano Concerto in E minor, Op. 11
    Piotr Paleczny, Piano
    Slawomir Chrzanowski, Conductor
  • Kilar – Angelus (“Zdrowas Mario”)
    Paderewski Festival Singers
    Tiffany CasaSante, Soprano
    Junusz Sporek, Conductor

Meet the Artists

James Baker
James Baker was born in 1936 in Northeaster Pennsylvania, where he spent his formative years. He began piano and clarinet in his pre-teen years but favored the latter instrument. Upon graduation from his compulsory educational training, he matriculated at Pennsylvania State University, receiving his bachelor’s degree in 1958 in music education and his master’s degree in education in 1962 in music supervision. Between 1958-65 Dr. Baker taught in the public schools of Pennsylvania. During this time he produced performing ensembles that presented concerts over Lancaster, Pennsylvania Television, at the Canadian National Exhibition, and at the New York Worlds Fair of the early 1960s. Dr. Baker relocated to Mary Washington College in 1965 and immediately began graduate studies at The Catholic University of American in Washington, D.C., receiving a doctor of musical arts degree in 1975. From late 1970-98 Baker served as chair of the music department of Mary Washi
ngton College. He retired from the college in 2002.

Tiffany CasaSante
Ms. CasaSante made her Carnegie Hall debut to a standing ovation as the featured soloist in a beautiful and difficult modern work, Angelus, by Wojciech Kilar. Ms. CasaSante thrilled audiences with her full spinto sound and exciting coloraturea extension as Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutte with the Delaware Vally Opera.

Slawomir Chrzanowski
Slawomir Chrzanowski was born in 1961 in Rybnik, Poland. In 1989 Mr. Chrzanowski graduated from the academy of Music in Katowice with a master’s degree in music theory and then completed symphony conducting post graduate studies in Karol Stryja’s class.

From 1991-95 Mr. Chrzanowski was the artistic director of Rybnik Philharmonic, with which he conducted the Polish chamber and philharmonic orchestras. In concerts he premiered works by Boguslaw Schaeffer, Andrzej Dziadek, Ghearge Zamphir, and others. He regularly collaborates with the Ostrava Philharmonic and with opera groups in Bytom and Lvov (in Ukraine).

Piotr Paleczny
Piotr Paleczny is one of the most eminent Polish pianists. Mr. Paleczny graduated from the Music Academy in Warsaw. He has been a prizewinner at five international piano competitions. Mr. Paleczny has been engaged in concert activities in every continent. Concerts of music by Polish compoers is a significant part of his repertoire. Since 1993 he has been the artistic director of the oldest music festival held in Poland, the International Chopin Festival in Duszniki Zdroj. In 1998 the president of Poland conferred on him the title of professor. He conducts piano classes at the Frederick Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw.

Janusz Sporek
Janusz Sporek was born in Rajcza, near Zywiec, Poland. He received his master’s degree at the University of Katowice and commenced work in Rybnik, where he remained for 20 years, working at music schools and with several artistic groups.

In 1987 Mr. Sporek came to the United States, where he bacame one of the most active musicians. For the last nine years he has been an artistic director of Esprit de Chorus, an international vocal group, which he established in 1992. Since August 10, 2001 he has worked with the Paderewski Festival Singers as teh founder, conductor, and music director. His resolution: “No matter where, with whom, and whit I produce, I dedicate all my artistic works to the memory of my mother, the greatest hero and love of my life.

Paderewski Festival Singers
Paderewski Festival Singers, a choral ensemble established especially for the occasion of the special concert at Carnegie Hall, was formed when the Kosciuszko Foundation asked Janusz Sporek to form a group of singers for the concert celebrating the 60th anniversary of I.J. Paderewski’s death. It was hoped that this group might be able to prepare and perform the program proposed by director Jerzy Maks

The first performance of the Paderewski Festival Singers was its Carnegie Hall debut on Novenber 4, 2001, with Sinfonia Varsovia, the orchestra from Warsaw under the direction of Mariusz Smolij.