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Program Notes

Suite of Old American Dances

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This collection of familiar dance tunes opens with the Cake Walk, a strutting dance based on a march rhythm; it originated as a competition among black dancers to win a cake and was often performed at minstrel shows. The Schottische is a Scotch round dance, similar to a polka but slower. The Western One-Step is a variation of an early ballroom dance that was a precursor to the foxtrot. The Wallflower Waltz charms with its familiar 1-2-3 meter, while the bright, syncopated Rag is a fitting conclusion to this suite. Bennett was a prolific composer, producing symphonies, chamber works, and concertos as well as his music for concert band. He is perhaps best known as orchestrator and arranger for Broadway shows and films, including Porgy and Bess, The Sound of Music, Show Boat, Camelot, and numerous others. He received a special posthumous Tony award this year "in recognition of his historic contribution to American musical theatre in the field of orchestrations, as represented on Broadway this season by Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific." --James Huff 08:25, 14 November 2008 (UTC) (from the program notes of The Claremont Winds, submitted with permission)

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