by Tom Wachunas
What more appropriate way to begin a Scottish-themed program than with a live pipe and drum band? Members of the Celtic Eagle Pipe Band joined the Canton Symphony Orchestra (CSO) in opening its 2013- 2014 season with Marches and Airs, written by local composer and Music Director of the Tuscarawas Philharmonic, Eric Benjamin.
In his program notes, Benjamin made no secret of his love for the sound of bagpipes. Addressing the task of effectively blending the orchestra with the sequence of six traditional Scottish tunes that comprise the work, he wrote, “As the music exists for pipes and drums alone, the challenge for me as an arranger was to come up with interesting things for the orchestra to do so as to contribute something unique to the sequence.”
Not least among the challenges was to allow the orchestral instruments to be heard against a loud group of three pipers and two drummers. [Read more…]