by Patrick J. Burns (Grade 2, 3:00)
Electric City Celebration was commissioned by the 2013 Marywood University Junior Honor Band Festival (F. David Romines, Director of Bands and Festival Coordinator), and was premiered on December 7, 2013 with the composer conducting.
The piece is a lively and energetic tribute to Scranton – the location of the festival – and refers to that city’s historic nickname, “The Electric City”. The four-note motive heard at the very beginning is presented in various forms throughout the piece and serves as the main structural element for the work.
Of particular note is something interesting that happened during preparation of this piece only a few hours before the premiere. Around lunchtime on the day of the concert, the power went out in parts of Scranton, including several buildings at Marywood University. The music building remained without power for longer than most and after lunch Electric City Celebration was first up for rehearsal. (We were able to continue with our rehearsal as our room had many windows which allowed ample light into the room.) One of the band members asked, “Do you think the power will come back on after we play the piece.” I smiled and said that would be great, so we played the piece straight through. Not ten seconds after we played the last note, all the lights came back on to the great satisfaction and applause of the band members. It was really quite something!
Patrick J. Burns