Grainger, Grieg, and Greg (Partain)

By Don Schabel

The next concert presented by the Central Kentucky Concert Band, “Grainger, Grieg, and Greg (Partain),” will be on Sunday, May 7, 2017, at 3 PM in the Lexington Opera House.

Dr. Gregory Partain

The concert will feature Edvard Grieg’s popular Piano Concerto in A Minor with Dr. Gregory Partain Playing the solo piano. Dr. Partain has been on the faculty of Transylvania University since 1991. He studied piano performance at the University of Washington. During his 24 years on the concert stage, he has performed throughout the United States and overseas in Germany, Poland, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Russia, and Greece.

Grainger pic
Percy Grainger (Center)

Unless one is familiar with wind band compositions, the name “Percy Grainger“ may not immediately have meaning. Grainger, a native of Australia, became a U.S. citizen living in New York and enlisted in the U.S. Armed Forces becoming a bandsman of the 15th Band of the Coast Guard Artillery Corps when the United States entered World War I.

Interestingly, Percy Grainger and Edvard Grieg, two of the concert title’s namesakes, were contemporaries and
friends. Grainger met Grieg in 1906 in London. Grieg was impressed with Grainger’s piano playing (Grainger was a celebrated concert pianist) and invited him to his home. The following year Grainger joined Grieg at his home in Norway where he prepared Grieg’s piano concerto for performance at the Leeds Festival in England which Grieg was to conduct. Unfortunately, Grieg passed away before the festival took place.

Grieg pic
Edvard Grieg

While the band won’t be able to perform in England, it can at least transport the audience there through Grainger’s Lincolnshire Posy—one of the several Grainger works the band will present. This six movement composition is based on English folk songs that the composer collected during 1905 and 1906 using the newly invented wax cylinder phonograph. Eventually Grainger collected around 30 folk songs.  Lincolnshirewas originally composed for band. Grainger’s love for the wind band and its sound is evident in this composition. The composition was composed by Grainger for the 1937 American Bandmasters Association convention. That very group held its 2017 convention in Lexington, Kentucky, the home of the CKCB, earlier this year.

Please come and enjoy the music of Percy Grainger and Edvard Grieg as presented in this free concert by the band and special guest artist, Dr. Gregory Partain.