Rozsa Foundation Commissioned Works

The following works/performances were made possible through the generous support of the Rozsa Foundation, a philanthropic organization that builds on the legacy of its founders by supporting NFP arts organizations in Alberta.  The Calgary Stampede Showband would like to thank the Rozsa Foundation for their unwavering support of the education and development of the members of the Stampede Showband program.

If you would like more information about the Rozsa Foundation, please visit their website at www.rozsafoundation.org.

These pieces are now available for download through the iTunes Store, www.apple.com/itunes/, and may be found by entering the search term "Stampede Showband".  We hope you enjoy them.

2012

In 1912, Guy Weadick dreamed of starting the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.  Since that time, the Calgary Stampede has brought people from all over the world together to experience our unique western heritage and values.  For the launch of our Centennial, which is built around the theme "We're Greatest Together", the Stampede Showband is proud to mark 100 years of history with "Jubilateo", a work commissioned especially for the occasion by Samuel R. Hazo.

Mr. Hazo has been a music teacher and lecturer at every educational grade level, from kindergarten through to college, including tenures as a high school and university director.  He has composed for the public school, university, and professional levels in addition to writing original scores for television, radio, and the stage.  Mr. Hazo's compositions have been performed and recorded world-wide, including performances by the Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra, the Birmingham Symphonic Winds, and the Klavier Wind Project's recordings with Eugene Migliaro Corporon.

He currently resides in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania with his wife and children.

Please visit him at www.samuelrhazo.com.

Also in 2012, the Stampede Showband premiered "Prairie Ride and Sunset", a wind band piece by JUNO nominated composer John Estacio.

Mr. Estacio has been in residence with the Calgary Opera, the Calgary Philharmonic, and the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.  He has created music for several ensembles and his compositions are frequently recorded, performed, and broadcast on international radio and television.

During the 2010/2011 season, Mr. Estacio's works received numerous performances across North America, including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra premier of "Frenergy" at Carnegie Hall; the Royal Winnipeg Ballet inclusion of his music in the new ballet, "Wonderland"; and the premier of his third opera, "Lillian Alling", by the Vancouver Opera.

To learn more about John Estacio, please visit him at his website, www.johnestacio.com.

2008

In 2008, the Stampede Showband was honored to be selected to perform John Estacio's "Bootlegger's Tarantella", which was given its premier performance by the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, under the direction of Rolf Bertsch, in 2001.  The piece is based on the overture of Mr. Estacio's opera, "Filumena", which tells the true life story of Filumena Lassandro, who, at the age of 22, was the only woman hanged for murder in Alberta and one of the last women executed in Canada following her conviction, along with that of notorious bootlegger Emilio "Emperor Pic" Picariello, who ran illegal booze through the Crowsnest Pass during the days of Prohibition, for the murder of Alberta Provincial Police Constable Steve Lawson.

The first of the three themes in this piece is a folk-like melody, which eventually segues into a dance tune that one might hear at a traditional Italian wedding party; and perhaps the wedding band has had one too many of the bootlegger's brew, especially the lower brass section.  The final theme suggests the passionate elements of the story: betrayal, unrequited love, and the despair at the tragic turn of events, before returning to the theme that started off the piece.

2003

In 2003, the Stampede Showband premiered Steven Bryant's "Stampede".  Mr. Bryant is an active composer and conductor with a varied catalog, including works for wind ensemble, orchestra, electronic and electro-acoustic creations, chamber music, and music for the web.

"Stampede" is a western, at once evoking the romanticized "wild west", while the much wilder, unpredictable reality of that ear repeated interjects its presence.  The music is a high-spirited celebration of the Calgary Stampede's cultural amalgamation - from the cowboys and the agricultural and livestock industries they represent, to the First Nations, to the Young Canadians, and, of course, the Stampede Showband - and the unified spirit of all these groups in promoting their western values and heritage.  It can loosely be thought of as Copland's "Billy the Kid" meets John Adams' "Short Ride in a Fast Machine".

Other notable commissions have come from the Amherst Saxophone Quartet, the University of Texas - Austin Wind Ensemble, the US Air Force Band of Mid-America, and the Japanese Wind Ensemble Conductors Conference, as well as many others.  Recordings include multiple releases by Eugene Corporon and the University of North Texas Wind Symphony, the Ron Hufstader and the El Paso Wind Symphony, William Berz and the Rutgers University Wind Ensemble, and Thomas Leslie and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Wind Orchestra.  Mr. Bryant has also created a re-composition of the Iggy and the Stooges song, "Real Cool Time", for the independent Italian record label, Snowdonia, as well as music for portions of the Virtual Space tour at www.space.com.

Mr. Bryant studied composition with John Corigliano at the Juilliard School, Cindy McTee at the University of North Texas, and Francis McBeth at Ouachita University.  He resides in Durham, North Carolina.

For more information, please visit his website at www.stevebryant.com.