New Haven High School Band Director to Guest Conduct at Yale

Harold Riley, jazz band director at New Haven Arts and Humanities Cooperative Magnet High School, will be guest conductor for the Yale Concert Band on Wednesday, December 3, at 8 p.m. in Woolsey Hall, corner of College and Grove streets. Thomas C. Duffy, associate dean, is music director of the Yale Concert Band. Admission is free and the concert is open to the public.

The performance will feature Percy Grainger’s “Lincolnshire Posy,” Ralph Vaughan Williams’ “English Folk Song Suit” and “Rhosymedre”, and, in tribute to the season, Sergei Prokofiev’s “Train Ride” from “Winter Holiday” and Alfred Reed’s solemn and beautiful “Russian Christmas Music.”

The program will also include two concert premieres. The first, “Blue Shades” by Frank Ticheli, is a jazzy, bluesy composition. It was commissioned by a consortium of colleges including Yale University and has already received rave reviews from around the country.

The second concert premiere is Thomas C. Duffy’s “ADA Fanfare,” a short work based on the pitches A-D-A, written for and premiered at the October 1997 national conference of the American Dietetic Association in Boston, MA.

Each year, a Connecticut public school conductor is invited to guest lead the Yale Concert Band. Mr. Riley will conduct two pieces: Prokofiev’s Train Ride and Vaughan Williams’ Rhosymedre.

According to Mr. Riley, “Conducting is something that runs naturally through my blood. I get tremendous gratification from guiding musicians to a higher level of musical thought. As a conductor, I believe that it is paramount for you to understand the intent of the composer’s musical idea. You then have a responsibility to the ensemble to effectively communicate that idea.

He adds, “Being invited to conduct the Yale Concert Band has been an important milestone in my musical career. You really have to thank people like Tom Duffy for providing such an opportunity to other aspiring conductors.”

Hailing from Macon, Georgia, Mr. Riley earned a degree in music education from Florida A&M University in 1984 and a Master of Music degree in clarinet performance from the University of Maryland in 1992. For the past 13 years, he has conducted bands, orchestras and choruses in Georgia, New Jersey, Maryland and Connecticut. He has also taught music at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. This is his third year teaching in the New Haven public schools.

For photos or further information, please contact Stephanie Theodos, business manager of Yale Bands at 203 432-4111.

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