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You're listening to music of Don Gillis and naturally I'm glad for it's a program in which I have the distinct pleasure of being the composer whose works are exclusively featured and not only the composer but also the commentator who conveniently enough has his scriptwriter standing handmade by me that is. So we're together again. Not that there's really been any overwhelming demand for it except that in these days of radio one postcard sounds like the voice of the people. So here we are back and I am grateful to the network officials for complying with your request by your one postcard that you wanted more of the music of Don give us. Last year we were on for 26 weeks and let's hope that this year the same time will prevail. What's a nice round figure to be friendly in in the new series I'm going to bring some tapes that weren't available to me last year. And if you don't mind I'll repeat a few of the others now and then. Like now for instance the reason I've selected this composition for opening music is that it's not only one of my more familiar works but also it's titled very cleverly served to introduce a topic
that will take up a few minutes later its title is a short overture to an on written opera. The performing group is the national high school orchestra to Interlochen and the conductor is the composer the scriptwriter and the commentator who now makes this comment. We're about to hear short overture to an on written opera by Don Gillis. In the. In the. Thang.
Thang. When.
I when I am who. I am. But. What. The band. Only.
The short overture to an on written opera played by the National High School orchestra than our walk in conducted by the composer doesn't give us who is saying these very same words to you. I mentioned a moment ago that the title of the piece would introduce a topic I might like to talk about. The subject is opera not written ones more specifically ones which I've written. I'm not really sure why I started writing opera. I don't particularly like opera. Maybe it was because I wanted to try to write something that I might like. All of that sounds pretty good to stick though I'll admit but I don't mean it that way at all for him personally the II. I make very into is the vast majority of the American
public who stay away from almost everything musical in drills and especially opera. Anyway I wrote my first two and a comedy called The Park Avenue kids and very promptly had a performance in Elkhart Indiana under the baton of Dr. George Gascon tremendous success at least in Elkhart. But since then not much has happened to it. However Undaunted I want to head anyway and wrote my second one. This one was also a comedy about a college where football was king and I call it a pep rally. And then to compound the felony I scored it for a band instead of orchestra. And that in view of the fact that band directors have shied away from the score and multitude was indeed an air opera number three was a short one we heard it last season on our series it was called the bateaux and was a story about a composer who wanted to write an opera but couldn't find a libretto. After that came a full length work called Starr about a junction which I was positive would make me
world famous and rich. But fate and its fickle friends a deemed otherwise and as yet starve at my junction sits silently on its shelf awaiting its chance to be heard and I'm sure pouting about the whole thing. Now since we talked last I've written even more operas three of them in fact all one act operas. The first is based on the gift of the magic. Henry's famous story the second was written to an original story called The Naz a reading and the most recent is a farce a comedy called world premier all about opera itself. So you see the short overture to an unwritten opera was in itself named correctly perhaps named far too prophetically indicating overtures to my performed rather than written operas from Opera will move to music about the West. The score we're about to hear is called Amarillo. It was a work commissioned by the Amarillo Symphony Orchestra
and given its first performance there by Dr. Clyde roller. The music is divided into four sections played without interruption. It's a descriptive work in the sense of trying to portray Texas both in its early days and contemporary times and the first section begins with the motive that you hear throughout the entire piece. One which almost seems to sound this is Amarillo a slow movement follows after which then we'll hear an early front air train scurrying along the prairie complete with end in fight and rescue by the U.S. Cavalry. Naturally it all ends well in the jet age in Amarillo with a final march theme built out of materials which you will have heard earlier in the piece. Here it is now the Amarillo Symphony Orchestra conducted by Dr. A Clyde roller and the world premiere performance of symphonic sketches in honor of the Great Western city Amarillo By Don Gillis.
The end. Yeah. All.
In. All. Why.
Lose. Lose.
Lose. Lose. Lose. Yeah. Yeah now yeah. Yeah now. Yeah. But.
What. What. What. What. The music was Amorello symphonic sketches in honor of the great western city.
The performances by the Amarillo Symphony Orchestra conducted by Dr. A Clyde roller and the composer was done give us your host and commentator on this program all of which rather winds up program number one of our new series. Next week we will be back however and we've scheduled three works for you. The first is Paul Bunyan an overture to a legend. The second will be music based on Edgar Allen Poe's poem The Raven with Nelson Armstead as narrator and the final work will be the finale the last movement of my symphony number of side during the weeks ahead we'll hear several as yet unheard scores at least on this program series including the symphonic poem to an unknown soldier. This week for Chamber Orchestra and woodwind soloist Paul four scenes from yesterday. And in addition sections from woodwind quintets and string orchestra materials as well as works for the band and along with all of that I'll be around to make assorted and sundry comments about my music and the Musical Times in which we
live. I'd like your suggestions and opinions naturally pro and con and if you would like to be the voice of the people just drop a card to the station to which you are now listening. They'll send it along to me and who knows I might even answer it. Music by gun violence is brought to you by the national educational radio network and this is done give us saying goodbye and thanks for listening.
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The Music of Don Gillis II
A Short Overture to an Unwritten Opera
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program, the first in the series, focuses on Don Gillis', "A Short Overture to an Unwritten Opera," as well as his "Amarillo: Symphonic Sketches in Honor of a Western City."
Series Description
This series features the works of Don Gillis; hosted by the composer himself. Most of the performances are conducted by the composer.
Broadcast Date
Media type
Composer: Gillis, Don, 1912-1978
Host: Gillis, Don, 1912-1978
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 65-36-1 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:07
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Chicago: “The Music of Don Gillis II; A Short Overture to an Unwritten Opera,” 1965-08-03, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed July 13, 2024,
MLA: “The Music of Don Gillis II; A Short Overture to an Unwritten Opera.” 1965-08-03. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. July 13, 2024. <>.
APA: The Music of Don Gillis II; A Short Overture to an Unwritten Opera. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from