About the music – Adelphia is dedicated to the memory of Dr. W. Francis McBeth, longtime friend and mentor of the composer. In genuine McBeth style Adelphia is built on a simple motive upon which the rest of the piece evolves. McBeth’s term for this technique was “organic,” in that the piece grows out of itself. The title of the piece is derived from Arkadelphia, Arkansas, where McBeth lived for years and taught at Ouachita Baptist University.
The piece begins with a simple percussion ensemble section after which a three-‐note motive is introduced. An extended section that builds harmonically ensues, making way to a slow, rubato section still making use of the original motive. Tonal color and contrasts are used in this expressive section, which eventually segues to the original tempo announced with a sudden burst of percussion. The theme is now presented in fanfare-‐like style in the horns and brass. More harmonic contrasts and rhythmic elongation of the melody in the low brass and reeds create a grand full-‐band section with accented percussion and woodwind interjections. This ushers in a dramatic conclusion where the opening motive of the piece makes the Kinal, declamatory conclusion.
Appropriate for contest or festival, this piece will be a favorite of bands and audiences alike, all the while being a worthy tribute to Francis McBeth himself.
- Composer: Keith Christopher