A symphonic pageant written for the sesquicentennial of the District of Columbia and to open Carter Barron Amphitheater.
D No: 601
Performing Forces: SATB, orchestra
Date Published: MS
Date of Composition: 1950
Notes: A Symphonic Pageant in Two Acts by Paul Green. To celebrate the sesquicentennial of the District of Columbia in 1950, and to open the Carter Barron Amphitheater in Rock Creek Park that was built for this production, Paul Green was commissioned to write this two-and-one-half hour extravaganza. To write and arrange the music for it, and to recruit, train, and conduct a forty-eight member chorus to sing it was my commission. I began composing in February, auditions were held in early May, and the show opened the first week in August with President Truman in attendance. Ronald Arnatt played the Hammond electric organ, and the chorus sang with authority and from memory, resplendent in red, white and blue-spangled costumes. In 1951 it opened in late May and played until September. The electric organ was replaced by a thirteen-piece orchestra under my direction in the huge pit. (The music was orchestrated by Charles Cliff.) The show sounded much better the second summer, but the attendance slacked off toward the end. The third season we did not open because initial interest had eroded and it had become apparent that Washington was not southern Virginia where Green’s outdoor dram “The Common Glory” had flourished for two decades. Hymns and psalms didn’t make an exciting evening in the theater in a large city. See Instrumental 510.
This choral / orchestral suite was assembled at the request of the National Symphony, Howard Mitchell, conductor.
Categorized as: Theater
Tagged as: orchestra, pageant, SATB