Awayday Blue

George Gershwin said: "My people are American; my time is today. Music must repeat the thought and aspirations of the times". Arranger/conductor John Krance points out that Gershwin's music did exactly that, for it not only reflects the "thoughts and aspiration" of his own time, but of future generations and ours as well.

With imagination and breathtaking excellence, "future generations" have emerged from mere speculation into contemporary reality. Today's drum corps take the field in a panorama of color and imagination and the 2001 Blue Devils offer a musical conversation that celebrates the essence of our incredible activity. "Awayday Blue" is a holiday. With the twist and turns that can contour any great escape, the Blue Devils embark on a visual and musical collage of motion, theatre and sound. Any great "getaway" deserves a soundtrack that only the Blue Devils can produce. Interpreting the work of Gershwin, Adam Gorb and Donald Grantham, The Blue Devils speak a powerful language influenced by jazz -- Gorb's Awayday and Grantham's Fantasy Variations on Gershwin's Second Prelude for Piano -- fearlessly forge their way with intelligence, emotion and surprise.

Adam Gorb's stunning piece is the springboard for the 2001 production. Gorb wrote that his "inspiration has come from the great days of the American Musical comedy. I have tried to express in a brief sonata form movement the exhilaration of ‘getting away from it all’ for a few short hours on a festive Bank Holiday. Musically the piece is homage to the great days of the Broadway musical with its irresistible brashness and irrepressible high spirits. If you can envisage Gershwin, Bernstein, Stravinsky and James Bond traveling together at a hundred miles per hour in an open-top sports car, I think you get the idea.

Taking a cue from Gorb, the Blue Devils color guard adds some exciting passengers to the "open-top sports car". Icons of the great American film and Broadway musicals add to the quintessential visual experience; Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire and Bob Fosse are a few of the influences on an ever changing blend of dance idioms generating the exuberance of virtuosity and motion. The fusion of traditional geometric design and theatrical staging has long been a reflection of the musical dialogue of a BD production.


More from 2001...