“Can you talk about the significance of Lincolnshire Posy?” began Professor Laura Rexroth. She was addressing panelist David Waybright, Tom Leslie, and Myron Welch, each past presidents of American Bandmasters Association and each having many, various answers to such a question. Tom Leslie began by noting that he had conducted the work many times, as had his fellow panelist, but he learned the most by teaching it to his student conductors over the years—which he always did. Myron Welch noted that he considered it one of the top works for band and is important for its scoring, as well as harmonies, mixed meters, and, of course, use of saxophones. Dave Waybright added that the work was so important that it advanced the medium of band altogether and it was difficult to underestimate the importance of such a seminal work.
So began the first of three discussion panels addressing the band work Lincolnshire Posy. Considered by many to be Grainger’s masterpiece. The 16-minute-long work has six movements, each adapted from folk songs that Grainger collected on a 1905–1906 trip to Lincolnshire, England. The work first debuted on March 7, 1937, making 2022 the 85th anniversary of the composition.
Prof. Rexroth led the discussion by inquiring: Do you feel that the knowledge of the lyrics for the works affects your interpretations? And, as a conductor, how do your approach the score? As you review the score, do you have surprises? Each panelist answered thoughtfully, reflecting on their many performances, conducting students they had taught, and how much they learned—and continue to learn--along the way.
Join us for the second and third roundtable discussions on Lincolnshire Posy. On Thursday September 15, ‘Rufford Park Poachers’ and ‘The Brisk Young Sailor’ will be discussed. On Friday October 14, ‘Lord Melbourne’ and ‘The Lost Lady Found’ will be the final two movements to be discussed. Information and registration can be found on our event page.
Roundtable Rambles will conclude the Grainger’s Society’s Celebration of Lincolnshire Posy. The year began with a presentation of Col Jason Fettig and the performances of the President’ Own Band. Midyear, Grainger Society President Emeritus Barry Ould addressed Granger’s method of collecting the folk songs.
The panel discussions can be found in the Members Only area of the Percy Grainger Society’s website. Additionally, recording of rehearsals by Fredrick Fennel and Col Jason Fettig can be viewed here:
Frederick Fennell rehearses Lincolnshire Posy with the U.S. Navy Band - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mNMCX93jGA&t=18s
Digital Rehearsal Hall: GRAINGER "Lincolnshire Posy" (episode 1) - United States Marine Band – Movements 1 &2
Digital Rehearsal Hall: GRAINGER "Lincolnshire Posy" (episode 2) - United States Marine Band – Movements 3&4
Digital Rehearsal Hall: GRAINGER "Lincolnshire Posy" (episode 3) - United States Marine Band – Movements 5&6
Field recordings of songs from Lincolnshire Posy
Roundtable Rambles is a cooperative project between the Percy Grainger Society and the American Bandmasters Association.