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Program Notes

Chelmsford Common


Michael Annicchiarico, composer

Chelmsford Common is a four-movement Sinfonietta for concert band commissioned by the Chelmsford Community Band in honor of its 30th anniversary. The world premier was presented in July 2002 on the Common by the Chelmsford Community Band with Paul Berler conducting. This contemporary work was composed by Michael Annicchiarico, who teaches at the University of New Hampshire. The first movement, "The First Meeting House," was inspired by the structure that still stands on the Common. The slow and expressive second movement depicts the huge purple beech tree that dominates the Common. The third movement, "Barzillai & Dinah," introduces a bit of the history of Chelmsford. Barzillai Lew was an African-American born in Chelmsford in 1743 who served as a fifer during the American Revolution and played at the Battle of Bunker Hill. After the war, he married Dinah Bowman and they formed a dance orchestra that played throughout New England. The final movement, "The Spirit of Our Forefathers," was inspired by the Forefather’s Cemetery which lies just beyond the Common. The movement features two sacred tunes from old New England, Old Hundredth and Assurance.

—Michael Annicchiarico


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