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Program Notes

Pennyghael

Concord Band commission (1987)

William M. Toland, composer

Pennyghael (a little bit of Celtic Highland) is named for a small village is Scotland. It was written after a trip to Scotland which commemorated my 25th year as music director of the Band (the middle initial in my name is for MacKenzie). I was captivated by the small villages and mystical islands of the west and northwest. This suite is the result of that feeling. The piece opens with a feeling of this mystical, evanescent view of Iona on the Island of Staffa, wherein lies Fingal’s Cave. Several lively Scottish folk songs come into play and then the mood turns reflective as slower folk-like music emerges. Brighter music returns and the slow themes combine in a free counterpoint at the conclusion.

WMT

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