Quiet Heroes: A Salute to the Heroes of Iwo Jima
Sunday, March 14, 2010
A musical tribute in honor of our veterans to mark the 65th Anniversary of the battle of Iwo Jima. Program features Chris Brubeck’s “Quiet Heroes” – a narrated symphonic suite based on the book Flag of Our Fathers. Quiet Heroes will be narrated by the actor Wilford Brimley. Program also includes music from Victory at Sea, a Salute to the Armed Forces and other surprises!
Wilford Brimley is an American actor. He has appeared in such films as The China Syndrome and Cocoon. Brimley is also known for appearing in television commercials, including ads for Quaker Oats and Liberty Medical. Brimley was born in Salt Lake City, Utah where his father worked as a real estate broker. Diagnosed with diabetes in 1979, Brimley began working to raise awareness of the disease. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) honored Brimley in 2008 with an award to recognize his lifetime of service in this venerable cause. Brimley has been active visiting Veterans Administration hospitals and communities to advise patients on how to manage their diseases. The ADA presented the award to the actor at the Port St. Lucie headquarters of Liberty Medical on December 19, 2008.
Brimley is an activist, paying from his own funds for ads to have Utah allow horse-race gambling, and he was actively opposed to the banning of cockfighting in New Mexico. Brimley enjoys playing poker and has played in the World Series of Poker Main Event. Before his career in acting, Brimley worked as a ranch hand, wrangler, blacksmith, and a bodyguard for Howard Hughes. He then began shoeing horses for film and television. He began acting in the 1960s as a riding extra in Westerns and as a stunt man at the urging of his friend, actor Robert Duvall.
Brimley became famous later in life for appearing in such films as The Hotel New Hampshire, John Carpenter’s The Thing, and Cocoon. In 2001, he starred in the Turner Network Television film Crossfire Trail with Tom Selleck. He had an important role in The China Syndrome. He often plays a gruff or stodgy old man, notably on the 1980s drama series Our House. His first characterization was in Absence of Malice, in which he played a small but key role as a curmudgeonly, outspoken James A. Wells, Assistant U.S. Attorney General. He expanded on this characterization in The Natural, as the world-weary manager of a hapless baseball team. He is known to Star Wars fans as Noa Briqualon in George Lucas’ 1985 made-for-TV movie Ewoks: The Battle for Endor.
Brimley was cast in the 1983 film Tender Mercies due to the urging of his good friend Robert Duvall, who was not getting along well with director Bruce Beresford and wanted “somebody down here that’s on my side, somebody that I can relate to.” Beresford felt Brimley was too old for the part, but eventually agreed to the casting. Brimley, like Duvall, clashed with the director; during one instance when Beresford tried to advise Brimley on how Harry would behave, Duvall recalled Brimley responding: “Now look, let me tell you something, I’m Harry. Harry’s not over there, Harry’s not over here. Until you fire me or get another actor, I’m Harry, and whatever I do is fine ’cause I’m Harry.“
In a change from his “good guy” roles such as those in Our House, he played William Devasher, the ominous head of security for Bendini, Lambert & Locke in the Tom Cruise film The Firm (1993), based on the novel by John Grisham.
Brimley has frequently appeared in commercials, notably a series of commercials he did for Quaker Oats Oatmeal throughout the 1980s and 1990s. The Quaker commercials were famous for their slogan: “It’s the right thing to do and the tasty way to do it.” Brimley is also known for appearing in numerous television advertisements for Liberty Medical, a company specializing in home delivery of medical products such as diabetes testing supplies.
featuring composition Quiet Heros, based on the book, Flag of our Fathers, by CHRIS BRUBECK
Chris Brubeck first distinguished himself as an innovative jazz/rock performer and composer. During the 70’s he began touring and recording with his father, Dave Brubeck. Chris plays bass, trombone, piano, guitar and sings and, in the past few decades, has earned international acclaim as composer, performer and leader of his own groups. On stage, his irrepressible enthusiasm is matched by his fluid command of jazz, blues, folk, funk, pop and classical musical styles. An award-winning composer, he is clearly tuned into the pulse of contemporary music. The respected music critic for The Chicago Tribune, John von Rhein calls Chris: “a composer with a real flair for lyrical melody–a 21st Century Lenny Bernstein.”
In the last decade, Chris has created an impressive body of symphonic work while maintaining a demanding touring and recording schedule with his two bands, the Brubeck Brothers Quartet and Triple Play. The Brubeck Brothers Quartet recently released its second Koch recording, Classified which features Chris’s composition for woodwind quintet and the BBQ “Vignettes for Nonet.” This innovative fusion of classical and jazz genres is performed with the Grammy-nominated Imani Winds. Classified and the BBQ’s first Koch release, Intuition, each resided in the top twenty on the Jazz Charts for three months in 2007 and 2008. Chris also continues to perform and record with Triple Play, an acoustic blues/jazz/folk trio with vocals that includes guitarist Joel Brown and harmonica virtuoso Peter Madcat Ruth.
Much in demand as an orchestral composer, March 31, 2007 marked the premiere of Chris’s “Quiet Heroes: A Symphonic Salute to the Flagraisers at Iwo Jima”, a moving piece for full orchestra and narrator. Commissioned by the Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra in Wisconsin, the“Quiet Heroes” premiere was narrated by Wilford Brimley. The next month, the Stockton Symphony premiered “Music is the Power”, its second Music Alive-Meet the Composer residency project with Chris. With this project, Chris set Stockton high school students’ poetry about music for full orchestra, jazz quartet, soloist and chorus. In October, 2007, the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra premiered “Spontaneous Combustion”, a fiery violin concerto Chris wrote for the talented violin soloist Nick Kendall. Then in November, 2007 Chris and the Czech National Symphony Orchestra premiered his “From the Blues to Beyond”, a concerto for trumpet and trombone with full orchestra.
In December, 2006 the Concord Chamber Music Society premiered his sextet “Danza del Soul” performed by members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. 2006 also brought the release of Chris’s second symphonic CD, Convergence, on Koch International Classics featuring the Czech National Symphony Orchestra. The disc is entirely comprised of Chris’s original compositions including Frederica von Stade singing “River of Song”, together with the title composition, “Convergence”, a piece commissioned by the Boston Pops to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Symphony Hall. The CD also includes Chris performing his second major trombone work, “Prague Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra”. (His first trombone concerto was recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra on the Koch release, Bach to Brubeck.) Reviewing Convergence, Fanfare Magazine wrote: “Brubeck’s skill both as composer and soloist is extraordinary.” In July, 2006, Chris served as composer-in-residence at the Henry Mancini Institute in Los Angeles, where he also performed his Prague Concerto with the HMI Symphony. The L.A. Times reviewed that performance writing it was “a powerful showcase … from dark-toned intimacy to tear-down-the house exuberance.”
In 2005, Chris was named Music Alive Composer-in-Residence with Peter Jaffe leading the Stockton Symphony Orchestra when he premiered a new genre-breaking piece for orchestra and actors based on the life of Mark Twain titled “Mark Twain’s World: A Symphonic Journey with Genuine Thespians.” The composition of nearly two hours was a tremendous success and generated a second Music Alive Composer-in-Residency award (leading to the premiere of “Music is the Power” in Stockton in April, 2007).
Another highlight of his compositional achievements in the past few years is his second Boston commission, the exciting “Interplay for 3 Violins and Orchestra,” with performances by violinists Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg (classical), Eileen Ivers (Irish) and Regina Carter (jazz). The concert was broadcast on PBS “Evening at Pops” which won Chris the 2002 ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for best composition for television broadcast.
In May, 2004 he premiered at Carnegie Hall “CityVisions: Concert Overture for Orchestra”, which was the first annual Skitch Henderson Commission by the New York Pops. Chris also received glowing reviews for his “River of Song,” based on children’s poetry and written for famed mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade. One such accolade came from von Stade, who says, “Chris’ wonderful orchestrations and arrangements have proven that his understanding of the classical idiom is extraordinary.” Other recent compositions include a piece entitled “On the Threshold of Liberty,” commissioned by The U.S. Army Field Band and in August, 2003 he premiered “Vignettes for Nonet” for woodwind quintet and jazz quartet. Vignettes was commissioned by a consortium consisting of the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and Bay Chamber Concerts of Rockport, Maine. The St. Paul Pioneer Press called Vignettes “… a triumphant meeting of two styles.”
On special occasions, Chris continues to guest on bass and trombone with The Dave Brubeck Quartet. Chris has worked with many diverse artists, including Frederica von Stade, Ben Luxon, Dawn Upshaw, Bill Crofut, Meryl Streep, Willie Nelson, B.B. King, Gerry Mulligan, Bela Fleck, Bobby McFerrin, Stephane Grappelli, Bobby Womack, Tower of Power, and Patti Labelle. His compositions have been performed by orchestras all around the world, including the prominent U.S. orchestras of Boston, Houston, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Washington as well as the London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Czech National Symphony Orchestra, the Russian National Orchestra, and the Singapore Chinese Orchestra.