piccolo, flute, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, percussion, piano, strings
notes by Wayne Bohrnstedt
Wayne Bohrnstedt served on the faculty of the University of Redlands for 40 years, retiring in 1993. The Festival Overture was composed in 1956 as his contribution to the first annual Symposium of American Orchestral Music, which was sponsored by the University of Redlands School of Music. These symposia premiered over seventy compositions over a period of several years, and the Musicians Union Trust Fund subsidized the hiring of many Hollywood studio musicians to supplement the Redlands University Orchestra for the occasion.
The Festival Overture is written in a traditional sonata-allegro form and is built on a hexatonic scale consiting of alternating minor triads and minor seconds, which allows the use of major, minor, and augmented triads, as well as several types of seventh chords, but disallows the diminished triad and dominant and diminished seventh chords.