Joel's Polka

CODE: AP-03023


No sample
JOEL'S POLKA by Josef Kuneš is arranged by Joel Blahník for Mixed Brass Quintet (2 Trumpet, French Horn, Trombone, Tuba). Grade: 3-4 Duration: 1:28
Background and Performance Notes are in the Resources tab.
Background and Performing Notes
For a small work of only 27 measures, Joel’s Polka, has a big story!  It was given as a gift by a septet of musicians from the Czech Republic as a token of gratitude to Joel Blahnik, a Czech-American 
composer/conductor who took on the responsibility of organizing their first American tour during October of 2003.  There is a fabulous story to this young Bagpipe Ensemble of Domažlice from Southwest Bohemia which is composed of a pair of clarinets, a pair of strings, a pair of singers, and a single bagpiper.  
These musicians, all in their mid-20s have toured much of the world since 1996 (including Japan).  Classically-trained musicians, they have dedicated their lives to the preservation and promotion of the rich folk music from their region of SW Bohemia called "Chodsko."  In 1994, these 7 students came together (their age was about 15 at the time) and decided to form this ensemble having been students at the Domažlice Music School under the direction of Stanislav Tomala.  The leader was Josef Kuneš 
(pron. KOO-nesh), the composer of this polka.  Reaching back into their music of the past three 
centuries, they give great authenticity to their folk art, not only the music, but to the costuming, and other rich elements and traditions of their unique culture, a tribute all who have maintained the folk traditions so well in this Chodsko region!  
Versatility is the key note to this ensemble—one never knows what will happen next in their presentations!  With humorous creativity and yet with heart-filled tenderness, they cover the gamut of musical expression.  
Josef Kuneš is a master of woodwind instruments and is presently a string bass and composition major at the Prague Conservatory.  His heart is in his folk music, as witnessed by his scholarship and by the manner in which he lectures on the history of his folk musical art.  
Other members of this ensemble include an opera singer, a jazz musician, an attorney, a costume designer/seamstress, a hairdress and music teachers in Germany and Czech Republic, all solidly trained musicians.  They possess great stage charisma, are very entertaining, and bring joy to all who witness their splendid musicianship.  Certainly, they are magnificent ambassadors of Czech culture!  
If interested in having direct contact with this marvelous ensemble, contact our API office.  We can provide you with brochures and full CD recordings.
Joel’s Polka,  is a classic of musical form: A,B,A,C,A, with B in the dominant key, and C in the sub-dominant key.  
In a letter dated, October 7, 2003, which accompanied the presentation of the full manuscript score and CD recording to Joel, the ensemble said: "...We have been thinking for a long time how we could thank you for your tremendous work which you have done for us...we decided to compose a song for you...Well, it's your song!  The CD plus the manuscript belongs to you now and you can do it."