program notes by composition > S > Symphonic Dance No. 3 "Fiesta"

Symphonic Dance No. 3 “Fiesta”

Clifton Williams

Symphonic Dance No. 3 “Fiesta” is one of five symphonic dances commissioned by the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra to celebrate its 25th anniversary in 1964. The composer rescored this work for band, and it was first performed in 1967 by the University of Miami Band.

This dance reflects the excitement and color of San Antonio’s many Mexican celebrations, what the composer called "the pageantry of Latin American celebration – street bands, bull fights, bright costumes, the colorful legacy of a proud people." The introductory brass fanfare creates an atmosphere of tense anticipation, while the bells, solo trumpet, and woodwinds herald the arrival of an approaching festival. The brass announce the matador's arrival to the bull- ring, and the finale evokes a joyous climax to the festivities.

Clifton Williams (1923–1976) was a pianist, French hornist, music theorist, conductor, prominent music educator, and leading composer of instrumental music. He attended Louisiana State University and Eastman School of Music. He also served in the Army Air Corps band as a drum major, composing in his spare time. He taught at the University of Texas and at the University of Miami where he was chairman of theory and composition.