Music for the Tsars is now being shown on WUGA-TV, the public television station owned and operated by UGA. Broadcast dates and times are available at wugatv.org.
“The 90-minute documentary reveals one of the little-known treasures of the music world and, for the first time, brings a performance of that thrilling music from Russia to UGA,” said Jimmy Sanders, station director.
Music for the Tsars follows three UGA graduate students, George C. Foreman, director of the university’s Performing Arts Center, and John Lynch, UGA director of bands, on a trip to Moscow and St. Petersburg in Russia, as they bring a rediscovered set of band marches, once performed for the Russian tsars, to the UGA campus. It is believed those band marches had never been performed outside of Russia, according to Sanders.
The UGA group traveled to St. Petersburg to study the manuscript scores of three marches written by the Italian composer Gioachino Rossini. He composed the marches in honor of Tsar Nicholas I in the early 1800s. The graduate students edited and prepared the marches so they could be performed using modern-day instruments. The UGA Wind Ensemble performed the rediscovered music in a concert on campus in the fall of 2013. Portions of that performance are included in Music for the Tsars.
The documentary was videotaped against the backdrop of Red Square, St. Basil’s Cathedral, the Hermitage and other historical sites that bring to life the rich history of Russia.
“This documentary explores how UGA faculty and students uncovered works that were later performed in America,” said Melissa Jackson, executive producer-writer for WUGA-TV. “It incorporates the cross-cultural partnership that brought those ancient musical treasures to the University of Georgia.”
Underwriting support for Music for the Tsars was provided by the UGA President’s Venture Fund, the Graduate School, the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and the Performing Arts Center at UGA. Additional production support was provided by LifeSprings Media.
WUGA-TV is operated by UGA through a partnership with Georgia Public Broadcasting.