Stanley E. Saxton (1904-2002) was professor emeritus of music at Skidmore College. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music from Syracuse University; he also studied organ with Marcel Dupre and Charles Marie Widor at the American School in Fontainbleau in France, as well as composition with Nadia Boulanger. He held his first church organist job at the age of 12, formed his own orchestra as a college freshman, and toured Europe with Paul Whiteman’s Collegians. A member of the American Guild of Organists, Saxton designed and built many pipe organs in the eastern U.S. He also pursued research in indigenous folk music as source material for compositions, and composed many published works for organ, piano, voice, and chorus.
"Festival Procession" was published by G. Schirmer, Inc. in 1961.
It's very grand, and a cool piece, but I think this will be a big SMILE PRODUCER!
My mother was a BIG fan of religious movies of the late 50's and early 60's. Films like "Ben Hur", "The Robe", "The Greatest Story ever told" were some of her favorites.
I can't help but feel that there are many elements of those films in many of Saxton's pieces, and certainly in "Festival Procession"!
It begins with a march/fanfare that, when listening, will not be hard to imagine the Roman legions marching along on their way to conquest.
The middle section depicts one of those "palace party scenes" where we see the "silken girls bring sherbert."
Soon, the legions are on the march again, and the final passage brings everything to a glorious victory procession!
Look! There he is! "Hail, Caesar!"
I can't attach the score because of copyright issues, but you can contact me directly if you are interested in it.
A photo of Stanley Saxton is attached below. I think this is during a lesson at Swarthmore College, and the organ is a big 4-manual Austin.
Notice the lights near the music rack and by the stops? Those things were metal and got so hot they'd cook you if you made contact!!!