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Just Say Yes (wind ensemble version)

wind ensemble (2019)

Recording coming soon.

Please contact for rental information.


Duration: 12 minutes
Premiere: February 11, 2020
Indiana University Symphonic Band, Eric Smedley, conductor
Commissioned by:
Indiana University — Eric M. Smedley, Department of Bands, Chair
Loyola University — Serena Weren, Director of Bands
Rowan University — Joseph Higgins, Director of Bands
Shenandoah Conservatory — Tim Robblee, Director of Bands
South Dakota State University — Jacob Wallace, Director of Bands
St. Cloud State University — Catherine Sinon Bushman, Assistant Professor of Instrumental Conducting
The United States Navy Band — Captain Kenneth Collins, Commanding Officer
University of Nebraska at Lincoln — Carolyn Barber, Director of Bands
University of Nebraska at Omaha — Karen Fannin, Director of Bands

Original orchestral version commissioned by the Seattle Symphony.


Flute 1–2
Oboe 1–3
Clarinet in Bb 1–2
Bass Clarinet
Bassoon 1–2

Soprano Saxophone
Alto Saxophone
Tenor Saxophone
Baritone Saxophone

Trumpet in Bb 1–3
Horn in F 1–4
Trombone 1–2
Bass Trombone

Electric Bass

Timpani – 4 drums
Percussion (3 Players)
Percussion 1: Glockenspiel, Xylophone, Crotales (pitches F, G), Sizzle Cymbal, Medium Suspended Cymbal
Percussion 2: Vibraphone, Woodblock, Large Suspended Cymbal, Bass Drum
Percussion 3: Small Triangle, Crotales (pitches C, D, E, F, A, B), Snare Drum, Marimba, Large Tom Tom

Drum Set

program note

Just Say Yes was originally commissioned by the Seattle Symphony as part of its Sonic Evolution project that celebrates the past and future of Seattle’s music scene. The work was created in collaboration with longtime Yes drummer Alan White, who played the drumset in the premiere performance. This version for wind ensemble was created for a consortium of wind ensemble organizations across the US.

It is quite amazing that the band Yes has been going strong for over 40 years and that the group has produced one of the largest discographies of any band in popular music history, with music that speaks to multiple generations of listeners. Such a long history and diverse body of work make creating a piece that reflects the power and popularity of the music of Yes an engaging and challenging experience! Alan White’s influence was invaluable to the creative process. We discussed how to best “Yessify” this piece during this collaboration. Through experimentation, a lot of listening and studying, and a few play-by-play tours through songs of different eras, several core musical elements that travel through Yes’ music surfaced in my ear. Ultimately the goal has been to lightly clothe my musical language with stylistic elements of the group so that both ring loud and clear.

recent performances

April 28, 2022
UNO Symphonic Wind Ensemble
Conducted by Dr. Karen Fannin
University of Nebraska at Omaha
Omaha, Nebraska

February 11, 2020
Indiana University Symphonic Band
Eric Smedley, conductor
Musical Arts Center, Indiana University
Bloomington, IN