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Perseids

wind ensemble (2015)

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instrumentation

3 Flutes (1st doubling piccolo)
2 Oboes
4 Clarinets in Bb
1 Bass Clarinet in Bb
2 Bassoons
1 Contrabassoon

2 Alto Saxophones
1 Tenor Saxophone
1 Baritone Saxophone

3 Trumpets in Bb
4 Horns in F
2 Tenor Trombones
1 Bass Trombone
1 Tuba

Double Bass

Celeste

Timpani (4 drums)

6 Percussionists:
1. Vibraphone
2. Marimba
3. Xylophone, Suspended Cymbal (large), Sizzle Cymbal, Tam-Tam
4. Glockenspiel, Snare Drum
5. Crotales, Wood Block, Bass Drum, Floor Tom, Crash Cymbal
6. Triangle (medium), Shaker (large), Bongos (pair), 3 Toms, Hi-Hat, Sizzle Cymbal


details

Duration: 7 minutes
Premiere: December 3, 2015
Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA
Commissioned by:
Louisiana State University – Damon Talley, Director of Bands
Eastern Michigan University – Mary Schneider, Director of Bands
Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University – Harlan Parker, Conductor
Shenandoah Conservatory – Tim Robblee, Director of Bands
Texas State University – Caroline Beatty, Director of Bands
University of Nebraska – Carolyn Barber, Director of Bands


purchase

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Parts for hire: $275
Additional performance: $95
Please email to arrange rental.


program note

The Perseids are a meteor shower visible in the Northern Hemisphere during the months of July and August. Each year at that time, the earth passes through a cloud of debris left from the Comet Swift-Tuttle, creating a prolific display of natural fireworks as the rubble enters the earth’s atmosphere and burns through the sky. For the past several years, a group of friends and I have taken a summertime trip to Ocracoke Island in North Carolina, where we spend hours every night watching this natural display of fireworks from a crow’s nest deck. Far from city lights, it is possible to see deeply into the night sky, which is punctuated by “shooting stars” from every direction.

I am fascinated by the idea of the sky as time machine—that most of what we are seeing is infinitely old, because the light from those stars has been traveling for eons. By the time it reaches our eyes, the star may have transformed completely, or it might not exist at all. Perhaps this is why the fleeting sight of a meteor feels like a special event: It is science of the present moment.

The music of Perseids draws upon experiences of those nighttime sky-watching sessions—the glowing band of the Milky Way, pulsing satellites moving quickly across the sky, constellations and layers of clouds, and of course, plenty of shooting stars. Beginning with slow, overlapping layers of sound underneath a melody that works it’s way through the wind instruments, the music gradually coalesces into a vigorous, celebratory verse-chorus song structure.


recent performances

February 20, 2019
University of Texas Wind Symphony
Scott Hanna, conductor
Bates Recital Hall
University of Texas
Austin, TX

November 3, 2018
DC Different Drummers Capitol Pride Symphonic Band
Anthony Oakley, conductor
Church of the Epiphany
Washington, DC

September 27, 2018
Duke University Wind Symphony
Verena Mösenbichler-Bryant, conductor
Baldwin Auditorium
Duke University
Durham, NC

April 11, 2018
Peabody Wind Ensemble
Harlan Parker, conductor
Miriam A. Friedberg Concert Hall
The Peabody Institute of The John Hopkins University
Baltimore, MD

March 25, 2018
Rainbow City Concert Band
Timothy V. Norris, Jr., conductor
Shorecrest Performing Arts Center
15343 25th Ave NE
Shoreline, WA

February 24, 2018
Indiana University Symphonic Band
Eric Smedley, conductor
CBDNA North Central Conference
Miller Auditorium, Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo, MI

February 6, 2018
Indiana University Symphonic Band
Eric Smedley, conductor
Musical Arts Center, Indiana University
Bloomington, IN


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