Wind Ensemble Music
On August 25, 2009, the nation lost one of its most monumental and influential legislators of our time. Edward Moore Kennedy was a senator, diplomat, pioneer, devoted father, and lover of the arts and culture - but most of all Senator Kennedy was an advocate for the common man. Let this piece of music remind all of us of the challenges we face in our own lives and the way which we have managed to take them on with courage, determination, and wisdom; in honor of the Senator’s words, “The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the Dream shall never die.”
"Boston Strong" was first conceived in 2013 as a reaction to the indomitable spirit with which Bostonian's met the challenge of the 2013 Marathon Bombings. As the story unfolds this thematic transformation serves to represent feeling of energy, reflection, and most importantly strength. The music builds to a climactic finish meant to embody and celebrate the insurmountable heroism, fortitude, and resolve shown by the people of Boston in the face of tragedy.
Symphony No. 1 for Band: Ohi yo'
The State of Ohio takes its name from the Ohio River and the Sececa-Iroquois word “Ohi yo’” meaning “Great River” or “Large Creek.” As I’ve toured Ohio, starting with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, and then living in Columbus and studying at The Ohio State University, I have had the pleasure of seeing four of the major rivers in the state, which have provided the inspiration for my Symphony No. 1 for Band: Ohi-yo’.
Each movement focuses on a different river, and takes its inspiration from the Native American etymology behind that name. The piece begins with an opening statement of the main theme set against the murder ballad “On the Banks of the Ohio.”
The music then leads into the first movement, Scioto. The name translates to deer in the Iroquois language. The opening theme depicts the peacefulness of wildlife along the river banks. As the music progresses, the theme is intertwined with the well-known fiddle tune “Big Sciota” turning the wind symphony into a bluegrass ensemble!
The second movement, inspired by the Cuyahoga River, begins with an ominous rendition of the main theme as a reminder of the great Cuyahoga river fire in 1969. The music settles on a peaceful tone as this incident eventually led to the passage of the Clean Water Act. Next, a sweeping theme takes the listener out over Lake Erie and the beautiful gorges in the Northern part of the state while intertwining the state song “Beautiful Ohio.”
Olentangy in the Delaware language means “A Knife in a Stone” or “The River of the Red Face Paint.” The third movement features the percussion section playing Iroquois celebration drumming under triumphant horn calls. The Olentangy theme is then set against the chant of the Iroquois stomp dance.
Finally, the Ohio River is represented by a Hoe-down like river song alluding to the role the Ohio River played in American Industrialization and Expansion. About half way through the movement, I bring in the 1840’s folk song made famous by Aaron Copland when it was arranged for part of his Old American Songs “The Boatman’s Dance.” The song features the lyrics “Hi-hoe the Boatman Row, Floating Down the River on the Ohio” bringing the piece to a thrilling climax before ending on a somber but peaceful note as the solo Oboe re-states “On the Banks of the Ohio.”
See and here the World Premier performance of
"Symphony No. 1" by The Ohio State Wind Symphony
in the link to the right! (Starts at 39:00).
“Kapow!” gets its name from one of the most common words found sprawled across the page of a comic book or a cartoon screen. Growing up, I was always a fan of action, adventure, and heroes which often served as inspiration for long days running around and playing outside with friends.
When John Glenn passed away at the end of my first semester at Ohio State, I began to reflect on his remarkable legacy and contributions to our national landscape as a veteran, astronaut, and senator. Given John and Annie Glenn’s close connections with The Ohio State University, this piece presented itself as an ideal project to work on with the Symphonic Band.
Here the first cut of the Rhode Island Recording Ensemble's official recording at the link below!
The National Hymn of Kappa Kappa Psi was written by Scott Jeffery Heckstall Jr., from the Eta Gamma chapter, in 1977; it was adopted as the National Hymn in 1995. It was based on a hymn Heckstall knew called “Someday” which I chose as the title for this piece. Someday was featured in the Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma National Publication “The Podium” in the Fall of 2011.
Leader of the Band
Ron Stabile passed away in March 2012. Ron was my percussion instructor, mentor, and friend. This piece is dedicated to Ron. He made learning fun and was always happy to listen, give advice, and help. He was energetic, full of ideas, and had a great sense of humor. Like Harold Hill at the end of The Music Man leading the parade, Ron Stabile truly was the “Leader of the Band.”
Release! was commissioned by McCarthy Middle School in Chelmsford, MA in honor of Romer, the school's service dog. Whether it be helping students, faculty, and stuff or playing with the students, or even performing with the Friday morning lobby band on his maracas, Romer is an integral and inspiring part of the school's community. The music aims to capture Roner's fun-loving and upbeat personality as well as the joy that comes from having a relationship with human's best friend. This piece is meant to celebrate service animals everywhere for their hard work, dedication, and love.