This creative work is one more addition to a series of band pieces that musically describe the fictional saga of an alien invasion. In this installment, the mysterious and persistent visitors from outer space are continuing their quest for world domination with a new and formidable weapon, a giant robotic android. Massive and ominous, it clanks along seemingly unstoppable as the alien troops march forward, bent on total conquest. Effective as a standalone piece, you can also combine it with the other works Aliens Landing (In Your Backyard!), Alien Invasion, and Aliens Among Us for a complete musical sci-fi mini series.
Centrifuge was written for the 2015 Southeastern Louisiana Middle School Band Camp and its director, Paul Frechou. This piece portrays a centrifuge vigorously spinning with no sign of slowing down or stopping. An allegro tempo is used to fuel the drive and impetus throughout this energetic musical depiction of a whirling perpetual motion dynamo. The opening theme is first presented by clarinets playing in their lowest register as the machine starts up and begins to build up speed. Underlying the entire work is a pulsating percussion section which provides the thrust and forward motion along with various syncopated rhythms contributed by the winds.
Christmas on the Thames is a fantasy of English Christmas carols circling around the beloved melody I Saw Three Ships. It reflects the buzz of activity both on the streets of London and on board a schooner bound for port loaded with cargo and gifts. Decorations are put in the shop windows; the aroma of warm chestnuts and puddings fill the air; carolers sing and wassail is drunk. The piece culminates with the ship pulling up to the dock to the sounds of celebratory cheers and ringing church bells. Merry Christmas, guv'nor!
Keystone Regatta was commissioned by the bands of Cleveland, Glenpool, and Skiatook, Oklahoma in recognition of Steve and Mary Snider and their outstanding commitment and contribution to the music students of eastern Oklahoma. The regal opening and spirited themes treat the listener to an impressive musical presentation that also serves as a fitting tribute to these two dedicated and respected music supporters. Suitable for both concert and festival presentations, it gives developing bands the opportunity to explore new challenges and experience well-crafted musical material at their next performance.
Power Play was commissioned by band director Robert Ball and the Mill Creek Middle School Band, Shawnee, Kansas. This exciting addition to young band repertoire was written to deliver an energetic element to concert programs. Pushing the tempo will help players develop their technique and, along with exaggerating the accents, will contribute to the driving force of the piece. While the overall effect sounds difficult, it is very playable by middle or high school bands and will be a reliable power source for your next performance.
Relentless is an aggressive and hard-charging piece for concert band that was inspired by the belief that we all, in our own way, have the ability to be unstoppable if we choose to be. Inside everyone there is a pool of positive energy, determination, and drive that, when utilized, can overcome any obstacle or hardship. We must all call on this inner strength and resolve to be relentless in the pursuit of our dreams and convictions.
This tone poem evokes an imaginary saga of the rise to power of a medieval realm led by a valiant young knight against tyrannical forces. A dramatic and bold opening sets the stage as these warriors set out to deliver the peasants from despair and oppression. The action intensifies until the warriors bring the battle to a victorious conclusion with the land and people they fought for emerging to become The Rising Kingdom.
Spirit of Olympus was commissioned by director Elaine Wersky and the Olympus Music Program on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Olympus Junior High School. Wersky asked that the celebratory work also provide a middle section that could serve as an alma mater for the school. The true spirit of the student body is reflected in the great opening fanfare in the high brass with strong support from the percussion section. The alma mater is first presented by the full woodwind choir supported with glistening metallic percussion as accompaniment. A lush full-band treatment follows, emphasizing the majestic import of the meaningful melody. An energetic finale brings the work to a fittingly proud and regal close.
American pop culture is full of examples of the merging and melding of different artistic styles that end up with surprising and entertaining results. This work for young band is no exception as the timeless music of Tchaikovsky often heard at the holidays trades in ballet shoes for guiros and timbales. Many of the original rhythms of the ballet music have been altered to convey an authentic-sounding samba dance style. Holding true to the form of the original work, this setting of Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy presents a decidedly different twist on a holiday classic, allowing students to learn to play a wonderful Latin dance style.