The composer's father, Jack Prescott, was born in 1922, and at the age of 17 became the youngest pilot in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He was somewhat of a daredevil, flying under drawbridges and doing snap rolls down deserted beaches at an altitude of 50 feet. During World War II he joined the Army Air Corps and flew C-47 transport planes from India to China over the Himalayan mountains. He flew 83 missions and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross by President Harry Truman. The heroism of these flights in the face of severe adversity is depicted by the dignified thematic material of the opening. Somewhat dissonant fanfares appear at times, reminding us of the constant dangers that were ever present, before the work concludes in ultimate triumph.
This work also honors the career of friend and teacher James Barnes, who has always been a barnstormer in his own fashion.
Echoes of the Morning Trumpet is based on a hymn tune entitled Morning Trumpet by B.F. White that was first published in The Sacred Harp Hymn Book of 1844, a book that was originally printed in shaped notes. The Sacred Harp style of singing is characterized by stark chords with plenty of open fifths and equal participation by all performers who sit and stand in blocks, by section, facing the leader in the middle. This piece features a trumpet solo in the opening, accompanied by the singing of the members of the ensemble. Various treatments of the hymn that highlight the ensemble colors follow before the magnificent close.
This work was written to honor the distinguished career of Robert E. Foster, trumpeter and music educator.
The Heart's Reflection was originally written for eight-part mixed chorus as a sort of tone poem to Proverbs 27:19: "Just as the water reflects the face, so one human heart reflects another." Broad and symphonic in nature, it reflects these words freely, exploring the emotions behind each. From the original program notes: "It serves as a poignant reminder of the spiritual kinship that exists within humanity and the necessity that we must see ourselves in the hearts of others." The variety of textures and instrumental colors enhance the tonal spectrum of the original and bring out the expressive nature of the work.
Bring back memories of a bygone era with this light and breezy musical journey through a scenic country landscape. Brisk and lighthearted, you can almost feel the gentle breeze and sun on your face as the pleasantly rhythmic sound of horses' hooves whisks you along in a horse-dawn carriage. Appropriate for year-round performances, you can add the optional sleigh bell part for delightful winter treks over snow-covered trails on your winter or holiday programs.
The jet stream is a fast-moving current of air found high in the atmosphere that directly affects the weather all around the globe. This composition portrays the various speeds and motions of these powerful air currents that have a major influence throughout the world. An opening series of festive fanfares introduces the arrival of this majestic force of nature, followed by the flowing melody that soars throughout - much like the fast-moving rivers of air that make up this irrepressible force of nature.
Letters from the Battlefield was commissioned by the Land of Grant Honor Band to commemorate the end of the American Civil War. The collected letters of U.S. Grant reveal much information about the thoughts and emotions he was experiencing around the events of the Civil War. Some of the letters are tenderhearted, written in moments of sentimental passion; others are very clear and emphatic statements that he will do whatever it takes to bring the war to a close. The many moods and emotions expressed in his correspondence are reflected in the various sections of this powerful and moving work. An outstanding concert work, it is also appropriate for Civil War or patriotic commemorative ceremonies.
Chivalry dates back to the medieval institution of knighthood; while its meaning has changed over time, Of Chivalry and Valor celebrates some of the central tenets deeply rooted in the original chivalric code. The militaristic opening depicts a courageous battle where knights demonstrated their loyalty, bravery, and valor, followed by softer and gentler values such as generosity and selflessness. For the finale we return to the battlefield to witness the chivalrous warriors' heroic triumph. Of Chivalry and Valor was commissioned and premiered by Anthony Rivera, Eastern Technical High School, Baltimore County Public Schools and won the National Band Association Merrill Jones Composition Contest in 2014.
On a Catalonian Carol is a setting of the traditional Catalan carol El Noi de la Mare (The Child of the Mother). This lyric carol originates from the Catalan region of Spain, and the stylish influences of that country are evident in the flowing lines of the touching melody. This setting is not a direct transcription of the song but rather a carefully scored rendition that supports and enhances the elements of the original, allowing the simple beauty of the melody to be placed on full display.