Commissioned by the East Carolina University Wind Ensemble, Scott Carter, conductor. Dedicated to its founder Herbert L. Carter. Premiere March 27, 2007 at Meymandi Concert Hall, Raleigh, N.C., ECU Wind Ensemble, Scott Carter, conductor.
This piece was commissioned to commemorate the passage of a bill by the N.C. Legislature to establish a school teachers-East Carolina Normal School- which eventually became East Carolina University. The work also honors Herbert L. Carter, professor of music for many years at ECU, for his many years of dedicated service to music education.
To my ears, much wind ensemble and band music sounds monotonous in its scoring (orchestration). There are many more colors to choose from in bands than orchestra, and I like to take advantage of these choices. I decided to contrast the colors of different consorts of instruments. I also wanted contrasting moods in this piece---noble and heroic; soft and delicate; introspective and yearning.
I chose a hybrid form-a combination sonata/ternary form. (Intro) A-B-A (Coda). The A section (Exposition) has two themes, one heroic, an Allegro Maestoso in 6/4, then a delicate Waltz in 6/4. The B section has new material, a broad 4/4 choral featuring first, a saxophone quartet, then a woodwind consort. The recapitulation restates earlier themes in different colors and keys and the coda is a juxtaposition of the 4/4 chorale with the heroic 6/4 rhythmic pattern. The piece is full of contrasts in terms of color, sound, meter, mood and texture. All passages fit “under the fingers”, but demands of dynamic range are many, from delicate pianissimo melodic woodwind passages to full fortissimo brass fanfares.
For standard collegiate wind ensemble, challenging for the players but accessible to the audience.
~Commissioned by East Carolina University Wind Ensemble to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the University (2007)