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Music for Wind Ensemble

FROM WHENCE THEY CAME (Grade 5-6) 

Commissioned for and premiered by the Wando High School Symphonic Band at the 2019 Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, IL. and is an impression of the totality of the 1619 enslavement of West African natives and the subsequent, resultant establishment of and growth of what became the Gullah culture within the Charleston area and deeply southeastern parts of the country. Instead of attempting to build an historical timeline, it paints a portrait that is more the sum of their experience along the way to Gullah.  If there were a painting that included in its scope all of the timeline at once, this could be a soundtrack.  There are elements of oppression, celebration, assimilation, heritage, struggle, resoluteness, faith, resilience, determination, and a deep appreciation for their rich contributions to the world in which they found themselves then and even now, 400 years later. 

ONLY LIGHT, ONLY LOVE (Grade 4) 

Dedicated to Alfred Watkins, this introspective work is based on a 1957 sermon quote by Martin Luther King, Jr. It was performed at the 2018 Midwest Clinic in Chicago, IL by the Cobb Wind Symphony, Alfred L. Watkins, conductor.  Named to the ABC Bandworld Magazine WIBC "Top 100 of 2018" 

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness.
Only Light can do that. 

Hatred cannot drive out hatred.
Only Love can do that." 

IN MY PERFECT PLACE (Grade 3) 

Commissioned by Connie Grantham for the Fort Mill Middle School Band, "In My Perfect Place" is a celebration of the life of a young Fort Mill Middle School student whose courage in the face of cancer became an inspiration to all those around her. Jenna lost her battle when she was twelve years old, just two days after Christmas in 2006, but she continues to live on in the memories of those she touched and in the lives she changed forever.  It was named to the ABC Bandworld Magazine WIBC "Top 100 of 2018," and performed by at the 72nd Midwest Clinic by Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS, Alex Kaminsky, conductor.  (JW Pepper "Editor's Choice) 


Dark and starry sky, It stretches as far as the eye can see, 

There's no one around to nag me

It's just me and space, The clear night sky is infinite

I can float peacefully, Race the comets

Dance with the stars, Do whatever I please

For I am in my perfect place.

--Jenna Witherspoon

PIECES OF GLASS (Grade 3.5) 

Homage to Philip Glass

 

This minimalist-style work celebrates the wonderfully expressive and intuitive qualities that are the genius of Philip Glass. It is a dynamic work for young band that takes listeners on a journey through delicate staccato iterations, and sweeping lyrical passages, and powerful chordal punches.

SARCOPHAGUS (Grade 3)

Dance of the Immortals

Originally written for the DuBose Middle School Band in Summerville, SC, this is a depiction of the dances of the immortals who are not bound by the confines of their tombs. Whispers and chants from the ensemble combine with fast-paced melodies to make this a spooky and exciting addition to a concert!  (JW Pepper "Editor's Choice.")