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America the Beautiful

America the Beautiful

for band

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America the Beautiful

America the Beautiful

America the Beautiful
Duration: 4 minutes
Grade: 4

Premiere: July 20, 2014; National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (orchestra version); Purchase, NY

America the Beautiful, beloved as a favorite patriotic hymn of many Americans, in some cases doubles as the U.S.’s unofficial second national anthem. The timeless words of Katharine Lee Bates set to Samuel A. Ward’s melody evoke the good and peaceful characteristics of our country.

This version, originally composed as an orchestral arrangement for the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America as an encore for their 2014 tour, can be performed with or without chorus and/or audience participation. It is meant to portray the energy and optimism that our nation’s best young musicians experience as they combine their collective talents for an inspired summer of music creation.

Performance note:

The arrangement may be performed with or without singing. If there is singing, the first verse of singing may be optionally omitted or hummed instead of sung, as desired. Vocal parts are available separately.


The National Youth Orchestra of the USA performs America the Beautiful

America the Beautiful

America the Beautiful

$15.00

for orchestra
score only
parts available on rental

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America the Beautiful

America the Beautiful

America the Beautiful
Duration: 4 minutes

Premiere: July 20, 2014; National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America; Purchase, NY

America the Beautiful, beloved as a favorite patriotic hymn of many Americans, in some cases doubles as the U.S.’s unofficial second national anthem. The timeless words of Katharine Lee Bates set to Samuel A. Ward’s melody evoke the good and peaceful characteristics of our country.

This version, originally composed for the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America as an encore for their 2014 tour, can be performed with or without chorus and/or audience participation. It is meant to portray the energy and optimism that our nation’s best young musicians experience as they combine their collective talents for an inspired summer of music creation.

Performance note:

The arrangement may be performed with or without singing. If there is singing, the first verse of singing may be optionally omitted or hummed instead of sung, as desired. Vocal parts are available separately.


The National Youth Orchestra of the USA performs America the Beautiful

Battery Park Suite

Battery Park Suite

for band


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Battery Park Suite

Battery Park Suite

Battery Park Suite
Duration: 10 minutes
Grade: 5/6

Premiere: April 30, 2003, New Trier High School Symphonic Wind Ensemble at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois

Featured at the Illinois MEA All-State Conference

Battery Park Suite was written on commission from the New Trier High School (IL) Symphonic Wind Ensemble. I envisioned a composition which would feature the group’s outstanding percussion section. While this piece certainly does contain a considerable amount of percussion playing, I also used the qualities of the different percussion instruments as an organizing and structural principle for the ensemble and the work as a whole.

In the first three movements, I limited myself to using only the instruments from a single group in the percussion. Thus, the four movements are as follows:
  1. Metal - bright, shiny, brilliant;
  2. Drum - resonant, echoing, but also distant;
  3. Wood - sharp, biting, quick and rhythmic;
  4. Finale - a reworking of earlier material, using all the different types of percussion.
The titles of the first three movements are also types of objects that one might encounter in a park. As a New York City resident, the titles of my recent compositions have recalled different aspects of this city. This piece continues that trend, evoking the downtown park that overlooks the harbor, but there’s an appropriate twist - “battery” is also a term for the percussion section of a musical ensemble.

Bristol Hills Fanfare

Bristol Hills Fanfare

for band


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Bristol Hills Fanfare

Bristol Hills Fanfare

Bristol Hills Fanfare

Duration: 1½ minutes
Grade: 4/5

Premiere: August 16, 1997, Bristol Hills Music Camp Senior Band, Canandaigua, New York. Gary Stith, conductor

Featured at the 1997 New York State School Music Association Conference

Bristol Hills Fanfare is a vibrant and festive work which was commissioned by the Bristol Hills Music Camp Senior Band in commemoration of the 35th anniversary of the camp. The opening motive of a fourth, introduced by the brass, is developed in the fanfare’s primary theme stated by the winds. Polychordal punctuation and brilliant chords lead quickly to a percussion soli. This segues into a broad, expansive second theme as the first theme is simultaneously sounded in augmentation by the basses. As the opening character of this short work is reasserted, the band plays in rhythmic unison on its way to the end of the fanfare.

Departure Point

Departure Point

for piano and wind ensemble


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Departure Point

Departure Point

Departure Point
Duration: 11 minutes
Grade: 5

Premiere: October 2, 2004, Saint Mary’s University Wind Ensemble, Winona, MN. Danuta Szlubowska, piano; Philip Rothman, conductor

When Saint Mary’s University in Minnesota, a Catholic university, commissioned this work for piano based on Jewish musical material, I knew it was a rare opportunity to realize how one musical tradition relates to another.

My point of departure was a melody one chants prior to reading the Book of Prophets in the Sabbath synagogue service. And as this commission was given in an ecumenical spirit, the piece I came to write was then four variations on this melody. Each variation is written in a different style that recalls some of the great composers of the last century.

In other words, I do not present the theme in a “traditional” Jewish way, but rather in a broader sense—much like traditional blessings traverse time and place, remaining constant yet nonetheless evolving by context.

The Gift of Peace

The Gift of Peace

for band


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The Gift of Peace

The Gift of Peace

The Gift of Peace
Duration: 5 minutes
Grade: 3/4

Premiere: May 24, 2007; Nansemond-Suffolk Academy Band, Suffolk, VA

The Gift of Peace is based on an earlier a cappella choral work I wrote in memory of Yitzhak Rabin. When beginning work on this new band piece, I found myself gravitating toward those melodies and harmonies that I composed some years ago, and the rich, full texture of wind band seemed like a natural fit for the chorale-like setting. The simplicity and universal message of peace and hope that was so central to what Rabin believed in is as relevant as ever. The title comes from the priestly benediction: “May the Lord turn his countenance unto you and give you peace.”

The Gift of Peace can be performed as a stand-alone band work or together with SATB chorus.

Monument Fanfare and Tribute

Monument Fanfare and Tribute

for band


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Monument Fanfare and Tribute

Monument Fanfare and Tribute

Monument Fanfare and Tribute
Duration: 4 minutes
Grade: 5/6

Premiere: April 27, 2000; United States Military Academy Band, New York

Commissioned by the Grant Monument Association

Every year thousands gather at the General Grant National Memorial in Manhattan, popularly known as Grant’s Tomb, to commemorate the birthday of Civil War hero and former President Ulysses S. Grant. The monument, internationally famous, is the largest building of its kind in the Western hemisphere and unprecedented in American history. To celebrate the millennial anniversary of this observance, Monument Fanfare and Tribute was premiered at the monument on April 27, 2000.

Monument Fanfare and Tribute is a brilliant, stirring composition inspired by the grandeur of the Grant monument as well as the promise of the new millennium. Its opening brass flourishes are designed to evoke the festive nature of this outdoor communal gathering. After this initial fanfare recedes, an elegant, expansive theme emerges which conveys the "tribute" in the title. This dignified yet spirited tune is introduced quietly to distinguish a contrast with the initial bombast. The composer used the letters of Grant’s name in a musical fashion to spell out the first notes of this melody. The theme steadily builds in scope and volume until it is time for the brass fanfare to excitedly reappear. The main theme is then jubilantly presented as the composition reaches a sweeping, joyous conclusion.

Monument Fanfare and Tribute has been featured at The Midwest Clinic, the international conference Wind Music Across the Century at the New England Conservatory, and at the Virginia Intercollegiate Band Directors Symposium for New Music.

Starsplitter

Starsplitter

for band


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Starsplitter

Starsplitter

Starsplitter
Duration: 6 minutes
Grade: 5/6

Premiere: May 2, 2007; New Trier High School Symphonic Wind Ensemble at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois.

Starsplitter is a fast-moving, colorful soundscape, with each instrument playing an important role in the vibrant sonic palette. I arrived at the title after considering many combinations of celestial terms to describe this piece’s explosive energy.

Rock of Ages

Rock of Ages

$2.00

for SATB chorus

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Rock of Ages

Rock of Ages

Rock of Ages (MaozTsur)
SATB chorus
Duration: 4 minutes

Commissioned by the Manchester Symphony Chorale when I was 17 years old, this perennial holiday favorite features both original and traditional melodies for Hanukkah. It was immediately published by Moon of Hope Publishing and continues to remain popular more than fifteen years later.

When I set out to write a new work for the Hanukkah season, I wanted to write music that was easily recognizable as holiday music, but also original enough to be performed on its own as a concert piece. My solution was to incorporate the traditional Hebrew folk song Maoz Tsur into the work.

However, this is not merely an arrangement of a familiar tune. In fact, that tune does not manifest itself until measure 33, and even then it is harmonized in a fairly non-traditional manner. Most of the work is newly composed material that I felt would complement the pre-existing melody well. For example, the traditional melody, after its initial statement, works its way into a contrapuntal section along with two of the original melodies.

Both Hebrew and English are used in the piece, sometimes simultaneously. I did this with the realization that this music would receive most of its performances in a holiday program with Christmas music, where program notes and translations would not be available.

The Gift of Peace

The Gift of Peace

$2.00

for SATB chorus

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The Gift of Peace

The Gift of Peace

The Gift of Peace

SATB chorus
Duration: 5 minutes

When Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated in 1996, the world was profoundly saddened. His death meant that we had lost not only a great leader, but a central figure in the ongoing peace talks so crucial to Israel and the world.

The Gift of Peace is written in memory of Rabin. Rather than write a kaddish or decidedly mournful work, however, I chose the text of the priestly blessing for its simplicity and universal message of peace and hope that was so central to what Rabin believed in. The text is especially meaningful as it applies to both the State of Israel and Rabin himself. The title comes from the last line of the benediction.

The Gift of Peace can be performed as a stand-alone choral work or together with concert band.

Before Spring

Before Spring

$15.00

for English horn and piano
score and part

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Before Spring

Before Spring

Before Spring
English horn and piano
Duration: 7 minutes

Premiere: April 13, 2007, Karen Birch, English horn; St. Croix, Virgin Islands

Composed in early March 2007, this work captures my feeling of the waning weeks of winter. This familiar in-between season is when the snow falls one day but may melt the next. The clear melody lines and the tranquil harmony that bookend the piece reflect this mood. A brief interlude of activity anticipates the warmer season ahead. I was fortunate to be able to write this piece during a busy period of work; the serene sounds had a wonderful calming effect.

Six Miniatures

Six Miniatures

$35.00

for woodwind quintet
score and parts

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Six Miniatures

Six Miniatures

Six Miniatures
Woodwind quintet
Duration: 9 minutes

Premiere: June 10, 1999, Hartford City Winds; Hartford, Connecticut

In the summer of 1998 I had the pleasure of hearing my wind works performed by the City Winds woodwind quintet of Hartford. As composer-in-residence of the Evelyn Preston Foundation summer concert series, I enjoyed my involvement with the ensemble and the interaction with the audience. The series was a success. When Elana Hoffman, Artistic Director of City Winds, asked me to write a new work for their 1999 series, I happily obliged.

Six Miniatures is just that, a collection of six short pieces. As I had just finished work on dance music when I started writing the Miniatures, some of the movements have a decidedly dance-like quality about them. In fact, the opening movement is entitled “Dance”. The next three movements, “Musings”, “Intermezzo”, and “Reflections”, are designed as a subset of the entire work. Musically, they are unified through the use of a tone row and its various permutations. The fifth movement, “Pas de deux”, is particularly special to me. It is an arrangement of the duet section of my dance piece, You’re It!, which was premiered at Lincoln Center in January 1999. The final movement, “Rondo-Finale”, recalls the spirit of the first movement with a brisk tempo and a gleeful tune. Imitative counterpoint in the flute, oboe, and clarinet drive the work to its conclusion.

String Trio

String Trio

$40.00

score and parts

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String Trio

String Trio

String Trio
Violin, viola, cello
Duration: 13 minutes

Premiere: April 10, 2000, Samuel Fischer, Jonathan Brown, Raman Ramakrishnan; Paul Recital Hall, The Juilliard School, New York

This non-programmatic, contemplative work was written in the first months of 2000. After the cello quietly opens the work with haunting harmonics, the other players join in presenting the first sonic portrait of the introduction. This opening portrait, concluding with the cello plucking the open strings, serves to elucidate the central tone row of the first large section. The row’s most recognizable characteristic is the alternation of perfect fifths and ascending chromatic steps. The open fifths of the row were useful in writing idiomatically for the strings.

After a foreshadowing of the slow second section, the introduction concludes with a trill in the violin and harmonics in the viola. The rest of this section is a brisk allegro as the writing begins to take on an agitated character. This agitated frustration results in a climax with stratospheric writing for all the instruments. This material attempts to reassert itself following the climax, but it is finally subdued as the meditative second section ensues. This section, recalling material from the introduction, is designed to portray wistfulness and reflection through the open, sonorous harmonies and drone techniques.

The only truly tonal moment in the piece comes after an intense, passionate harmonic progression leading to a plaintive yet restful cadence in G major. The cello harmonics which began the work are superimposed on this G major chord. The chord finally dies away, as the mysterious, serial introduction is recapitulated in the coda. The eerie end to this abstract work is nevertheless dramatic, exhibiting a sense of longing, or even loss.

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