Point Blank: Music for Wind Band
Paul Dooley (b. 1983)
Paul Dooley’s music has been described as “impressive and beautiful” by American composer Steve Reich. Dooley’s path has embraced not only his Western Classical heritage, but also a cross-cultural range of contemporary music, dance, art, technology and the interactions between the human and natural worlds. Paul Dooley is a lecturer at the University of Michigan where he has taught courses in electronic music, co-directed the Midwest Composers Symposium, and coordinated the ONCE. MORE. Festival, a fifty-year anniversary of the ONCE Festival of Contemporary Music. He received his doctorate from the University of Michigan, studying with Michael Daugherty, Bright Sheng and Evan Chambers. He also earned a degree in music composition at the University of Southern California where his mentors included Frank Ticheli, Stephen Hartke and Frederick Lesemann.
Dooley’s music has been performed at venues such as Carnegie Hall, Disney Hall, the College Band Directors National Association National Conference, the American Bandmasters Association Annual Conference and the Midwest Clinic, and has been commissioned by the Charleston Symphony, Amarillo Symphony, New York Youth Symphony, American Youth Symphony, and Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra, the American Bandmasters Association, University of Florida, Detroit Chamber Winds, and consortiums organized by the University of Miami and SUNY Fredonia. Other performances of Dooley’s music include those by Alarm Will Sound, the Charlotte Symphony, Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, Omaha Symphony, Aspen Philharmonic Orchestra, Chautauqua Festival Orchestra, American Philharmonic, Atlantic Classical Orchestra, USC Thornton Symphony, USC Wind Ensemble, University of Michigan Symphony Band, Frost Wind Ensemble, and a reading by the Detroit Symphony, conducted by Leonard Slatkin. For more information, please visit www.pauldooley.net.
Point Blank (2012)
Point Blank for wind ensemble is inspired by electronic music; in particular a style called Drum & Bass. I explore the interaction between computer generated musical material and the human performer. For the wind ensemble’s percussion battery, I transcribe tightly interlocking electronic rhythmic material. The drum set, mallets, and timpani whirl the ensemble through an array of electronically inspired orchestrations, while the winds and brass shriek for dear life!
Steve Danyew (b. 1983)
Steve Danyew’s music has been hailed as “startlingly beautiful” and “undeniably well-crafted and communicative” by the Miami Herald, and has been praised as possessing “sensitivity, skill and tremendous sophistication” by the Kansas City Independent. Danyew is the recipient of numerous national and international awards, including prizes from organizations such as BMI, ASCAP, CBDNA, Ithaca College, Delaware Valley Chorale, Keene State College, Octarium, Society of Composers, Austin Peay State University, Shoreline Chorale, and Hot Springs Concert Band. Danyew received a B.M. from the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami and holds an M.M. in Composition and Certificate in Arts Leadership from the Eastman School of Music. For more information, visit www.stevedanyew.com.
Lauda, latin for “praise”, is a two-movement work for wind ensemble, written for Mark Scatterday and the Eastman Wind Ensemble during the fall of 2009. The overall structure of the work can be understood somewhat loosely as a prelude and fugue. Both movements explore various uses of counterpoint and contrapuntal devices which have fascinated me since I first encountered them in works of Bach and others. The first movement, Montis Dei, Latin for “God’s mountains,” is based on a continually repeating passacaglia, or ground bass. The ground bass is actually a series of harmonies which grow increasingly complex throughout the movement. The second movement, Hymnus Anima Mea, Latin for “Hymn of my soul,” contains fugal elements throughout. The music also progresses over a pedal point of B for much of the movement, until near the end where the pedal ultimately changes. The fugal subject is inspired by the Alleluia motive from the hymn Praise My Soul, the King of Heaven. This downward scale motive is used in the fugal subject and developed in various ways. After expositions and episodes which incorporate the original fugue subject, the subject in inversion, the counter-subject, and both in stretto, the music finally arrives at a climactic point. At this point, the actual hymn tune Lauda Anima (the musical hymn tune of Praise My Soul, the King of Heaven) emerges from the climactic texture, and leads the movement to the end.
Roy David Magnuson (b. 1983)
Roy David Magnuson has composed music for orchestra, wind ensemble, concert band, chamber ensembles, vocalists, electroacoustic ensembles and films. His works have been performed throughout the United States at venues such as the Red Note Music Festival, the New Music Cafe, Illinois State University, Ithaca College, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Arkansas- Fort Smith, University of Texas-Arlington, University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa, and by the Elan String Quartet, the Quasari Quartet, the Quad City Wind Ensemble and the Air Force Band of Mid-America. He received his B.M. Theory/Composition from Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois, his M.M. Composition from Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York, and his D.M.A from the University of Illinois. He has studied privately with Don Davis, David Maslanka, George Tsontakis, Jennifer Higdon, Steven Stucky, Karel Husa and Joan Tower. Owing to the success of his wind writing, in 2008 he was asked to contribute a chapter to the GIA Publication Composers on Composing for Band, Volume IV which is currently available via GIA Publications. Roy Magnuson is currently an Instructional Assistant faculty member at Illinois State University where he teaches freshman and sophomore theory and coordinates the freshman theory curriculum, and he is also a member of ASCAP.
Innsmouth, Massachusetts – 1927 (2013)
“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” – H.P. Lovecraft Innsmouth, Massachusetts – 1927 is the first part of a planned triptych Three Places in (Lovecraftian) New England. This music is pulpy horror music which, loosely, depicts a night in Lovecraft’s The Shadow Over Innsmouth. Suffice to say, things don’t go well that night. Though the “monsters” in Lovecraft’s stories are evocative and terrifying, it is the atmosphere of Innsmouth, Massachusetts that scares me most. The collapsed, rotting buildings, the overwhelming stench of dead fish, the constant, looming sound of the tide, whose waves are bringing in terrors from the deep, dark places of the world – this atmosphere is what I have tried to capture musically. Innsmouth, Massachusetts – 1927 is dedicated to Dan Belongia and the members of the Illinois State University Wind Symphony. My deepest thanks goes out to all those involved in bringing this frightful music to life!
Roy David Magnuson
Scott McAllister (b. 1969)
Scott McAllister was born in Vero Beach, Florida, in 1969, and holds a doctorate in composition from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. McAllister has received numerous commissions, performances, and awards throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. He has also been featured at the Aspen, Chautauqua, and The Prague/American Institute Summer Festivals. McAllister has received awards, performances, and/or commissions from ASCAP, The American Composers Orchestra, The Rascher Quartet, I Musici de Montréal, Charles Neidich, The Verdehr Trio, Jacksonville Symphony, Da Camera, The Ladislav Kubik Competition, The United States New Music Ensemble, The President’s Own Marine Band, The Florida Arts Council, and The Florida Bandmaster’s Association. Scott McAllister’s music is recorded on the Summit Records, Naxos, iTunes and Centaur labels and his music can be found at Lydmusic.com. Scott McAllister is Professor of Composition at Baylor University.
Gone for wind ensemble is a transcription of the sixth movement from my sixty-minute concerto for clarinet, the Epic Concerto. Each movement of the concerto relates to different pillar moments of my life as a clarinetist. In 1994, my playing career was ended in an automobile accident. Gone is about loss and the emotions and process of healing and learning to move on after a life-changing event. This movement challenges the musicians and the audience to experience the music in a meditative and prayerful way. My goal was to draw memories of loss and comfort for those who experience the composition. The inspiration for the wind ensemble version was the death of my mentor, James Croft, and the wonderful influence he was in my life with his encouragement to never forget about writing for the band.
Jennifer Higdon (b. 1962)
Pulitzer Prize-winner Jennifer Higdon is one of Americaʼs most performed living composers. Higdon received the 2010 Pulitzer Prize in Music for her Violin Concerto, with the committee citing Higdonʼs work as “a deeply engaging piece that combines flowing lyricism with dazzling virtuosity.” She is the recipient of many other awards, including a Pew Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship and two awards from the American Academy of Arts & Letters. Her list of commissioners ranges from the Philadelphia Orchestra to the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, from Eighth Blackbird to the Tokyo String Quartet, and from The Presidentʼs Own Marine Band to artists such as Hilary Hahn. Her works have been released on over three dozen CDs, and most recently her Percussion Concerto won the 2010 GRAMMY® for Best Contemporary Classical Composition. Higdon holds the Rock Chair in Composition at The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Her music is published exclusively by Lawdon Press. For more information, please visit www.jenniferhigdon.com.
Percussion Concerto (2009)
The twentieth century saw the development of the percussion section grow more than any other instrumental section in the orchestra or band world. Both the music and the performers grew in capability as well as visibility… the appearance and growth of the percussion concerto as a genre exploded during the later half of the century.
When I am writing a concerto I think of the nature of the featured solo instrument. In the case of percussion, this means a large battery of instruments, from vibraphone and marimba, to non-pitched smaller instruments (brake drum, wood blocks, Peking Opera gong), and to the drums themselves. Not only does a percussionist have to perfect playing all of these instruments, but he or she must make hundreds of decisions regarding the use of sticks and mallets, as there is an infinite variety of possibilities from which to choose. In addition there is the choreography of the player’s movements; where most performers do not have to concern themselves with crossing the stage repeatedly during a performance, a percussion soloist must have every move memorized. No other instrumentalist has such a large number of variables to challenge and master.
This percussion concerto follows the normal relationship of a dialogue between soloist and band. In this work, however, there is an additional relationship of the soloist interacting extensively with the percussion section.
This arrangement of the Percussion Concerto was commissioned by The President’s Own Marine Band, Colonel Michael J. Colburn, director. The première was performed by The Band with Christopher Rose as soloist and Colonel Michael J. Colburn conducting, on May 10th, 2009. The original Percussion Concerto was commissioned by The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, and The Dallas Symphony Orchestra. This commission was made possible with support from The Philadelphia Music Project (an artistic initiative of The Pew Charitable Trusts, administered by The University of the Arts), and by a generous gift from LDI, Ltd. and the Lacy Foundation.