VIEW SCORE: Flight of Spirit–SCORE-FINAL-REVISED 2013 (SCORE–PDF)
INSTRUMENTATION: 3 Fl, Ob 1-2 (opt.), 1-2 Bsn (opt.), Cbsn (opt.), Eb Cl, 3 Cls in Bb, Bs Cl, A sax 1-2, T sax, B sax, 3 Tpts in Bb, Hn I-IV, 2 Tbn, Bs Tbn, Euph, Tba, Dbl Bs, Timpani, Harp (suggested) 6 Percussion
PERFORMANCE NOTES: This piece provides a unique opportunity for a maturing band to play a work with emotional depth that spans from solemn to triumphant, featuring a 1st Cl solo and brass ensemble features.
As a composer, I look forward to each new work as a new challenge, in which I must find something new in myself and grow in my skills to make the most of each opportunity to write for and work with performers, and hopefully please not only myself as an artist but also those who have commissioned my work and (maybe most importantly) the audiences who will hear it. But this piece presented a unique challenge for me: This work was commissioned by a group whose director is a longtime friend and musical colleague as a memorial for his mother, a woman I knew all my young life and whose passing still seems removed from reality.
I knew that I wanted to write something with weight and depth, but not a dirge, lament, or dark funereal piece. I wanted to write a celebration, albeit a solemn one; appropriate to the circumstance, but suggesting that our lives are not only corporeal or encompassed by our earthly dates of beginning and end. The piece, then, employs a musical motive that is at various moments reverent or uncertain, but always struggling to rise ever higher, break free, and finally take flight.