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Eagle's First Flight

Difficulty: Medium
Duration: approx. 6:10

Composed in 2012

Premiered on July 9, 2013 by the Smithtown Community Band

Program Notes

     Eagle’s First Flight is a composition dedicated to the memory of two people very close to my heart.

     Joseph R. Sugar was known as one of the most influential advocates for music education. Almost every Monday afternoon, I would sit in the student lounge inside the Fine Arts Center at C.W. Post with him and listen to his stories, his advice, and the legend he created. I became his undergraduate assistant, trying to absorb as much of his wisdom as possible. On Sunday, November 1, 2009 I received a phone call from a colleague sharing the sad news that Professor Sugar had passed. He was like a grandfather to all of us at Post and a very special mentor to me.

     Fred E. Hartman was my grandfather. He was a man of few words and a huge heart. If there were some carpentry task that was unsolvable, he would be the one to figure out a solution. He was always there to let me ride his tractor or go for a walk to the post office and he always wanted the best for his family. On December 15, 2009, he lost his long battle with cancer.

     When we think of people passing away, the image of angels ascending into heaven often comes to mind. Both Professor Sugar and my grandfather were fighters- both in the armed forces and in life. I see them more as eagles on their maiden voyage toward the distant sun.

     This piece uses their first and last names to create the opening motif, followed by a chorale that builds momentum as they fly away. It concludes with each section expressing “rest in peace” before their motifs are played one last time.

From the Publisher:

   "Building on our existing ideas of remembrance, Eagle's First Flight is a soaring work for band whose agile woodwinds and powerful brass call forth majestic images of flight!"





Bb Clarinet 1-2

Bass Clarinet

Alto Sax

Tenor Sax

Baritone Sax


Bb Trumpet 1-2

Horn in F


Euphonium (T.C.)

Euphonium (B.C.)





Percussion 1: Snare Drum, Bass Drum

Percussion 2: Crash Cymbals, Suspended Cymbal


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