Symphony No. 1
"A Long Island Portrait"
I. Revolutionary Espionage: Washington's Culper Ring
II. A Bayman's Prayer: The Hope for Tomorrow
III. The Spirit of Aviation
Duration: approx. 20:00
Composed in 2023
Commissioned by the Smithtown Community Band (Smithtown, N.Y.)
Premiered on July 25, 2023, by the Smithtown Community Band
Symphony No. 1: A Long Island Portrait was commissioned by William T. Link and the Smithtown Community Band in the fall of 2022. Mr. Link asked that the composition be related to Long Island, as well as fitting the 2023 Summer Concert Series theme of “...of Land, Sea and Sky”. What began as a simple 3-movement work with an anticipated duration of 2-3 minutes per movement, quickly grew and evolved into something much more grand and complex. Never did I expect this project to become a large and momentous work, but as I wrote each movement, it continued to organically grow and develop. Each story needed to be told in its entirety before concluding each movement.
Movement 1, “Revolutionary Espionage: Washington’s Culper Ring“ takes the listener on a journey back to the American Revolutionary War on the north shore of Long Island. Founded by General George Washington a group of spies led by Major Benjamin Tallmadge known as the Culper Ring collected information about the British without being traced. Some of the most notable efforts of the Culper Ring included supplying information about a surprise attack in Newport, Rhode Island by French Forces, a British plan to create counterfeit American currency, and most notably, identifying Benedict Arnold as a traitor plotting with British Major John André to turn over the American fort at West Point, New York.
The Culper Ring has significant historical significance on Long Island today. In East Setauket, New York, there is a historical landmark for the former Roe Tavern, an establishment owned by Culper Ring member Austin Roe, where General Washington spent the night after the war to thank Mr. Roe and his associates for their outstanding work and efforts. In addition, there is a marked trail consisting of both paved and unpaved sections spanning from Mount Sinai Harbor (Mount Sinai, N.Y.) to Manor of St. George (Mastic Beach, N.Y.). This 21.4-mile journey is sponsored by the Town of Brookhaven and the Suffolk County Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
Movement 2, “A Bayman’s Prayer: The Hope for Tomorrow” display the trials and tribulations of the fishing industry on Long Island. What was once a booming industry on Long Island, has become extremely difficult to make a living from with today’s government regulations. Based on many challenges set forth by these regulations, many fishermen are unable to afford basic necessities; some are leaving the industry altogether. Despite the early wake-up calls, hours at sea, piles of paperwork, and countless hours preparing their boats and processing their bounty, it’s because of these relentless men and women that Long Island still has a seafood industry.
The final movement, “The Spirit of Aviation” pays homage to the rich history of flying on Long Island. From Charles Lindberg’s historical flight to Roosevelt Field, Grumman producing Naval biplanes during World War II, and component of NASA’s Lunar Module for the Apollo missions, there is a rich culture embedded within Long Island’s history. Another key component is the Francis S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base in Westhampton, N.Y. which is home to New York's Air National Guard’s 106th Rescue.
Symphony No. 1 was premiered by the Smithtown Community Band on July 25, 2023, with Mr. Hartman conducting.
Bb Clarinet 1-3
Alto Sax 1-2
Bb Trumpet 1-3
Percussion (minimum 5 players):
Percussion 1: Timpani, Cowbell, Slapstick, Suspended Cymbal w/ stick
Percussion 2: Field Drum, Hi-Hat, Ship's Bells, Snare Drum
Percussion 3: Bass Drum, Crash Cymbals, Mark Tree
Percussion 4: Chimes, Temple Blocks, Finger Cymbals, Bells, Xylophone, Crash Cymbals, Suspended Cymbal
Percussion 5: Xylophone, Bells, Suspended Cymbal, Vibraphone, Triangle, Crash Cymbals