Ascending to the Skies Above! was originally written as a finale for the Patchogue-Medford School District's Summer Music Program. Traditionally, the middle school band and orchestra would combine for the last selection of their summer concert. In years past, parts would be modified and adapted for the combined instrumentation.
After having several of my works premiered and performed by various ensembles in the Patchogue-Medford School District, the Director of Art, Music, and Cultural Arts, Mr. Mark Stuckey, approached me with the idea of creating a new work specifically written for full concert band and string orchestra. While the concept and vision of this work were clear and exciting, the reality of rehearsal time and instrumentation made some of the intricate details slightly more complex.
Ascending to the Skies Above! is meant to take the listener on a journey as they soar through the clouds and into the stars. This exhilarating work for young musicians will certainly entertain both performers and audience members alike!
Grade: 2.5 Approximate Duration: 3:12
Destiny Awaits is a thrilling piece for younger orchestras. With many opportunities for tension and release, your ensemble will sound mature beyond their years. Opening with a majestic section, the suspense builds as the piece catapults forward into an energetic groove. This piece provides an opportunity to showcase each section of the ensemble.All parts will have the melody at some point in the piece!
Grade: 1 Approximate Duration: 2:39
Attending high school is not the easiest of tasks for some people myself being one of them. Each day there was another task to complete another fight to be fought another friendship lost to a silly matter. It was easy to get swallowed up by the beast that was high school. Although I was not a string player the orchestra teacher Mr. Lawlor seemed to understand me. He became a mentor through my high school years. Despite how I may have felt about myself on any given day Mr. Lawlor had the highest level of confidence in me. He knew when I was having a rough day and would immediately call me into his office. He was a man that lived life to the fullest and as if it were his last. Sadly on December 23 2005 he did live his last day when he lost his battle to stage 4 lung cancer. I did not have the opportunity to say goodbye when he passed away but when the opportunity to perform in an alumni recital came up I wrote this piece for solo piano. When I decided to arrange this piece for an instrumental ensemble it seemed fitting that it should be arranged for strings before any other setting.
Grade: 4 Approximate Duration: 3:55
The Shark Shuffle
The Shark Shuffle was originally written for a beginner band that I was teaching on Long Island (NY). The title is based on the school district's mascot, the Sharks. After many successful performances of the piece, a friend who teaches beginner orchestra asked me if I could adapt it for an orchestra setting.This work uses very basic musical vocabulary- whole notes, half notes, and quarter notes for rhythms and only the first five notes of the D Major scale. Adding percussion makes this piece even more fun for the musicians and their audience.