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Works

Large Ensemble Chamber Vocal Electroacoustic

Large Ensemble

Green Hills of Magic for wind ensemble with narrator (2013) Fairmont State University Wind Ensemble, Judy Byers narrator Based on four short stories from the book, Green Hills of Magic, by Ruth Ann Musick.  Written in honor of the West Virginia Susquicentennial celebration. 1. Mosquitoes MP3 2. The Invited Guest MP3 3. Look in Your Own Backyard MP3 4. The Monks and the Donkey MP3 Sinfonietta for wind ensemble augmented with string quartet (2011) University of Missouri- Kansas City Wind Symphony and Graduate String Quartet MP3 A small consort of strings joins a full-sized wind ensemble in Sinfonietta.  Although it is not a concerto, Sinfonietta flips the classical notion of an orchestra on its head.  Whereas the Classical orchestra represented a string ensemble with wind and brass coloration, Sinfonietta takes a full wind ensemble and adds strings for coloration, blending and melding the string timbre with the wind ensemble medium. As this work is not a concerto, balancing the relatively weak quartet of strings with the full wind ensemble creates challenges, which Sinfonietta addresses in four ways.  It uses the strings as individual and string tutti soloists with sparse accompaniment.  It creates windows inside heavy textures to allow the strings to appear.  It doubles the strings with instruments of similar timbre to add strength in fuller tutti sections.  Finally, it uses the disparity of acoustical power between the strings and full wind ensemble to create dramatic tension. Sinfonietta relies upon American folk music as a point of departure along with the unique sound combinations available with this instrumentation.  The pentatonic melodies, open harmonic intervals, and regular phrase structure serve as building blocks for the music.  The sound of the human voice, integral to the singing of folk tunes, is embraced in the ornamentation of the solo lines.  Along with this mimicry is a moment of actual singing by members of the ensemble.  Since wind players, brass players, and vocalists all require a breath to make their music, Sinfonietta also celebrates the sound of the human breath.  Written into the score are instructions for the whole ensemble to breathe audibly together.  This airy, musical sound is integral to both the sound of the human voice as well as the sound of a pipe organ, the timbre of which is emulated at the piece's final climax. 5th Avenue Rhapsody for wind ensemble (1998) Penn State Symphonic Wind Ensemble MP3 5th Avenue Rhapsody is a programmatic view of a busy city street, taking inspiration from College Avenue.  Using quasi-jazz idioms and street-sound imitations, such as car horns, CATA buses, and crickets, the ensemble depicts a series of images.  The winds and brass trade-off rhythmically charged motives.  The opening depicts a busy street scene with fast, frenzied inter-cutting of ideas.  The second section depicts a deserted street and features cricket sounds (flutes) and the rumble of CATA busses (trombones).  As the piece progresses, activity returns to the street scene until it once again settles into an eerie calm.  A tumultuous riot builds and grows out-of-control until dispersed by the police.  After the street-inhabitants scramble away, the opening material is returned.  A canon builds in the winds and brass pushing the piece into the final section.  Finally, the piece concludes with a return of the winds’ opening theme and a dramatic fortissimo climax.
Works Large Ensemble