2' concert opener for wind band
Written for the USAF Band of Mid-America 2021 composer/arranger audition
Overture on a Shaker Hymn is a brief, spirited concert-opener for wind band based on the iconic "Simple Gifts" by Joseph Brackett. A fragmentary introduction leads into a parade-worthy statement of the main theme. Different choirs enter canonically one-by-one until the music transforms into a beautiful, lyrical tutti with sparkling accents from the glockenspiel and piano. Surprisingly, the end of this phrase is interrupted by an explosive fanfare featuring a fragment of the Air Force song "Wild Blue Yonder". Fragments of "Simple Gifts" join the fun, and the music builds to a bombastic climax with the entire theme being stated in blazing sixteenth notes. The introduction is recalled at the end, peppered with fragments. Finally, one last "Tis a gift to be simple, tis a gift to be free" and the piece ends with a bang!
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