Grade level: 4
Commission info: Eastshore Region (Seattle, WA)
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The Sound is my attempt to depict the natural beauty of Puget Sound through the medium of the wind band. In my travels to the Seattle, Washington area, I have always noticed two things; the natural beauty and the weather. In each case, the extreme contrasts are the most compelling to me - water and mountains, rain and sunshine.
The beginning of the piece depicts a calm morning on the Sound, with the crystal glasses and clarinets representing the water’s smooth surface. A solo euphonium emerges from this gentle beginning with a melody that will return in multiple forms throughout the piece. After a quickening of the tempo, the clouds roll in, rain begins to fall, and the water becomes agitated through driving rhythms, aggressive percussion, and a transformation of the main melody into a minor key. Finally, after the tension builds and builds, the brilliant sunshine emerges as if revealing picturesque mountains that had been previously obscured by the clouds. Triumphant flourishes in the brass and upper woodwinds depict this transformation as the main melody returns in the major key, bringing the piece to an uplifting finish.
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