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Beautiful River

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Genre: Band
# of Players: Standard
Level: 4 | Duration: 11:00
Publisher: C. Alan Publications | Copyright: 2009

Download mp3 | Click on images to left for score sample

Price:
$80.00
Item #:
15670
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Notes & Instrumentation
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  • Notes & Instrumentation

    Beautiful River was written in memory of a high school percussion student who was killed in an automobile accident. Despite the tragic nature of the accident, the piece does not attempt to serve as an elegy, but rather a celebration or reaffirmation of life.

    Genre: Band | # of Players: Standard
    Level: 4 | Duration: 11:00

    Instrumentation
    Piccolo
    Flute 1
    Flute 2
    Oboe
    Bb Clarinet 1
    Bb Clarinet 2
    Bb Clarinet 3
    Bb Bass Clarinet
    Bassoon
    Eb Alto Saxophone 1
    Eb Alto Saxophone 2
    Bb Tenor Saxophone
    Eb Baritone Saxophone

    Bb Trumpet 1
    Bb Trumpet 2
    Bb Trumpet 3
    F Horn 1
    F Horn 2
    F Horn 3
    F Horn 4
    Trombone 1
    Trombone 2
    Trombone 3
    Euphonium
    T.C. Baritone
    Tuba

    Timpani
    Percussion 1 (Bells, Xylophone, Crash Cymbals, Temple Blocks)
    Percussion 2 (Marimba, Snare Drum, Mark Tree)
    Percussion 3 (Triangle, Bas Drum)
    Percussion 4 (Suspended Cymbal, 3 Concert Toms)

    Program Notes
    Beautiful River was commissioned by Daryl Jack and the Spring Hill High School Band, Spring Hill, Tennessee. It was written in memory of Christy Foster, a percussion player in the band who was killed in an automobile accident. Despite the tragic nature of the accident, "Beautiful River" does not attempt to serve as an elegy, but rather a celebration or reaffirmation of life

    In letters that students sent me describing Christy, these are some of the words they used: happy, thoughtful, caring, beautiful, loving, compassionate, enthusiastic, generous, optimistic, brave, kind, energetic, wonderful, amazing. What a remarkable tribute. I tried to keep these words in mind and the strong feelings they represent as I crafted this composition.

    Beautiful River is structured in three large sections. After an extended introduction that presents fragments of melodic and harmonic material, the first theme is heard in the solo trumpet. This expressive melody is then developed with solo alto saxophone and euphonium, leading to a soaring climactic statement with the full band. The music then fades to a gentle resolution. A brief transition moves to the second section, where the music is characterized by the quick alternation of melodic and rhythmic figures, some related to the earlier material and some hinting at the music to come, with the percussion section taking a leading role. This energetic music leads to a powerful chordal section overlayed with flourishing woodwind figures. A spirited xylophone solo brings this section to a close. The third and final part moves the music to a setting of the hymn tune “Shall We Gather At The River.” This beautiful melody, written in 1864 by Robert Lowry, is first presented simply in the solo oboe. The tune is expansively developed throughout the ensemble, incorporating motivic material from the earlier sections, and moves to a dramatic peak. The piece ends quietly, with a reminiscence of the introductory music and a return to the gentle, comforting and assured feeling of the opening.

    - Greg Danner

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