Inspired by the many haunted houses in the popular southern city in Georgia, Ghosts of Savannah is a tone poem that summons all the spirits of the city as they converge and stand atop the gravestones and stomp their feet in an effort to summon more spirits from the outer edges of the city. They creep, they crawl and they fly through the air and evoke evil and unearthly sounds.
Genre: Band | # of Players: Standard
Level: 3.5 | Duration: 5:50
B-flat Clarinet 1
B-flat Clarinet 2
B-flat Clarinet 3
Contrabass Clarinet (optional)
Alto Saxophone 1
Alto Saxophone 2
B-flat Trumpet 1
B-flat Trumpet 2
B-flat Trumpet 3
Timpani (3 drums)
Percussion 1 (bells, bongos)
Percussion 2 (vibraphone)
Percussion 3 (slapstick, 4-octave marimba, xylophone, temple blocks)
Percussion 4 (brake drum, flexatone, tam-tam, crash cymbals)
Percussion 5 (suspended cymbal, ratchet, tam-tam, hi-hat, snare drum)
Percussion 6 (5 concert toms, vibraslap, bass drum, wooden wind chimes)
Ghosts of Savannah was commissioned by the Richmond Hill Middle School Band, Alisha Bowden, Director.
Richmond Hill is a suburb of Savannah, Georgia, and Savannah is notorious for its many hauntings. Colonial Park Cemetery, Mercer Williams House, the Pirates House, the Ol’ Pink House, Davenport House, Madison Square, and Wright Square are just of few of the many locations where there have been reports of hauntings in the city of Savannah. All of the stories ignited my imagination and the scenario for Ghosts of Savannah unfolds as follows: Night falls and the moonlit cemetery elicits shadows of spirits emerging from the ground. They begin to summon all the spirits of the city and they converge and stand atop the gravestones and stomp their feet in an effort to summon more spirits from the outer edge of the city. With all spirits amassed, several ghostly trumpeters play a deathly tune after which the shadowy and translucent spirits waver back and forth and begin to slowly rise into the chilly air above the cemetery and cry out sorrowfully. Suddenly, there are flashes of lightening and the night grows dark. The spirits are restless and they begin to take flight from the cemetery and into the city to wreak havoc among the residents. They creep, they crawl and they fly through the air and evoke evil and unearthly sounds. Again they play their deathly tune and their mission becomes more urgent. Their “caldron of haunting” begins to bubble and rise and then boils over with all the spirits breaking loose and making themselves visible to their unsuspecting victims, flying through the air, oozing out of walls and hurling as many objects as they can get their hands on. Satisfied with a job “well done” they quickly hurry back to their places of rest and hover and waver in the air, crying sorrowfully. Suddenly the sun begins to rise and, in a panic, the spirits settle back into the ground, becoming silent……..except for the faint rattling of some dry bones.