Written for a high school in Gillingham’s hometown of Rosendale, Wisconsin,Home Again reflects his memories of growing up there, fluctuating through reflection, nostalgia, and change.
Genre: Band | # of Players: Standard
Level: 3.5 | Duration: 6:00
B-flat Clarinet 1
B-flat Clarinet 2
B-flat Clarinet 3
Alto Saxophone 1
Alto Saxophone 2
B-flat Trumpet 1
B-flat Trumpet 2
B-flat Trumpet 3
Timpani (4 drums)
Percussion 1 (bells, brake drum)
Percussion 2 (chimes, xylophone, concert bass drum)
Percussion 3 (wind chimes, snare drum)
Percussion 4 (triangle, suspended cymbal, temple blocks, crash cymbals)
Percussion 5 (slapstick, crash cymbals, 4 concert toms)
Home Again was commissioned by Laconia High School Band, James R. Blashe, Director, Rosendale, Wisconsin, now part of the Rosendale-Brandon School District. Rosendale is my home town. I grew up in Rosendale, Wisconsin, attending kindergarten through high school in Rosendale (with the exception of attending a one-room school in 7th grade, several miles west of Rosendale). Virtually all of my childhood memories are centered around this wonderful little town in east central Wisconsin. I grew up on the farm and many of my fond memories include living on the large, multi-family MARPENDALE FARM one mile west of Rosendale (it has now mostly disappeared from its site) and our second farm, another mile west of MARPENDALE that, in addition to dairy, had a high-end Dachshund kennel. Years after I had moved away from Rosendale, these memories would reboot in my mind whenever I would visit my parents (who eventually had moved into town during my junior year in high school---right next to the old high school.These were all very wonderful memories of family, great friends, and neighbors. My musical memories are especially significant, as my experience in the band program at Rosendale from the 8th grade through high school helped shape my lifelong love affair with music. Ralph Crain was the high school band director and his mentorship, guidance, and support touched my life in a very positive way. He encouraged me to pursue a degree in instrumental music education at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and one of his professors at UWO, Dr. Roger Dennis, later advised me to pursue a degree in Theory/Composition at Michigan State University. My whole life has been a series of great opportunities created by a few key people who have touched my life in a positive way. And, it all began in Rosendale, Wisconsin.
The music of Home Again directly reflects my feelings about growing up in Rosendale, Wisconsin, fluctuating through reflection, nostalgia, and the reticence of change. The piece begins with reflection, a strange and yet warm feeling of being back home after many years. Nostalgia sets in asthe alto saxophones sing a warm and heartfelt theme. The nostalgia, however, is interrupted by a lively and athletic theme suggestive of euphoric memories of growing up on the farm. While these frolicing memories continue, the previous nostalgic theme emerges underneath, emphasizing the mix of emotion between the past and present. The reality of the present day becomes apparent when the timpani and percussion make a blatant entrance mixed with fragments of the previous thematic material presented in ways suggestive of the change that has taken place in my home town over the many years since I have been gone. This all gives way to the slower and reflective mood expressed in the beginning with a remnant of the nostalgic theme. However, the lively childhood theme soon returns. There is a sense of excitement that builds through an array of different tonalities, culminating gloriously in A-flat Major, suggesting that being "home again" helps us retain those wonderful memories that will remain with us forever.