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Racer One


Genre: Band
# of Players: Standard
Level: 5 | Duration: 10:00
Publisher: C. Alan Publications | Copyright: 2014

Download mp3 | Click on images to left for score sample

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Notes & Instrumentation
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  • Notes & Instrumentation

    Written to celebrate the traditions at Murray State University, Racer One is a delightful two-movement work with beautiful writing for every section of the ensemble.

    Genre: Band | # of Players: Standard
    Level: 5 | Duration: 10:00

    Flute 1 & Piccolo
    Flute 2
    Oboe 1*
    Oboe 2 & English Horn
    Bassoon 1
    Bassoon 2
    B-flat Clarinet 1
    B-flat Clarinet 2
    B-flat Clarinet 3
    B-flat Clarinet 4
    B-flat Bass Clarinet
    Alto Saxophone 1
    Alto Saxophone 2
    Tenor Saxophone
    Baritone Saxophone

    B-flat Trumpet 1
    B-flat Trumpet 2
    B-flat Trumpet 3
    B-flat Trumpet 4
    F Horn 1
    F Horn 2
    F Horn 3
    F Horn 4
    Trombone 1
    Trombone 2
    Trombone 3
    Trombone 4
    Euphonium 1
    Euphonium 2
    Tuba 1
    Tuba 2

    Double Bass

    Timpani (4 drums)
    Percussion 1 (chimes, snare drum)
    Percussion 2 (marimba, bass drum, suspended cymbal, crotales, xylophone, woodblock)
    Percussion 3 (vibraphone, crash cymbals, crotales, suspended cymbal, xylophone)

    Program Notes
    Racer One was written for and about Murray State University, where I have taught since 2008. The piece was premiered by the Murray State Symphonic Wind Ensemble in April 2013. The titles refer to two important traditions on campus. The Shoe Tree is located on the main Quad and has over fifty mismatched shoes nailed to it. When a couple meets at Murray State then marries, it is good luck for each partner to nail a shoe to the tree. The beginning of that movement (and the piece) places you in the Quad by depicting MSU's hourly carillon bells (authentically tuned, with their resultant tone a major 6th below). The ensuing solo clarinet is directly followed by an intermingling melody and counter-melody that eventually come together. Several times throughout the rest of the piece, the bells on campus are recalled in the distance, a reminder of where it all began.

    Whenever the Murray State Racer football team scores a touchdown, the cheerleaders (and others if necessary) clear the surrounding track for the celebratory lap by the thoroughbred racehorse, Racer One. The tradition began in 1976 with a horse named Violet Cactus, who served faithfully for eight years until she passed away. The fanfare second movement attempts to capture the energy and beauty of her galloping. The tradition has continued ever since, usually with a new horse and jockey every year.

    The piece was composed and produced with funding from a Professional Development Grant from Murray State's College of Humanities and Fine Arts.

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