Long noted for his craftsmanship and creativity in composing works for upper-level bands, composer David Gillingham has written a dynamic and musical piece at the medium level. Under the Magical Wing opens with a fanfare that seems to blossom from thin air, which leads to a slow and dignified chorale. After the chorale the tempo gradually increases to a joyful finish using material from the opening fanfare.
Genre: Band | # of Players: Standard
Level: 4 | Duration: 4:50
Bb Clarinet 1
Bb Clarinet 2
Bb Clarinet 3
Alto Saxophone 1/2
Bb Trumpet 1
Bb Trumpet 2
Bb Trumpet 3
Percussion 1 (bells, crash cymbals)
Percussion 2 (4.3-octave marimba, xylophone)
Percussion 3 (vibraphone, snare drum, suspended cymbal)
Percussion 4 (suspended cymbal, 3 toms, small bass drum, large tam-tam)
Under the Magical Wing was commissioned by Sally Sterrett Wagner, Director of Eleanor Roosevelt High School Instrumental Music Department in Greenbelt, Maryland. The commission was a gift to Mrs. Wagner bearing the following inscription:
This commission is a gift presented to Sally Sterrett Wagner, Director of the Eleanor Roosevelt High School Instrumental Music Department in Greenbelt, Maryland, from her Band Family, which encompasses current students and two decades of alumni and parents. This music serves as a commemoration symbolizing our collective appreciation of Mrs. Wagner's profound dedication to the ERHS bands.
Mrs. Wagner built the ERHS instrumental music program with incomparable care for every one of her students. She has given the Band Family gifts that stretch far beyond high school graduation, gifts we carry with us each and every day. Her love of music, teaching and performing, as well as expectation of responsibility, teamwork and excellence are not only lessons musically, but lessons of life. And during our four years under Sally's wing and direction, somewhere along the way the magic happens, musical magic that envelops the senses and creates lasting memories and relationships.
Sally Wagner, you are the indispensable heartbeat of what makes this Band Family special. Thank you for touching our lives and showing us the way to the magic!
I noticed in this remarkable dedication to Mrs. Wagner the phrase "under Sally's wing" and the use of the word "magic". Hence, I have titled the piece, "Under the Magical Wing". The concept for the piece was suggested by the current students, parents and alumni: a fanfare and chorale. The fanfare would reflect "celebration and tribute and the chorale would reflect her love of the lyrical and traditional music of the British Isles and of bands that listen and sing and feel the magic."
The work begins with a celebratory fanfare, segues into a chorale and ends with material from the fanfare. The second presentation of the chorale, from measure 83 to 118, can be sung by an optional choir or by students within the band by reducing the instrumentation. The words are written by the composer.
Join in our song!
Join in with harmony,
Singing of hope,
Kindness and love.
Our music will set the world free.
Let us all sing
Of care we receive
All under the magical wing.
Nurture our hearts
And challenge our minds.
And keep us from drifting apart.
Follow the dream.
Life's hymn we'll always sing.
And keep us all under
The magical wing.
- David R. Gillingham