Written in honor of a new-born nephew, Watch the Light is a inspiring ballad that reminds us to always look ahead and be optimistic for whatever the future may bring.
Genre: Band | # of Players: Standard
Level: 3 | Duration: 3:30
B-flat Clarinet 1
B-flat Clarinet 2
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone 1/2
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
F Horn 1/2
B-flat Trumpet 1/2
Timpani (3 drums)
Percussion 1 (Triangle, Crash Cymbals)
Percussion 2 (Suspended Cymbal)
It has become a tradition of mine to write pieces for new-born members of my family, and the birth of my nephew Casen was no exception. In trying to find the main idea for a piece, I was struck by the way Casen behaved when I held him in my arms. He, like all new-borns, had limited vision in the first few months of his life and would always be drawn in the direction of any nearby light. This was especially memorable his first Christmas; my sister found she could put Casen in front of our family tree and he would stare for hours, mesmerized by the twinkling of the various lights and ornaments.
Watch the Light is the end-result of these early memories. After an introductory “hazy” chord, the main melody is soon stated in the clarinets and saxophones, but is sheathed in a cloud of flutes and mallet percussion. Various parts of the melody are then passed around the ensemble, but its true form remains “blurred” to the listener until the piece’s climax. At this point, the melody becomes “clear” and is played in its entirety by the whole band. A short coda follows featuring a solo trumpet and ends with the “hazy” chord resolving into a consonant B-flat major triad.
While dedicated to my nephew and his early memories, I also intended this piece to serve as a reminder to the listener to also “watch the light.” Although our lives are sometimes beset by periods of darkness, we must remain optimistic and hopeful in spite of them. It may take time, but if we keep our heads held high eventually the darkness will end.