Experience a sense of the great prairie city of Chicago and its life in Windy City. From the dawn at the Lakefront to the “Silicon Prairie,” from the City Grid set among its massive stonework architecture, to the trains that tie everything together, Chicago is the great patchwork magnet through which the American Midwest is offered to the world.
Genre: Band | # of Players: Standard
Level: 4 | Duration: 7:30
Bb Clarinet 1
Bb Clarinet 2
Bb Clarinet 3
Bb Bass Clarinet
Eb Alto Saxophone 1
Eb Alto Saxophone 2
Bb Trumpet 1
Bb Trumpet 2
Bb Trumpet 3
F Horn 1
F Horn 2/3
Percussion 1 (snare drum, sleigh bells, bass drum)
Percussion 2 (wind chimes, crash cymbals, suspended cymbal, finger cymbals, tam-tam)
Percussion 3 (suspended cymbal, tam-tam, triangle, ride cymbal, crash cymbals)
Percussion 4 (bells, vibraphone)
Percussion 5 (xylophone)
Percussion 6 (chimes, tam-tam)
Chicago, also known as the Windy City, has four very distinct seasons (as opposed to popular opinion which states that there are only two; “Winter” and “Construction”) and I hoped to capture the qualities of each. The term “Windy City” originally referred to Chicago’s politicians instead of its weather, but when the Canadian and Arctic winds rush down Lake Michigan in the dead of Winter, and with the constant rush of air during the rest of the year, one allows that the term is appropriate regarding the seasons as well.
The introduction “Lakefront Morning” is a morning on Chicago’s Lake Michigan lakefront.
The second section “Summer” concerns the onset of the season and can also be imagined as commuters entering the city.
The third section which includes “Autumn in Chicago” and “First Snowfall” attempts to evoke a Bohemian autumn quality. There is something about Chicago at this time of year that evokes scenes of Prague in the fall or of Krakow. I have attempted to capture the city’s fall spirit.
The fourth section “Winter” is an attempt at a grand statement of this time of year. Winter in this city truly is King Winter and it rules all.
The fifth section, “Spring Thaw,” presents Chicago in its slushy muddy glory during the melting of the winter ice and snow. At this time the city is raw and relentless in its drive to wake up.
The final statement “Summer” closes the circle of the year and can be imagined as commuters leaving the city at the end of the day.
Windy City makes allusions to the ever-present trains of the circulating Chicago loop “els,” the constant commuter trains, and the freight trains that enter and leave this city several times within every hour of every day. It also concerns the grid of the city, the beauty and depth of the lakefront, the heroic spirit of much of the city’s architecture, its sense of humor, its immigrant population and the expansiveness of its heart.
In listening to this work I hope to convey some sense of this great prairie city and its life. From the dawn at the Lakefront to the “Silicon Prairie,” from the City Grid set among its massive stonework architecture, to the trains that tie everything together, Chicago is the great patchwork magnet through which the American Midwest is offered to the world.
- Reber Clark
Thanks are due to Kenneth A. Bartosz, whose idea it was to do a piece based on Chicago, and to Dr. Peter Loel Boonshaft for an invaluable mid-course correction.