Mandatory Social Distancing: for (Virtual) Wind Ensemble (Intermediate)

Page 1

Mandatory Social Dista n c i n g for [Virtual] Wind Ensemble


Ryan J Williams


Mandatory Social Distancing for [Virtual] Wind Ensemble Duration: ca. 5’40”

Program Note At least for right now, while we are going through the quarantine and “social distancing” phase of the COVID-19 “Coronavirus” global pandemic, I think we all have moments that we can recall exactly where we were when the gravity of the situation first encountered each of our personal lives. Will this become a long-term memory, such as remembering where you were on 9/11 or when the Challenger exploded? I’m not sure; only time will tell. For me, it was a Thursday at the Philadelphia airport. I had spent my week in Delaware doing a residency with a colleague, friend, and band director, working with his students. Wednesday evening, while out to dinner with another local friend, the director called me to let me know that my last day (Thursday) was called off, as the school administration pulled the plug on any outside personnel being in the building. So my time working with the students was sadly cut short, leaving me idle at the airport for an entire day, waiting for my flight back home and frustratedly pondering the situation at hand. After settling at the airport for that long wait, Dr. Jay Sconyers called me. The first thing Jay asked was a question that hit right on a thought I had the night before: Could we create a virtual wind ensemble? As we chatted, the idea came up to grab the bull by the horns and embrace our new reality: since our students were now learning and participating in school via the Internet, why couldn’t we build a consortium to have one large, massed ensemble with participants from around the country? Perhaps we could beat COVID-19 and overcome the challenges with achieving a virtual wind ensemble. At this point, this project started to take off. Over the course of the following days, more and more states and institutions began pulling the plug and moving to online-only classes for the remainder of the semester and thus the interest to participate in the consortium took off. Jay and I had hoped to hit possibly 10 schools to participate; we never imagined it would approach 30! The writing process of this work occurred while the impacts of the pandemic really started to set in: people home from work, stores running low on supplies, and people of all walks of life coming to terms with what our new “normal” would be for the time being. Observing the people around me and my own life really inspired much of this piece. First, I wanted to create a journey (for myself, for the performers, and for our audience) through the emotions that we were all experiencing now, along with an optimistic outlook for what the future will bring. Second, I realized that, with all the stress and anxiety we were experiencing, it was important to take a breath and find reasons to laugh. With that, you’ll find throughout the work, there are some moments of tongue-in-cheek (for example, at Rehearsal 31, the tempo is marked as “Hurrying, but not running, to the last pack of toilet paper”) and recognizing that many of the percussionists who will be participating do not have equipment at home, so the percussion parts are encouraged to be “found percussion,” embracing sounds that the students might be able to find in their homes. In the end, I’m blessed and grateful to have had this project as my personal vehicle to understanding the situation at hand. I can’t wait to share this work with the directors and their students, to talk to everyone involved over web conferences, and to receive their final video submissions. Thank you to all!

Instrumentation 2 Flutes Oboe 3 Clarinets in Bb Bass Clarinet Bassoon 2 Alto Saxophones Tenor Saxophone Baritone Saxophone 3 Trumpets in Bb 4 Horns in F 2 Trombones Bass Trombone Euphonium Tuba Double Bass Percussion* Snare Drum Bass Drum Tam-Tam Cymbals: Ride Cymbal, Crash Cymbals, Suspended Cymbal Woodblocks (5) Bongos Accessory Percussion: Shaker, Ratchet, Triangle Mallet Percussion: Glockenspiel, Marimba All non-pitched percussion parts are open to and encouraged to be interpreted as “found percussion.” Individual students are invited to find objects to use in place of the real instruments; the actual instrument parts are to offer suggestions for the types of timbres to seek out. Students should think carefully about what each instrument actually sounds like (Is it metallic? How high or low of a tone is it? Does is resonate or “thud”?) and find a household object that will mimic that sound as closely as possible. For pitched, mallet percussion, the parts are written as glockenspiel and marimba, but any fixed-pitch percussion instrument is welcome, depending on what equipment is available [vibraphone? xylophone? piano? Toy piano? Fisher Price bell set? (please don’t use this) Circa-1983 2-octave Casio keyboard?]

Consortium Members I am immensely grateful and honored for all of these directors to have lent their support and their students’ talents to this project. Dr. Jay Sconyers - Consortium Leader McNeese State University - Lake Charles, Louisiana Justin C. Davis, Director of Instrumental Studies Tammy Fisher, Director of Bands University of Wisconsin-La Crosse - LaCross, Wisconsin Dr. John Roebke, Ph.D. Theodore Roosevelt High School - Kent, Ohio Cormac Cannon, Director of Bands Jay Jacobs, Associate Director of Bands Tonya Mitchell-Spradlin, Assistant Director of Bands University of South Carolina - Columbia, South Carolina Steve Stickney, Director of Bands Mount Mercy University - Cedar Rapids, Iowa Joshua K Potter Providence High School - Charlotte, North Carolina Troy Davis, Director of Instrumental Music & Jazz Studies West Valley College - Saratoga, California Dr. Ken Goff University of Arkansas at Little Rock - Little Rock, Arkansas Gary Westbrook, Professor of Fine Arts, Director of Athletic Bands and Associate Director of Bands Tarleton State University - Stephenville, Texas Kerron Hislop University of the Southern Caribbean - Port of Spain, Trinidad Russell McCutcheon Sunderman Conservatory of Music at Gettysburg College - Gettysburg, Pennsylvania Tim Pallone, Director of Bands Lumberton High School Band - Lumberton, Texas William Talley and Richard Suk, Directors Ohio University - Athens, Ohio Gregory Wolynec, Director of Bands John Schnettler, Associate Director of Bands Austin Peay State University - Clarksville, Tennessee Scott Lubaroff, Tremon Kizer, Dave Schreier University of Central Florida Bands University of Central Florida - Orlando, Florida Todd Patterson, Martin Trammel Silsbee ISD - Silsbee, Texas Dr. Brittan Braddock - Director of Bands and Music Education Dr. Joseph Spaniola - Director of Jazz Studies and Music Theory Laura Noah - Director of Percussion University of West Florida - Pensacola, Florida Derek Stoughton Southeastern Louisiana University - Hammond, Louisiana Dr. William H. Petersen and Dr. Jason F. Rinehart University of South Alabama - Mobile, Alabama Rex Barker Midland University - Fremont, Nebraska Dr. Thomas Singletary, Director of Instrumental Music North Central Texas College - Gainesville, Texas Chad R. Nicholson, DM University of Arizona Fred Fox School of Music - Tucson, Arizona Lori Musicant Los Angeles Valley College - Valley Glen, California Dr. Peter J. Hamlin Gonzaga University - Spokane, Washington Mr. Brian Ecton, Director of Instrumental Music Cal vert Hall College High School - Baltimore, Maryland Dr. Lawrence Stoffel California State University, Northridge - Los Angeles, California Mr. Nicholas J. Carlson University of Chicago - Chicago, Illinois

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.