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March 1-3, 2019 CJMEA Wind Ensemble

Festival Information 

Dear Wind Ensemble Students - Congrats on being selected for this very special honor! I am looking forward to meeting you and making some great music together. Please use this page and included materials to learn more about the music we will be performing.

There are:

links to good recordings of the pieces, 

background information about the music and composers, and  

worksheets below for you to use in practice.

See you soon!  - Dr. Fodor


Concert Program to be selected from:

Click on a title below to hear a YouTube recording example.

Wildcat Valley Fanfare by Michael Sweeney

Notes: The Wildcat Creek in central Indiana forms a valley connecting all schools in the Howard County area for whom this piece was written. Opening with the percussion section in a stately style, the main theme is first heard in a chorale-like setting. Designed as an extended fanfare, the piece quickly builds in intensity with each subsequent phrase, and culminates in a fast-paced and brilliant sounding ending flourish. Effective as a concert opener. Dur: 3:15 (from Hal Leonard Publications)

At Morning's First Light by David R. Gillingham

Notes: Excerpts from: 

Gillingham told us the story behind this piece. Gillingham lived by a lake for years; he always watched the sunrises outside over the lake because they were so beautiful. He wrote this piece as a way to share that beauty. In the program notes for the concert it says this about the piece: “This work captures the serenity and beauty of daybreak. From the opening thin layers of sound, a broad, sweeping feel emerges, sprinkled with active lines depicting nature awaking.” “I need it to build up like right before the sun is finally up in a sunrise,” says David R. Gillingham to the young tam-tam player in the percussion section. “In the end, it needs to ring with a loud BOOM, as if the sun is up.”

Undertow by David Mackey

Notes: What inspired Undertow? - Asked of John Mackey by Banon University via Twitter

Mackey: Tardiness. I was completely stumped about what to write, so I procrastinated. During the time that I should have been writing music, I was playing video games – or one specific video game: The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass on the Nintendo DS. In that Zelda game, you sail a ship from island to island (dungeon to dungeon), and while you sail, music plays – and it’s good music. So I spent a great number of hours playing that game – and hearing that music - instead of writing what would become “Undertow.” Eventually, though, I had no choice but to start writing “Undertow,” because it was about to be due, but my brain was conditioned to hear the kind of music you hear in a Zelda video game, and in this case, a swashbuckling sea adventure. So that’s what I wrote: my brain’s idea of new Zelda music. An “undertow” is a spinning current that pulls ships underwater – ships like I sailed in that Zelda game. (

Though many of his pieces are extremely virtuosic, Undertow is the first of Mackey's works written specifically for intermediate band. It was commissioned by the Hill Country Middle School Band and premiered by that ensemble with its conductor, Cheryl Floyd, in May 2008. The work is significantly different than much of Mackey's output in terms of technical difficulty, but many characteristic elements of his writing are nonetheless present, including biting semitone dissonance within a tonal context, frequent use of mixed meter, heavy percussion effects and, perhaps most importantly to this work, a pervasive ostinato. The metric pattern for the piece is an alternation of 7/8 and 4/4 time, which provides an agitated "out-of-step" pulsation throughout. The energetic opening melody cycles through several repetitions before washing away into a gentle stream of percussive eighth notes. From here, a countermelody emerges that slowly ratchets the energy back up to its original level, where the initial melody returns to round out the explosive conclusion. - Program note by Jake Wallace

España Cañi by Pascual Marquina and arranged by Robert Longfield

Notes: This arrangement should be played with the flair and bravada typical of music from the Spanish idiom. The many percussion parts will add color and texture to the music, but should be carefully balanced so as not to overwhelm the total sound of the ensemble. 

After a fiery introduction the timpani roll in measures 19-20 should be held long enough to bring both the dynamic level and tempo down to measure 21. At that point, a long, gradual accelerandoand crescendobegins, which culminates in the establishment of a Tempo di paso dobleat measure 37. This tempo holds steady until the prestoat measure 161 which brings the performance to a rousing close.

The many contrasts in dynamics and style (marcato, staccato, legato, etc.) should be exaggerated to add interest and excitement to the performance of the music. - Notes from the arranger, Robert Longfield

Forge Ahead! by Shirley Mier

Notes:  A spirited work, commissioned to commemorate a school and inspired in part by the musicians who premiered the piece, this composition begins with a brilliant, celebratory fanfare. This opening is followed by a softer, animated section with initial melodic material stated by clarinets. The piece then adds in other themes, building in both rhythmic and dynamic intensity before moving to a slower, reflective section featuring a brief oboe solo. The piece then revisits earlier material before pressing forward to an exhilarating conclusion. -Program Note from The Instrumentalist, March 2014, p. 32. 

Shirley Mier is a Twin Cities-based composer, music director and music educator. She writes music of all kinds, in the theatre, educational and concert world. Orchestra works include the suite Of Lakes and Legends: Scenes from White Bear Lake (written for the Century Chamber Orchestra), and Visages, a song cycle for soprano and orchestra. Dr. Mier earned a B.A. in Music at Grinnell College and completed her M.A. and Ph.D. in Music Composition from the University of Minnesota. She resides in Hudson, WI (near the Twin Cities), and has taught at Century College, a community college in White Bear Lake, MN, since 2007. She is a member of ASCAP, the American Composers Forum, and the Dramatists Guild.

Bonds of Unity by Karl King

Notes: Karl L. King (1891-1971) Born in Paintersville, Ohio, King began composing music about age 13, played with bands in Ohio then toured for several years with circus bands. He returned to Ohio in 1916 and married a clerk and pianist at a music store in Canton. But his plan to settle down was postponed two more years while he toured as leader of the Barnum and Bailey Circus Band with his wife playing air calliope. With the United States involved in World War I, Sousa recommended King for a position as an Army bandmaster. But the war ended before King's reporting date, and he never served. He and his wife later moved to Fort Dodge, Iowa, to direct the municipal band there. He also moved his publishing company, which became a success. Today, the Karl L. King Bridge spans the Des Moines River, Karl L. King Park graces Fort Dodge and the band he led there is called the Karl L. King Band.

Although King wrote 300 works during a half-century of composing, he rarely ran out of notes. He did, however, run out of titles and presumably asked the Barnhouse publishers to name this march and 15 others which he wrote in 1955. The marches were placed in an album called Liberty March Folio (with a picture of the Statue of Liberty on the cover) and each was given a patriotic, world peace title in accordance with world events in Geneva, Korea, and the United States at that time.

Practice Materials:

Click on a link below to download your copy:

Technical Preparation Materials - Keys and Scale Sheets specific to our musical selections.


Forge Ahead! - Rhythm Practice Sheet Use this to count, sing, and play 3/4 rhythms found across the tune.

Recording and Info Links
Practice Materials
Concert Program
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