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October

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Orchestra

Duration

6 minutes

Year of Composition

2019

Licensing

Boosey & Hawkes

Note from Composer

October began at a restaurant in Chicago, when I was first introduced to Brian Anderson. Brian, a high school band director from Fremont, Nebraska, knew my work and wanted to commission me, but couldn’t find the finances. If I remember correctly I didn’t immediately hear back from him, and I just assumed the gig would never materialize.

About a year later I get this phone call from him and he says that he has put together a commissioning consortium of 30 high school bands from Nebraska. 30 bands! I’ve dealt with institutional bureaucracy for a while now and I can’t possibly imagine how he brought all of those people together, let alone get them to agree on a commission.

Writing a ‘grade three’ work was an entirely different challenge. It’s easy to write your way out of a difficult corner with flashy, virtuosic material, but with ‘easier’ music your solutions must be simple, elegant, and functional. I worked hard to create a piece that could be successfully performed by all of the high schools in the consortium, yet never compromised its musical integrity. Frankly, writing ‘easy’ music is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

October is my favorite month. Something about the crisp autumn air and the subtle change in light always makes me a little sentimental, and as I started to sketch I felt that same quiet beauty in the writing. The simple, pastoral melodies and subsequent harmonies are inspired by the great English Romantics (Vaughn Williams, Elgar) as I felt that this style was also perfectly suited to capture the natural and pastoral soul of the season.

I premiered the orchestral version with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall in London on 15 May 2019.

The arrangement will be available for purchase through Hal Leonard later in 2019.

For the choral arrangement, see Alleluia.

Instrumentation

Flutes 1 & 2
Oboes 1 & 2
Clarinets in B1 & 2
Bassoons 1 & 2
Horns in F 1-4
Trumpets in C 1-3
Trombones 1-3
Tuba
Timpani
Percussion 1 & 2
Violin I
Violin II
Viola
Cello
Double Bass

String Orchestra & Percussion

Duration

6 minutes

Year of Composition

2000

Difficulty

Level 3-4

Licensing

Boosey & Hawkes

Purchase

US: Hal Leonard
UK: Musicroom
World: Music Shop Europe

Note from Composer

October began at a restaurant in Chicago, when I was first introduced to Brian Anderson. Brian, a high school band director from Fremont, Nebraska, knew my work and wanted to commission me, but couldn’t find the finances. If I remember correctly I didn’t immediately hear back from him, and I just assumed the gig would never materialize.

About a year later I get this phone call from him and he says that he has put together a commissioning consortium of 30 high school bands from Nebraska. 30 bands! I’ve dealt with institutional bureaucracy for a while now and I can’t possibly imagine how he brought all of those people together, let alone get them to agree on a commission.

Writing a ‘grade three’ work was an entirely different challenge. It’s easy to write your way out of a difficult corner with flashy, virtuosic material, but with ‘easier’ music your solutions must be simple, elegant, and functional. I worked hard to create a piece that could be successfully performed by all of the high schools in the consortium, yet never compromised its musical integrity. Frankly, writing ‘easy’ music is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

October is my favorite month. Something about the crisp autumn air and the subtle change in light always makes me a little sentimental, and as I started to sketch I felt that same quiet beauty in the writing. The simple, pastoral melodies and subsequent harmonies are inspired by the great English Romantics (Vaughn Williams, Elgar) as I felt that this style was also perfectly suited to capture the natural and pastoral soul of the season.

I’m quite happy with the end result, especially because I feel there just isn’t enough lush, beautiful music written for winds. October was premiered on May 14th, 2000, and is dedicated to Brian Anderson, the man who brought it all together.

For the choral arrangement, see Alleluia.

Instrumentation

8 x Violin I
8 x Violin II
4 x Viola
4 x Violoncello
4 x Contrabass
4 x Percussion 1 & 2
Suspended Cymbal
Triangle
Wind Chimes
Timpani

Brass Ensemble

Duration

6 minutes

Year of Composition

2017

Licensing

Boosey & Hawkes

Purchase

US: J.W. Pepper
UK: Musicroom
World: Music Shop Europe

Note from Composer

“I came across David Miller’s arrangement of October on YouTube a couple of years ago. As soon as I heard it, I knew we should make this available for more ensembles. Thank you Dave.” EW

For the choral arrangement, see Alleluia.

Instrumentation

Trumpets in C 1 & 2
Trumpet in B♭
Flugelhorn
Horns in F 1 & 2
Trombones 1 & 2
Bass trombone
Euphonium
Tuba

Concert Band

Duration

6 minutes

Year of Composition

2000

Difficulty

Level 3

Licensing

Boosey & Hawkes

Purchase

US: Hal Leonard
UK: Musicroom
World: Music Shop Europe

Perusal Score

View

Note from Composer

October began at a restaurant in Chicago, when I was first introduced to Brian Anderson. Brian, a high school band director from Fremont, Nebraska, knew my work and wanted to commission me, but couldn’t find the finances. If I remember correctly I didn’t immediately hear back from him, and I just assumed the gig would never materialize.

About a year later I get this phone call from him and he says that he has put together a commissioning consortium of 30 high school bands from Nebraska. 30 bands! I’ve dealt with institutional bureaucracy for a while now and I can’t possibly imagine how he brought all of those people together, let alone get them to agree on a commission.

Writing a ‘grade three’ work was an entirely different challenge. It’s easy to write your way out of a difficult corner with flashy, virtuosic material, but with ‘easier’ music your solutions must be simple, elegant, and functional. I worked hard to create a piece that could be successfully performed by all of the high schools in the consortium, yet never compromised its musical integrity. Frankly, writing ‘easy’ music is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

October is my favorite month. Something about the crisp autumn air and the subtle change in light always makes me a little sentimental, and as I started to sketch I felt that same quiet beauty in the writing. The simple, pastoral melodies and subsequent harmonies are inspired by the great English Romantics (Vaughn Williams, Elgar) as I felt that this style was also perfectly suited to capture the natural and pastoral soul of the season.

I’m quite happy with the end result, especially because I feel there just isn’t enough lush, beautiful music written for winds. October was premiered on May 14th, 2000, and is dedicated to Brian Anderson, the man who brought it all together.

For the choral arrangement, see Alleluia.

Instrumentation

Flutes 1 & 2
Oboes 1 & 2
Clarinet in E
Clarinets in B 1, 2 & 3
Bass Clarinets in B 1 & 2
Alto Saxophones in E 1 & 2
Tenor Saxophone in B
Baritone Saxophone in E
Bassoons 1 & 2
Horns in F 1-4
Trumpets in B 1, 2 & 3
Tenor Trombones 1 & 2
Bass Trombone
Euphoniums 1 & 2
Euphonium TCs 1 & 2
Tubas 1 & 2
Timpani
Percussion 1 & 2
Suspended Cymbal
Mark Tree
Crash Cymbal
Bass Drum
Triangle

Mallet Quartet

Duration

6 minutes

Year of Composition

2018

Licensing

Boosey & Hawkes

Purchase

US: Sheet Music Direct

Note from Composer

I was delighted when Eric got in touch to ask if I might arrange some of his choral music for marimba. I first met and worked with Eric in 2012, when I was invited to organise the percussion elements of his debut BBC Proms Concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall.

His music contains many of the things I love in choral music; lush tonal harmonies, strong audience engagement and a firm spiritual connection. We also share a similar taste in 1980’s pop, although I would be the 4th member of A-ha, not the 5th member of Depeche Mode!

I began with three pieces from the album ‘Light and Gold’, which sit perfectly for marimba quartet, positioning four players at two marimbas.

I transcribed Sleep replacing the voices with the warm, earthy tones of the marimbas to make a seriously special marimba chorale. To contrast A Boy and a Girl contains some eighth note passages to convey momentum, whilst Lux Aurumque employs up to twelve mallets across the instruments to keep the original division of parts.

For October I added two vibraphones (played without motor) to the marimbas to utilize the wider sound pallet of the mallet quartet. Using the choral reworking Alleluia this music chimes and sparkles, a humble meditation on the glory of autumn.

Joby Burgess, Arranger

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Instrumentation

2 Vibraphones
2 Marimbas