From Wind Repertory Project
David Gillingham

David Gillingham

Subtitle: Celebrating the Centennial of the Invention of Flight by the Wright Brothers in Dayton, Ohio 1903

General Info

Year: 2003
Duration: c. 8:30
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: C. Alan Productions
Cost: Score and Parts - $140.00   |   Score Only - $40.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
Percussion I-II-III-IV, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Board, six-foot
  • Brake Drum
  • Chimes
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Crotales
  • Hi-Hat
  • Marimba
  • Ride Cymbal
  • Slapstick
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tam-Tam
  • Temple Blocks
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Aerodynamics was commissioned by Donald W. Bruning for the Sinclair Community College Community Bands, conducted by Kenneth Kohlenberg, on the occasion of their Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Season. Since the event coincides with the 100th Anniversary of the invention of flight by the Wright Brothers, I thought it would be appropriate to compose a work which honors that occasion. The result is a work which is entirely celebratory in nature, celebrating man's technological invention and creativity.

It is cast in six sections: 1) Invention, 2) Dayton, Ohio, 1903, 3) The Wright Brothers, 4) Construction, 5) Flight and 6) Celebration. Each of these sections intentionally alludes to its programmatic content. In the first section, "Invention," there is a sense of the unknown and anticipation. Particularly noticeable are the wind noises which allude to flight. The motivic material is taken from Scott Joplin's Weeping Willow Rag, written in 1903, the year of the first successful flight. Throughout the section the piano hints at the ragtime style and segues into the second section, "Dayton, Ohio 1903," where the second strain of the rag is played out on the piano, followed by the flute and alto saxophone playing the first strain. The third section, "The Wright Brothers," unfolds a new and dramatic theme which captures the spirit and importance that the Wright Brothers brought to America with their invention of flight. The middle of the section is interrupted with the first strain of the Weeping Willow Rag, followed by a reprise of the "Wright Brothers Theme."

"Construction" makes reference to the building of the airplane that would later prove successful in flight. The Wrights built the plane in the back of their bicycle shop in Dayton, Ohio. There is pounding on metal and wood and the constant ticking of time throughout the entire section and a smattering of motives from the Rag.

The ensuing section is a musical depiction of the first successful "Flight." The wind noise returns along with ascending and descending chromatic passages in the woodwinds and brass. Underscoring the section are hints of the "Wright Brothers Theme." The section grows in texture and strength and segues into the final section, "Celebration," where the "Wright Brothers Theme" returns in a glorious and celebratory fashion and drives to a resounding conclusion.

- Program Note by composer


State Ratings

  • Maryland: VI
  • Michigan: Senior High AA
  • North Carolina: VI


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Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

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  • Gillingham, D. (2003). Aerodynamics: Celebrating the Centennial of the Invention of Flight by the Wright Brothers in Dayton, Ohio 1903 [score]. C. Alan Publications: [Greensboro, N.C.]