C Piccolo/Flute III
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-VI
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Percussion I-II-III-IV-V, including:
- Bass Drum
- Cymbal scrape
- Gong, large
- Wind Chimes
None discovered thus far.
Wayne Oquin delves into the contradictions of human nature and experience in response to a thought conveyed by Aaron Copland: “To affirm the world is meaningless unless one also affirms the tragic reality which is at the core of existence. To live on -- to develop means, as I see it, to enter always more and more deeply into the very essence of tragic reality.”
That these lines were written in a private letter by one of America’s foremost composers, one known for his optimistic populist works, is eye opening. Though Copland intended this description for his own dark and sinister Piano Variations, the meaning of his words -- that it is impossible to affirm life without also considering the tragic -- serves as the impetus for my own Affirmation, a ten-minute reflection on a wide range of often conflicting emotions that encompass the human condition: life and death; love and loss; darkness and light.
At no point in the work are these extremities juxtaposed side by side; but rather, they gradually materialize. While the music travels far in terms of its range of register, harmony, and dynamic, it does so almost imperceptibly, as one long arc from beginning to end.
Affirmation is dedicated to the American Bandmaster’s Association and to The University of Florida Bands with much appreciation for their continued support. I’m also indebted to Col. Larry Lang and The United States Air Force Band for giving an astounding world premiere.
- Program Note by composer
- NBA/William D. Revelli Composition Contest, winner, 2014.
- Audio: Reference recording. U.S. Air Force Band (Larry Lang, conductor)
- Audio: Reference recording. University of Florida Wind Symphony (David Waybright, conductor)
To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project
- Philadelphia (Penn.) Wind Symphony (Virginia Allen, conductor) – 18 May 2019
- Belmont University (Nashville, Tenn.) Wind Ensemble (Barry Kraus, conductor) – 5 October 2018
- University of Arizona (Tucson) Wind Ensemble (Chad Nicholson, conductor) – 24 March 2018 (CBDNA 2018 Western/Northwestern Conference, Rohnert Park, Calif.)
- University of Florida (Gainesville) Wind Symphony (David Waybright, conductor)] – 2 February 2017
- Southwestern Oklahoma State University (Weatherford) Wind Symphony (Keith Talley, conductor) – 24 April 2016
- United States Coast Guard Band (New London, Conn.) (Adam Williamson, conductor) – 12 March 2016 (CBDNA 2016 Eastern Division Conference, New London, Conn.)
- University of Florida Wind Symphony (David Waybright, conductor) – 19 January 2017
- University of Florida (Gainesville) Symphonic Band (John M. Watkins, conductor) – 20 February 2016 (CBDNA 2016 Southern Division Conference, Charleston, S.C.)
- University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Wind Ensemble (Carolyn Barber, conductor) – 7 October 2015
- University of Illinois (Champaign) Wind Symphony (Linda Moorhouse, conductor) - 28 March 2015 (2015 CBDNA National Conference, Nashville)
- United States Air Force Band (Larry Lang, conductor) - 7 March 2014 (80th Annual ABA National Convention)
Works for Winds by This Composer
- Affirmation (2014)
- Flashback (1996/2016)
- Horizon (2021)
- Momentum (1997)
- River Sanctuary (1998)
- A Solemn Place (2013)
- Song for Silent Voices (2018)
- Tower Ascending (2009)
- Butler, Michael S. "Affirmation." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 11, Compiled and edited by Richard Miles, 475-488. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2018.
- Wayne Oquin website Accessed 12 September 2017