Blue Ridge Reel (Flex)

From Wind Repertory Project
Brian Balmages

Brian Balmages

General Info

Year: 2013 / 2020
Duration: c. 2:50
Difficulty: III (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: FJH Music Co.
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $60.00; (digital) - $60.00

Instrumentation (Flexible)

(Includes Parts 1, 2, 3, and 4 for each instrument)

Full Score
B-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet
F Horn

  • Snare Drum
  • Spoons/Castenets
  • Tambourine
  • Vibraphone
  • Washboard/Guiro


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Blue Ridge Reel was inspired by a recent visit to Ashville for the National Convention of the American Band Directors Association. I was extremely taken with the fun vibe of the town, located in the mountains of North Carolina. During the trip, I had an opportunity to hear several bluegrass bands, including a great performance during a dinner and special tour of the Biltmore Estate. I love the rich heritage of the music of the mountains of the Eastern United States. Many influences in the region come from the rich cultures of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. This fiddle music eventually played a major role in the development of country and bluegrass music.

The title, Blue Ridge Reel, pays homage to the Blue Ridge Mountains. While influenced by the form and style of a traditional Irish reel, the music certainly heads in some contemporary directions as it seeks to mix the modern feel of a city like Ashville with its deeply engrained musical roots. It is also deeply influenced by the untimely passing of Davidson College mathematics professor Robert Whitton, a music lover and major supporter of local musicians. Shortly before his passing, over 100 friends and family gathered in downtown Davidson to participate in a New Orleans-style march through the city. Thus, this piece ties together the spirit of that New Orleans march with my own personal bluegrass experiences in Ashville ... This marks my first time exploring this particular fusion of styles in the wind band idiom, but certainly not my last!

- Program Notes by composer


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Ouachita Baptist University (Arkadelphia, Ark.) Wind Ensemble (Craig V. Hamilton, conductor) - 31 October 2022
  • Acalanes High School (Lafayette, Calif.) Symphonic Band (Lauren Gibson, conductor) - 12 May 2021
  • South Dakota State University (Brookings) Concert Band (Kevin Kessler, conductor) - 25 April 2021
  • University of Dubuque (Iowa) Concert Band (Cassandra Blanchard, conductor) - 14 April 2021
  • University of Nebraska Kearney Wind Ensemble (Duane Bierman, conductor) - 8 April 2021
  • Sacramento (Calif.) State University Concert Band (Matthew Morse, conductor) – 2 December 2020
  • Pittsburg (Kan.) State University Wind Ensemble - 24 September 2020

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works