Brooklyn Air

From Wind Repertory Project
This work has been identified for inclusion in the Small Band Repertoire Initiative. You may find discussion of the work's challenges and merits under the Discussion tab above. You may also contribute your own thoughts and recommendations by joining the WRP.

Michael Markowski

Michael Markowski

General Info

Year: 2016
Duration: c. 4:45
Difficulty: III (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Markowski Creative
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $120.00; (digital) - $120.00   |   Score Only (print) - $25.00


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

  • Bass Drum
  • Brake Drum
  • Chimes
  • Finger Cymbals
  • Glockenspiel
  • Mark Tree
  • Ocean Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

In Brooklyn (and pretty much everywhere else in New York City), the air is always an exotic melting pot of smells. Freshly baked donuts, sweet springtime flowers, and salty ocean breezes combine with car exhaust, dust, and sun-baked garbage to form an aromatic paradox. Every breath you take is complex and bittersweet.

In Italian, the word for "air" is aria, a word most of us probably recognize from its origins in opera. Although we typically know it as being a song for solo voice, an aria could also be more simply described as any expressive melody. The word also literally translates to "expression" and "tune."

Brooklyn Air is a musical play on these words: a lyrical song flavored with extended jazz harmonies, grimy dissonances, and sweet melodies. The piece opens with buzzing trombone glissandi complemented by a lulling ocean drum and the slow scraping of a brake drum that introduce our ears to a musty, somewhat industrial atmosphere. The woodwinds soon enter singing sweet and salty chords: major, minor, major, minor. By measure 17, the ensemble has landed on a succulent B-flat major chord, our most pleasant taste yet, but by measure 18, the saltiness returns to our palette -- a concert E-natural, the raised fourth scale degree, sings sharply in the melody.

At its heart, the piece is dedicated to Dawn Parker in celebration of her 30-year career teaching music and, in particular, as a 'thank you' for the two of those years that she taught the scrappy middle school saxophone player who would eventually write this piece. Farewells aren't always sad and they certainly aren't usually happy, and as Dawn prepares for the next chapter of her career as an instrument repair specialist, I can't help but imagine that the transition must have her feeling a little bit of both. Perhaps these bittersweet moments are the ones that linger with us the longest -- moments that surprise us, pinch us, and remind us that they are worth remembering.

- Program Note from publisher


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Brandeis University (Waltham, Mass.) Wind Ensemble (Tom Souza, conductor) - 19 November 2023
  • Kilgore (Tx.) College Wind Symphony (Derrick Logozzo, conductor) - 4 May 2023
  • Bridgewater (Va.) College Symphonic Band (Christine Carrillo, conductor) - 13 November 2022
  • Western Colorado University (Gunnison) Symphonic Band (Brett Keating, conductor) - 11 November 2021
  • University of Minnesota (Minneapolis) Maroon Campus Band (David Roush, conductor) – 5 March 2020
  • University of Louisville (Ky.) Concert Band (Jason Cumberledge, conductor) - 17 February 2020
  • Austin (Tx.) Symphonic Band (Richard Floyd, conductor) – 31 March 2019
  • District XII Middle School Honor Band (Cobb County, Ga.) (David Kehler, conductor) – 3 February 2019
  • The Woodlands (Tex.) Concert Band (Richard Floyd, conductor) - 20 December 2018 (2018 Midwest Clinic)
  • Brooklyn (N.Y.) Wind Symphony (Jeff W. Ball, conductor) – 29 November 2018 (NYSSMA Conference, Rochester, N.Y.)
  • Kings County (New York) Concert Band (Jasmine Britt, conductor) – 3 June 2018
  • Hartt Wind Ensemble (Hartford, Conn.) (Andrew Pease, conductor) – 8 March 2018
  • Montgomery Senior All County Band (Amsterdam, N.Y.) (Andrew Pease, conductor) - 3 March 2018
  • California State University, Fullerton, Community College Intercollegiate Band (Patricia Cornett, conductor) – 9 October 2016

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