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Catclaw Mimosa

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Ben Hjertmann

Ben Hjertmann

General Info

Year: 2011
Duration: c. 4:50
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Manhattan Beach Music
Cost: Score and Parts - $195.00   |   Score Only - $40.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II-III
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III-IV
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
Euphonium (optional)
String Bass (optional)
Timpani (also plays Concert Bass Drum)
Percussion I-II-III-IV, including:

  • Crotales (2 sets)
  • Drumset, including:
    • Crash Cymbal
    • Floor Tom
    • Hi-Hat
    • High Tom
    • Kick Drum
    • Low Tom
    • Ride Cymbal
    • Snare Drum
  • Marimba
  • Tubular Bells
  • Vibraphone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Catclaw Mimosa was my first composition for wind ensemble. The piece shares its name with an invasive species of shrub which has infested areas in American Southwest. It is spiky but surprising warm and colorful.

In approaching such a large ensemble, I decided to begin with a small amount of material. The piece begins with short groove -- slowly expanding outward. The opening material heard in the saxes and low brass as a composite is repeated many times, but always with a slightly varied metrical context. Meanwhile, cliché 4/4 rock patterns appear in a false tempo in the drum set. Like the invasive species, the motives in my piece begin as tiny seed-motives, interjected in the texture. Slowly they accrue and multiply until the ensemble is overtaken and forced into a sort of temporal wasteland.

The piece was championed by Mallory Thompson at Northwestern and played by the Symphonic Wind Ensemble at NU as well as the Northshore Concert Band at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinics that year.

In 2013 this piece won the Grade VI Frank Ticheli Internation Composition Competition.

- Program Note by composer


  • Frank Ticheli International Composition Competition, Grade VI, 2013, winner


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer