Common Threads

From Wind Repertory Project
Kimberly Archer

Kimberly Archer

General Info

Year: 2016
Duration: ca. 7:50
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Murphy Music Press
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $300.00   |   Score Only (print) - $80.00


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

  • Bells
  • Chimes
  • Vibraphone
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Frisky would be a good descriptor for the metric structure of Common Threads. Puckish humor, jubilance, and down to earth lyricism are also hallmarks of Kim Archer’s latest composition. The piece evolved from early thoughts related obliquely to jazz (“How about something built on rhythm changes?”) to random octatonic wisps, through an imperfectly remembered Brubeck classic, bouncing off Leonard Bernstein and landing improbably in Australia.

The common threads in Common Threads are myriad. You’ll hear structural threads in harmonic, rhythmic, and metric patterns; you’ll hear threads through allusions to common music styles; and you’ll hear threads that help tie the entire program together. It is a sonic Grand Central Station, with a flash mob performing Bohemian Rhapsody in the Main Concourse while an out-of-work actress considers spending her last few dollars for lunch at the Oyster Bar...

... where she sits down next to Morton Gould and the two strike up a nostalgic conversation. Remember, it was Dana Wilson who opened the door through which our minds can wander so freely. Although much older than the other composers on the program, Gould fits perfectly. "I have always been and still am stimulated by the vernacular, by the sound of spirituals, jazz and the like," he once said. "Although I might venture into more complicated abstractions, there is always present in one form or another at least the residue of those elements."

- Program Note from the University of Nebraska Wind Ensemble concert program, 28 February 2016

Dr. [Carolyn] Barber contacted me in August 2015 to ask if I'd compose something for the UN-L [University of Nebraska, Lincoln] Wind Ensemble's invited performance at the 2016 CBDNA North Central Convention in Ames, Iowa. I was flattered and eager to get started, of course. Still, it's amazing but true that nothing shuts off my creativity spigot faster than the word "commission." It can be so much pressure!

After many false starts, I found myself sitting at a piano, banging repeatedly on an F and growling to myself, "If I play this F long enough, something has to come out of it!" (Perhaps also, "This F-ing music!") What ultimately came out was a work that meanders through many keys, meters, and styles, but is unified by the common thread of a repeated pitch. Usually it's that F, finally making good on its potential.

As the larger form and character of this music began to take shape, I realized its goofy humor, carefree spirit, and unabashed joy exactly reflected what I have seen for myself and love so much about the UN-L Wind Ensemble and their conductor, both in rehearsal and performance. Indeed, I can't recall a premiere performance where the musicians and the audience shared such fun and energy!

- Program Note by composer

For Carolyn Barber and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Wind Ensemble.

- Program Note from score


(Needed - please join the WRP if you can help.)

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of Nebraska (Lincoln) Wind Ensemble (Carolyn Barber, conductor) - 1 November 2023
  • Miami University (Oxford, Ohio) Wind Ensemble (Gary A. Speck, conductor) - 12 October 2022
  • University of Delaware (Newark) Wind Ensemble (Lauren Reynolds, conductor) - 13 October 2021
  • Las Vegas Academy (Nev.) Wind Ensemble (John Seaton, conductor) - 29 September 2021
  • Texas Tech University (Lubbock) Symphonic Band (Sarah McKoin, conductor) – 19 February 2020 (CBDNA 2020 Southwestern Division Conference, Norman, Okla.)
  • Grand Symphonic Winds (Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn.) (Matthew J. George, conductor) - 20 December 2019 (2019 Midwest Clinic)
  • Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge) Symphonic Winds (Kelvin Jones, conductor) – 21 November 2019
  • West Virginia University (Morgantown) Wind Symphony (Scott C. Tobias, conductor) – 10 November 2019
  • Texas Tech University (Lubbock) Symphonic Band (Eric Allen, conductor) – 27 October 2019
  • University of Georgia (Athens) Hodgson Wind Ensemble (Andrew Blair, conductor) – 1 October 2019
  • University of North Texas (Denton) Symphonic Band (Andrew Trachsel, conductor) – 26 September 2019
  • Illinois State University (Normal) Symphonic Band (Doug Morin, conductor) – 16 November 2018
  • University of Cincinnati (Ohio) College-Conservatory of Music Wind Symphony (Kevin Michael Holzman, conductor) – 17 October 2018
  • University of Utah (Salt Lake City) Wind Ensemble (Eric LaPrade) – 20 September 2018
  • Quad City Wind Ensemble (Davenport, Iowa) (Brian Hughes, conductor) – 25 February 2018
  • The Florida State University (Tallahassee) Symphonic Band (Patrick Dunnigan, conductor) – 24 February 2018 (CBDNA 2018 Southern Conference, Tampa, Fla.)
  • University of Nebraska (Lincoln) Wind Ensemble (Carolyn Barber, conductor) – 28 February 2016 – *Premiere Performance*
  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln Wind Ensemble (Carolyn Barber, conductor) – 25 February 2016 (CBDNA 2016 North Central Division Conference, Ames, Iowa)

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Acklin, Amy I. "Common Threads." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 12, Compiled and edited by Andrew Trachsel, 752-758. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2021.
  • Kimberly Archer website Accessed 21 March 2016