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Crossing Parallels

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Kathryn Salfelder

Kathryn Salfelder

General Info

Year: 2011
Duration: c. 7:15
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Boosey & Hawkes
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $95.00; (digital) - $95.00   |   Score Only (print) - $15.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
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
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III-IV, including:

  • Anvil
  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Chimes
  • Snare Drum (piccolo)
  • Tam-Tam
  • Tenor Drum
  • Triangles (3)
  • Vibraphone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Following the success of Kathryn's Cathedrals (2009), the American Bandmasters Association commissioned her to create this new work for band. Premiered at the 2010 ABA National Convention, Crossing Parallels offers a creative tapestry of engaging sounds and textures as it combines elements of Renaissance and Baroque musical gestures with contemporary notions of set theory and harmony. The seemingly contradictory nature of the title is reflected in the overlapping and intertwining of thematic ideas vying for attention.

- Program Note from publisher

Another program note? These “composer-to-audience” soliloquies have provoked recent discussion in the new music scene at Yale, in composition seminars, at concerts, in conversations with my colleagues, and even online at Content, length, aesthetic, personal appeal to a broad audience, and the use of technical musical jargon have all been topics of debate. Does one provide a textual road map to the sound? Impart programmatic, intervallic, and textural details? Speak of one’s inspiration? The only consensus lies in this: the composer should share factors he or she believes important to understanding the structure and meaning of his or her new work.

Yet how does one impart structure and meaning to such a provocative phrase as “Crossing Parallels”? These seemingly contradictory words are almost irreconcilable. I propose two solutions: the intervals within Crossing Parallels are dictated by both Renaissance and Baroque gestures as well as serial and hexachord rows. There are echoes of John Dowland’s Lacrymae Flow my Tears (c. 1600), glimpses of 18th-century fugal techniques, and fragments of 20th and 21st century notions of set theory and harmony. Though spanning four centuries, these varied practices often result in similar or identical melodies and pitch material.

The second solution is described in the notes below:

two divergent planes
naively self-sufficient
a succession of variations
vying for supremacy
interrupt, overlap, mimic
an intrinsic struggle
until the discovery
the very last moment
it is inevitable
they are too deeply intertwined

- Program Note from score

Commissioned by the American Bandmasters Association and the University of Florida Bands

- Program Note from score


State Ratings

  • MusicFest Canada: B600


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of Minnesota (Minneapolis) Wind Ensemble (Seth Davis, conductor) - 21 October 2022
  • University of Maryland (College Park) Wind Ensemble (Andrea E. Brown, conductor) -15 October 2021
  • University of Louisiana Monroe Wind Ensemble (Sean O'Pry, conductor) - 4 May 2021
  • University of Cincinnati (Ohio) College-Conservatory of Music Wind Ensemble (Thomas Gamboa, conductor) – 24 October 2019
  • University of Nebraska (Lincoln) Wind Ensemble (Carolyn Barber, conductor) – 2 October 2019
  • University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) Concert Band (Courtney Snyder, conductor) – 20 March 2019
  • Cornell University (Ithaca, N.Y.) Wind Symphony (James Spinazzola, conductor) – 2 March 2019
  • Cleveland State University (Ohio) Wind Ensemble (Birch Browning, conductor) – 11 November 2018
  • Indiana University (Bloomington) Concert Band (Jason H. Nam, conductor) – 4 April 2017
  • University of Florida (Gainesville) Wind Symphony (David Waybright, conductor)] – 2 February 2017
  • Temple University (Philadelphia, Penn.) Wind Ensemble (H. Robert Reynolds, conductor) – 18 November 2015

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Brown, Andrea. "Crossing Parallels." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 9, edit. & comp. by Richard Miles, 665-673. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2013.
  • The Horizon Leans Forward…, compiled and edited by Erik Kar Jun Leung, GIA Publications, 2021, p. 462-463.
  • Kathryn Salfelder website
  • Salfelder, K.; Dowland, J.; American Bandmasters Association (2011). Crossing Parallels [score]. Boosey & Hawkes: [New York].