Flute I-II-III (III doubles Piccolo)
Eb Soprano Clarinet
Bb Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
Bb Bass Clarinet
Bb Contrabass Clarinet
Eb Alto Saxophone I-II
Bb Tenor Saxophone
Eb Baritone Saxophone
Bb Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Percussion I-II-III-IV, including:
- Bass Drum
- Crash Cymbals
- Finger Cymbals
- Snare Drum
- Suspended Cymbal
Optional SSA chorus
None discovered thus far.
At the Midwest Band and Orchestra convention in 1996, Gary Green approached me about a possible commission for his wind ensemble at the University of Miami. I accepted, and the commission formally began July 1st, 1997. Two years later I still couldn’t show him a single note. That’s not to say I hadn’t written anything. On the contrary, I had about 100 pages of material for three different pieces, but I wanted to give Gary something very special and just couldn’t find that perfect spark.
Around this time my great friend and fellow Juilliard composer Steven Bryant was visiting me in Los Angeles, and as I had just bought a new computer I was throwing out old sequencer files, most of them sketches and improvisational ideas. As I played one section Steve dashed into the room and the following conversation ensued:
Steve: "What the hell was that!?!"
Me: "Just an old idea I’m about to trash."
Steve: "Mark my words, If you don’t use that I’m stealing it."
The gauntlet had been thrown.
That was the spark, but it took me a full eight months to write the piece. There are a LOT of notes, and I put every one on paper (with pencil). I wanted to write a moto perpetuo, a piece that starts running and never stops (equus is the Latin word for horse) and would also be a virtuosic show piece for winds. The final result is something that I call “dynamic minimalism,” which basically means that I love to employ repetitive patterns as long as they don’t get boring. We finally premiered the piece in March 2000, nearly three years after the original commission date, and the University of Miami Wind Ensemble played the bejeezus out of it.
Equus is dedicated to my friend Gary Green, the most passionate and patient conductor I know.
- Program Note by Eric Whitacre
None discovered thus far.
- Texas: V
- North Carolina: VI
- Oklahoma: V
To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project
- University of North Carolina School of the Arts (Winston-Salem) Wind Ensemble (Mark Norman, conductor; Cantata Singers) – 8 November 2019
- University of Wyoming (Laramie) Wind Symphony (Robert Belser, conductor) – 7 November 2019
- Ohio University (Athens) Wind Symphony (Brooke Woods, conductor) – 25 April 2019
- Idaho State University (Pocatello) Wind Ensemble (Patrick Brooks, conductor) – 19 April 2019
- Grand Street (New York) Community Band (Brian Worsdale, conductor) – 23 March 2019
- Metropolitan Wind Symphony (Lexington, Mass). (Louis J. Buckley, conductor) – 4 November 2018
- Mercyhurst University (Erie, Penn.) Wind Ensemble (Scott Meier, conductor) - 5 May 2018
- University of North Carolina, Greensboro, Wind Ensemble (John R. Locke, conductor) – 22 April 2018
- Bullard High School (Fresno, Calif.) Wind Ensemble (Matthew Carroll, conductor) - 13 April 2018 (2018 San Joaquin Valley (Calif.) Concert Band Invitational)
- Bullard High School (Fresno, Calif.) Wind Ensemble (Matt Carroll, conductor) -16 March 2018 (2018 Sutherland Wind Festival (Fresno, Calif.)
- Southeast Iowa Band (Mount Pleasant) (Robert McConnell, conductor) – 4 March 2018
- Tarleton State University (Stephenson, Texas) Wind Ensemble (Gary Westbrook, conductor) – 9 October 2017
- San Francisco Wind Ensemble (Troy Davis, conductor) – 26 August 2017 2017
- State University of New York, Potsdam, Concert Band (Michael Schaff, conductor) – 18 April 2017
- University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa) Wind Ensemble (Kenneth Ozzello, conductor) – 25 April 2017
- Vassar College and Community Wind Ensemble (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) (James Osborn, conductor) – 26 February 2017
- Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, Md.) Peabody Wind Ensemble (Adam Waller, conductor) – 8 February 2017
- University of Leeds (England) Symphonic Wind Orchestra (Jacob Smith, conductor) – 6 November 2016
- Tallahassee (Fla.) Winds (Patrick Dunnigan, conductor) – 26 April 2016
- Dallas (Texas) Winds (Eric Whitacre, conductor) – 22 March 2016
- Lawrence University (Appleton, Wisc.) Symphonic Band (Matthew Arau conductor) – 11 March 2016
Works for Winds by this Composer
- Cloudburst (1991/ tr. 2001)
- Deep Field (2015/2016)
- Equus (2000)
- Fly to Paradise
- Ghost Train (1995)
- Godzilla Eats Las Vegas (1996)
- Goodnight Moon
- Lux Aurumque (2005)
- Noisy Wheels of Joy (2002)
- October (2000)
- October (arr. Miller) (2000)
- The Seal Lullaby (2011)
- Sleep (2000)
- Sleep (arr. Nowlin) (2000/2016)
- Sleep, My Child (arr. Gershman) (2013)
- Star-Spangled Banner (as arranger) (1814/2018)