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Finest Hour!

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Stephen Melillo

Stephen Melillo


General Info

Year: 2000
Duration: c. 6:00
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Storm World
Cost: Score & Parts - $85.00   


Instrumentation

Full Score
Flute I-II
Oboe
Bassoon
Bb Soprano Clarinet I-II
Bb Bass Clarinet
Eb Contra Alto Clarinet
Alto Saxophone I-II
Tenor Saxophone
Baritone Saxophone
Bb Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II
Trombone I-II
Bass trombone
Euphonium(Bass Clef)
Baritone (Treble Clef)
Tuba
PD Bass
Pipe Organ
Harp
Timpani
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Chimes
  • Crash Cymbal
  • Orchestra Bells
  • Snare Drum
  • Chorus(optional)


Errata

Euphonium treble clef part lacks rehearsal measure numbers.


Program Notes

A small but heartfelt tribute to Winston S. Churchill

-Program Note by Stephen Melillo


At 5:30 a.m. on May 10, 1940, Nazi Germany began a massive attack against Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, and France. Defending those countries were soldiers of the British Expeditionary Force along with the French, Belgian, and Dutch (Allied) armies. The Germans relied on an aggressive battle plan, utilizing modern communications such as radio to direct troops in the field. The Allies, for their part, assumed a defensive posture, just as they had done at the start of World War I, and in many cases still relied on hand-delivered messages. As a result, the German Blitzkrieg (“lightning war”) caught the Allies off guard. After just a few weeks of battle, Hitler's armies had conquered Holland, Luxembourg and Belgium. Paris fell on June 14th. Three days later, the French requested an armistice.

The following day, June 18th, 1940, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill spoke to the House of Commons about the disastrous turn of events in Europe amid the stark realization that Britain now stood alone against the seemingly unstoppable might of Hitler's military machine. These are the final words of his speech:

…What General Weygand has called the Battle of France is over. I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization. Upon it depends our own British life, and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands.

But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new dark age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science.

Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, This was their finest hour.

-Program notes by William Johnson


Commercial Discography


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


Performances

To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Texas Christian University (Fort Worth) Symphonic Band (Brian Youngblood, conductor) – 18 April 2019
  • San Luis Obispo Wind Orchestra (William V. Johnson, conductor) - 27 October 2012


Works for Winds by this Composer


Resources

None discovered thus far.