Flight (Balmages)

From Wind Repertory Project
Brian Balmages

Brian Balmages

General Info

Year: 2005
Duration: c. 4:00
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: FJH Music Company, Inc.
Cost: Score and Parts - $120.00   |   Score Only - $17.00


Full Score
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone in Eb I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone in Eb
B-flat Cornet i I-II-III
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
Percussion I-II, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Chimes
  • Glockenspiel
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Triangle
  • Wood Block
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

On October 4, 2004, SpaceShipOne (built by the Tier One Private Manned Space Program) won the 10-million-dollar Ansari X-Prize, becoming the first private manned spacecraft to exceed an altitude of 62 miles (328,000 feet) twice within the span of two weeks. The X-Prize was designed to encourage developments in commercial air travel. Flight commemorates the exciting second flight that won the X-Prize.

At 6:49 a.m. PST, the White Knight turbo jet took off, holding SpaceShipOne beneath. At 7:49 a.m., at an altitude of 47,100 feet, SpaceShipOne released and fired its hybrid rocket motor. The rocket burn lasted for 83 seconds and boosted the ship to more than 2,186 miles per hour. Upon motor burn-out, SpaceShipOne was able to coast another 154,500 (radar) feet. As the vehicle approached apogee, the pilot, Brian Binnie, experienced weightlessness for approximately 3.5 minutes. As it began its fall back toward the atmosphere, the pilot experienced a peak deceleration of 5.4 Gs. Eventually, SpaceShipOne was reconfigured back into a glider at 51,000 feet and had an 18-minute descent for a smooth landing.

This work is in the style of a minimalistic fanfare. There are essentially three main sections that correspond with the three main segments of the flight: launch to space, reaching the apogee, and return to the atmosphere. The opening rhythmic motives appear throughout the piece and a secondary motif presented in the woodwinds eventually becomes the final powerful statement of the work.

- Program note from score

Premiered at Carnegie Hall, this minimalistic fanfare celebrates SpaceShipOne, the first privately manned spacecraft to exceed an altitude of 62 miles twice within two weeks. The three sections explore the launch to space, reaching the apogee (weightlessness), and return to the atmosphere. Punctuated by incredible brass fanfares and woodwind flourishes, the entire work is a bundle of energy from start to finish.

- Program Note from publisher


State Ratings

  • Maryland: V
  • Tennessee: V


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Balmages, B. (2005). Flight [score]. JFH Music: Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
  • Brian Balmages website Accessed 15 September 2020