B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone I-II
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
- Bass Drum
- Crash Cymbal
- Finger Cymbals
- High Hat
- Orchestra Bells
- Snare Drum
- Suspended Cymbal
- Tam-tam (large)
- Wind Chimes
None discovered thus far.
Commissioned by The Muncie Central High School Symphonic Band, Mr. Bill Pritchett, Conductor
There is no better way to express the music of this work than to allow you to read a letter sent to me by Mr. Pritchett. His love has inspired this work.
“I haven’t really had a chance to put this into words, but this is what I want to say. Every morning I marvel at how lucky I am to stand in front of the kids I have. It is really a pleasure for me to have the opportunity to conduct a high school band of this quality. I’ve worked with a college band and sure, the group is better, but not necessarily better for me! It’s hard to explain, except to say that I really love the kids at Muncie Central, and that I have loved working with them for the last 17 years. We have the kind of kids that aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves and get dirty ... sweat ... work. I want them to feel a sense of ownership in this work. The notes they play won’t last nearly as long as this composition will last. All of these kids should feel as if they were a part of something meaningful. Can you help me put this into words?”
Bill... I just did.
And now, let me share something with you, my friends. This is not for the program notes. It’s just between me and all of you. Ever since high school, I’ve signed my many letters, “Godspeed!... Sincerely, Stephen Melillo” People used to laugh at me for signing this way! I still don’t know why. Now, I sign music, my most personal letters, in the same fashion. After today, I shall never write that word again without hearing it as music!
Godspeed was written on 10 May 1998. On that day, Symphony # 1 premiered. Dimitri Tiomkin and Max Steiner were born. I love these souls, composers of great and innocent giving. My offering is small, but it comes to you, hands outstretched, in the same manner implicated by Mr. Pritchett’s beautiful words.
Within its time-compressed boundaries of 5:55, much happens. There is youthful exhilaration, the flight of an inviolable spirit, hectic confusion and innocent zeal. Amidst the flurry and flash comes a reverent prayer and an ode to that which is forever quiet and most still. There is the confident assertion of ideals and an ever-abiding vow to take on Life’s challenges. There is hope and daring, introspection and sorrow. Fun is married to courage, darkness overwhelmed by light. And in its final hour, it is the indomitable will of the forever stalwart that rises in victorious triumph!
While possible to write notation, music is forever left to the uncapturable center of our humanity. That music is for you to find, for you to deliver and enjoy as you offer it to others.
The pseudo-professionals ... whom I sometimes call “the music masters” ... would be fatigued by such a piece, imposed upon by such demands to give! THAT is what Mr. Pritchett means when he says, “I’ve worked with a college band and sure, the group is better, but not necessarily better for me.” He means that you guys have the heart and the soul to make music. For that reason, I am honoured to have been asked to write this piece. It is for you.
- Program Note by composer
None discovered thus far.
To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project
- Indiana Weslayan University (Marion) Wind Ensemble (Michael Flanagin, conductor) - 12 April 2021
- Texas Christian University (Fort Worth) Symphonic Band (Brian Youngblood, conductor) – 11 February 2020
- Central Michigan University (Mount Pleasant) Symphonic Wind Ensemble (John Campbell, conductor) – 19 February 2019
- American Legion Band of the Tonawandas (N.Y.) (Stephen Melillo conductor) – 3 May 2018 (ACB 2018 Annual Convention (Buffalo, N.Y.))
- Győr (Hungary) Symphonic Band (Ferenc Szabó, conductor) - 5 December 2017
- Musikhochschule Trossingen, Germany (Alexander Beer, conductor) - 13 December 2015
- La Sierra University (Riverside) Wind Ensemble (Ken Narducci, conductor) – 11 March 2010 (CBDNA 2010 Western/Northwestern Division Conference, Reno, Nev.)
Works for Winds by This Composer
- America the Brave (1981)
- Aurora (1998)
- Ben Hur (as arranger) (1959/2008)
- Concerto for Violin and Band (2000)
- David (1995)
- The Defenders of Truefire! (1996)
- Escape from Plato's Cave (1993)
- Finest Hour! (2000)
- Forbidden Fortress (1997)
- Godspeed! (1997)
- HAJJ (2000)
- Honor, Courage...Commitment (1996/1998)
- I Shall Hear in Heaven
- In a Cause Called "Glorious" (2001)
- In the Beginning (1992)
- Millennium (1997)
- O Come Holy Night! (1993)
- Once More Unto the Breach (2004)
- The Shoemaker (1999/2006)
- The Speech of Angels (1998)
- Three Musical Haikus for Band (1984)
- Time to Take Back the Knights! (1999)
- Triumph at CHO-SIN! (1996)
- Under the Cover of Night ... Into the Light of Day! (1993)
- The Universe Below
- A Walk in Jurassic Park. See: In the Beginning
- Without Warning (1996)
- WU (2008)
- Stephen Melillo website Accessed 12 February 2019