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Godspeed!

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Stephen Melillo

Stephen Melillo


General Info

Year: 1998
Duration: c. 5:50
Difficulty: V+ (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Stormworld
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $135.00; (digital) - $120.00   |   Score Only (print) - $40.00


Instrumentation

Full Score
Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe
Eng Horn
Bassoon
Bb Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
Bb Bass Clarinet
Alto Saxophone I-II
Tenor Saxophone I-II
Baritone Saxophone
Bb Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II
Bass trombone
Euphonium
Tuba
PAD Bass
Harp
Timpani
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbal
  • Snare Drum
  • High Hat
  • Clave
  • Triangle
  • Finger Cymbals
  • Jingles
  • Tambourine
  • Wind Chimes
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Large Tam
  • Chimes
  • Orchestra Bells
  • Vibes


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

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


Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.


Media


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) – 11 February 2020
  • Central Michigan University (Mount Pleasant) Symphonic Wind Ensemble (John Campbell, conductor) – 19 February 2019
  • Győr (Hungary) Symphonic Band (Ferenc Szabó, conductor) - 5 December 2017
  • Musikhochschule Trossingen, Germany (Alexander Beer, conductor) - 13 December 2015


Works for Winds by this Composer


Resources