Heartland Verses

From Wind Repertory Project
James M. David

James M David

General Info

Year: 2019
Duration: c. 11:00
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Oakdale Road Music, through Murphy Music Press
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $125.00   |   Score Only (print) - $30.00


1. Flow, blue – 7:00
2. the dust of his wings – 3:35


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III-IV-V, including:

  • Bass Drums (large and small)
  • Cabasa
  • China Cymbals
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Crotales
  • Egg Shaker
  • Glockenspiel
  • Hi-Hat
  • Maracas (large and small)
  • Marimba
  • Sizzle Cymbal
  • Slapstick
  • Sleigh Bells
  • Splash Cymbal
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Tam-tam (medium)
  • Timbales
  • Triangles (large and medium)
  • Vibraphone
  • Vibra-slap
  • Wood Blocks (large and medium)


In Parts:

  • Flutes, mvt. 1, m.1-14: One player per part
  • Flutes, mvt. 1, m,119-120: Play down 8va (C5)*Euphonium, mvt. 1, m.27: first note (E-flat) change to dotted half; second note (F) change to half
  • Tenor Saxophone, mvt. 1, m.90: Change to C#
  • Bassoon, Bass Clarinet, Euphonium, Tuba, mvt. 1, m. 90 & 95: Add accents to eighth notes

Program Notes

Heartland Verses is a two-movement composition based on the works of lowa native and U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser. The first movement, Flow, blue is based on a short poem that describes the patterns of the China plates owned by the author's aunt. The raspy sound of shakers and maracas interact with a simple tune to portray the old woman who is both weathered and sweetened by her many years.

In the dust of his wings, a species of moth is cited that will drink from the tears of sleeping animals. Kooser's beautiful poem describes the sleeper and the insect as conversing through dreams and awakening renewed at the dawn. A nervous and darting motive is accompanied by the fluttering of wings (snare drum with brushes) as the melody from the first movement is transformed into a bright and optimistic conclusion.

This work was commissioned by ten university and high school band programs from the state of lowa led by Myron Peterson, past president of the lowa Bandmasters Association. This work is dedicated to my high school English teacher Mrs. Fischer who knew that I loved poetry almost as much as music.

- Program Note by composer


State Ratings

  • Iowa: IV


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • West Des Moines (Iowa) Valley High School Band (Josh Maymire, conductor) – 17 October 2019 *Premiere Performance*

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • James M. David website Accessed 4 September 2021
  • Peterson, Myron. "A Concise Conductor's Analysis of James M. David's Heartland Verses for Wind Symphony." NBA Journal, Summer 2021, pp. 53-59.
  • Perusal score