Imperfect Cadence for a Life Well Led

From Wind Repertory Project
Brett Bawcum

Brett Bawcum

General Info

Year: 2015
Duration: c. 7:00
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Manuscript
Cost: Score and Parts - Unknown


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

  • Chimes
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Side Drum
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tam-Tam
  • Vibraphone
  • Wood Block


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Imperfect Cadence for a Life Well Led was composed for the East Hall High School Band in honor of the memory of legendary musician, educator, and mentor Ronald J. Evans. Ron's family asked for a "tuneful" work in the spirit of an overture that would honor the music Ron loved. I hope I got somewhere close.

I based the work on an old hymn known as Germany, which is attributed to both Beethoven and early 19th-century English composer William Gardiner (also known as W. G. Leicester). Though numerous Protestant hymns have been set to this melody, it holds particular importance to me because of its use in Phi Mu Alpha as Sinfonian Hymn. This was one of the last works I performed with Ron, and the lyric (though a bit dated) is appropriate for the way he lived:

Let each man take his lot and place
Vow every care and trial to face
With manly courage and goodwill
And now endeavor his place to fill.

The title alludes to two common musical uses of the term "cadence." It may be a gesture that marks the end of a phrase or a rhythm to which a group moves together. The work attempts to mark one's moving-on through a style that Ron embraced: the march. It imagines the final moments of a funeral service followed by a gathering of a few friends (often represented by the instrument they play) who share their memories of someone they have lost. Their thoughts and stories are represented by a progression beginning with a dark oboe and piano prelude to a marche funebre, through a gradually lightening processional march, to a celebratory American march. The melodies of each section are derived from permutations of the Germany melody accompanied from time to time by nods to two of Ron's favorite works: Grainger's Australian Up-Country Tune and Verdi's Overture to "La Forza del Destino". The work closes with the resolution of the earlier gathering -- a cadence that is "imperfect" in that the final chord resolves appropriately, yet feels as though something is missing. Something is certainly missing.

- Program Note by composer


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State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Brett Bawcum, personal correspondence, September 2018