Indispensable Man, The
Subtitle: A Roosevelt Portrait
Solo B-flat Clarinet
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
(percussion detail desired)
None discovered thus far.
The Indispensable Man
Sometime when you're feeling important;
Sometime when your ego's in bloom;
Sometime when you take it for granted,
You're the best qualified in the room:
Sometime when you feel that your going,
Would leave an unfillable hole,
Just follow these simple instructions,
And see how they humble your soul.
Take a bucket and fill it with water,
Put your hand in it up to the wrist,
Pull it out and the hole that's remaining,
Is a measure of how much you'll be missed.
You can splash all you wish when you enter,
You may stir up the water galore,
But stop, and you'll find that in no time,
It looks quite the same as before.
The moral of this quaint example,
Is to do just the best that you can,
Be proud of yourself but remember,
There's no indispensable man.
- Saxon White Kessinger
Using Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s own words in a dramatic script written by Dr. Myles Lee, composer Victoria Bond has written a work for narrator and large wind ensemble. Modeling the form of the piece after Aaron Copland’s A Lincoln Potrait, Bond evokes Roosevelt’s era by drawing from the American big band tradition popular during his presidency.
In Dr. Lee’s script, Roosevelt’s dynamic character, his triumph over the adversity of his handicap and his unforgettable words are brought to life. His speeches are quoted and put in the context of the turbulent history that gave rise to such as phrases as: “To some generations much is given. Of other generations much is asked. This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny.” Infusing these powerful words and other speeches like them with inspiring music is the goal of The Indispensable Man.
- Program Note by composer
- Audio: Reference recording. Ensemble and conductor unknown
- Audio CD: Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University - 2018
None discovered thus far.
To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project
- University of Oklahoma (Norman) Wind Symphony (Tim Pardue, conductor) - 22 April 2021
- University of Nebraska (Lincoln) Wind Ensemble (Carolyn Barber, conductor) – 11 March 2020
Works for Winds by This Composer
- The Crowded Hours
- The Frog Prince
- How Br’er Raccoon Outsmarted the Frogs
- The Indispensable Man (2010)
- Pater Patriae
- White on Black
- Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music. "Victoria Bond." Accessed 11 March 2020
- Victoria Bond, personal correspondence, March 2020
- Victoria Bond website Accessed 11 March 2020