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It Is Well

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Joel Love

Joel Love

General Info

Year: 2021
Duration: c. 5:00
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Unknown
Cost: Score and Parts - Unknown


Flute I-II
Solo Flugelhorn
Solo Trombone
Solo Euphonium
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
Horn in F I-II
Trombone I-II
Percussion I-VII, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Glockenspiel
  • Marimbas I-II
  • Mark Tree
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Triangle
  • Tubular Bells
  • Vibraphone

Players humming


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Michael Westbrook was a one-of-a-kind music educator who was one of the very first to lose his life to COVID-19 in late March of 2020. He was an in-demand trumpet player and was a core member of the Symphony of Southeast Texas for more than 30 years, led the Spindletop Brass Quintet, and played jazz at clubs and casinos around the Texas-Louisiana border. As a trumpet player myself, I even played a few gigs with him back when I was pursuing my undergraduate degree at Lamar University, our alma mater. Mr. Westbrook also directed bands at Hardin-Jefferson ISD and was a patient but demanding leader. His favorite hymn was It Is Well with My Soul, and when Dr. Andrew McMahan approached me to compose this piece, I knew I had to use it.

The piece features three soloists: flugelhorn, trombone and euphonium. The Southeast Texas music community lost two other influential figures in addition to Mr. Westbrook: Amy Pallone, who passed of cancer in April 2020, and David Johnson who lost his battle with depression in October of 2019. Amy played the trombone and David played the euphonium, hence the inclusion of these two instruments.

It Is Well begins with a broad full-band treatment of the climax of the It Is Well hymn, which is subverted, making way for my new original melodic material stated by the three soloists over a single pitch that is mostly hummed by the wind ensemble, which is meant to serve as somewhat of a reminder of how influential these folks were to all of the students in their careers. After the soloists state the melodic material, there is a brief flirtation with It Is Well in the woodwinds before a dark restatement of the original material in the soloists again over humming. One final statement of the melodies is performed by the wind ensemble (with the soloists providing lines on top) and culminates in a climactic statement of It Is Well that is once again subverted. The piece ends with the trumpet soloist holding onto their pitch for as long as possible, just like we hope to hold onto the ones we love, even in memory, for as long as possible.

- Program Note by composer


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State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer