From Wind Repertory Project
James Curnow

James Curnow

General Info

Year: 2009
Duration: c. 9:20
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Curnow Music Press
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $85.00   |   Score Only (print) - $15.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II (II doubles English horn)
Bassoon 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-III
String Bass
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Chimes
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Marimba
  • Mark Tree
  • Orchestra Bells
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Temple Blocks
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone
  • Wood Block
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Journey was commissioned by the Naperville (Illinois) Municipal Band (Ron Keller, conductor) to commemorate their 150th anniversary in 2009. The commission was supported in part by a grant from the Naperville Sunrise Rotary Club. The premiere performance was presented on February 8, 2009, with the composer conducting.

Attracted by the vast amounts of cheap land and the open range, the multitude of European emigrants who arrived on American soil eagerly pushed west to find their destiny in the rich earth of the Midwest. Though the Paleo-Indian culture of the Naperville area goes back 10,000 years, the city of Naperville was not settled until 1831. The Naperville Municipal Band (originally the “Light Guard Band”) was formed twenty-eight years later and has given unceasing service to the community since that time.

Journey musically portrays, as variations on an opening fanfare theme, four phases that the early American pioneers experienced during the process of the exploration and development of the United States and the City of Naperville:

Vision: The desire to leave a native land and travel vast distances and endure unbelievable odds in order to start a new life. This vision is depicted through a soaring melody that captures the spirit and determination of the pioneers to conquer the West.

By Land and Sea: The early settlers had to brave the wilds of the West and endure hardships that they had not foreseen when they left their native lands. They traveled by ship, horseback, wagon train, and even walked across the Great Plains to establish their new homesteads. The music here is angular, rambunctious, and at times a bit raucous.

Remembrance: While many of the emigrants did succeed in their travels and in “putting down roots” in their newly-adopted country, many did not. This reflective section of the composition strives to pay tribute to those loved ones who never lived to see their vision come true. The slow and expressive theme is a memoriam to these dedicated and committed people.

Celebration: This fast-paced section depicts the joy and celebration that, by many accounts, accompanied the settlers’ successful arrival their new home. Though the hardships at times seemed insurmountable, the exhilaration at the end of their journey would have been just as exuberant.

Journey further strives to salute all of the members of the Naperville Municipal Band, past and present, for the constant commitment, unwavering dedication, and joy of music-making that they have contributed to the band for the past 150 years. Bravo!

- Program Note by composer


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Appalachian State University (Boone, N.C.) Concert Band (Joseph D. Conti, conductor) – 24 April 2019

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Curnow, J. (2009). Journey [score]. Curnow Music: Milwaukee, Wisc.