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Lark in the Clear Air, The

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This work has been identified for inclusion in the Small Band Repertoire Initiative. You may find discussion of the work's challenges and merits under the Discussion tab above. You may also contribute your own thoughts and recommendations by joining the WRP.

Clifton Taylor

Traditional, setting by Clifton Taylor

General Info

Year: 2011
Duration: c. 3:45
Difficulty: III +(see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Grand Mesa Music
Cost: Score and Parts - $50.00   |   Score Only - $8.00


Full Score
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bb Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
Bb Bass Clarinet
Eb Contra Alto Clarinet
Eb Alto Saxophone I-II
Bb Tenor Saxophone
Eb Baritone Saxophone
Bb Trumpet I-II-III (opt. flugelhorn solo)
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
Euphonium (Bass Clef & Treble Clef)
Percussion, including:

  • Bells
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Triangle


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

This setting of The Lark in the Clear Air was written for the Mississippi State University Wind Ensemble for their May 2008 concert tour of Ireland and England. The melody is the traditional Irish folk tune Caisleán U, Neil. It was collected by Lady Ferguson in the west of Ireland, and appears in the book A Song For Ireland by Mary O’Hara.

- Program Note by Cal State Los Angeles Wind Ensemble

The associated lyrics are attributed to Sir Samuel Ferguson of Belfast, circa 1850:

Dear thoughts are in my mind
And my soul soars enchanted,
As I hear the sweet lark sing
In the clear air of the day.
For a tender beaming smile
To my hope has been granted,
And tomorrow she shall hear
All my fond heart would say.

I shall tell her all my love,
All my soul's adoration,
And I think she will hear
And will not say me nay.
It is this that gives my soul
All its joyous elation,
As I hear the sweet lark song
In the clear air of the day.

In this, his first published work, Mississippi composer Taylor has created an expressive masterpiece for band. Based on a traditional Irish folk song, an extended bird-like flute solo is used to introduce and decorate the main melody, first presented in solo flugelhorn. After a series of intriguing, well-scored episodes, the work climaxes in a powerful tutti statement.

- Program Note from publisher

Commercial Discography

Audio Links

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa) Symphonic Band (Randall O. Coleman, conductor) – 25 November 2019
  • University of Northern Colorado (Greeley) Wind Ensemble (Don L. Peterson, conductor) - 7 March 2019 (84th Annual ABA National Convention)
  • St. Louis (Mo.) Wind Symphony (Thomas Poshak, conductor) - 11 November 2018
  • California State University, Los Angeles, Wind Ensemble (Emily Moss, conductor) – 11 October 2018
  • Brigham Young University (Provo, Utah) Symphonic Band (Kirk Saville, conductor) – 7 November 2017
  • Encore Concert Band (Mokena, Ill.) (Bill Schuetter, conductor; Jackie Isely, flute) – 15 October 2017
  • Murrieta Valley High School (Murrieta, Calif.) Wind Ensemble I (Neil Anderson, conductor) - 19 February 2015 (2015 CMEC Conference, Fresno)
  • California State University, Los Angeles, Wind Ensemble (Emily Moss, conductor) - CBDNA Western/Northwestern Division Convention (Reno, Nev.) 13 March 2014
  • North Coast Symphonic Band (Astoria, Ore.) (John Hammond, conductor) - 28 October 2012
  • Douglas Anderson School of the Arts (Jacksonville, Fla.) Wind Symphony (Paula Thornton, conductor) – 14 December 2011 (2011 Midwest Clinic

Works for Winds by this Composer


None discovered thus far.