Menlo Park, 1879

From Wind Repertory Project
James M. David

James M David

Subtitle: For Wind Band with Flexible Instrumentation

General Info

Year: 2020
Duration: c. 6:50
Difficulty: IV+ (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Oakdale Road Music, through Murphy Music Press
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $70.00   |   Score Only (print) - $10.00

Instrumentation (Flexible)

Full Score
Part 1

  • Piccolo (optional)
  • Flute
  • B-flat Soprano Clarinet

Part 2

  • Flute/Oboe
  • B-flat Soprano Clarinet
  • E-flat Alto Saxophone

Part 3

  • B-flat Soprano Clarinet
  • E-flat Alto Saxophone
  • B-flat Trumpet
  • F Horn

Part 4

  • B-flat Soprano Clarinet
  • E-flat Alto Saxophone
  • B-flat Trumpet
  • F Horn

Part 5

  • B-flat Tenor Saxophone
  • Bassoon
  • Trombone
  • Euphonium
  • F Horn

Part 6

  • B-flat Bass Clarinet
  • E-flat Baritone Saxophone
  • Bassoon
  • Trombone
  • Euphonium
  • Tuba

Piano (Optional)

  • Timpani
  • Cabasa
  • China Cymbal
  • Crotales (or Glockenspiel)
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Triangle


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

On the evening of December 31, 1879, Thomas Edison unveiled the first practical electric light bulb to the public at his laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey. A train was commissioned to bring the New York press and others from the city to Edison’s tiny outpost. Upon arriving, the passengers walked up a small snow-covered hill that was lit by 20 electric lampposts leading to his laboratory filled with the warm glow of incandescent bulbs.

My piece is a tone poem inspired by this special moment in history. The work opens with the gloomy night train, slowly bringing up speed and chattering with the passengers’ anticipation for what is to come. This is followed by a lyrical adagio based on a sarabande progression that represents the ascent to the illuminated building on the hilltop. The work concludes with the return journey that describes the excitement and hope for a new electrical age. Ultimately, I hope that this composition will inspire listeners to remember that even in the darkest of times we can always look towards the future.

- Program Note by composer

Performance Notes

Six wind parts may be played with any instruments. Measures 104-112 can utilize a smaller number of players to achieve a better balance for the solo instruments. Mutes can be used in brass parts if desired in this passage. All solos can be assigned to different instruments at the discretion of the conductor.


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Rutgers University (New Brunswick, N.J.) Symphony Band (Julia Baumanis, conductor) - 9 December 2021
  • La Sierra University (Riverside, Calif.) Wind Ensemble (Giovanni Santos, conductor) - 13 November 2021
  • Florida State University (Tallahassee) Wind Orchestra (Richard Clary, conductor) - 27 April 2021
  • Illinois State University (Normal) Symphonic Winds (F. Mack Wood, conductor) - 24 April 2021
  • University of Wisconsin Eau Claire Symphony Band (Phillip A. Ostrander, conductor) - 1 April 2021
  • Central Washington University Symphonic Winds (T. André Feagin, conductor) - 8 March 2021
  • Indiana State University Wind Symphony (Nikk Pilato, conductor) - 14 October 2020

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works