Solo B-flat Trumpet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
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
Percussion I-VIII, including:
- Bass Drum
- China Cymbals
- Crash Cymbals
- Suspended Cymbal
- Tenor Drum
- Bass Trombone, m.87: Should have a glissando through whole bar (as in m. 88).
The piece is based on the journey through the Underground Railroad and the way African Americans used the night sky to guide them to freedom.
“African Americans, because they could not read, would learn the patterns of the North Star and use those patterns in the sky from the Big Dipper as a way to follow the path,” he said. “They travelled at night and they basically used nature and the universe to help them escape.”
Barfield said North Star holds another, more current, political message, and says it was the first piece where he made a conscious choice to make a political statement with his music.
“It’s a time where there is a lot of police brutality going on, and we need a modern underground railroad for people who are being shot by police. I felt a strong connection with that,” he said.
For Barfield, the message and the music need to ring true to who he is.
- Program Note by Alyssa Fry from the Metropolitan Music Community Blog
- Audio: Reference recording. University of Kentucky Wind Symphony (Cody Birdwell, conductor; Joseph Alessi, trombone; Allen Vizzutti, trumpet)
None discovered thus far.
To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project
- University of Oklahoma (Norman) Wind Symphony (Shanti Simon, conductor; Amy McCabe, trumpet; Russell Sharp, trombone) - 16 April 2023
- Indiana University (Bloomington) Symphonic Band (Eric M. Smedley, conductor;Peter Ellefson, trombone; John Rommel, trumpet) – 19 April 2018
- Western Illinois University (Macomb) Wind Ensemble (Mike Fansler, conductor; Bruce Briney, trumpet, John Mindeman, trombone) – 6 May 2017
- Brooklyn (N.Y.) Wind Symphony (Jeff Ball, conductor) – 19 March 2017
- University of Kentucky (Lexington) Wind Symphony, (John Cody Birdwell, conductor; Joseph Alessi, trombone; Allen Vizzutti, trumpet) – 24 April 2016 *Premiere Performance*
Works for Winds by This Composer
- Dreamcatcher (2018)
- Elements of Earth (2010)
- Here We Rest (2012)
- Heritage Concerto (2014)
- Invictus (2020)
- Mutiara (2011)
- Red Sky (2013)
- North Star (2016)
- The Tree of Life (2012)