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On This Bright Morning

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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.

David Maslanka

David Maslanka

General Info

Year: 2013
Duration: c. 9:15
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Maslanka Press
Cost: Score and Parts - $300.00   |   Score Only - $75.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute 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
Trombone I-II
Percussion I-II-III-IV-V, including:

  • Anvil (suspended)
  • Bass Drum
  • Chimes
  • Crotales (optional)
  • Marimba
  • Orchestra Bells
  • Suspended Cymbal (large)
  • Vibraphone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Commissioned by a consortium led by James Smart of the University of Montana. The music explores the struggles and joys of times of transition.

- Program Note from score

David Maslanka was commissioned to write On This Bright Morning by 36 schools (middle school through university) from the state of Montana, David’s home since 1990. The consortium was organized by Dr. James Smart, Director of Bands at the University of Montana, whose goal was to have the composer write a substantial work that was musically profound and technically reasonable for smaller high school programs.

- Program Note by the Utah Wind Symphony concert program, 20 December 2014

There are times of stability in life, and times of significant transition. Transitions can be upsetting, often provoked or accompanied by physical or emotional troubles. They are times of uncertainty and unknowing, but also the times of greatest creative change. On This Bright Morning acknowledges the struggle, and the feelings of pain and loss in times of transition, but embodies the pure joy of realizing the bigger life. On this bright morning, life is new, life is possible.

- Program Note by Jeff Girard, Midwest Sheet Music

The musical material -- melody, harmony, and rhythm -- are all very simple, but also quite delicate and demand the utmost control from as large an ensemble as a symphonic band. The composer invites the players to commit fully to a very direct and powerful feeling. To the score, he attaches the following quote, taken from an interview with the poet Jane Kenyon:

"Yes, there are things in this life that we must endure that are all but unendurable, and yet I feel that there is a great goodness. Why, when there could have been nothing, is there something? How, when there could have been nothing, does it happen that there is love, kindness, beauty?"

- Program Note from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, Wind Orchestra concert program, 6 December 2015


State Ratings

  • North Carolina: VI


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Yale University (New Haven, Conn.) Concert Band (Kelly Watkins, conductor) - 10 February 2023
  • The Whitworth (Spokane, Wash.) Wind Symphony (Richard Strauch, conductor) - 1 May 2022
  • University of Arkansas (Fayetteville) Symphonic Band (Jeffrey Summers, conductor) - 27 April 2022
  • University of Southern Mississippi (Hattiesburg) Concert Band (Travis Higa, conductor) - 7 March 2022
  • Scarsdale (N.Y.) High School Wind Ensemble (Jason Noble, conductor) - 7 December 2021
  • Illinois State University (Normal) Wind Symphony (Anthony C. Marinello II, conductor) - 24 April 2021
  • University of Texas (Austin) Wind Symphony (Scott Hanna, conductor) – 23 February 2020
  • Brevard (N.C.) College Wind Ensemble (Eric Peterson, conductor) – 7 November 2019
  • University of Illinois (Champaign) Wind Orchestra (Beth Peterson, conductor) – 18 April 2019
  • Harding University (Searcy, Ark.) Wind Ensemble (Mike Chance, conductor) – 9 April 2019
  • Montgomery County (Blacksburg, Va.) All-County Band (Onsby Rose, conductor) – 19 March 2019
  • California All-State Junior High School Symphonic Band (James Smart, conductor) - 17 February 2019 (2019 CASMEC Conference, Fresno)
  • O’Fallon (Ill.) Township High School Symphonic Band (Philip Carter, conductor) – 15 February 2019
  • Colorado State University (Fort Collins, CO) Symphonic Band (T. André Feagin, conductor) 9 October 2018
  • University of North Texas (Denton) Concert Band (Lauren Yacht, conductor) – 3 October 2018
  • Harding University (Searcy, Ark.) Wind Ensemble (Mike Chance, conductor) - 19 April 2018
  • Washington and Lee University (Lexington, Va.) Wind Ensemble (Christopher Dobbins, conductor) – 2 April 2018
  • Henderson State University (Arkadelphia, Ark.) Wind Ensemble (Steven M. Knight, conductor) – 1 March 2018
  • The Ohio State University (Columbus) University Band (Onsby Rose, conductor) – 1 March 2018

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Maslanka, D. (2013). On This Bright Morning: For Wind Ensemble [score]. Maslanka Press: New York.
  • Wright, Lauren Denney. "On This Bright Morning." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 11, Compiled and edited by Richard Miles, 383-390. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2018.