Renaissance of Wonder

From Wind Repertory Project
Peter Meechan

Peter Meechan

General Info

Year: 2016
Duration: c. 17:45
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Trumpet and orchestra
Publisher: Peter Meechan Music
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $240.00; (digital) - $180.00   |   Score Only (print) - $60.00; (digital) - $60.00

Movements (played without pause)

1. Rage, against the dying of light
2. You’re not going fast enough
3. Hymn: Dreamer of dreams, the makers of music
4. Rave at the close of day
5. The deathless dream


Full Score
Solo Trumpet
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
E-flat Horn or Alto I-II-III-IV
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
String Bass (1 to 4 players)
Percussion I-II-III, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Glockenspiel
  • Marimba
  • Ride Cymbal
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Vibraphone
  • Xylophone

Cello (1 to 6 players)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Ryan Anthony’s battle with multiple myeloma has inspired all who have encountered him. The inspiration comes not only from his own, personal, courageous battle with cancer, but through his wider vision of the world he lives in; setting up The Ryan Anthony Foundation that supports his CancerBlows events (which in turn raises money that is donated for improved cancer treatment and research for all); creating a legacy of music through concerts, recordings and the commissioning of new music for trumpet; or through something as simple, yet strikingly powerful, as his Foundation’s tag line “Music = Hope."

When first conceiving the composition, I instinctively was drawn to Ryan’s ability to make melodic, lyrical, music sing in such a special way, and so the idea of a piece that had its foundation in words, a set of songs based on text, became a natural basis for the work.

As we spoke more about the piece, Ryan mentioned the many quotes, words, poems and thoughts that had provided moments of inspiration and solace, which he sent through to me. As I read them certain themes became apparent: steely determination and drive, love of life and family, dreams and hope: no matter what adversity, no matter the pain, there was always a greater goal, a bigger picture. These ideas -- especially the idea of a dream -- became, almost through necessity, part of the piece.

Several of the quotes stood out, some for me personally, some because they seemed to represent and embody Ryan and all that he is. One such quote (from Merrill Root) became the title:

"We need a renaissance of wonder. We need to renew, in our hearts and in our souls, the deathless dream, the eternal poetry, the perennial sense that life is a miracle and magic."

From our early conversations, I knew that I wanted the Dylan Thomas poem Do not go gentle to be part of this piece. I have always read the poem differently to how it is traditionally interpreted -- to me it has always been a lesson about life, and how it should be lived with purpose, making the most of every minute. The work opens up with an unaccompanied setting of the first stanza of the Thomas poem:

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

As a motor racing fan, another quote Ryan sent me stood out, Mario Andretti’s quote “If everything seems under control, you’re not going fast enough”. The music in this second section you’re not going fast enough strives to use some of that energy, and embody the spirit of Andretti’s words -- to live on the edge, as that’s where life -- and music -- live also.

The third section of the piece, Hymn: Dreamers of dreams, makers of music, was written (and titled) not only for Ryan but for his family. Their dream was their family, and of all the families he could have been born into, it was a family of musicians. Through the Salvation Army Band heritage and church, Ryan would play hymns -- and whilst not a traditional hymn, this section pays homage to his beginnings as a trumpet player, and his beginnings in life, as well as his time in Canadian Brass with a setting of the verse for brass quintet.

The title has its origins in the Arthur O’Shaughnessy poem Ode -- but I first came across the opening lines (“We are the music makers, And we are the dreamers of dreams”) as a child reading the Roald Dahl book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Dahl encompasses everything positive about life, and makes children all over the world believe that anything is possible. Nothing seemed more appropriate for this piece.

The fourth passage (Rave at the close of day) recaps the poem and music from the opening, leading to the final section, a dream sequence titled “The deathless dream” (taken from the “renaissance of wonder” quotation). By their very nature dreams are deathless, and in its own way that makes dreams more important than life itself. We all dream, we were all someone’s dream, and long after we have all departed this earth, dreams will continue to bring ambition, happiness and -- most importantly -- hope.

Renaissance of Wonder is dedicated to Ryan Anthony, in friendship, inspiration, and wonderment.

Renaissance of Wonder is a work for solo trumpet and ensemble (consisting of orchestral winds and brass, percussion, piano, ‘cello and double bass) commissioned by Ryan Anthony, Gary Ciepluch and the Case Western Reserve University and a consortium of 11 other ensembles and individuals: Gary Ciepluch, Ohio, Vince DiMartino, Ky., Birch Browning, Cleveland State University, Ohio, Dr. Brendan Caldwell – Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music, Ohio, William Ciabattari, Lycoming College, Williamsport, Penn., John Climer, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Wisc., Dr. Jay Gilbert, Doane University: Crete, Neb., Galen S. Karriker, University of Akron, Ohio, Matthew Salvaggio, Hiram College, Ohio, Frank Tracz, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kan., David A. Turrill, Muskingum University, Ohio.

- Program Note by composer


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

*Indiana University (Bloomington) Symphonic  Band (Eric M. Smedley, conductor) – 31 October 2023
  • Southern Methodist University (Dallas, Tx.) Meadows Wind Ensemble (Jack Delaney, conductor) – 15 November 2019
  • Michigan State University (East Lansing) Wind Symphony (Kevin Sedatole, conductor; Justin Emerich, trumpet) – 24 October 2019
  • Dallas (Tx.) Winds (Jerry Junkin, conductor; Ryan Anthony, trumpet) – 15 October 2019
  • University of Texas (Austin) Wind Ensemble (Jerry Junkin, conductor; Ryan Anthony and Jens Lindemann, trumpets) - 5 May 2019

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

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