Shadow Rituals

From Wind Repertory Project
Michael Markowski

Michael Markowski

General Info

Year: 2006
Duration: 4:25
Difficulty: V
Publisher: Manhattan Beach Music
Cost: Score and Parts - $135.00   |   Score Only - $18.00


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

  • Bass Drum
  • Bongos
  • Brake Drum
  • Cabasa
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Glockenspiel
  • Slapstick
  • Sleigh Bells
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Tam-Tam (large)
  • Tom-Tom, (low)


Program Notes

Shadow Rituals was written for the first Frank Ticheli Composition Contest in 2006. It won first prize in Category 2 – Young Band.

The piece begins with the percussion section, and shortly after we hear the first theme played by the clarinets. The first theme is later heard in the flutes and bells before returning to the clarinets. Most of Shadow Rituals is related to the opening section, and the majority of the motives heard throughout are related to the first theme.

The second theme is very syncopated and is first heard in the horns and is followed by a development section. The piece then has a brief moment of release as the flutes sustain a unison pitch. Then the third theme is played by a solo euphonium. The third theme is presented in cannon in the bassoon, alto sax, and clarinets. The third theme is a perfect palindrome; if you played it backwards it would sound exactly the same. The first theme returns before a coda, but has been altered to fit a 6-beat pattern instead of a 5-beat pattern. This alteration is presented by the trumpets, over which an augmentation of theme one is expressed by the woodwinds. Shadow Rituals ends with a brief statement of the first theme by the woodwinds, and a brief statement of the second theme by the winds and brass.

- Program Note by composer

Shadow Rituals was Michael Markowski’s first published work for concert band, written when the composer was 20 years old and a student at Arizona State University. The work won first prize in the 2006 Frank Ticheli Composition Contest in the Young Band category. Markowski describes Shadow Rituals as “rhythmic, energetic, and challenges the performer to constantly stay engaged in the music. The piece is a dark and mystical dance -- a reflection of something primitive or ancient.”

- Program Note from Kennesaw State University Wind Symphony concert program, 26 September 2016

About Shadow Ritual Markowski writes:

“I can remember sitting in my junior high school band reading through my first Frank Ticheli piece; I remember it because I found his style so unlike the other arrangements and “standards” that we performed. Now, several years later, I realize the remarkable inspiration Ticheli’s music has made on my own writing and growth as a musician. Because of this,

Shadow Rituals was written particularly for the Manhattan Beach Music Frank Ticheli Composition Contest and I dedicate it humbly to Frank Ticheli.”

- Program Note from University of Texas Symphony Band concert program, 27 February 2019


  • Frank Ticheli Composition Contest, first prize in Category 2 – Young Band, 2006.


State Ratings

  • Iowa: IV
  • Louisiana: IV
  • Maryland: IV
  • North Carolina: V
  • Ohio: OMEA High School Band A
  • South Carolina: V
  • Texas: IV. Complete


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of California, Los Angeles, (UCLA) Symphonic Band (Nicholas Junker, conductor) – 31 May 2023
  • Youngstown (Ohio) State University Concert Band (Michael S. Butler, conductor) - 25 April 2022
  • Ouachita Baptist University (Arkadelphia, Ark.) Wind Ensemble (Craig V. Hamilton, conductor) - 7 March 2022
  • Appalachian State University (Boone, N.C.) Symphony Band (Jason Gardner, conductor) - 23 February 2022
  • Grand Symphonic Winds (St. Paul, Minn.) (Matthew George, conductor) - 12 February 2021
  • Pope High School (Marietta, Ga.) Symphonic Band (Josh Rudolph, conductor) – 5 March 2020
  • University of Florida (Gainesville) Monday Concert Band (Bryan T. Braue, conductor) – 25 February 2020
  • Kent State University (Ohio) Symphony Band (Kate Ferguson, conductor) – 28 February 2020
  • Virginia Tech (Blacksburg) Symphony Band (Chad Reep, conductor) – 13 October 2019
  • University of Arkansas (Fayetteville) Red Concert Band (Shelby Swanson-Williams, conductor) – 30 April 2019
  • Shenandoah Conservatory (Winchester, Va.) Concert Band (Keith Taylor, conductor) - 25 April 2019
  • Turlock (Calif.) High School Wind Ensemble (Daniel Baudino, conductor) – 12 April 2019 (2019 San Joaquin Valley (Calif.) Concert Band Invitational)
  • University of Texas (Austin) Symphony Band (Joshua Gall, conductor) – 27 February 2019
  • The Ohio State University (Columbus) Collegiate Winds (Christopher D. Hoch, conductor) – 26 February 2019
  • University of Iowa (Iowa City) Concert Band (Nolan Hauta, conductor) – 21 February 2019
  • Texas Woman's University (Denton) Wind Symphony (Carter Biggers, conductor) – 12 February 2019
  • Millersville (Penn.) University Concert Band (Joe Cernuto, conductor) – 18 November 2018
  • Indiana University of Pennsylvania (Indiana, Penn.) Symphony Band (Jason Worzbyt, conductor) – 10 November 2018
  • Wartburg College (Waverly, Iowa) Wind Ensemble (Craig A. Hancock, conductor) – 4 November 2018

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

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