Swirling Prisms

From Wind Repertory Project
Brian Balmages

Brian Balmages

General Info

Year: 2017
Duration: c. 5:30
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: FJH Music
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $95.00   |   Score Only (print) - $11.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
English Horn (optional)
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Contra Alto Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass 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
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Cabasa
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Crotales
  • Crystal Glasses (5)
  • Marimba (2)
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Swirling Prisms is derived from the abstract concept of optical prisms spinning freely in space while reflecting light in numerous directions. It depicts the bending, reflecting and dispersing of light into its component colors (the colors of the rainbow). The challenge was to create a sense of each prism affecting light in countless ways, yet also implying a certain “harmony” between the light and the prisms. To help tie everything together, further inspiration was taken from Impressionism in art which, among other things, places emphasis on the changing characteristics of light. This directly led into the overall Impressionistic quality of the music in that there is a strong focus on harmony, texture and orchestration.

Swirling Prisms was commissioned by the Artie Henry Middle School Honors Band and premiered at the 2016 Midwest Clinic in Chicago, Illinois, December 16, 2016.

- Program Note from Artie Henry Middle School Honors Band concert program, 16 December 2016


State Ratings

  • Louisiana: IV
  • North Carolina: V
  • Texas: IV


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Balmages, B. (2017). Swirling Prisms [score]. FJH Music: Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
  • Brian Balmages website Accessed 15 September 2020