Symphony No. V (Giroux)

From Wind Repertory Project
Julie Giroux

Julie Giroux

Subtitle: Elements

General Info

Year: 2018
Duration: c. 26:50
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Musica Propria
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $410.00   |   Score Only (print) - $85.00


1. Sun in C – 7:20
2. Rain in D-flat – 9:00
3. Wind in E-flat – 9:10


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass 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
Bass Trombone
String Bass
Percussion I-VII, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Chimes
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Crotales
  • Finger Cymbals
  • Marimba I-II
  • Orchestra Chimes
  • Snare Drum
  • Tambourine
  • Tam-Tam
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone I-II


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Symphony No. V, “Elements,” is my attempt to describe the three elements -- Sun, Rain and Wind -- with music. It was my goal to literally submerse the listener in musically graphic situations so much so that after listening to the respective movements they would emotionally “feel” like they had been physically touched by each. I wanted to musically present sunrises as well as sunburn the audience with intense heat, then drench and heal them with rain, and finally blow them back against their seats with the power and excitement of wind.

Each movement can stand alone. Applause is welcomed after each movement even if the entire symphony is being performed. There is a revisit of some of the thematic materials from both Sun and Rain in the finale Wind. Some of the settings in Wind depict hot winds and blowing rain. to name just a couple. There is also an interesting graphic representation in notes in the score. Be sure and ask to see those two pages in the Wind score. I do believe I achieved what I set out to do. This is also my most demanding work for wind ensemble in both technique as well as instrumentation.

- Program Note by composer

Symphony No. 5, “Elements” (2018) was premiered as a commission by Daniel J. Van Abs for the Eastern Wind Symphony in Princeton, New Jersey with Todd Nichols conducting. It was composed in memory of Patricia Page Van Abs. Giroux offers the following regarding the composition:

When I was a kid, I always had a job. My family didn’t have much money, so there were plenty of chores but no allowance. If I wanted something I had to make the money myself and buy it. I spent all my money on music: printed music, record albums, headphones and record player needles. I would turn out the lights, put on headphones and listen to entire symphonies late into the night while laying on the floor, eyes closed letting the music take me to wondrous places. Beethoven, Mozart, Mahler, Holst, Mussorgsky, Sibelius, Saint-Saëns, Strauss, Tchaikovsky, Berlioz and Rossini were my travel guides.

When I sat down to write Symphony No. 5, my goal was to take people to wondrous inner places. Holst’s The Planets, and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition were two of my favorite works, like painting pictures with music. I wanted to do the same thing with my 5th symphony. Those two works were quite masculine with strong, hard musical edges. I wanted to do something more feminine. I think we have the name Mother Nature and not Father Nature for that reason. Nature doesn’t have hard, masculine edges. Everything is fluid, parts of a greater force, like a natural, endless reincarnation, which is as feminine as birth.

Symphony No. 5 is my attempt at creating a work worthy of listening to in the dark, letting music take you on a tour of the inner sanctums of Mother Nature. To describe with notes and phrases how the Sun feels on your skin, the loneliness of a 10-billion-year life, and the power of sustaining life here on Earth. To drench the listener with Rain. Its beauty, its destruction, its melancholy, wrapped up in everything living on earth. An inner journey of the water inside everything. Finally, the Wind; its power, unpredictability, its life-taking forces or when it’s as soft as a sensual breeze, caressing a sweat-covered body. To whirl into a twister only to blow itself out and to weave its essence musically with Sun and Rain.

- Program Note from University of North Texas Symphonic Band concert program, 23 October 2018

Rain: The opening of the second movement is my attempt at rain. Literally. The orchestration has the woodwinds and sparse melodic percussion playing notes randomly, both in rhythm and pitch, representing individual rain drops. Solo instruments are added to the random rain, and over the course of 37 measures the entire wind ensemble is added. In measure 38, the raindrops become no longer random, but musically part of each chord in passing. The whole opening section represents a light, random rain.

The middle section of Rain is a representation of the melancholy that comes with rain. The music then builds into a huge downpour, represented by the movement’s main theme. It is big and full, but every once in a while, one measure drops down considerably in both volume and personnel which represents the contrast between looking out at a downpour or staring at individual rain drops on the ground or in your hand.

The middle main theme winds down, dropping down in orchestration to a ‘twinkling’ magical piano and melodic percussion section. This represents the miracle of life water gives to all living things on Earth, without which life would not survive. This section then grows into a recap of the main theme, which gradually reduces to a light, slumber-inviting drizzle ending the movement.

- Program Note from VanderCook College of Music Symphonic Band concert program, 21 December 2018


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works