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This is most certainly true

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James Stephenson

James Stephenson

The title of this work is intentionally written in lower case.

General Info

Year: 2017
Duration: c. 6:55
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Stephenson Music
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $200.00; (digital) - $200.00   |   Score Only (print) - $40.00; (digital) - $40.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Alto Flute
Oboe I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet (optional)
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
String Bass
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Chimes
  • Crash Cymbals (2)
  • Crotales
  • Hammer on Door Sound, loud
  • Marimba
  • Orchestra Chimes
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tam-Tam
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, when Martin Luther climactically released his Ninety-Five Theses, his objections to practices of the Catholic church. this is most certainly true commemorates the quincentenary of the Reformation. This piece conveys the message ... that “people should stand up for their beliefs and speak their truth” just as Luther did.

- Program Note from The Gettysburgian

When Jim Ripley -- director of instrumental studies at Carthage College -- approached me about this project, I knew two things almost immediately: that I wanted to write a slow work, and that I wanted to experiment with a constant B-flat throughout the entire piece. When he suggested the title of this is most certainly true -- paying homage to the Lutheran faith -- I knew that my B-flat now had a part to play in this whole narrative.

I chose to represent “true” with a B-flat. Therefore, the B-flat is sustained/repeated throughout each and every measure, while suspense, resolution, trials and tribulations surround it. So -- in short: B-flat remains most certainly true.

The piece first opens with a mystical Medieval setting, setting up space for the opening Martin Luther theme. One might imagine an isolated Luther (low clarinet melody), quietly getting angry about the way things are going with the religious practices around him –- namely the selling of indulgences in return for the forgiveness of sins –- and that his frustration builds, builds, until finally he nails his 95 theses to the door. After this, the work grows quiet again -- but only briefly, as his rebellion gathers followers, and grows in strength and numbers, bringing us into the present day of celebrating 500 years. Finally, the piece removes all dissonance and ends in the key of B-flat, with the last of 95 chime strokes.

Even if there were struggles, the faith – “this – (was) most certainly true” all along. The B-flat was there the whole time.

Lastly -- purely by coincidence – without even thinking about it -- the piece ended up being 94 measures. So I added one measure. I think this bears mentioning.

- Program Note by composer


(Needed - please join the WRP if you can help.)

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Pacific Lutheran University (Tacoma, Wash.) Wind Ensemble (Edwin Powell, conductor) – 22 March 2018 (CBDNA 2018 Western/Northwestern Conference, Rohnert Park, Calif.)
  • Wartburg College (Waverly, Iowa) Wind Ensemble (Craig A. Hancock, conductor) – 5 November 2017
  • Pacific Lutheran University (Tacoma, Wash.) Wind Ensemble (Edwin Powell, conductor) – 15 October 2017
  • Gettysburg (Penn.) College Wind Symphony (Russell McCutcheon, conductor) – 30 September 2017 *Premiere Performance*

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

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