Tower Ascending

From Wind Repertory Project
Wayne Oquin

Wayne Oquin

General Info

Year: 2009
Duration: c. 7:55
Difficulty: V+ (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Wayne Oquin
Cost: Score and Parts - Unknown


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

  • Bass Drum
  • Brake Drum
  • Chimes
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Glockenspiel
  • Gong
  • Marimba
  • Sizzle Cymbal
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Temple Blocks
  • Tom-Tom
  • Vibraphone
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

This beautiful piece in two parts is a tremendously exciting addition to the wind band repertoire, providing both a beautiful serene opening and a thrilling conclusion.

- Program Note by Wind Band Today

Tower Ascending for wind ensemble and clarinet solo is my own depiction of an ongoing aspect of urban city life: the construction of modern skyscrapers. The music’s structure, development, and gradual assimilation of materials are best described as cumulative. Just as skyscrapers are built laying stone upon stone, floor upon floor, so, too, is this music constructed from the bottom up: measure upon measure, phrase upon phrase, rhythm upon rhythm. This ascension is gradual and permeates many dimensions of the music: register (low to high), dynamics (soft to loud), and tempo (slow to fast).

Living on New York’s Upper West Side I witness first hand this construction process on a daily basis. Although any skyscraper represents this idea, perhaps the one that stood out for me during the composing of this piece is the Freedom Tower. It goes beyond architectural marvel to symbolize the resolve of the American spirit.

This eight-minute composition is divided into two equal parts: four minutes of slow music, four minutes of fast. Each of the two sections culminates in a dramatic offstage clarinet solo, the clarinet both summarizing and commenting on the music that has come immediately before, stating the material in its most concise form.

Composed between July 2008 and January 2009, Tower Ascending was commissioned by John P. Lynch for the University of Georgia Wind Ensemble’s performance at the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) 2009 in Austin, Texas. My sincere thanks go to John Lynch for his encouragement, invaluable insights, and involvement during every stage of the composing process.

Tower Ascending is dedicated to my own college band director, John Stansberry, in honor of his retirement. I am deeply indebted to John Stansberry for his strong support of my music during the formative stages of my career.

- Program Note by composer


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Michael Scott Taylor, personal correspondence, December 2018
  • Wayne Oquin website Accessed 23 September 2016