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John Mackey

John Mackey

General Info

Year: 2006
Duration: c. 8:45
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Osti Music
Cost: Score and Parts (Rental) - $375.00   |   Score (Purchase) - $70.00


Full Score
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III-IV
B-flat Bass Clarinet I-II
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
Alto Saxophone I-II
Tenor Saxophone
Baritone Saxophone
Trumpet in B-flat I-II-III-IV
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Bass Trombone
Tuba I-II
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III-IV-V-VI-VII-VIII, including:

  • Bass Drum (large) (2)
  • Brake drums (4)
  • China Cymbals (2, one large)
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Crotales
  • Glockenspiel
  • Hi-hat
  • Marimba (2)
  • Splash Cymbals (3)
  • Suspended Cymbals (3 large)
  • Tam-tam (large) (2)
  • Tambourine
  • Thunder Sheet
  • Timpani
  • Tom-Toms (4)
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone
  • Whip


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

I'm afraid of flying. This piece was my way of dealing with that.

The first three minutes are rough, grinding, and tense, as the jet engine builds up speed (through texture, not tempo), and eventually goes racing down the runway. Once the jet takes off, though, the music changes, and we realize that flying really isn't so bad. In fact, it can be beautiful once the plane is airborne. But in the back of my mind, I'm always aware that we're up quite high -- and our lives (and that beauty) depend on these massive pieces of machinery. If that machine (in this case, the percussion) should fail, we'd all be in serious trouble, so I just keep my knuckles gripped to the armrest, look out at the clouds, think pretty thoughts, and hope that the pulse of that engine never lets up.

Turbine was commissioned by the Southeastern Conference Band Directors Association, and received its world premiere on 24 February 2006 by the University of Kentucky Wind Ensemble, conducted by J. Cody Birdwell. Special thanks to James Campbell, who served as a percussion coach for the premiere.

- Program Note by composer

Commercial Discography

Audio Links

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of Nebraska-Omaha Symphonic Wind Ensemble (James Saker, conductor) - 14 March 2008
  • Troy High School; Troy, MI (Brian Nutting, conducting) - 11 February 2008
  • University of Missouri-Kansas City (Joe Parisi, conducting) - 18 January 2008
  • University of Michigan (Scott Boerma, conducting) - 18 January 2008
  • Oklahoma State University (Joe Missal, conducting) - 16 November 2007
  • University of Kentucky (Lexington) Wind Ensemble (J. Cody Birdwell, conductor) - 24 February 2006 *Premiere Performance*

Works for Winds by this Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works