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What We've Been Taught to Do with Death

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Harrison J. Collins

Harrison J. Collins

General Info

Year: 2021
Duration: c. 4:15
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: J Stands for Joe Music
Cost: Score and Parts - Unknown


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

  • Bass Drum
  • Bongos
  • Crotales
  • Glockenspiel
  • Hi-Hat
  • Marimba
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Vibraphone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

What We've Been Taught to Do With Death is a rhapsodic moto perpetuo inspired by an incredible poem called The Vulture & the Body by Ada Limón. She describes the grief she feels passing by dead animals on the side of the road as she drives on the highway in her "death machine", saying to herself "how dare we live on this Earth".

When I read this poem, I connected with it immediately, and felt driven to write this music in response. Limón's poem touches on a few themes, but the one that really hit me upon first reading and has stuck with me since is the illusion of separateness that we humans tend to have for our world -- and the way in which, through this illusion, we harm the planet and the life upon it (including ourselves). From that idea sprang this work, which attempts to match both the careful brevity and emotional power of Limón's masterful work of art .

- Program Note by composer


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Wichita (Kan.) State University Wind Ensemble ( Timothy Shade, conductor) – February 2022 *Premiere Performance*

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

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