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A Psalm of Life: Fantasy for Symphonic Band on Tchesnokoff's "Salvation Is Created"

From Wind Repertory Project
Jack Gallagher

Jack Gallagher

General Info

Year: 1997
Duration: c. 10:00
Difficulty: V
Publisher: Composer
Cost: contact composer, please


Flutes 1 and 2
Oboes 1 and 2
Eb Clarinet
Bb Clarinets 1, 2, and 3
Bb Bass Clarinet
Bassoons 1 and 2
Eb Alto Saxophones 1 and 2
Bb Tenor Saxophone
Eb Baritone Saxophone
Bb Trumpets 1, 2, and 3
F Horns 1, 2, 3 and 4
Trombones 1, 2, 3 and 4
Euphonium/Baritone T.C.
Percussion 1, 2, and 3 (two players each):
Mark tree, orchestra bells, chimes, xylophone,
marimba, vibes, crash cymbals, suspended cymbal,
five tom-toms, tambourine, triangle, snare drum, maracas.


None discovered thus far.   

Program Notes

A Psalm of Life: Fantasy for Symphonic Band on Tchesnokoff's "Salvation Is Created" was commissioned in 1997 by the Kettering (Ohio) Fairmont High School Band Boosters in memory of Charles Craig, Director of Bands from 1994 to 1997. Mr. Craig graduated in 1985 with a Bachelor of Music Education degree from The College of Wooster. He served as Director of Bands in the Covington (Ohio) Local Schools and at Ashtabula High School prior to his appointment at Kettering. A teacher with a warm heart and uncommon commitment, initiative and energy, Mr. Craig succeeded in imparting to students his contagious enthusiasm and his enduring influence in each program he directed. In January 1997 he died of injuries sustained in an automobile accident near Lancaster, Ohio.

At the suggestion of Mr. Craig's wife Ruth, and of Ryan Borger—Mr. Craig's faculty colleague at Fairmont—A Psalm of Life is based upon the choral anthem Salvation is Created by Tchesnokoff. Mr. Craig often programmed the wind transcription of this work and held it in special affection. As the Craigs had performed together in various ensembles, Mrs. Craig, a clarinetist, asked that the work include solos for trumpet and clarinet. Accordingly, the piece begins and ends with solo statements for these instruments reaching out to one another via slow, gentle reflections derived from Tchesnokoff's anthem. The middle section is a lively overture that endeavors to pay tribute to Mr. Craig's energy, vitality and enthusiasm. The title refers to Longfellow’s poem containing the following lines:

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the Sands of Time.
—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
A Psalm of Life

A Psalm of Life was first performed February 1, 1998 by the Kettering Fairmont High School Symphonic Band, Ryan Borger, conductor. It was a finalist in the 1999 Franklin and Marshall College Composition Contest. Performances have included the Cincinnati College-Conservatory Wind Ensemble, Terence Milligan, conductor; the Virginia Tech Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Patrick Casey, conductor, at Virginia Tech and at the 2005 Virginia Music Educators Association Conference; the California State University-Bakersfield Community Concert Band, Patricia Childress, conductor; The College of Wooster Scot Symphonic Band, Nancy Ditmer, director, at the 2000 Ohio Music Education Association Conference in Cleveland (and on numerous other occasions); the Franklin and Marshall College Wind Ensemble, Brian Norcross, conductor; and the Sam Houston State University Symphonic Band, Donald Ryder, conductor. The composer is especially grateful to Professor Nancy Ditmer and the Scot Symphonic Band of The College of Wooster for their encouragement, assistance, and numerous excellent performances of this work.

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.  

Recent Performances

Cincinnati College-Conservatory Wind Ensemble, Terence Milligan, conductor, Corbett Auditorium, Cincinnati Conservatory, 4 February 2011.
The College of Wooster Scot Symphonic Band, Nancy Ditmer, Director, McGaw Chapel, The College of Wooster, 4 March 2007 and during 2007 Spring Tour.

Works for Winds by this Composer

Mist-Covered Mountain: Fantasy for Symphonic Band on a Scottish Pipe Tune (1983), [14:00]
Diversions: Triptych for Symphonic Band (1985), [14:30]
The Persistence of Memory (In Memoriam: Brian Israel (1989), [14:00]
Proteus Rising from the Sea (1994), [10:00]
A Psalm of Life: Fantasy for Symphonic Band on Tchesnokoff's "Salvation Is Created" (1997), [10:00]
Toccata for Brass Quintet (1970), [6:15]
Ancient Evenings and Distant Music for wind quintet (1971), [10:00]
Celebration and Reflection for brass quintet (1970), [7:30]
Stanfare for eight trumpets and timpani (1996), [5:30]
Heritage Music for horn, violin and cello and piano (1988), [25:00]
Resonances for four trumpets and timpani (1983), [6:30]
Twin Spirits for two trumpets and piano (2010), [5:30]
Capriccio for two trumpets (1984), [3:40]
Remembrance of Robin for trumpet and piano (2010), [14:45]
Intimations of Finzi for clarinet and piano (2005), [9:20]
Sonata for Trumpet Unaccompanied (1979), [8:30]
Sonata Breve for Trumpet Unaccompanied (1981/99), [6:30]
Sonata Breve for Tuba Unaccompanied (1981), [8:00]

Additional Resources

Jack Gallagher - Official Website