Angel Fire

From Wind Repertory Project
Steve Rouse

Steve Rouse

General Info

Year: 2000
Duration: c. 7:00
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Manhattan Beach Music
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $150.00   |   Score Only (print) - $16.50


1. Aurora – 3:25
2. Blaze - 4:00


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

  • Bass Drum
  • Chimes
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Marimba
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Tom-Tom
  • Triangle


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Aurora is the first movement of Angel Fire, which was commissioned by the Bishop Ireton Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Garwood Whaley, Director. I composed the work in the fall of 2000 in Louisville, Kentucky. Dr. Whaley and the ensemble premiered the work on April 7, 2001, at Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria, Virginia.

Angel Fire has two movements: Aurora and Blaze. The first movement, Aurora, is majestic and may suggest a bold, powerful, and spectacular display of light and color. Both movements use what I think of as an altered rondo-like structure. Some material returns repeatedly, typically with alterations and/or extensions. These repetitions serve as an anchor point for the listener. In Aurora, this material is heard in the opening two bars, a kind of swelling out of nothingness that’s played by the woodwinds. Sometimes in the piece this material is followed by a few bars of “alternation” between woodwinds and brass and between pure triads and composite triad harmonies. Aurora makes extensive use of multi-triad harmonies and sometimes juxtaposes these with simpler, pure triads. I don’t think of the multi- triad sonorities as polychords. Rather, I hear these sonorities as words of a language, connected in such a way as to diminish the emphasis on the individual sonorities. It’s almost as if the sounds pass in a stream that creates a natural flow, usually passing too quickly for the listener to recognize the individual chords in the composite sounds. When the pure triads are deliberately juxtaposed with the multi-triads, the contrast is stark.

Aurora ends with a fanfare that leaves us with a question. The answer is Blaze, the second movement of Angel Fire. Blaze is lean, muscular, and driving. It suggests a level of energy and intensity that might follow a sudden, powerful flash of inspiration. Blaze represents those intense, almost overwhelming moments of inspiration and excitement, as if touched by the hand of God, much like the image in Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel ceiling painting of Man touching the finger of God.

- Program Note by composer


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of California Santa Barbara Wind Ensemble (Andy Radford, conductor) - 1 June 2023
  • University of Louisville (Ky.) Wind Ensemble (Frederick Speck, conductor) - 12 November 2021
  • Mississippi Wind Symphony (Jackson) (Craig Young, conductor) - 4 June 2019
  • University of California, Santa Barbara, Wind Ensemble (Paul Bambach, conductor) – 30 November 2017
  • Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.) Symphonic Band (Shawn Vondran, conductor) – 30 November 2016
  • University of Louisville (Ky.) Symphonic Band (Amy Acklin, conductor) – 18 February 2016 (CBDNA 2016 Southern Division Conference, Charleston, S.C.)
  • University of Washington (Seattle) Symphonic Band (Cory Meals, conductor) – 4 December 2014
  • VanderCook College of Music (Chicago, Ill.) Symphonic Band (Stacey L. Larson, conductor) – 19 December 2008 (2008 Midwest Clinic)
  • University of Richmond (Va.) Wind Ensemble (David Niethamer, conductor) – 9 April 2003
  • Bishop Ireton High School (Alexandria, Va.) Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Garwood Whaley, conductor) - 7 April 2001 *Premiere Performance*

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Perusal score (Blaze)
  • Rouse, S. (2000). Angel Fire [score]. Primal Press: Louisville, Ky.
  • Rouse, S. (2004). Blaze: For Concert Band [score]. Manhattan Beach Music: Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Steve Rouse website Accessed 31 August 2021