Subtitle: Symphony for Band
Movements (played without pause)
1. The Vision - 7:38
2. Cataclysmic Events - 2:55
3. Messianic Kingdom - 5:18
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
E-flat Horn or Alto I-II-III-IV
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
(percussion detail needed)
None discovered thus far.
Commissioned by the University of Georgia Bands, H. Dwight Satterwhite, Director of Bands.
- Program Note from score
Few composers have ever tried to unravel the mysteries of the Biblical Book of Revelation in music. David Gillingham's 20th century symphony Apocalyptic Dreams attempts to do just that in a "fascinating approach with a celebratory ending," says Purdue Symphonic Band conductor Jay Gephart, whose ensemble tackles the piece during a Sunday, Nov. 17, 2002, concert.
Gephart says he found Gillingham's composition so intriguing he wanted to share it with the community.
"The whole notion of the approaching end in time, talked about in Revelations, is scary to many, but fascinating," Gephart says. "It captures the imagination and arouses a certain level of curiosity."
Gephart says the 18-minute work contains special relevance in the beginning of the 21st century.
"There's a feeling that some of what's going on today in the Middle East is actually fulfilling the prophecies of Revelations," Gephart says. "And there's a Left Behind series of Christian novels currently on best-seller lists that cast the events in Revelations in modern day scenarios."
Composer David Gillingham, who represents one of those people fascinated by Revelations, seized the opportunity to address it musically when the University of Georgia commissioned him to write a full symphony for concert band. Gephart says the composer wrote Apocalyptic Dreams in three movements with no breaks to create a continuous unfolding of events.
"Throughout the first movement, the mood is very somber and mysterious, setting the tone for the rest of the symphony," Gephart says. "The second movement, Cataclysmic Events, sets into motion the chain of disasters found in the Book of Revelation. The trombone states a baleful motif which is very descriptive of the melodic material as you hear this outpouring of incredible sorrow and distress."
Gillingham brings the second movement to an end abruptly and caps the piece with an outpouring of joy depicting the return of the Messiah and the Messiah's kingdom to Earth. "Through the use of all sorts of mallet percussion and piano we get the sense of what the celestial sounds might be like when the Messiah returns," Gephart says.
Gephart says the symphony's final movement contains a reverent chorale, and the piece concludes with a "fanfare of trumpets and trombones."
"The entire movement ends joyfully with a celebratory tone," Gephart says. "It's as if he's saying we thought we were getting close to the end of time, but time will not end. Gillingham's music is not on a specific level. It covers the Book of Revelation with a broader scope. But one thing's for sure -- it's fascinating music and a blast to play."
- Program Note from Purdue News
- Audio CD: Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville Wind Symphony (John R. Bell, conductor) - 1995
- Louisiana: IV
- North Carolina: VI
- Ohio: OMEA High School Band C
- Tennessee: VI
- Virginia: VI
To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project
- University of Northwestern St. Paul (Roseville, Minn.) Symphonic Band (John S. Herlihy, conductor) - 3 May 2019
- Metropolitan Wind Symphony (Lexington, Mass). (Louis J. Buckley, conductor) – 6 May 2018
- University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music Wind Ensemble (Angela Holt, conductor) – 15 November 2016
- University High School (Fresno Calif.) Wind Ensemble (Randall Cornelison, conductor) - 15 March 2013 (2013 Sutherland Wind Festival (Fresno, Calif.))
- East Chapel Hill (N.C.) High School Symphonic Band - 12 March 2015
Works for Winds by this Composer
- Abiquiu (2010)
- Aerodynamics (2003)
- All Hail the Power with Jack Stamp, Timothy Mahr, Joseph Pappas and Andrew Boysen, Jr. (2002)
- And Can It Be? (2000)
- Angels of the Apocalypse (2013)
- Apocalyptic Dreams (1995)
- At Morning's First Light (2004)
- Au Sable River Festival (2002)
- Be Thou My Vision (1999)
- Beneath the Sacred Light (2015)
- Bright Gleams a Beacon (2012)
- Cantus Laetus (2001)
- Century Variants (2009)
- Concertino for Four Percussion and Wind Ensemble (1997)
- Concerto for Euphonium, Winds and Percussion (2006)
- Concerto for Woodwind Quintet and Wind Ensemble (1984/2006)
- Concerto No. 2 for Marimba and Wind Ensemble (2008)
- Concerto for Piano, Percussion and Wind Orchestra (2004)
- Council Oak (2002)
- Crest of Honor (2005)
- The Echo Never Fades (2004)
- Foster's America (2003)
- Foundations (2017)
- Galactic Empires (1998)
- Heroes Lost and Fallen (1990)
- Homage (2012)
- Home Again (2016)
- Internal Combustion (1999)
- Kentucky Home (2012)
- Light Unto the Darkness, A (1997)
- New Century Dawn (1999)
- No Shadow of Turning (2005)
- Point of Reckoning (arr. Daughtrey) (2015)
- Providence (2003)
- Quintessence I (1997)
- Quintessence II (2006)
- Radiant Moonbeams (2007)
- Serenade for Winds and Percussion (2000)
- Song Shall Never End, The (2014)
- Sub-Saharan Rhythm (1998)
- Symphony No. 2 (2007)
- Vintage (1990)
- Waking Angels (1997)
- When Speaks the Signal Trumpet Tone (1999)
- While the Dew is Still on the Roses (2013)
- With Heart and Voice (2000)
- "Apocalyptic Dreams Highlights Symphonic Band Concert," Purdue News, 7 November 2002.
- David Gillingham website
- Gillingham, D. (1997). Apocalyptic Dreams: Symphony for Band [score]. Southern Music: San Antonio, Tex.