Concerto for Flute and Wind Orchestra
1. Bright - 5:45
2. Espressivo - 5:55
3. Medium Swing - 8:205
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet (optional)
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-III-IV
String Bass/Bass Guitar
(percussion detail desired)
None discovered thus far.
I was approached by Lisa Garner, professor of flute at Texas Tech University, to write a work for flute and wind orchestra whilst I was performing at the American National Flute Association conference in Las Vegas in 2003. She had assembled a consortium of 19 universities and the Brannen Cooper Foundation to fund a 12-minute piece, in the event I decided to add a third movement and turn the work into a concerto.
I had never written anything for wind orchestra before and was quite daunted at the prospect of having thirty-odd wind instruments supporting a flute. Impossible! was my initial reaction -- the flute will never be heard -- so I did some research and came across Lindisfarne Rhapsody written for the same combination in 1997 by Philip Sparke which worked very well. Before setting down to work I had a conversation with wind band guru Tim Reynish whilst we were both working on separate projects at the University of Kentucky. Being aware of my "jazz leanings" he ordered me to infuse some jazz into the project "as the wind orchestra repertoire needs it..." This was a red rag to a bull which gave me the green light to write something blue... I realised that hidden within the wind orchestra is a full big band, and, having written a lot for big band previously, started to think of the orchestra as an augmented big band. Which of course it isn't, but as a starting point this put me more into my compositional comfort zone.
It was my intention to score as lightly as possible when accompanying the flute but also to give the whole band something to get their teeth into with large tutti sections interspersed. I was aware of the fact that the whole project was funded from the USA and consequently put in a few musical ideas associated with that country such as the fife and drum/country opening section in the first movement and the Air Force training routine sergeant/squad chant in the last movement (albeit within a 12-tone note row!).
- Program Note by composer
There are very few concertos for flute and wind orchestra, presumably because of the balance issues involved. Writing a successful work for that combination requires more than a small amount of thought and ability, and I have little doubt that such a huge undertaking is a big challenge for most composers.
Even more reason, then, to celebrate those who succeed. This is an outstanding piece of music. It is inspired: catchy, memorable and above all crafted with a high degree of skill. The scoring is careful to allow the solo line to penetrate the texture, and Mower demonstrates his customary ability to use the instruments to their best effect. At times fast and wildly energetic, at other times expressive and relaxed, this is a piece which engages the senses. The wind orchestra is sometimes treated as a jazz band which shows the full range of potential of this instrumental grouping. The clarinet and saxophone writing stands out as being particularly interesting. The solo flute line is difficult but rewarding, and once again Mike Mower has used his individual approach to good effect. This is one piece that I would really love to get a chance to perform.
- Program Note by Carla Rees for the British Flute Society
- Concerto for Flute and Wind Orchestra has been recommended as interesting, serious and distinctive music by members of the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE).
- Audio: Reference recording. Ensemble and conductor unknown
- Audio CD: University of Kansas Wind Ensemble (John P. Lynch, conductor; David Fedele, flute) - 2006
None discovered thus far.
To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project
- Murray (Ky.) State University Wind Ensemble (Trae Blanco, conductor; Bonnie Cross, flute) - 12 April 2021
- State University of New York, Fredonia, Wind Ensemble (Paula Holcomb, conductor) – 20 November 2019
- Royal Canadian Air Force Band (Winnipeg, Man.) (Matthew Clark, conductor; Katrina Limeratos, flute)– 8 November 2019
- Lynn University (Boca Raton, Fla.) Wind Ensemble (Kenneth Amis, conductor; Timothy Fernando, flute) – 8 September 2018
- VanderCook College of Music (Chicago) Symphonic Band (Brian J. Logan, conductor; Mary Christine Stingley, flute) - 22 December 2017 (2017 Midwest Clinic)
- Capital Symphonic Winds (West Hartford, Conn.) (Gary L. Partridge, conductor; Karen D’Angelo, flute) – 10 May 2017
- University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa) Wind Ensemble (Kenneth Ozzello, conductor; Diane Schultz, flute) – 4 February 2017
- Contra Costa Wind Symphony (Concord, Calif.) (Brad Hogarth, conductor; Carmen Lemoine, flute) – 15 June 2016
- Brooklyn (N.Y.) Wind Symphony (Jeff W. Ball, conductor; Samantha K. Enriquez, flute) – 13 July 2015 - WASBE Conference, San Jose, Calif.
- United States Army Band (Washington, D.C.) (Thomas H. Palmatier, conductor; Andrea Artley, flute) – 14 December 2011 (2011 Midwest Clinic)
- Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond) Wind Ensemble (Thomas Fraschillo, conductor; Tabatha Easley, flute) – March 2, 2011 (ABA 2011 Annual Convention (Norfolk, Virginia))
Works for Winds by This Composer
- Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Wind Orchestra (2005)
- Concerto for Flute and Wind Orchestra (2004)
- Concerto Maxo Mosso (2013)
- Sonata Latino (1994/2000)