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Embers in the Black

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Kevin Poelking

Kevin Poelking

Subtitle: For Chamber Winds and Percussion

General Info

Year: 2018
Duration: c. 8:00
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: KPMusic
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $85.00; (digital) - $65.00   |   Score Only (digital) - $10.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
Percussion I-II-III, including:

  • Bongos (2)
  • Congas (2)
  • Crotales
  • Marimba
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tam-Tam
  • Vibraphone
  • Wood Block


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

While selecting music for my graduate wind conducting recital, my goal was to create a program that utilized a number of members from our ensemble. As I began the process, I found it challenging to involve the saxophones, low clarinets, and percussion. From what I discovered, chamber wind repertoire tends to overlook these instruments, so I wanted to write a piece of music that would explore the combination of these colors in a small ensemble setting.

Much of this piece remained unorchestrated for many years before I was able to find the instrumentation that suited the music appropriately. The beginning section was originally composed for orchestra with English horn playing the haunting opening melody. The driving middle section was intended for a full concert band, but I quickly abandoned the idea, as the piece seemed to call for a smaller, more agile group. It was not until the spring of 2018, when selecting repertoire for my recital, that I decided on the current instrumentation.

Embers in the Black depicts an eerie, dark, and desperate atmosphere based on the following text:

“This place is familiar, but never safe. Surely, one more trip will do no harm. Yet as the blanket of night covers the land, two eyes emerge like embers from the black.”

- Program Note by composer


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, Va.) Wind Ensemble (Jonathan Caldwell, conductor) - 10 May 2021
  • Ball State University (Muncie, Ind.) Wind Ensemble (Adam Friedrich, conductor) - 23 April 2021
  • University of Colorado Boulder Symphonic Band (Matthew Dockendorf, conductor) - 15 April 2021
  • Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge) Wind Ensemble (Damon Talley, conductor) - 15 December 2020
  • Colorado State University (Fort Collins) Wind Symphony (Kevin Poelking, conductor) *Premiere Performance*

Works for Winds by This Composer