Escape from Plato's Cave

From Wind Repertory Project
Stephen Melillo

Stephen Melillo

General Info

Year: 1993
Duration: c. 14:30
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Stromworld
Cost: Score and Parts - $150.00   |   Score Only - $45.00


1. The Cave, The Struggle, and The Man from the Light
2. Message of the Man (The Fragile Heart)
3. Escape... Into the LIGHT!


Full Score
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
English Horn
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone I-II
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
PAD Bass
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Chimes
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Glockenspiel
  • Marimba
  • Snare Drum
  • Tambourine
  • Tam-Tam
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone
  • Wind Chimes


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

In Plato's allegory The Cave, Man is deprived of knowing the Truth, but in this story, we are given the chance to escape the darkness and move with hopeful purpose into the Light! Spine-chilling drama guides us to the Glorious conclusion!

Many interesting and contrasting musical concepts from tuning, phrasing, exploration of rhythmic intensity and vast dynamic changes present themselves for a great learning experience.

- Program Note from publisher

Plato tells a story in which cave-dwellers are deprived the knowledge of the Light outside. In this story, Escape from Plato's Cave, the people of the Underworld are visited by a Man from the Light. He tells them of a wondrous world... outside. Some Cave-dwellers struggle against the would-be listeners, using chains to forever imprison them in the shadows of the Cave. His message heard, a few take on the challenge of the Escape and eventually, through noble battle and dark journey, emerge from the shadowy underworld... Into the Light!

At the very moment I had reached that transitory moment in the third movement, the transcendence from “D”ark to “G”od, the phone rang. Father Peter Rinaldi had died. As a boy growing up, so often running to him at recess and serving mass with him every day of the summer, he taught me, by action, the Message of “the Man”... a message of Love. He literally gave me the shirt off his back one day, no show, no lesson, only Love. His entire Life was in dedication to something higher... a Prayer to that which humbled him. My young adult novel, Only for Now, was dedicated to him, his name that of the main character. Subconsciously, I’ve quoted the nine-movement wind ensemble suite, my first piece, inspired by that book.

Now, Father Rinaldi has gone... into the Light. He would not have me dedicate anything to him. His eyes were always looking upward... beyond himself. But, to him, another Man from the Light... I bow humbly and offer back that which was, and never really will be mine to give.

- Program Note by composer


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • James Madison University (Harrisonburg, Va.) Concert Band (Scott Rikkers, conductor) - 27 February 2023
  • Virginia Tech University (Blacksburg, Va.) Campus Band (Chad Reep, conductor) – 29 April 2018
  • Hofstra University (Hempstead, N.Y.) Symphonic Band (Peter Boonshaft, conductor) – 3 December 2016
  • Washington and Lee Wind Ensemble - 29 October 2013
  • San Luis Obispo (Calif.) Wind Orchestra (William V. Johnson, conductor) - 15 October 2005

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Melillo, S. (1993). Escape from Plato's Cave [score]. STORMWorks.