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First Flights

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Roger Cichy

General Info

Year: 2003
Duration: c. 11:00
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Ludwig Music Publishing Company - Official Website
Cost: Score & Parts - $125.00   |   Score Only - $15.00


Instrumentation

Full Score
Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Eb Soprano Clarinet
Bb Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
Bb Bass Clarinet
Bb Contrabass Clarinet
Bassoon I-II
Alto Saxophone I-II
Tenor Saxophone
Baritone Saxophone
Trumpet (in Bb) I-II-III
French Horn I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
Euphonium
Tuba
String Bass
Piano
Timpani
Percussion I-II-III, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bell Tree
  • Cymbals (crash and suspended)
  • Glockenspiel
  • Gong (Tam-tam)
  • Marimba
  • Snare Drum
  • Tom-Toms (4)
  • Triangle (3)
  • Tubular Bells
  • Vibraphone
  • Wind Chimes (metal)
  • Wind Machine


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

December 17, 1903, a most important day in history, is the subject of composer Roger Chichy's newest work for large ensemble. Titled First Flights, the work is a musical portrait of events occuring as humankind broke the bonds of the earth and took to the air for the first time in powered flight. On a sandy beach on the North Carolina coastline with Orville Wright piloting the Kittyhawk "Flyer", Wilbur Wright, along with five others, witnessed the extraordinary event that would impact the world from that day on.

The first two movements of First Flights can be considered impressionistic in nature, creating the images of their titles. "Morning's Cold/A Cold Day for History" represents the conditions fo things as daylight broke on December 17, 1903. From the morning's icy cold conditions to the Wright Brothers state of mind after an unsuccessful attempt a few days earlier, this movement builds in optimism and hope as the two brothers put their years of experimentation on the line. The image of the Kittyhawk "Flyer" is portrayed in the second movement. One can only guess what it would have been like when the hangar door swung oopen and the first bit of daylight appeared on the fabric wings of a machine that would start humankind on the road to powered flight. This movement also serves as a reflection of the many accomplishments that resulted in the creation of the Kittyhawk "Flyer".

The final movement is highly programmatic and musically portrays the events of the first flights. A summary of these events are as follows: The "Flyer" is pulled out of the hangar and prepared of another attemp. Four men and a teenager arrive to help with the flight. The men help with last minute preparations and instructions are given to Mr. Daniels by orville to operate a box camera, which is necessary to prove the flight if it is successful. The propellers are spun, the engine sputters and churns, and Orville climbs into the craft for the attempt. Amongst the noise, smoke, and vibrations, Orville nervously goes through a control check and finally pulls the level that releases the restraining rope. The "Flyer" rolls down the track and triumphantly becomes airborne. Along with the mood of celebration and jubilance, a moment of reflection occurs. The Wright Brothers made four flights that day. Orville alternated with Wilbur as pilot. After the final flight, the men were standing around conversing among themselves when a strong gust of wind suddenly appeared, took the "Flyer" and destroyed it. Despite the later event, the triumph of success and accomplishment make December 17, 1903 a day to remember. The title of the final movement, "Success for Four Flight..." comes from the first sentence of a telegram that the Wright Brothers sent to inform their father of their success.

First Flights was commissioned by the University of Georgia Bands, John N. Culvahouse, Associate Director of Bands.


Program Note from Printed Score


Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.


State Ratings

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Recent Performances

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Additional Works for Winds by this Composer


Additional Resources

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