Halcyon Transfigured

From Wind Repertory Project
James Sochinski

James Sochinski

General Info

Year: 1991
Duration: c. 9:00
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: James Sochinski
Cost: Score and Parts - James Sochinski


Full Score
Flute I-II (I doubles Piccolo)
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
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
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III-IV-V, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Chimes
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tam-Tam
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

We are most familiar with the ancient tale of Halcyon through Ovid’s Metomorphoses. Ceyx, King of Trachis, and his queen Halcyon dearly treasured each other and their life together. In a perilous journey undertaken against Halcyon’s wishes, Ceyx perished at sea in a raging storm, calling out for Halcyon at the moment of his death. Halcyon, not knowing of his death, passed each day with mounting excitement and bliss, anticipating her lover’s return. The goddess Juno soon mercifully dispatched Morpheus to visit Halcyon in a dream, to tell her of the death of her beloved. Halcyon awoke, disbelieving, and ravaged with grief. She ran to the shore where she had seen her Lord off, and to her horror, spied Ceyx’s corpse floating far out in the surf. Overwhelmed with despair, she flung herself from the jetty, to join her beloved in death. The gods were so touched and humbled by Halcyon’s profound grief and love that they took pity, and changed her and Ceyx, at the moment of Halcyon’s death, into birds – kingfishers -- birds to soar above the waves together, for all time. Ovid writes:

She flew through the air on new-found wings…
And when she reached the silent bloodless corpse
Her new wings clasped her loved one; her hard beak
Printed cold, futile kisses on his lips…
He felt them, and at last, for pity’s sake,
The gods changed both to birds; the same strange fate
They shared, and still their love endured; the bonds
Of wedlock bound them still, though they were birds.

Today the tale of Halcyon remains with us in the scientific name for the Belted Kingfisher – Megaceryle alcyon.

Halcyon Transfigured was commissioned in 1991 by a consortium of college bands in the College Band Directors National Association Western and Northwestern divisions. The work is programmatic, cast in two primary sections, the first portraying Halcyon’s dream and the misery of her grief, and the second section representing her transfiguration, the flight and the hoy [sic] of Halcyon and Ceyx’s eternal soaring over the waves. The work was premiered at the 1992 CBDNA Division Conference, by the California State University, Fresno Wind Ensemble, Dr.Lawrence Sutherland, conducting.

- Program Note by composer


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State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • James Sochinski, personal correspondence, April 2019
  • Timothy Smith, personal correspondence, October 2018