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I Hear Him!

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John Alan Carnahan

John Alan Carnahan

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Subtitle: For the Maestro

General Info

Year: 2011
Duration: c. 6:00
Difficulty: III (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: John Alan Carnahan
Cost: Score and Parts - Unknown


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None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Frederick Fennell is one of my most beloved musical heroes. Since the very first time I saw him work with a high school honor band, and with every ensemble since, I was struck by his exuberant love for music and music-making.

In December of 2004 I was filled with sadness learning of his passing. Our profession had lost a musical icon and the founding father of our modern wind ensemble.

I Hear Him! is a musical farewell to a lost hero. I have utilized motives from pieces that affected me deeply as I watched the maestro at work. These experiences touched my heart and changed my life as a musician. He inspired me in so many ways both as a performer and as a conductor. I continue to look to him for inspiration even though he has left this earth.

The musical motives come from Bach's Come, Sweet Death, Grainger's Lincolnshire Posy, Holst's First Suite in E-flat, and Fennell's own The Drummer's Heritage. The motives are threaded throughout the composition as I attempt to create a tapestry of sound that reminds us of Maestro Fennell's many memorable moments.

The title, I Hear Him!, comes from the story that his daughter told of his last words before his death. He said that he was frustrated because there was no drummer. She told him that heaven's best drummer was on the way. Shortly he proclaimed, "I hear him, I hear him, I'm OK now." Those were his last words.

As wind band conductors and musicians…we will always hear him. To the Maestro.

- Program Note by composer

Commercial Discography

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by this Composer


  • John Alan Carnahan website Accessed 2 September 2017
  • Wiltshire, Eric. "I Hear Him!" In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 9, edit. & comp. by Richard Miles, 362-369. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2013.