Kingfishers Catch Fire

From Wind Repertory Project
John Mackey

John Mackey

General Info

Year: 2007
Duration: c. 11:05
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: John Mackey
Cost: Score and Parts (Rental) - $375.00   |   Score (Purchase) - $60.00


1. Following falls and falls of rain - 4:55
2. Kingfishers catch fire - 5:30


Full Score
Flute I-II-III (III doubling piccolo)
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III-IV
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
Soprano Saxophone
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat/C Trumpet I-II-III-IV
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Bass Trombone
Tuba (2 players preferred)
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III-IV-V-VI, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Crotales
  • Glockenspiel
  • Gong (or Tam-tam)
  • Marimba
  • Suspended Cymbal (3)
  • Triangle
  • Tubular Bells
  • Vibraphone
  • Xylophone

Antiphonal C Trumpet (two players if available)


In Score:

  • There is a piano part in the second movement, but it is not indicated on the instrumentation page of the score.

In Parts:

  • Chimes, mvt. 2, m.192: First note of grace note group should be a B-flat and not an A.

Program Notes

A kingfisher is a bird with beautiful, brilliantly colored feathers that look in sunlight as if they are on fire. Kingfishers are extremely shy birds and are rarely seen, but when they are seen, they are undeniably beautiful.

The first movement, Following Falls and Falls of Rain, is suspended in tone, but with hope, depicting the kingfisher slowly emerging from its nest in the early morning stillness, just after a heavy rain storm. The second movement, Kingfishers Catch Fire, imagines the bird flying out into the sunlight.

The work features optional antiphonal trumpets placed behind the audience. The trumpet solo in the first movement is played from the back of the hall, and the trumpet flourishes in the second movement are played by the antiphonal trumpet choir. You may catch the reference to Stravinsky's Firebird at the end of the piece.

Kingfishers Catch Fire was commissioned by Kentaro Hino (Hikarigaoka Girls' High School), Mamoru Nakata (Wind Ensemble du Nord), Masafumi Matsumoto (Okayama Sanyo High School), Kotai Yo (Wind Ensemble "KANADE"), Toshiya Iwata (Kawasaki University of Medical Welfare "Heartful Winds"), Taizo Okuyama (Wind Ensemble Soleil), and Shintaro Fukumoto (Community Band of Sagamihara). Consortium organized by Mamoru Nakata.

The work was premiered on March 17, 2007, JWECC '07 Special Band, conducted by Ichiro Saito.

- Program Note by composer



State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Youngstown (Ohio) State University Wind Ensemble (Michael Scott Butler, conductor) – 6 April 2024 (CBDNA 2024 North Central Division Conference, Columbus, Ohio)
  • Southeastern Louisiana University Wind Symphony (Hammond) (Robert Schwartz, conductor) - 14 November 2023
  • Rowan University (Glassboro, N.J.) Wind Ensemble (Joseph Higgins, conductor) - 10 October 2023
  • Texas Tech University (Lubbock) Symphonic Band (Eric Allen, conductor) - 6 February 2023
  • Luther College (Decorah, Iowa) Concert Band (Cory Near, conductor) - 9 October 2022
  • United States Marine Band (Washington, D.C.) (Darren Lin, conductor) - 18 August 2022
  • Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge) Symphonic Winds (Simon Holoweiko, conductor) - 26 April 2022
  • Baylor University (Waco, Tx.) Symphonic Band (Isaiah Odajima, conductor) - 11 October 2021
  • Milton (Ga.) High School Wind Ensemble (Chris Shumick, conductor) – 19 January 2020
  • Hikarigaoka Girls High School (Okazaka, Japan) Winds (Kentaro Hino, conductor) – 19 December 2019 (2019 Midwest Clinic)
  • University of Illinois (Champaign) Wind Orchestra (Beth Peterson, conductor) – 4 December 2019>
  • University of Georgia (Athens) Hodgson Wind Symphony (Jaclyn Hartenberger, conductor) – 18 September 2019
  • Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta) (Symphonic Band) (Benjamin J. Diden, conductor) – 14 April 2019
  • Metropolitan Wind Symphony (Lexington, Mass). (Louis J. Buckley, conductor) – 3 March 2019
  • Illinois State University (Normal) Symphonic Winds (Anthony Marinello, III, conductor) – 15 February 2019
  • Boston (Mass.) College University Wind Ensemble (Sebastian Bonaiuto, conductor) – 4 November 2018
  • West Virginia University (Morgantown) Wind Symphony (Stephen Lytle, conductor) – 29 October 2018
  • JWECC '07 Special Band (Ichiro Saito, conductor) – 17 March 2007; Kurashiki, Japan *Premiere Performance*

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Mackey, J. (2007). Kingfishers Catch Fire: 2007 [score]. Osti Music:[Boston].
  • Perusal core