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Last Breaths

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Armando Bayolo

Armando Bayolo

General Info

Year: 2014 / 2016
Duration: c. 11:10
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Chamber
Publisher: Olibel Music, through Murphy Music Press
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $250.00;   |   Score Only (print) - $52.00


1. Eric Garner, July 12, 2014 - 1:14
2. John Crawford, August 5, 2014 - 0:48
3. Trayvon Martin, February 26, 2012 - 1:09
4. Eric Garner, July 12, 2014 (reprise) - 0:30
5. Sean Bell, November 25, 2006 - 2:05
6. Kimani Gray, March 9, 2013 - 2:15
7. Jonathan Ferrell, September 13, 2013 - 0:50


Full Score
Solo Baritone Voice
Flute I-II (I doubling Piccolo)
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
C Trumpet
Horn in F I-II
Bass Trombone
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Brake Drum
  • Conga
  • Floor Tom
  • Glockenspiel
  • Kick Drum
  • Marimba
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tom-Tom (4)
  • Vibraphone
  • Whip
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

In December, 2014, a grand jury in New York declared police officer Daniel Pantaleo not liable in the choking death of Eric Garner, a street vendor of “loosey” cigarettes who posed no violent threat to officer Pantaleo or those around him and was killed in a display of police arrogance and brutality that is sadly all too common (especially against African Americans) in the United States of America in the 21st century. A month before, the town of Ferguson, Missouri, a subdivision of St. Louis, a city close to my heart, exploded in sometimes violent demonstrations when another grand jury acquitted police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, who was unarmed. The Ferguson riots were not only an explosion of rage from an increasingly marginalized community, but also proved a demonstration of the increased militarization of police forces in the United States. I do not tend to write a lot of specifically political pieces, but the events above are merely a drop in an increasingly bloody bucket, and angered a lot of people, including myself.

In Last Breaths, I join my voice in the outcry against these growing injustices. The piece began as a much more straightforward set of songs for Loadbang, with whom I’d been trying to find a collaborative project for some time, but by December, 2014, after the Ferguson riots and the Eric Garner decision, I needed to join my voice to the growing outcry, however humbly. in 2016, my friend and Great Noise Ensemble colleague, David Vickerman, asked me to prepare a large ensemble version of it for his On Justice and Peace project. This piece is the result.

Last Breaths sets the last words of six young men killed by police in the last ten years. I hope it honors their memories in some small way, and it is to those memories, along with countless others’, that this work is dedicated.

- Program Note by composer


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Appalachia: A Southeastern Wind Symphony (Knoxville, Tenn.) (Logan Campbell, conductor; Jacob Lay, baritone) - 5 September 2021
  • Denison University (Granville, Ohio) Wind Ensemble (Chris David Westover-Muñoz, conductor; Justin T. Swain, baritone) - 10 June 2021
  • Texas Tech University (Lubbock) Symphonic Band (Eric Allen, conductor; Gregory Brookes, baritone) - 7 May 2021
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison Wind Ensemble (Scott Teeple, conductor) – 16 February 2020
  • Montclair (N.J.) State University Wind Ensemble (Thomas McCauley, conductor; Al-Jabril Muhammad, tenor) – 21 February 2019 (CBDNA 2019 National Conference, Tempe, Ariz.)

Works for Winds by This Composer