Letter from Sado

From Wind Repertory Project
Jodie Blackshaw

Jodie Blackshaw

General Info

Year: 2006
Duration: c. 6:00
Difficulty: II-1/2 (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: American Composers Forum
Cost: Unknown



  • Flute
  • Oboe
  • B-flat Clarinet


  • Flute
  • B-flat clarinet
  • Alto Saxophone


  • Alto Saxophone
  • Trumpet


  • B-flat clarinet (optional)
  • Tenor Saxophone
  • Bassoon
  • Trombone


  • Trombone
  • Euphonium


  • Bass Clarinet
  • Baritone Saxophone
  • Euphonium or trombone
  • Tuba
  • Keyboard (optional)


  • Glockenspiel
  • Tubular Bells
  • Ocean Drum
  • Finger Cymbals
  • Suspended Cymbal


  • Homemade PVC Drum or
  • Snare Drum (snares off) or
  • Medium Tom-tom
  • Homemake Taiko Tire Drum or
  • Low Tom-tom


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Letter from Sado is based on a Japanese haiku of the same name. Sado refers to Sado Island in Japan in which various artists, religious and military leaders were sent in exile many years ago. The island has historically had a strong community of taiko drummers, and as such the piece incorporates optional homemade taiko drums. In this work, the students are invited to become decision makers during aleatoric sections at the beginning and ending of the piece. For example, the opening and closing sections of the piece use the same material, which is a selection of repeated melodic figures. The students themselves decide how to play these figures as individuals, in small teams and then as a whole band, based partly upon the haiku that this work is inspired from.

In-between the aleatoric sections, there is an elaborate, heavily textured section that becomes increasingly powerful. The music doesn’t rest harmonically until the whole band plays in unison. These multiple layers of sound represent the many thoughts and ideas that would have surrounded those individuals sent to Sado Island in exile, and the final unison is representative of their own breakthrough experience sending them on a pathway to inner peace and acceptance.

- Program Note by Jeff Girard, Midwest Sheet Music


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Camp Encore/Coda (Sweden, Me.) Symphonic Winds (Trevor Frost, conductor) - 21 July 2023
  • Luther College (Decorah, Iowa) Serati Band (J. Nick Smith, conductor) - 27 February 2023
  • Gustavus Adolphus College (St. Peter, Minn.) Wind Orchestra (Tyler DelMain, conductor) - 12 March 2022
  • Ohio State University (Columbus) High School Honor Symphonic Band (Scott A. Jones, conductor) – 19 January 2020
  • California All-State Junior High School Symphonic Band (James Smart, conductor) - 17 February 2019 (2019 CASMEC Conference, Fresno)
  • Indiana State University Wind Symphony (Nikk Pilato, conductor) - 16 October 2018
  • Rowan University (Glassboro, N.J.) Concert Band (Joseph Higgins, conductor) – 24 April 2018
  • University of British Columbia (Vancouver) Concert Winds (Christin Reardon MacLellan, conductor) – 19 November 2015
  • James Logan High School (Union City, Calif.) Wind Symphony (Adam Wilke, conductor) – 13 July 2015 (WASBE San Jose)

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works