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Mare Tranquillitatis

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Roger Zare

Roger Zare

General Info

Year: 2007 / 2012
Duration: c. 6:20
Difficulty: III (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: String orchestra
Publisher: Roger Zare Music
Cost: Score and Parts - $140.00   |   Score Only - $15.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II-III
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
Bb Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
Bb Bass Clarinet
Eb Alto Saxophone I-II
Bb Tenor Saxophone
Eb Baritone Saxophone
Bb Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
Euphonium (Bass Clef & Treble Clef)
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Glockenspiel
  • Marimba
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tam-Tam
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

I was commissioned in the summer of 2007 by Jeffrey Bishop to write a short piece for his string orchestra at Shawnee Mission Northwest High School in Kansas City. They premiered the string version of this work on February 12, 2008. In 2012, a consortium of wind ensembles around the United States commissioned a transcription of this work for band, and it was premiered throughout the 2012-2013 season.

Mare Tranquillitatis translates to "Sea of Tranquility," and is the famous location on the moon where Apollo 11 landed and the first man set foot on the lunar surface. The music seeks to capture a dichotomy of emotions -- tranquil beauty and restless isolation. All of the musical material is derived from only two ideas -- the descending fourth heard in the opening bar, and the flowing and surging melody heard not long after. These two ideas trade back and forth within a contrapuntal texture, swelling and flowing as they interact with each other. The music recedes into a quieter realm and a quartet of soloists emerges, juxtaposing the lush full textures with a delicate and intimate passage.

After many peaks and dips, the emotional arc of the piece culminates in the long-awaited return of the second theme. It grows and transforms into a sweeping gesture, bringing closure to the pent-up tension from before. What follows is an epilogue, and the piece ends with one final tender moment with the solo quartet.

- Program Note by composer


Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.

Audio Links

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Luther College (Decorah, Ia.) Concert Band (Cory Near, conductor) - 8 November 2020
  • University of Florida (Gainesville) Symphonic Band (John M. Watkins, Jr., conductor) – 21 November 2019
  • University of North Florida (Jacksonville) Wind Symphony (Erin Bodnar, conductor) – 17 November 2019
  • University of California (Berkeley) Wind Ensemble (Matthew Sadowski, conductor) - 25 October 2019
  • Texas State University (San Marcos) Wind Symphony (Caroline Beatty, conductor) – 4 October 2019
  • West Virginia University (Morgantown) Wind Symphony (Scott C. Tobias, conductor) – 29 September 2019
  • University of Southern Mississippi (Hattisburg) Wind Ensemble (Catherine Rand, conductor) – 29 April 2019
  • Northwest Missouri State University Wind Symphony (Robert Pippin, conductor) – 19 February 2019
  • University of Georgia (Athens) Hodgson Wind Symphony (Emily Mariko, conductor) – 18 February 2019
  • University of Oregon (Eugene) Wind Ensemble (Rodney Dorsey, conductor) – 16 November 2017
  • University of Minnesota (Minneapolis) Wind Ensemble (Craig Kirchoff, conductor) – 5 May 2017
  • University of Minnesota (Minneapolis) Wind Ensemble (Cory Near, conductor) – 21 April 2017
  • Truman State University (Kirksville, Mo.) Wind Symphony (Curran Prendergast, conductor) – 11 February 2017
  • Ball State University (Muncie, Ind.) Wind Ensemble (Thomas Caneva, conductor) – 30 September 2016
  • Westchester Symphonic Winds (Curt Ebersole, conductor) - 19 June 2016
  • University of Missouri (Columbia) Symphonic Band (Brian Silvey, conductor) – 1 May 2016
  • Illinois State University (Normal) Symphonic Winds (Martin H. Seggelke, conductor) – 17 April 2016
  • Michigan State University (East Lansing) Symphony Band (John T. Madden, conductor) – 22 March 2016
  • University of Colorado (Boulder) Wind Symphony (Donald J. McKinney, conductor) – 16 March 2016 (CBDNA 2016 Southwestern Division Conference, Boulder, Colo.)

Works for Winds by this Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Birdwell, John Cody. "Mare Tranquillitatus." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 10, Compiled and edited by Richard Miles, 431-437. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2015.
  • Roger Zare website
  • Zare, R. (2012). Mare Tranquillitatis : (Sea ff Tranquility) : For Wind Ensemble [score]. Roger Zare: [s.l.].