Marimba Concerto for Wind Ensemble

From Wind Repertory Project
Mark Ford

Mark Ford

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General Info

Year: 2022
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Marimba and orchestra
Publisher: Unknown
Cost: Score and Parts - Unknown




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None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Commissioned by the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music Wind Symphony, Marimba Concerto for Wind Ensemble (2022) is dedicated to University of North Texas alumnus and former faculty member, Dr. Nicholas Williams. Ford expresses the following: For me music has always been organic. Whether playing in a concert band, an orchestra, a rock band, a jazz band, or as a soloist, the “feeling” of music has always been my initial connection with expression. How the music makes me feel and move is equally important as the sounds I’m hearing and crafting. So when my dear friend Professor Nicholas Williams asked me to compose a work for the Melbourne Conservatorium Wind Ensemble, the first thing I had to consider was “what feeling did I want to embrace for this music?” I knew that someday I would make the time to compose a concerto for marimba and now the opportunity was before me, but I was not sure where to start. I had to have more to compose a major work for wind ensemble, I had to have a story to tell. In March of 2020 I was preparing for an exciting trip to perform and teach in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and then a week in St. Petersburg, Russia. My wife, Ewelina, flew from Dallas, Texas with our daughter, Emily (age 5) to Poland about a week before I was set to leave for Amsterdam. Our plan was to let Emily get over jet lag and become settled with her grandmother. Then Emily would stay with grandma for a week while Ewelina would fly to meet me in St. Petersburg. We were excited about exploring this unique city and also about hearing new music during the festival there. Well, unfortunately none of this beautiful adventure happened as planned… A day before I was to fly to Europe Covid-19 took over the world, flights and events were canceled, and the Pandemic of 2020 began. I was stuck in Texas and Ewelina and Emily were stranded in Opole, Poland. Of course, we felt that this was just a temporary problem at first, but our separation turned out to be difficult and serious as it lasted months. So here I was, in our house with a marimba, a piano and a computer and many feelings of frustration, anger, and loneliness. I decided that I needed to put these feelings into my Concerto for Marimba. The first movement, Exile, is centered around a beautiful love song for my wife but twisted by a separation out of our control. The mysterious opening cites the beginning notes of the love song but quickly becomes tense before the marimba enters. Eventually the love song is presented fully before becoming distorted as the movement builds to a climactic ending. The second movement, Moon Chasers, is based on an earlier marimba solo I wrote for Ewelina. The title refers to two people in love separated by distance and connected only by the moon. I utilize the piano, harp, celeste, and vibraphone for imagery of the night as the moon moves across the sky.

The third movement, If It Goes About Us, is a dance of joy. Being together and sharing the beauty and trials in life together is everything. This music is a celebration of how we can rise above major problems (such as a pandemic) and still find joy and love in life. And after exactly 100 days of separation, Ewelina and Emily were able to fly home to Texas and we were reunited. It is a day I will never forget and my feelings for this experience are in the music you will experience tonight.


None discovered thus far.

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of North Texas (Denton) Wind Orchestra (Andrew Trachsel, conductor; Mark Ford, marimba) - 21 April 2023 *Premiere United States Performance*
  • University of Melbourne (Aus.) Wind Symphony (Nicholas Williams, conductor) – 9 October 2022 *Premiere Performance*

Works for Winds by this Composer