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On-Again, Off-Again

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Jack Frerer

Jack Frerer

General Info

Year: 2018 / 2019
Duration: c. 7:30
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Orchestra
Publisher: Murphy Music Press
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $250.00   |   Score Only (print) - $50.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet I-II
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III-IV
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Bass Trombone
String Bass
Percussion (6 players), including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crotales
  • Flexatone
  • Glockenspiel
  • Hi-Hat
  • Kick Drum
  • Marimba
  • Orchestral cymbals
  • Ratchet
  • Shaker
  • Snare Drum
  • Splash Cymbal
  • Suspended crash cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Tam-Tam
  • Train whistle
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone
  • Vibra-slap
  • Whip
  • Whistle
  • Wood Blocks (2: high and low)
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Written for the Juilliard Orchestra.

- Program Note from publisher

"Write what you know" is something I think about often, and having lived in New York for several years now I probably know the city's subway system better than I know certain relatives. What begins as one of the most daunting aspects of living in New York gradually becomes one of the most comforting; not the trips themselves -- they’re distinctly uncomfortable -- but rather their familiarity. You know what you’re in for, you know where you’re going, you know it will be over soon. It’s the tearing-off-the-bandaid of New York.

I take the 1 train, which runs along the west side of Manhattan, at least twice a day from 157th street to 66th and back. Highlights of this trip include being bowled over by the herd of people switching trains at 96th, the elevated tightrope-esque 125th street stop which skies above Harlem, and the turbulant tracks between 145th and 157th. It’s maddening, but there is something satisfying about knowing to grab the handrail once you leave 145th.

This piece is about my commute from 66th up to 157th. To me, nothing is a better symbol of the energy shifts that you experience in a city like New York. You’re either on, hurtling through work, school, meetings, friends, more work, or you’re off, sitting in the back of a Starbucks trying to catch your breath for a moment, or sitting on an empty 1 train as it emerges from underground at 125th street, sun shining through the windows. In New York, there’s no in-between.

- Program Note by composer

Awards (for orchestral version)

  • The American Prize, 2019 winner, orchestral composition
  • ASCAP Morton Gould Award, 2019
  • Brazosport Symphony Orchestra, 2018 winner
  • The Juilliard School Orchestra Competition, 2018, winner
  • Metropolitan Youth Orchestra, 2019, composer competition winner
  • Vincent C. LaGuardia, Jr. Composition Competition, 2018-2019, winner (orchestral version)


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Jack Frerer, personal correspondence, October 2019
  • Jack Frerer website Accessed 27 October 2019
  • Mast, Andrew. "On-Again, Off-Again." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 12, Compiled and edited by Andrew Trachsel, 826-834. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2021.