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One with the Wind

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Matt Conaway

Matt Conaway

General Info

Year: 2010
Duration: c. 5:05
Difficulty: IV-1/2 (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: C.L. Barnhouse
Cost: Score and Parts - $78.00


Full score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
B-flat Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II
Trombone I-II-III
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone
  • Wind Chimes
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

The breathtaking exhilaration experienced by those who love to run is the foundation for this magnificent original composition for more advanced bands. Shimmering woodwind and mallet passages alternate with powerful brass statements to create a stunning soundscape that will be a highlight of any concert or festival performance. Rapidly changing styles ranging from chorales to dances provides a number of worthwhile challenges.

- Program Note from publisher

One with the Wind began with no story at all. There was a melodic fragment that had been in my head for a few days, and a couple ideas on percussion scoring that I wanted to get on paper, but there was no real motivation behind the music. As you might expect, I made it about 20 seconds into an idea that ran out of steam, so I saved it and moved on to other projects.

A couple of years later, on the eve of my best friend’s wedding (which I was unfortunately not able to attend), I reflected on what a tremendous day this would be for the two of them, and tried to think of their emotions and activities leading up to the ceremony that would bind them forever. I began setting sketches down for a piece called Scenes from a Joyous Occasion (a horrible title, but it worked for a while), and while each section had vibrancy and life, there was no connective tissue between any of them. It was, in essence, a series of several 30-second mini-compositions without a point.

Whenever I get stuck as a writer, I do anything I can to find motivation to continue with the work. Sometimes I’ll take a walk, and a rhythm in the background might light a spark. Sometimes I sit down at my piano and play until I hear a melody come through three times, at which point I write it down and continue. In this case, I thought about my friend and what made him the person he was. As I saw it, he had three loves in the world: his future wife, music (he’s a great percussionist), and running. He had several marathons under his belt at the time of his wedding, and his escape from the stresses of work and wedding planning came on the running trails and streets of the city.

With the idea of running firmly entrenched, I returned to the work to create connective tissue between all the sketches, and found that material in the previously uninspired melodic fragment; a simple, eight-note motif in the Lydian mode that runs throughout the composition. The earlier percussion ideas suddenly fit right in, especially the mallet lines. The running concept fell into place by virtue of relentless forward motion, overlaid with the kind of joy found only in the speed when you become one with the wind. I suddenly had the perfect title to go with this very personal composition.

Today, as I write these notes, my friend is still happily married, and still heavily involved in music. He has taken his band program to heights unimaginable just ten years ago. Ironically, his days of running are over; knee and ankle problems crept up on him recently, and no amount of therapy has proven effective to get him back into the sport. I find it difficult to accept that the aspect of his life that pulled this pieces together is the one thing he can’t do anymore, but I hope this piece serves as an example of the joy one can experience from losing himself to the exhilaration of speed.

And I hope he reads this and finally realizes that One with the Wind is about him, written in otherwise indescribable gratitude for his unwavering friendship and support over the last eight years. You’re the best.

- Program Note by composer


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • New Prairie High School (New Carlisle, Ind.) Wind Ensemble (Patrick Teykl, conductor) - 28 April 2017
  • Purdue University (West Lafayette, Ind.) Wind Ensemble (Jay Gephart, conductor) - 29 March 2016 (Carnegie Hall, New York)

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Conaway, M. (2010). One with the Wind [score]. C.L. Barnhouse: Oskaloosa, Iowa.
  • Perusal score