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Rahab

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Jesse Ayers

Jesse Ayers


General Info

Year: 2010
Duration: c. 36:00
Difficulty: V-VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Jesse Ayers
Cost: Score & parts $350    Score & PDF parts $210    Score only $90    ORDER HERE


Instrumentation

Mezzo-soprano in costume (operatic singer)
Piccolo I-II
Flute I-II
Oboe (exposed solos)
English Horn (several exposed solos)
Bb Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
Bb Bass Clarinet
Bb Contrabass Clarinet
Bassoon I
Bassoon II or Contrabassoon (both optional)
Alto Saxophone I-II
Tenor Saxophone
Baritone Saxophone

Trumpet (in Bb) I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Euphonium
Tuba

Harp (or electronic keyboard, important, exposed harp part)
Piano (optional)
Electronic Keyboard bass pad (easy one-hand part, but not optional)

String bass (optional)

Percussion (6 players)

  • Timpani
  • Orchestra bells
  • Vibraphone
  • Marimba
  • Chimes
  • Bongos
  • Congas (2)
  • Tambourine
  • Finger cymbals
  • Wind chimes
  • 2 Triangles (one higher, one lower)
  • Suspended cymbal
  • Cymbals (pair)
  • Low tom-tom
  • Bass drum (on stage)
  • Tam-tam
  • 4-6 bass drums on floor toms positioned around audience






Errata

none known


Program Notes

MOVING, INTENSE:

Rahab is one of the most moving, intense, and exciting compositions I have had the privilege of conducting. The story, music, surround-sound acoustics, and audience participation are compelling. I can’t wait to perform it again.

Program Note by Dr. Jeffrey Doebler, Valparaiso University


Program Notes by the composer:

Rahab is scored for mezzo-soprano in costume and symphonic winds. The story of Rahab is found in the Old Testament in Joshua 2: 1-21 and Joshua 6: 25. On the eve of the destruction of Jericho (when the “walls came tumbling down”), Rahab, a harlot whose house is on the great, impregnable city wall, encounters two Israelite spies sent by Joshua to spy out the land. She hides them from the King’s men, saving their lives, and in exchange, she is spared when the city is destroyed. Her story is fascinating, but does not end with her exodus from the doomed city. Her name surfaces not once, but three times in the New Testament: Matthew 1: 5; Hebrews 11: 31; and James 2: 25.

Rahab was begun September 2010 at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire, continued at a lakeside cottage in rural Maine, and completed in December 2010 at the composer’s home in Canton, Ohio. The composer considers this work a companion piece to his 2005 composition Jericho for surround-sound wind orchestra, narrator, with unorthodox audience participation. Jericho tells the story from outside the wall, Rahab from inside.

The composer is most appreciative of the generous support for this project by Malone University, the MacDowell Colony, and Barb Drennan. He also wishes to thank Alexandra Gomez-Robbins, Justin Sherrin, and William Vollinger for their valuable suggestions about the libretto.


NOTE ON AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION:

At the climax of this work, and the surround-sound bass drums rumble fortissimo for the collapsing city wall, the audience, accompanied by the surround-sound brass, sings two verses of the hymn "How Firm A Foundation."




Awards

Audio Links

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


Recent Performances

  • Valparaiso University chamber Concert Band (Maura Janton Cock, mezzo-soprano; Jeffrey Scott Doebler, conducting) - October 17, 2015, Valparaiso, IN
  • Valparaiso University chamber Concert Band (Cynthia Skelly Wohlschlager, mezzo-soprano; Jeffrey Scott Doebler, conducting) - CFAMC National Conference, October 10, 2015, Canton, OH
  • Windiana Concert Band (Jeffrey Scott Doebler, conductor) - November 2011; Valparaiso, IN
  • Luther Summer Music Concert Band (Jeffrey Scott Doebler, conductor) - July 2011; Decorah, IA

Additional Works for Winds by this Composer


Additional Resources