Rapture (Balmages)

From Wind Repertory Project
Brian Balmages

Brian Balmages

General Info

Year: 2022
Duration: c. 8:24
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Alfred Music
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $110.00   |   Score Only (print) - $15.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass 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
String Bass
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Chimes
  • China Cymbal
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Hi-Hat
  • Marimba
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Toms
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

When John Thomas, conductor of the Matthew Flinders Anglican College Wind Symphony (Queensland, Australia) approached me about writing a new work, he mentioned that it would be wonderful if the piece could include a reference to the hymn tune Helmsley, which had a great deal of personal significance to him earlier in his performing career. John is a tenor horn player who won the title of World Champion Brass Soloist in 1988 and eventually joined the world-famous Black Dyke Mills Brass Band. One of his favourite pieces, The Kingdom Triumphant by Eric Ball, also uses the hymn tune Helmsley and has become a significant influence in both his playing and teaching. Also known as Lo! He Comes With Clouds Descending, this music gave me the opportunity to explore several juxtaposed emotions.

First, there was incredible excitement among the students. John had actually contacted me before the pandemic, but a major wrench got thrown into that timeline once things began to shut down. As a result, this became a project many years in the making, and the combination of in-person rehearsals with the anticipation of a new work really energized the Anglican College Wind Symphony members.

Second, there is the text of the hymn tune, which refers to the moment of glory when someone enters heaven. The third verse states, "With what rapture... gaze we on these glorious scars!" In my mind, whether you are a person of faith or not, this is quite symbolic of how we choose to respond to life in the wake of tragedy and grief. We can choose to be wounded and angry, or we can take trials in life as an opportunity to realign our values, our priorities, and our relationships.

From the powerful opening to the constant building of energy and moments of pure glory and euphoria throughout the piece, one can easily hear the various "rapture" interpretations as the music develops. That said, there are also moments of intense reflection and peace, which also completely align with the subject matter of the work.

It was a pleasure and personal triumph for me to compose Rapture. I hope all ensembles feel the immense fulfillment and gratitude that I experienced as I was writing the music.

- Program Note by composer


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Matthew Flinders Anglican College (Sunshine Coast, Qld., Aus.) Wind Symphony (John Thomas, conductor) - 27 October 2022 *Premiere Performance*

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

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