Rippling Watercolors

From Wind Repertory Project
Brian Balmages

Brian Balmages

General Info

Year: 2015
Duration: c. 4:15
Difficulty: II (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: FJH Music
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $50.00   |   Score Only (print) - $5.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II
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
Horn in F
Trombone I-II
Percussion, including:

  • Bells
  • Chimes
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Many often underestimate the extensive colors, harmonies, and emotional range that are often achievable in younger ensembles. It is in this spirit that the musical lines of Rippling Watercolors was born. This was not meant to be a lyrical piece for younger ensembles; rather, it was written as a fully expressive lyrical work that happens to be playable by younger ensembles. I believe there is a significant difference. No phrases were truncated, no ranges were “limited,” and no rhythms were watered down for the sake of playability. This piece just happens to be attainable by younger groups, yet the music exists exactly as it would even if I had written this for a college group.

The title comes from a range of inspiration. I often get asked about my last name. As most can imagine, there are very few of us left in the world. At present, my wife and I are one of only two couples in the United States that can carry on our family name. My cousins Ben and Carrie on the West Coast are the other couple, and they now have two beautiful girls. We all share a lot of beliefs -- we encourage our children to be creative, spontaneous, and we enjoy watching where their imaginations take them.

The idea for this piece came from a simple set of watercolors. When children get hold of these and use their imagination, the most amazing things can happen. Children can see things that adults never see. They open our minds while we help them grow and learn. With a little imagination, these watercolors can become a magnificent sunrise or sunset over the ocean, a gorgeous view from a mountaintop, or an image of a supernova in space. The smallest drop can change the pattern and create something entirely new, either with a brush or entirely within nature. It is my hope that Lily and Charlotte grow up with an infinite palette of watercolors, and that every drop creates a new, fantastic world.

Rippling Watercolors was commissioned by the Springer Middle School Bands in Wilmington, Delaware; Robert J. Baronio, director. It is dedicated to my cousins Lily and Charlotte Balmages, who, combined with my two boys, form the next generation of the Balmages name in the United States.

- Program Note by composer


State Ratings

  • Texas: III. Complete


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Ohio University (Athens) University Band (Meg Pedlow Smith, conductor) – 7 November 2023
  • Broken Arrow (Okla.) High School Wind Ensemble (Matthew McCutchen, conductor) - 1 March 2023 (88th Annual ABA National Convention)
  • Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble (Irvine, Calif.) (Gregory X. Whitmore, conductor) - 23 May 2022
  • Mukwonago (Wisc.) High School Wind Ensemble (Emma Angoli, conductor) – 14 October 2021
  • Oklahoma State University (Stillwater) University Band (Ba, conductor) - 22 April 2021
  • Central Michigan University (Mount Pleasant) University Band (Ryan Cupp, conductor) - 12 November 2020
  • Bethany Lutheran College (Mankato, Minn.) Concert Band (Benjamin Faugstad, conductor) – 19 March 2020
  • University of Central Florida (Orlando) University Band (Scott Lubaroff, conductor) – 23 February 2020
  • Mineola (Tx.) High School Band (Chris Brannan, conductor) - 14 February 2020 (2020 TMEA Conference, San Antonio)
  • University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Middle School Root Honor Band (Connie Root, conductor) – 30 January 2020
  • Indiana University (Bloomington) All-Campus Band (Benjamin Alaniz, conductor) - 10 December 2019
  • College of New Jersey (Ewing Township) Blue Wind Ensemble (Eric Laprade, conductor) – 4 December 2019
  • Manhattan (N.Y.) Wind Ensemble (Sarah Fernandez, conductor) – 23 November 2019
  • Southeastern Louisiana University (Hammond) Wind Symphony (Derek Stoughton, conductor) – 13 November 2019
  • Houston County High School (Warner Robins, Ga.) Concert Band (Rebekah Daniel, conductor) - 14 May 2019
  • Patrick Henry High School (Roanoke, Va.) Wind Symphony (Alexander Schmitt, conductor) - 25 April 2019
  • Berea (Ky.) College Wind Ensemble (James Dreiling, conductor) – 16 April 2019
  • University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma (Chickasha) Concert Band (Kaleb Benda, conductor) - 15 April 2019
  • Washington Union High School (Fresno, Calif.) Concert Band (Kevin Tinkle, conductor) – 12 April 2019 (2019 San Joaquin Valley (Calif.) Concert Band Invitational)

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works