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Rippling Watercolors

From Wind Repertory Project
Brian Balmages

Brian Balmages

General Info

Year: 2015
Duration: c. 4:30
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:

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


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

Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • 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)
  • Washington Union High School (Fresno. Calif.) Symphonic Band (Kevin Tinkle, conductor) -15 March 2019 (2019 Sutherland Wind Festival (Fresno, Calif.)
  • Scarsdale (N.Y.) High School Symphonic Band (Jason Noble, conductor) – 21 February 2019 (Belfast, Northern Ireland)
  • Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge) Symphonic Band (Kelvin Jones, conductor) – 20 November 2018
  • Gettysburg (Penn.) College Symphony Band (Russell McCutcheon, conductor) – 16 November 2018
  • California City (Calif.) High School Wind Ensemble (Darrell Thompson, conductor) - 12 May 2018
  • Michigan State University (East Lansing) Spartan Youth Wind Symphony (Simon Holoweiko, conductor) – 22 April 2018
  • Selma (Calif.) High School Wind Ensemble (Alex Lima, conductor) -16 March 2018 (2018 Sutherland Wind Festival (Fresno, Calif.)
  • University of Illinois (Champaign) Hindsley Symphonic Band (Barry Houser, conductor) – 7 March 2018
  • University of Colorado Boulder Concert Band (Matthew Dockendorf, conductor) – 11 December 2017
  • Lufkin (Tx.) Community Band (David E. Smith, conductor) – 3 December 2017
  • Hartwick College (Oneonta, N.Y.) High School Honor Band (Curt Ebersole, conductor) – 21 October 2017
  • Texas Christian University (Fort Worth) Concert Band (Jon Skoruppa, conductor) – 24 April 2017
  • Edison High School (Fresno, Calif.) Symphonic Band (Robert Madrid, conductor) - 25 March 2017 (2017 Sutherland Wind Festival (Fresno, Calif.)
  • University of Missouri (Columbia) Symphonic Band (Brian Silvey, conductor) – 14 March 2017
  • Baylor University (Waco, Texas) Concert Band (Philip Obado, conductor) – 19 February 2017
  • Illinois State University (Normal) University Band (Johannes Krohn, conductor) – 1 December 2016
  • Granite Ridge Intermediate School (Clovis, Calif.) Symphonic Band (Jose Vargas, conductor) - 15 April 2016 (2016 San Joaquin Valley (Calif.) Concert Band Invitational)

Works for Winds by this Composer